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#1
I have a Epiphone SG G-400, and I was wondering if the pickups really make a guitar? If i replace the pickups, with higher brand pickups will they sound better?

If so can you suggest some that are good, and will fit my guitar. I like to play metal and rock.

Thanks
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#2
Pickups don't MAKE a guitar but they can make a crap one sound better in some cases.
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#3
Quote by Mo Jiggity
Pickups don't MAKE a guitar but they can make a crap one sound better in some cases.

+1
#4
Pickups are one of many components of a guitars sound

just so happens they are the only one which is feasibly replaced (in most cases anyway aside from electronics)

oh and to #2 i add a this
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#6
nope you're also gonna need some strings and some wood to put it all on. sorry didnt read just saw the title.
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#7
they dont make the guitar, just the sound
better pickups will improve the sound
i just dropped a couple of dimarzio humbuckers into my strat and it handles metal and hi-gain distortions a lot better, a lot more powerful, has better tone, and a bit better sustain
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#9
Quote by Mo Jiggity
Pickups don't MAKE a guitar but they can make a crap one sound better in some cases.


+1

The amp is the biggest deciding factor in your tone...but your playing style/fingers and guitar/pickups also affect your sound...just not as much.
#10
The wood is what makes the guitar. However, since the pickups are what actually pick up the vibrations, you could have an amazing guitar with terrible pickups and the guitar would sound like ****. So although the pickups don't MAKE the guitar, they are a piece in the puzzle as important as another other part of the guitar.
#12
Quote by Xhale1
yeahh emg pickups are good 81's or 85's

That was useless, irrelavent, and biased.

Pickups are part of what makes a good guitar, and they can improve your guitar's tone. For example, put the lowest quality pickups in a PRS, and it won't sound as good. But put the best pickups in a really low quality guitar such as a Hello Kitty guitar, and the tone will improve. There are other factors, such as wood quality and craftsmanship.

If you're looking to improve your guitar's tone, first thing you should get is a better amp. What kind are you using now?
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#13
Pickups should be the last thing on your mind IMO.
Once you have a good, solid, guitar that is worth the wood it's made from, and an amp where you can hear every detail of your playing, THEN you can think about getting new pickups to change the sound you have.
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#14
Quote by marko'd
+3


+4

Change that Line 6 before changing the pick-ups of your G-400.
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#15
in my experience, you can completely change a guitar based on pickups. Replace those epi pickups with a couple of Super Distrotions or Invaders and you'll get a HO beast, replace them with a set of Alnico II's or Seth Lovers or P-100's and you'll get a soft spoken guitar, replace them with a JB and a 59/Jazz, and you'll get a very well rounded guitar.

A lot of people on this forum will tell you to swap your amp out before your pickups, which you will see a bigger increase in tone by swapping your amp, but, sometimes you just can't afford it, or you're happy with your amp, even though the people on here think you shouldn't be. I've got a lot of experience with differant pickups and electronics through "entry" level amps, and it does make a differance.

But, in my opinion, changing your pickups and electronics is the biggest way to change your guitar's tone. (I said guitar's tone, not overall tone).

oh, and by the way, when I was playing through a Spider II, I could hear the differances between certain pickups. played a '59, Invander and Super Distortion through the Spider II (all "tom delonged" out in strat style guitars). Everyone on here will say, "that guitar's not good enough to warrant a pick up change," or "with the spider you won't hear the differance and the spider sucks," but, honestly, the G-400 is a great guitar for the price and the wood quality does warrant a pup swap, the Spider may not be the best amp, but you will notice a differance in sound, it might not be the huge differance you're looking for, but going from stock epi's to aftermarket pickups makes a huge differance, none the less. You go from the ice-pick bridge pickup and the blanket muffled neck pickup to pickups that both have definition and clarity. I can't stand stock epi pickups....
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Last edited by Thomme at Dec 31, 2008,
#16
I'm going to disagree with you and say that there is nothing soft spoken about a set of Seth Lovers.
#17
all I know is that when I put a set of Seymour Duncan Blackouts in my Epiphone Gothic Explorer I got a much better sound! There was a gigantic difference!


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#18
pickups don't make the guitar, but they definitely make some guitars sound a little better, If your looking for better pickups I would go for some emgs 81,85 setup or some seymour duncan hunbuckers, you can't go wrong with seymour duncans.
Last edited by jcboomer at Jan 6, 2009,
#19
Quote by al112987
I'm going to disagree with you and say that there is nothing soft spoken about a set of Seth Lovers.

I've heard seths get a beautiful, soft, thick tone, never heard them at crazy harsh myself, but I'll take your word for it.

To the TS: even the GFS pickups will be an improvement over those Epi stock pickups.
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#20
i have the same guitar as the thread starter and replaced stock pups for a Duncan 59/JB set and it sounds ALOT better in my opinion
#21
the luthier makes the guitar.
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#23
Quote by voodoochild78
the luthier makes the guitar.





Pickups are just one part of the overall guitar.New pickups can help a bad guitar sound better,but other factors such as what amp it's being played through,the quality of the wood and electronics,and the players skills are also big factors that need to be considered.I saw some posters said you were using a Line 6,in this case new pups wont make a huge difference since you're playing through a digital modeling amp and pretty much everything will sound the same.Where upgrades like new pups and better pots and so on really shine is with higher end amps and tube amps.

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#24
Pickups aren't the only thing that make up a guitar. Body construction is another big factor in how a guitar suonds.
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#25
Quote by DespisedIcon
+4

Change that Line 6 before changing the pick-ups of your G-400.

+5
+1
#26
my epiphone strat is a laminate body POS that actually plays pretty well, so I put a 59b and a Duncan antiquity in it and it sounds like a much more expensive guitar. I'm not going to sit here and say that it sounds better than any guitar I've ever played, but, it sounds ALOT better than a lot of guitars I've seen/heard in the sub $700 price range, but it's probably my worst sounding electric. The pickups MADE this guitar.
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#27
hell, a set of seymour duncans sure made my old peavey rapter special (now sold) sounds a million times better

for the sound of a guitar definately, but obviously to MAKE a guitar many other things need to be taken into consideration
#28
Quote by Xhale1
yeahh emg pickups are good 81's or 85's

PLEASE don't listen to this fuckhead. EMG's are an absolute waste of money if you're thinking of replacing pickups. You can get a nice Seymour Duncan JB bridge pickup, which is only 60 bucks and 10 times better than an EMG 81. Plus, you don't have to go through that god-awful passive-to-active transition rewiring crap.

As for you're question. pickups do make a guitar in a way. But amps are more important to a guitars sound than anything else. Then come the wood th e guitar is made of.Blackouts will make a guitar sound 100 times more metal than Strat pickups. I would definitely recommend changing them, because i've tried your exact guitar at the store today through a Roland Cube, and the sound wasn't that great. But if you look at guys like Youtube's Dmometalguitar, he plays $2,500 guitars through a $200 amp and gets crunch worthy of Slayer themselves.

My point being that pickups do make a difference in a guitars sound, but not as much of a difference as guitar wood and amps. Consider those first, THEN pickups.
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#29
also the wood makes the difference like korina it has a very nice airy light thin sound
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#30
If the guitar is good quality to begin with then yeah great pickups will make it even better but if you have a crap guitar its still not gonna sound as good as a nice one even with new pups.
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#31
Quote by Baby Joel

For example, put the lowest quality pickups in a PRS, and it won't sound as good. But put the best pickups in a really low quality guitar such as a Hello Kitty guitar, and the tone will improve.


So... Swap out the pickups between the PRS and the Hello Kitty guitar, see which sounds better, and there's your answer!

I put a SD SH-4 in the bridge of my ESP M-50. It did improve my tone, but not as much as I'd hoped. I agree with what most people are saying. Pickups are important, but they're just one piece of the puzzle
#32
Quote by randomhero93
+5


+6

This could go on a while, I think..
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#33
ok, so, wood and build do make a differance, but the G-400 is one of the best built (for the money) guitars I've ever played. It's got a great tone to it if you put good pups in it. EMGs are not a waste of money if that is the tone you're going for, for me, they are a waste of money, but, I prefer vintage correct tones, you know? I hate active pickups, but maybe that's what you would like. Check out the SD, Dimarzio and EMG websites for more info, man. Don't listen to what WE have to say on this site, because there's a lot of BS that gets spewed on this forum, listen to what you like, and find the tones you want.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#34
well they might make ****ty guitars sound better in some cases, but you still have to consider the quality of the rest of the guitar... you dont want to put "$400 rims on a $300 car" right?
#35
Quote by Tsotsi757
I have a Epiphone SG G-400, and I was wondering if the pickups really make a guitar? If i replace the pickups, with higher brand pickups will they sound better?

If so can you suggest some that are good, and will fit my guitar. I like to play metal and rock.

Thanks



Having just read an archive about tone, pickups are just the beginning.

Your amp is definitly going to be a large factor, as a **** amp would just make any good pickups sound crap.

What amp are you playing right now?

Metal and Rock are both very large genres, could you be even more specific?
#36
Quote by mongoose1285
i have the same guitar as the thread starter and replaced stock pups for a Duncan 59/JB set and it sounds ALOT better in my opinion


I did the exact same pickup swap in my G400 (59/JB) and I couldn't be happier, the guitar sounds so much more articulate than with the stock pickups.
#37
from my experience, most of the character of the sound comes from the guitar itself. try comparing the unplugged and plugged in sounds of different guitars.
#38
I say if you like the way your guitar feels and plays, go ahead and upgrade the pickups. I changed my G400's pickups to SD Invaders and loved it (as it was a very bright-sounding guitar despite the all mahogany body/neck) and played it until I wore the frets out hehe

On either a solid state or tube amp I think it sounded alot better than the stock pickups.

I also think it's like making the most out a guitar in a way. A way of customising its sound and look to make it your very own, and something of interest to other guitarists.

I played that G400 until the frets were virtually too flat to play anymore..
Last edited by yenners at Jan 1, 2009,
#39
Quote by cohen5250
You can get a nice Seymour Duncan JB bridge pickup, which is only 60 bucks and 10 times better than an EMG 81.

Its all about preferences, ****head.
#40
Quote by Thomme
in my experience, you can completely change a guitar based on pickups. Replace those epi pickups with a couple of Super Distrotions or Invaders and you'll get a HO beast, replace them with a set of Alnico II's or Seth Lovers or P-100's and you'll get a soft spoken guitar, replace them with a JB and a 59/Jazz, and you'll get a very well rounded guitar.


I would agree with this and go the pickup route. It makes you feel better knowing that you're dropping good pickups in a good chassis, but sometimes that's not always feasible if you want a quick fix. Bare in mind that you can get some good pups and take them with you to other guitars should you wish. It's a sound investment however you look at it.
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