#1
I am about to replace the stock pickups on my Epiphone Les Paul. What is the best way to go about researching and selecting pickup upgrades. I am thinking about going with an active pickup set, specifically the Seymour Duncan Dave Mustane Live Wire series. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
#2
I've got a set of SD SH-6 passives on my Dean. I got them just to try replacing pickups. They just scream with distortion. As for active, you can't go wrong with the EMG 81/85 combo.
#3
Well you have to consider what sound you want and what your amp is.Often a meh guitar tone is the amp and not the pups.New pickups wont make a SS practice amp sound amazing.Actives work best with tube amps that are being pushed and wont live up to their full potential on a SS or modeling amp.If you have a good amp and want the active tone then go for it.If you don't,then maybe high output passives would be the way to go.Passives also have more versatility and a more organic tone than actives,plus no hassle with 9 volts,even though that really isn't an issue.

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#4
Quote by Zeusjuice
I am about to replace the stock pickups on my Epiphone Les Paul. What is the best way to go about researching and selecting pickup upgrades. I am thinking about going with an active pickup set, specifically the Seymour Duncan Dave Mustane Live Wire series. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

You need to answer these questions.

What amp are you using?
What effects so you usually use?
What's wrong with your tone currently?
How do you want it to improve/change?
How much money do you have?
Actually called Mark!

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#5
k here is a little more detail. I currently have a VOX ad15vt and a pod x3. I eventually want to get a tube setup, but at the moment with my work schedule and a small child I really only get to play with headphones on. Now the reason I was looking at pickups particularly active pick ups is because the electronics in my epi just seem to have been crappy from day one, I have had the input jack replaced a few times, and the tone and volume pots are quite picky at best. And It was my understanding that with active pups they have to yank out all the old electronics. So I was kind of looking at it as killing 2 birds with one stone so to speak. as far as price goes I am looking to spend anywhere around 300 to 500. I know I need to get a new amp I just haven't found anything I wanna drop the money on yet.

also this is my last semester in school, and I currently work at best buy. some of the best buys close are starting to carry higher end equipment, American fenders, gibson, bogner alchemists. my discount is roughly half off so before I go what should I load up on, they have most stuff listed at bestbuy.com I was thinking the bogner 40 watt alchemist combo for 600 bucks wouldn't be too shabby. I just need to go play with one
#6
Well, right off the bat it sounds like the amp is more the problem than anything. Definitely get that sorted out before you think about changing pickups.

As far as active pickups go, it wouldn't be worth it. They're very specialised pickups for driving a tube amp hard when it's already fully cranked - which sounds like something you're not going to be doing.

In terms of replacing the other electronics, replacing the pots, input jack, selector switch and all that - if you can solder and do it yourself it should cost you pocket change. Even if you had to take it to a store to have it done it'd cost only a fraction of what a set of active pickups would and you very might well find that with a good amp, that's all you'll need.
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#8
Quote by penner
what music do you like?

in any case, get EMGs
Well done U-G. That's the dumbest post I've ever seen on the internet, and that's coming from someone who goes on wrestling forums.
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#9
Quote by MrFlibble
Well done U-G. That's the dumbest post I've ever seen on the internet, and that's coming from someone who goes on wrestling forums.





Oh god hahaha

Anyway TS,pay attention to the posts Mr.Flib and I made.Changing out your pickups isn't worth it when you use a low end amp,replace the amp before you consider new pickups,and if the wiring in your guitar is a problem you can replace the pots and all that for pretty cheap.

WARNING!: THIS USER HAS BEEN KNOWN TO BE AN OPINIONATED ASS. ALWAYS USE CAUTION WHEN READING POSTS AND NEVER USE NEAR AN OPEN FLAME.USE ONLY AS DIRECTED.KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.







#10
I'm in the same sort of dilemma. I have an epiphone lp with stock pups and I play through a Bugera 333-212. I usually have it cranked almost to 12oclock. I play alot of metal and heavy metal, but I clean it up sometimes too and play bluesy stuff. I'm not sure if I should try EMGs to take advantage of my amp, although it may make my cleans sound worse considering they sound kind of muffled as it is (i spend a good amount of time EQing, cant quite get by the muffled-ness). So I cant decide between actives and passives and which passives at that. Tricky.
#11
Get some GuitarFetish pickups, and replace all the electronics too. It would make a bit more difference with a full tube amp, but replacing the electronics is a good idea anyway so it's more reliable than the stock epi stuff.
#12
Quote by Watterboy
I'm in the same sort of dilemma. I have an epiphone lp with stock pups and I play through a Bugera 333-212. I usually have it cranked almost to 12oclock. I play alot of metal and heavy metal, but I clean it up sometimes too and play bluesy stuff. I'm not sure if I should try EMGs to take advantage of my amp, although it may make my cleans sound worse considering they sound kind of muffled as it is (i spend a good amount of time EQing, cant quite get by the muffled-ness). So I cant decide between actives and passives and which passives at that. Tricky.



Have you tried to boost mids yet? The way I'd suggest this, is to buy an eq pedal, boost the mids on the eq pedal, and keep them scooped on the amp. This is me assuming that you scoop the mids on your amp.

and imo active emgs make cleans thin sounding.


and to ts, I'd highly recommend a tube amp. I recently bought a fender blues jr. and it makes my guitar sound so much better compared to my crate ss. You'll forget all about pickups. We know that eventually you will need a new amp, so why not buy an amp and see how your guitar sounds and if you need to get new pickups do so. This could potentially save you +$100.
Last edited by Matt Chavie at Jan 19, 2009,
#13
Hm, I dont have an EQ pedal. THe EQ on my amp is pretty responsive but I dont know how much of an improvement it would make to use the pedal. I usually keep the mids around 12oclock when Im playing clean, sometimes alittle less. With metal, I scoop them, but I've tried raising them up between 9-11oclock and adjusting bass and treble accordingly and it just doesnt sound as good. I truely think its the pickups, but then again, I don't have that much experience with pickups, so I couldn't say..
#14
I don't know about the Pod. But I had a GT-10. I changed the pickups in my Epi G-400 and it made all the difference in the world. I went with 2 Dirty Fingers. If the problem is the muddiness of the stock epi pickups, new pickups will fix that. I can't say that I'm very knowledgeable about amps, tubes, and pickups, I just go by what sounds good. The GT-10 reacted similar to the amps it was modeling. Changing the pickups is worth it, but I'm not sure about Actives, since I've never played them through an effects processor.
#15
Quote by MrFlibble
Well, right off the bat it sounds like the amp is more the problem than anything. Definitely get that sorted out before you think about changing pickups.

As far as active pickups go, it wouldn't be worth it. They're very specialised pickups for driving a tube amp hard when it's already fully cranked - which sounds like something you're not going to be doing.

In terms of replacing the other electronics, replacing the pots, input jack, selector switch and all that - if you can solder and do it yourself it should cost you pocket change. Even if you had to take it to a store to have it done it'd cost only a fraction of what a set of active pickups would and you very might well find that with a good amp, that's all you'll need.



Is it really the amp if he's listening through headphones.....