#1
I need to assure by this weekend whether or not my pickups are having a significant negative effect on my tone. I play an epiphone lp standard all stock through a bugera 333. I know this amp has potential from plenty of insight so I really think alot of my tone is being sucked up from my stock pickups. It seems as if unless I have one exact setting (for clean: treble almost all the way up, bass alittle less than 12oclock and same for mids; yet its still muddy and really not trebly at all for full on treble. for lead: treble almost all the way up, mids scooped very low, .5-1.5ish, and bass around 7. Sounds really saturated around that, but literally every other setting makes it sound as if all the gain is lost even though then gain is slightly past halfway.)

Could my pickups be having this degree of a negative effect on my tone such that there is little articulation with my EQing? Im planning on replacing them with GFS ones.
#2
Try upping your mids quite a bit before anything.

Epi stock pickups are not very refined pickups, so maybe a pickup change would help you.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard w/ SD Alnico Pro II's
Fender Aerodyne Telecaster & Stratocaster
Marshall JCM 800 4104 combo


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#3
Oh believe me. I play alot of lead stuff so I constantly up the mids to compensate. I bring them up around halfway, sometimes higher, and backoff the treble. But the tone really sucks lol. And the mids basically have to be scooped when playing rhythm or it sounds very very loose, unsaturated, and poorly distorted.
#4
Quote by Watterboy
Oh believe me. I play alot of lead stuff so I constantly up the mids to compensate. I bring them up around halfway, sometimes higher, and backoff the treble. But the tone really sucks lol. And the mids basically have to be scooped when playing rhythm or it sounds very very loose, unsaturated, and poorly distorted.


It's possible you're amp arrived with the bias set too cold. There's no way you should maxing out your highs on any channel and the way you describe the mud. Sounds like you might be down into cross-over distortion land.

Keep in mind with tube amps, your guitar is EVERYTHING. Every little idosynchracy will become VERY noticable.
#5
Quote by Watterboy
I bring them up around halfway, sometimes higher, and backoff the treble. But the tone really sucks lol. And the mids basically have to be scooped when playing rhythm or it sounds very very loose, unsaturated, and poorly distorted.
This, right here, is your problem.

None of your controls should ever be below halfway/12o'clock, except bass which should sometimes be dipped a little depending on the venue.

Mid and treble though should never, ever be dropped below the halfway point of the control (neither should bass really, if you want the best tone).

When you start cutting frequencies, that's when you lose definition, dynamic reaction, sustain, and in short, murder your tone.

Want a scooped tone? Don't cut the mids, just boost the bass and treble. You end up with the same scooped effect but since you're not actually removing any part of your signal, you get the full response from your guitar and amp.

Simply put, most controls are scaled out of 10, yes? Nothing should ever go below 5. Ever. Every control you drop below 5, even fractionally, is going to murder your tone.




All that said though, yes, pickups can 'hold back' your tone a little, provided that every other piece of your gear is as good as it can be. Ultimately, the influence pickups have on your tone is minimal.
Normally if your tone sucks, it's because of one of the following things, in order of likeliness:
  • Your amp's tone naturally sucks.
  • You can't use an EQ worth a damn.
  • You're using a really crap selection of pedals/set your pedal board up in a way which doesn't get the best from it.
  • The guitar's body and neck aren't up to scratch, this includes the build quality and also the species and grade of the wood used.
  • You're using crappy cables.
  • The non-pickup electronics of your guitar suck (i.e. pots, switches, input, basic wiring, the shielding and grounding is dodgy, etc).
  • The material your guitar's bridge is made from (both basic type and also the quality).
  • Your guitar isn't set up correctly, this includes pickup height and string height (yes, action does effect tone).
  • You're using cheap strings (though really anything from the Ernie Ball standard range and up is fine).
  • You're using ham-fisted technique. Most of the time when people complain about 'muddy' tones, it's just their own sloppy playing.
  • The finish your guitar has. Thick/thin, poly/nitro/oil/wax, paint/dye, light colours/dark colours, etc etc.
  • Finally, your pickups might suck.
  • The picks you use (or your finger technique if you don't use picks).
  • The type of nut your guitar has.
  • The material your fretwire is made from.
  • The material your inlays are made from, if you have any on your guitar.



So as you can see, pickups are pretty way down on the list of things that can make your tone suck. As such, it's not something you should worry about. You should certainly be looking elsewhere (especially your EQ) before you think about what changing pickups might do for you.
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#6
The epiphone pickups aren't that great. I had G400 for a while and the stock pickups were pretty muddy. I was getting great tone withs a Tokai Strat and a modded VJ but the G400 sounded like a blanket had be thrown over the amp. I replace the pickups for a set of SD 59's and the blanket was lifted and the guitar sounded great. As for why stock pups were so muddy I don't know.
#7
Depends really, I use an AVT so you hear absolutely no difference in pickups what so ever.. :]

I will be getting a new amp soon though.. which means new guitar also
#9
Dude this thread is over a year old. OP is long gone.
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#10
Quote by MrFlibble
Dude this thread is over a year old. OP is long gone.


i dint realize that. that was pretty stupid of me.