#1
I have an Epi LP Standard Plus, that I plug into a Vox AC50 with a Fulltone OCD runnin through it. I love the way my tone is going, but im thinking the stock pickups in the Epi LP might not be that great, how much would it help my sound?

Id like to replace the bridge pickup, what pickup would be best for the Zep tone? Is it worth it to go boutique?
#2
Well... how much do you have to spend?

I'll say this, I've been looking for that Zep tone for a long time and it is incredibly elusive, Jimmy Page's tone is this very specific blend of les paul + the right pickups + the right amp + the right speakers, you can get certain aspects of his tone w/ the right guitar and the right pickups but you'll never nail it until you have everything.

Page's most famous les paul tone (from TSRTS) was with an early '70s Gibson t-top, which is a bright, low output, pickup that is PAFish in some respects and distinctly different in others, and he is especially known for getting this odd quacking sound when he uses that t-top in combination w/ the neck PAF in that guitar. It's just something that's very hard to nail down, the CLOSEST to the Page sound I've heard however was a set of Jim Rolphs PAF replicas. That being said, I've heard it can be a little bit difficult dealing with Jim Rolph...

Either way, it all depends on how much you want to spend. If you don't have a ton of money the Duncan '59b does a pretty good job for the price, I'd get the unpotted version from specialty guitars, it cost a little bit more but wax potted pickups lose a lot of the airy, openness that an unpotted pickup has.

Other options you should consider...

Wolfetone Marshallhead Mk II (I have one of these coming in the mail myself)
WCR Crossroad
Shed Zeppelins
Bareknuckle Mule or Black Dog
R/S guitarworks Fralin PAFs (the A-IV model)
Throbaks SLE ltd
Stephens Design Vintage Labs

Big thing being that they're lower in output, bright, and PAF-like. They're all worth a look, but try to stay reasonable, I'm not really sure I could advocate putting a set of Throbaks or SD VLs into an Epiphone.

The big thing is that with low output PAF style pickups, what you're going to get is a pickup that is more transparent and really emphasizes the sound of your guitar so really every guitar is going to sound different with these kinds of pickups in them. But here is a clip of the Marshallhead doing some Zeppelin clips (starting at ~1:00)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRAJqdZcz5k

You can hear that it has some of that Page-esque tone in the high notes, I'd opt for Wolfe's Mk IIs, slightly lower in output, should give a slightly thinner sound, more of that "crying" tone that you hear in a lot of Page's solos.
Last edited by al112987 at Sep 18, 2009,
#3
Yeah the stock PUs in the standard Epis aren't that great. A lot of people complain they are muddy sounding.
Seriously though, the choices for replacement are endless but I would caution you not to go crazy and put over $200.00 worth of PUs into a $500-600 guitar. You should be able to get better PUs for under 150 -200.
Tone is an elusive thing (big part comes from the player) and Jimmy's sound live is quite different than his studio sound. He often used Tele's & apparently DanElectro's as well besides LPs and small wattage amps in the studio.
Moving on.....