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#1
So, I went to the little guitar store near my house, and I asked for new pickups, humbucker-style. After a quick look at my guitar, the guy at the counter hands me some EMG Zakk Wylde pickups. I look at the price and say "OMFG, these things cost 240$ (Canadian dollars)!".

Then, I ask him if it's possible to install the pickups ourselves, and he says "No, it has to be installed professionally." I ask him how much it costs to get them installed, and he tells me he can install the pickups, recalibrate my neck, change the volume and tone things and change the switch for about 100$.

The thing is, I don't have 340$ to throw away, but the guy tells me my guitar would be much, MUCH more performant with the new pickups and with the guitar fixed. He even goes on to say it would be better than a 1,000$ guitar (My guitar is an Epiphone Les Paul Special II, which cost me 215$).

Also, I wanna buy something like Guitar Rig for my computer, so I need to make a choice.

So tell me, forum, am I being screwed over? Is 340$ for new pickups too much? Can we install the pickups ourselves? Is the guy being greedy by trying to sell me the most expensive pickups ever? Which is better: Guitar Rig for amplifiers, or pickups for better sound? HELP?!?!??!?!?!??!?!
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

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It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#3
Get the 81/85 set online for no more than $200, and put them in yourself... You do need different pots though.
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#4
You seem too desperate for this to be troll.

That douche is trying to rip you off. I advise you not to visit that place again.
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#5
Yeah that guy is pretty much full of shit.

Your amp makes the biggest difference in tone, not pickups, and considering you have the Special II you probably don't have a really good amp.

My advice: Kick that guy in the balls.
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#6
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
Get the 81/85 set online for no more than $200, and put them in yourself... You do need different pots though.


What do you mean by pots? (Sorry if this question is noob...)
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#7
Quote by acdclandon
Yeah that guy is pretty much full of shit.

Your amp makes the biggest difference in tone, not pickups, and considering you have the Special II you probably don't have a really good amp.

My advice: Kick that guy in the balls.


Good advice :-). But yeah, I have a really shitty amp, that's why I'm prolly gonna buy Guitar Rig 3.
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#8
^ Potentiometers, in other words the things you twist to change volume/tone.
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#9
Quote by loonyguitarist
^ Potentiometers, in other words the things you twist to change volume/tone.


Oh, thanks. But do I have to buy them myself?
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#10
did you ask for EMG's? do you even want active pick ups in your guitar?
And if I don't see ya, in a long, long while

I'll try to find you

Left of the dial
#11
Quote by lostjesse
did you ask for EMG's? do you even want active pick ups in your guitar?


The only thing I said was "Do you have pickups, humbucker-style, 'cause mine are stock and broken in some places." I didn't ask for EMG's. I even asked him if he had less costy pickups, but he either did not hear it, or faked not to hear it.
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#12
Yeah do you even want EMG's?

I suggest you make a thread in the GG&A forum or the GB&C forum, bro.
Last edited by mcjosh at Dec 29, 2009,
#13
i wouldn't bother putting new pickups in your guitar. get guitar rig instead, it'll be more useful to you. the change in pickups wont change things all that much anyways and it definitely wont make your guitar as good or better than guitars in the $1000 price range.
#14
your pickups are broken? what do you mean?

if they are unusable then i would just get the cheapest pair of pickups you can find for it. there isn't much of a use of paying for pickups that are as much or more than the guitar they are in.
#15
Quote by mcjosh
Yeah do you even want EMG's?

I suggest you make a thread in the GG&A forum or the GB&C forum, bro.


This IS the GG&A forum...
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#16
Quote by metallica4life_
This IS the GG&A forum...


I meant make a thread to recommend you some decent pickups, where you tell us your budget/amp/guitar, etc.
#17
So, in short, the guy is a f-in jerk, I shouldn't go there anymore, I CAN put them in myself, but anyway, Guitar Rig will be more useful. Correct?
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#18
i'd go for passive pickups myself. go for maybe seymour duncan jb 59? I do not know alot about humbuckers to be honest, i just know i am not a fan of emg's.
And if I don't see ya, in a long, long while

I'll try to find you

Left of the dial
#20
Installing EMG's for the first time is quite a bit more involved than just replacing your current ones with other passive ones. For starters you have to find a place for the battery. If I were you I'd just buy some decent passive pickups and visit the guitar wiring thread for how to install them. (And I actually like and use EMG's so I'm not steering you away from them because I'm one of those EMG haters).
And recalibrate the neck because of a pup swap??? He must have access to some good drugs.
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#21
If you buy the SET of EMGs they come with a jack and pots. They go for about 200$ US in the box so 240$ CAN is probably right. But they dont HAVE to be installed by a pro to work he is trying to screw you there and 100$ is probably to much. You can install them yourself if you can follow directions and know which end of a soldering iron is the hot end.

You do need to decide if you want those pickups. If your gonna be playing heavy metal all the time then ok. But if your using SS equipment and play a variety then look at passives.
#22
Quote by AkiraSpectrum
your pickups are broken? what do you mean?

if they are unusable then i would just get the cheapest pair of pickups you can find for it. there isn't much of a use of paying for pickups that are as much or more than the guitar they are in.


Well, they're falling apart... They're working, but they have difficulty picking up tapping and even simple pull-offs and hammer-ons...
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#23
Why make a whole other thread? TS, I recommend you actually invest in a better amp. Specifically, what amp are you using now?

Edit: That, or getting a new guitar. No sense in replacing pick ups that will cost more than the guitar your replacing them for.
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Last edited by CL/\SH at Dec 29, 2009,
#24
Quote by metallica4life_
Well, they're falling apart... They're working, but they have difficulty picking up tapping and even simple pull-offs and hammer-ons...


Sorry to say but that's technique, not pickups.
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#25
Just the fact that he didn't even ask for what kind of music you play and recommended EMGs is bad enough, I think.

All the other questions have been answered, so, yeah, I wouldn't go back to that shop.
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#26
Quote by CL/\SH
Why make a whole other thread? TS, I recommend you actually invest in a better amp. Specifically, what amp are you using now?


I have a Mega GL-15, it's some kind of a little practice amp with no real channels, only a button to put distortion. It cost me nothing, it was given to me by my cousin, who moved on from guitar to bass.

If everything goes as planned, I should have Guitar Rig 3 soon. (If you don't know, GR is an amp emulator, you can have multiple amps and effects on your computer, it comes with an interface to record music.)
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#27
Quote by mmolteratx
Sorry to say but that's technique, not pickups.


Maybe, maybe not...
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#28
Quote by metallica4life_
Maybe, maybe not...


No, it's definitely technique. You should be able to do it without your guitar plugged in. It has nothing to do with pickups.
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#29
Quote by metallica4life_
Maybe, maybe not...
lolno, thats technique

Try tapping on your clean channel.
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you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
#30
Quote by Cathbard
Installing EMG's for the first time is quite a bit more involved than just replacing your current ones with other passive ones. For starters you have to find a place for the battery. If I were you I'd just buy some decent passive pickups and visit the guitar wiring thread for how to install them. (And I actually like and use EMG's so I'm not steering you away from them because I'm one of those EMG haters).
And recalibrate the neck because of a pup swap??? He must have access to some good drugs.


It's not because of the pickups that he wanted to recalibrate the neck, it really is decalibrated, 'cause I switch tunings very often...
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#31
If you want new pickups, go with something like Rose Pickups, GFS, or used. You can get 2 humbuckers for about 60-80 bucks, and if your pots aren't ****ed, you'll be fine. My 17 year old brother was able to wire his Special II with a set of GFS pickups.
#32
Quote by metallica4life_
I have a Mega GL-15, it's some kind of a little practice amp with no real channels, only a button to put distortion. It cost me nothing, it was given to me by my cousin, who moved on from guitar to bass.

If everything goes as planned, I should have Guitar Rig 3 soon. (If you don't know, GR is an amp emulator, you can have multiple amps and effects on your computer, it comes with an interface to record music.)

I know what it is, but I figured you'd rather have an actual, decent amp than a simulator on a computer. I seriously recommend you focus on getting a better amp, then guitar, and then the GR. And after that, pick ups are necessary.

And also, what everyone else has said, work on technique.
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#33
Quote by CL/\SH
I know what it is, but I figured you'd rather have an actual, decent amp than a simulator on a computer. I seriously recommend you focus on getting a better amp, then guitar, and then the GR. And after that, pick ups are necessary.

And also, what everyone else has said, work on technique.


My uncle, who is an amp freak, recommended Guitar Rig, because it only costs 150$ and it has multiple amps and effects on it. It might not be the real thing, but it's better than the shit I have right now.
Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings! Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams!

VIVE LE QUÉBEC! VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!

Charles De Gaulle, 1967


It's better to live one day as a lion
Than a thousand years as a lamb
#34
It's personal choice I understand if you really want guitar rig. I'm just saying I'd prefer to have an actual amp.

But back to the moral of the story: do not visit that shop again, they clearly have an agenda consisting of taking advantage of people who are uninformed.

If you are set on GR, get that, and don't worry about pups, because they won't make a large difference in this situation.
Quote by SG_dave at #33549256
I've never wanted to see a guy eat dick so much in my life.
Quote by ali.guitarkid7 at #33553650
If you are white, you are scum.
#35
The pups cost about 200+ but come with the pots and everything pre-wired. There is a bit of very simple soldering. Do it Yourself, order online, less than $230 Canadian.
#36
Guy's trying to rip you off. And EMGs are not my favorite either.
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#37
Actually I think he's trying to kill you. But on a seriouser (LOL grammar fail!) that is way too much to spend on pickups. I would suggest getting the guitar rig. You could save that 340 dollars to find a guitar that actually has humbuckers or at least it could contribute to a better amp. Just IMO
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#38
The guy is trying to rip you off, unfortunately you gave him the hint that you had little to no idea about guitar upgrades by going "humbucker-style pickups". Most of us would ask for a specific HUMBUCKER. When he heard that he just reached for one of the most expensive specialist pickup. He probably figures that you will dislike it and go back for a change.

Also the inability to make pull-offs, taps and pinch harmonics sound out is due to technique. The gear will probably help make those sound more prominent, up-front or even better. However, even with great gear, the lack of the proper technique will still impede your ability to make those technique sound even better.
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#39
TS click the green link in my sig. go to the set up thread, lets make the guitar more playable so you're not fretting out.


you need to make sure your guitar is playing correctly, in addition to working on technique.

try the guitar with the new amp sim, then decide if you need more powerful pups.

And even if you do. you know you can just buy one right?
you can buy one passive pup, install it yourself and use it with your guitar and new rig.

if you find one used, the whole thing might just cost under a hundred.
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Last edited by jj1565 at Dec 29, 2009,
#40
Also when it comes to setting the intonation (which I assume is what he meant by neck calibration), learn how to do it yourself, it's one of the simplest adjustments you can do on most guitars. I check it every time I change strings - which is very often. If a string doesn't have perfect density for it's entire length it can be out, which is why it goes out of whack when they get old. There's thread about it here somewhere. Checking you truss rod tension is very easy too but needs to be actually adjusted very rarely. These are things that any guitarist should learn how to do - it's akin to checking the oil and water on a car.
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
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