#1
Hello, guys! I wanted a better guitar. But since money has been an issue, I'm modding the ones I have.

First, will be an Epi G-400, since it need a going to the shop. I want to:

1. Replace the PUs for a Hot Rodded by SD. (JB/Jazz set)
2. Replace all Pots to SD/Bourns' A 500k Ohm
3. Replace tuners. Nothing wrong with the original Grovers, but I want to reduce the neck dive. What are good ones? How to pick them?
4. Replace jack and toggle switch. What are good ones? How to pick them?

Is anything else you guys recommend?

And besides all these... Is it worth modding a G-400? Or should I just keep it as is, and wait for a new guitar?

I play mostly Rock, Blues Rock thru a 30 W boutique tube amp (2x 12AX7 + 4x EL84) and a pedal set.


Thanks! Rock on!!

Y.
#2
I have a G-400 faded that I bought in '09 and all I changed was the bridge pickup to a JB. The pots, cap, jack and toggle are all good quality. The pots are Alpha which are just fine. If you are adjusting the volume and tone pots often then changing to Bournes or CTS makes sense otherwise you will not really see any difference.

I like the stock neck pickup so I saw no need to change it

But yes they are solid guitars that are worth upgrading
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#3
Thanks for the Reply!

The switch needs changing, since it has a contact issue on the neck PU selection.

My Pots are not Alpha. They are just generic, I think. And since I use the Volume pots a lot, because I use them to clean when I need, I think replacing them are worth.

With regard to the PUs, the Neck one really frustrates me. I had to put it so much near the strings, that the sound is really muddy, and often the strings get in contact with it, making a noise.

How do you like the JB in the bridge?

Thank agains!

Rock on!

Y.
#4
Quote by YellowCat
Thanks for the Reply!

The switch needs changing, since it has a contact issue on the neck PU selection.

My Pots are not Alpha. They are just generic, I think. And since I use the Volume pots a lot, because I use them to clean when I need, I think replacing them are worth.

With regard to the PUs, the Neck one really frustrates me. I had to put it so much near the strings, that the sound is really muddy, and often the strings get in contact with it, making a noise.

How do you like the JB in the bridge?

Thank agains!

Rock on!

Y.

Well everyone likes a little different things, so you need to be happy. I would stay away from the SD/Bournes pots because SD is adding extra to the cost. Just get some CTS or regular branded Bournes (they will be cheaper)

The JB is a decent all around pickup, it is kinda middy in the SG guitars. I play punk/hardcore and in a prog-rock/metal band and it works fine.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#6
To deal with the neck dive, get serious about the modding. Have your local friendly tech drill out the bottom of the guitar (I've seen the strap button removed, the hole drilled there), put lead or tungsten plugs in the bottom of the guitar, and then have a wood plug made (and have it refinished to match the guitar) to cover it. That will eliminate the neck dive, rather than simply reducing it, and you can leave the strap button near the neck where it is.

Honestly, the smart thing is NOT to throw so much money at an inexpensive guitar; you'll never see it back. If you're going to do it, however, make sure that it's money well spent, and spend it where you'll absolutely be able to notice the difference. I'm not sure that pots and wiring will do that for you, nor tuners either. But I've spent the money to have a guitar Plek'd (and that money was more than the guitar itself was worth), and that seriously changed the way the guitar played.
#7
Bournes is an excellent idea for pots. I mean usually guys stop at CTS but I've always heard good things about Bournes. The big thing to do with pots though is if you turn the volume up and down a lot always go linear to maintain your tone and make the pots more predictable. Nothing wrong with logarithmic but linear is always the way to go I find. This would be similar to this mod called the Kinman treble bleed.

For the grovers though try acrylic or wood knobs perhaps to shave a bit of weight off the tuners. Taimatsu on ebay sells them specifically for grovers. I believe the proper term is buttons but I like to say knobs. They are made from Brazillian rosewood to cocobolo , weird asian woods to acrylic.

good input jacks switchcraft all the way
good switches is a good question. If the contacts are shorting inside the body if they are a cetain way try electric tape on the contacts. It's an easy fix.

pickups are subjective. Trick is finding what the guitar is missing. Not enough power, bass, treble, response..etc.

other suggestions.
a good bone nut or graphtech tusq nut will bring the guitar to life
strap locks by Dunlop or Schaller to stop the guitar from dropping
push pull pots for series/parallel wiring on the pickups to get hum cancelling tones
copper shielding inside the guitar to get a clearer sound
different tone capacitors, larger = more treble cut, materials matter like string materials
going all out perhaps a gotoh or schaller bridge. Heavier metals = more sustain and can compensate the weight.

I've heard of guys putting pennies or something odd like that on the guitar strap to compensate the weight. I forget exactly if it was on the strap or somewhere in the guitar body .. it was odd but an idea.

wiring mods such as
a Varitone like BB King's guitar Lucille (easier to wire than we think) - makes any guitar extremely versatile
a fender greasebucket mod (clears muddy pickups up by boosting bass)
out of phase mod
perhaps series/parallel wiring to get hum cancelling coiltaps out of each pickup
all except the series/parallel wiring I'm sure you could do
the most unorthadox is adding a piezo pickup

just some ideas
#8
I have an Epi SG400 1966 reissue. Great lil guitar. Well built. I have 2 Tony Iommi Signature pickups I plan on having put in mine with a coil splitting feature for the pickups.

Just need to get off my but and run it up there. Kinda hoping to find a cheap sg and add them to that...cause mine sounds pretty nice as it is. The nicer epi's have decent pups in them.


#9
I'd say any guitar that is played on regularly is worth moding but, some will give influence to a greater price range of gear. I have a SG and I favor it even though it is my sole electric, the dark red stain brings me infatuation as I gain more experience on the instrument. The quality of the wood must be excellent I can find so much in mine to look for in any other piece. For you I must add this

The high quality wood should make it worth it alone, maybe you have excessive dings, scratches, and yearn a whole-n-other piece: On my SG the initial work I will be doing is change my Treble/Rhythm switch to a Gibson name one,I broke a piece of mine and regrettably misplaced the original Epiphone output that it came with. I need a new one and cannot find a matching part; I fear I will have to disassemble some other SG to repair mine. But, solely by having the Epiphone jack re-installed and my switched changed to a golden name brand one I expect greater sound quality.

I think the difference in electronics between mine and yours would have to be the knobs, G-400 VS. Special Edition Custom Shop. On yours I think you should worry more directly about your pickups, I don't require new ones to be satisfied Yet!