#1
I recently got an Epiphone G 310, and was wondering if I would be able to add another humbucker, similar to and SG custom.
#2
The simple answer is that you just route another cavity for the third pickup and drop it in, making a few concessions for wiring along the way (well-documented, not a big deal)
The longer answer is that you're probably going to have issues doing this on an instrument that's already finished because you're liable to mess up the finish. Sometimes you can cover up mistakes with the pickup rings, but sometimes you just dug yourself a tiny little grave in a sad little guitar and everyone is going to know about it.

I guess if it were me I'd think really hard about what you think that extra pickup is going to get you, because the tonal differences between the 3 and 2 pickup models are minimal to the point where most people prefer the 2-pickup models because the 3 offers so little extra and asks for so much in return. A standard 3-pickup is mostly a fashion statement. Unless you have some very specific artistic reason for needing one, I have to suggest pimping out your guitar in a less potentially destructive sort of way. New pickups, perhaps, with taps and splits and rails and all that exciting paraphernalia.

Of course, if you really have to do your Sister Loretta Tharpe thing, then get yourself a dremel and go slow. It can be done. Just make sure you understand what you're getting beforehand.
#3
Quote by Roc8995
Sometimes you can cover up mistakes with the pickup rings, but sometimes you just dug yourself a tiny little grave in a sad little guitar and everyone is going to know about it.

Of course, if you really have to do your Sister Loretta Tharpe thing,


Boy, that last was obscure, and she wasn't seen all that often with an SG anyway.

And the "tiny little grave" thing was positively a bit of melancholy poetry. Sheesh!

There are templates for this, and the Dremel tool with the router attachment will do very well (take the other pickups out, the strings off, and cover the rest of the guitar with a couple of layers of that blue painter tape).

It will be obvious (if you don't have an SG Custom) to anyone who knows guitars that the third pickup is an add-on. You'll also likely find that the pickup just gets in the way of your picking, and that's why most three pickup guitars have a middle pickup that's single coil size (even if it's actually a humbucker).

You're also going to want to consider how you're hooking it up, given that you do NOT have a five-way on any SG you're likely to use. If your motivation is to simply change the looks of the guitar, then go nuts. If you'd like to get more sounds out of the guitar, I should tell you that there are a LOT more ways to do this with wiring mods and two pickups than with a third pickup, including things like active preamps, active sweepable mids boosts, passive sweepable mids cuts, fixed mids cuts, choices of serial, parallel and single coil operation, phase switching and more.
#4
I generally agree this isn't the best mod to do. If you wants guitar with 3 pickups, you should buy a 3 pickup guitar. But this:

You'll also likely find that the pickup just gets in the way of your picking...


Huh? How deeply are you digging in? How far does your pick protrude from your grip?

I have several guitars with middle pickups- singlecoils, P90s & standard HBs- and you'll hardly find a pick scratch on any of the pickups.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 2, 2015,
#5
wood is wood so just ask the guy routing it will the neck and body sit properly after. One of my brothers friends put this weird bass pickup in a DIY project and my guitar tech friend hates him for it as he turned an easy bit of work into a hard bit of work.

wiring wise either you're going to have to add a push pull or modify the wiring of a say tone knob. But all in all the wiring would be pretty straight forward. Les paul wiring to the switch but one position has two volumes going to it and you'd use the 3rd volume as a blend. Honestly though my recommendation is to add a coiltap or some other unique tone that will make you want to play the guitar.

the varitone mod - gutiarfetish has the lucille one that can make the guitar sound 5 extra ways
out of phase mod - this honk or quack sort of tone in the middle position
series/parallel tones, aka coiltap - hum cancelling single coil tones
coilsplits - the buzzing kind of coiltaps everyone usually settles with

the spin a split mod - 10 on the modified potentiometer is 100% of your humbucker you're modifying, 0% on the knob = 50% of your humbucker so you adjust output. This leaves you prone to buzzing though.
#6
Quote by dannyalcatraz



Huh? How deeply are you digging in? How far does your pick protrude from your grip?


I'm not sure exactly why I said that; I honestly don't have problems with three-pickup guitars. But I have friends that just HATE them. And some people DO dig in that hard.

This guitar was at Gary Brawer's shop in San Francisco getting a refret, belongs to Journey's Neal Schon. The worn spot on the outside of the E string is from his pinky. The one inside the strings is from him digging in. You can imagine what he'd run into with a third pickup there...



BTW, notice the placement of the controls. This is NOT your daddy's LP quad of controls. The one closest to the bridge/bridge pickup is there for pinky swells, and is a master volume.
Last edited by dspellman at Jan 2, 2015,
#7
Hm.

Who am I to argue with something that works?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Hm.

Who am I to argue with something that works?


Surprised me, too.
He's got strats, of course (including one that he hauls out for "Lights" often), but he's been mostly an HH player over the years, and the lack of a center pickup has allowed him to get into the habit of digging in when he wants to.
#9
So little of my pick protrudes from my grip that I don't think I could do that if I wanted to. I'd have to poke my fingers through, too!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
Yep, this subject is pretty well covered. The Cliff's notes version is "yes you can do it and no you probably won't like the result. Lots of $$ time and effort for little or no improvement."

I often play a Strat, Tele and SG, and I really don't like a HB middle PU. It totally gets in my way while I can work around the SC in the Strat pretty well. Yes, I dig in deeply.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#11
First of all, why???? A third humbuckers is really a gimmick, and with your 3-way (giggity) switch, you won't be able to use multiple pickups simultaneously unless you ignore one of the pickups separately. Push/Pull pots and rewiring everything is going to be a pain and I'm assuming you're not very experienced in this stuff. Then again, why???? Like others have said, there are much more exciting guitar mods like an active preamp or a different set of pickups.
#12
Actually, there are ways to wire a guitar so that all 3 can be used simultaneously. Not available on anything stock, AFAIK, but it can be done.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!