#1
can you recommend a pickup upgrade for an epi les paul for the bridge pickup? also can you recommend some better tuners?
#2
Epiphone has many les pauls. Tell us what model it is and we can help 100% .

if there is a nut and washer (10mm holes)- grovers are a classic. The 18:1 kind.
Sperzel , Schaller , Gotoh are three other brands to check out

for vintage style tuners with grommets (no nut or washer) - grovers , kluson are two options. Perhaps sperzel.

to my understanding locking tuners just make it easier to re-string so just go with an 18:1 set. Graphtech is kind of expensive but they have a new set out that people seem to talk about.

pickups are very, very subjective. The three big brands are Dimarzio , EMG and seymour duncan. I'd stick passive for the electronics to make life simple. But before you swap pickups put the height up if you're not getting enough volume/output. Tightening the springs makes the pickup go closer to the strings.

strings and picks can make and break the sound too. Try a few different packs and materials as to me it's too common to automatically blame the pickups for why the guitar doesn't sound good. Look for what the guitar is missing. The EQ charts on dimarzio and seymour duncan are there to help you out.

some suggestions
seymour duncan
distortion, invader. nazgul, full shred, black winter, alternate 8 or JB to name a few

dimarzio
X2N , super distortion , tone zone, d-activator , D-activator X (i'm not much of a dimarzio fan so I'm not sure what to recommend.

high output is going to give you that heavier tone. Avoid signature pickups that were made for this or that player. A guitar processor is a really good investment too like the Line 6 pod XT or higher. I say the XT because it's cheaper and works great the first few years of playing. Many effects, high end amp simulations and you can record via usb. The good news is you've got a les paul so lots of space for wiring mods and so forth to think long term. I'd also recommend a graphtech tusq nut.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Mar 30, 2015,
#4
alright this may help as there is a bunch of standards. Standard pro and all. Try zooming in on the photos if it helps.

this is modern. Notice the big washer (flat circular thing) and the nut to hold it to the headstock. This is 10mm holes. The modern type.
http://www.countymusic.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Les-Paul-Standard-Plustop-PRO-Headstock-2.jpg

and this is vintage style. No nut or washer. its hard to tell from one photo but usually plastic knobs for the tuners. These are 9.14mm holes
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v86/truespin/headstock-1.jpg

the good thing about all those pickups mentioned is they are passive. Most if not all 4 wire so you can do various mods. Regular spacing you'd be after if they asked.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Mar 30, 2015,
#5
^listen to spoder-man, because he knows his stuff. However, if you have no soldering experience, the new EMG's have their soderless sets nowdays, that you just plug together in whatever configuration you want. Even with the aded battery and the control module, i found them easier to install than regular pickups.

That being said, you should use the ones that sound best to you, not the ones that are easier to install.
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#6
what type(s) of music do you play and what are your amp and pedals (if any)?
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#7
What pickups are going to work for you completely depends on what sort of sound you're going for.

What amp are you using? If your amp sucks, no amount of money spent on pickups is going to improve your tone very much for the amount you're spending. So many noobs insist on getting Bareknuckles for their Epiphones yet they don't see why running the guitar into a cheap modelling amp makes it all pointless.

The tuners on the vast majority of Epiphones are Grovers, which are perfectly good. Replacing them for the sake of tuning stability is pointless (imo). The vast majority of tuning issues when it comes to Epiphones are either that the guitar isn't strung correctly, to which I shall post this thread.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=9502116&postcount=2

The other most common cause of poor tuning stability is the nut not being cut properly, and the material of the nut not allowing the strings to slide through it freely. This is because most Epiphones use a cheap plastic nut that typically isn't cut very well as the slots tend to be too narrow.

Replace the nut with something made out of a better material like 'TUSQ' (its a synthetic ivory material made by a company called Graphtech, Google it) and fine tune the grooves yourself to set the nut action right, and to lessen the break angle of the strings as they enter the nut by slightly rounding out the inside of the slots. This typically makes a huge improvement to the tuning stability of the guitar. There are thousands of online guides on how to replace a guitar's nut and you don't need any special tools to replace it.

If you're smart and you're considering trying this, a really nice (and very cheap) way to adjust the guitar's nut slots to perfect their profile is to get a small set of 'Welding torch tip cleaners' (Google it). You can get them online or at any hardware store (in the metalworking section) for just a couple of bucks, and they're basically an assortment of tiny needle files that are the ideal size for filing nut slots out. They do a fantastic job and can be bought for pocket change.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 30, 2015,