#1
Hi everyone! Just bought a Epiphone Les Paul Florentine Pro and have plans to upgrade the humbuckers. For those that don't know, it's a semi-hollow LP with Epiphone's ProBucker pickups, coil tap setup. I just recently landed a gig playing for a band that does gigs in downtown Nashville. We do a wide range of covers and I'd like to take as few guitars as possible since it's a decent pain in the butt trying to load/unload even with the musician parking downtown.

I've been looking for something that will give me as believable a Tele/Strat tone as possible when I use them in split coil. I know I won't get the exact tone but something believable hopefully wouldn't be too much of a problem. Most of the songs I'll be playing will be a lot of classic rock, old school and modern country, and few alternative rock and funk songs thrown in for good measure.

My current setup goes Epi > Pod HD500x > Vox AC30C2x

I've been looking into Seymour-Duncan pickups fairly hard. The Pearly Gates, jazz SH2 and SH4, Whole Lotta Humbucker, and the Alnico II APH-1 and TBAPH-1 are the ones I've been considering. My only concern is that I can't find any reviews - video or otherwise - where people talk about the sound when the pups are split.

I am in an entirely new world when it comes to choosing new pups so any and all suggestions or comments are definitely appreciated. If you happen to know of anything else I should check out other than the ones I've listed, feel free to give them a shoutout. My budget is about $200 U.S. I'm not entirely opposed to go a bit higher if it's for something that will be worth it but I'd rather not.
Last edited by vjferrara at Jul 15, 2015,
#3
Quote by dspellman
Buy a Variax <G>


Not really into them. Haven't picked one up in a long time but the last few that I played I definitely wasn't a fan of.
#4
That's a tough one. So, you're trying to get your semi-hollow 24.75 scale to sound like a solid body 25.5 scale. I won't even touch the topic of tonewoods - but lets just say, the epi isn't made of alder. Honestly, I can't think of anything that would do what you are looking to do. A Phat Cat pickup would be cool if you wanted a P90 vibe. But otherwise...

You could just put a telecaster single coil in it. They make adapters for that. http://www.guitarfetish.com/Humbucker-Rout-adapter-ring-Fits-Tele-Bridge-Pickup-THREE-COLORS_p_4350.html

Or strat.. http://www.guitarfetish.com/Humbucker-Rout-adapter-ring-Fits-Strat-pickup-ANGLED-THREE-COLORS-_p_4349.html

Another option is to contact Seymour Duncan and ask what they have available that will get you close. Or, have their custom shop design a special humbucker for you.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#5
Quote by ThunderPunk
That's a tough one. So, you're trying to get your semi-hollow 24.75 scale to sound like a solid body 25.5 scale. I won't even touch the topic of tonewoods - but lets just say, the epi isn't made of alder. Honestly, I can't think of anything that would do what you are looking to do. A Phat Cat pickup would be cool if you wanted a P90 vibe. But otherwise...

You could just put a telecaster single coil in it. They make adapters for that. http://www.guitarfetish.com/Humbucker-Rout-adapter-ring-Fits-Tele-Bridge-Pickup-THREE-COLORS_p_4350.html

Or strat.. http://www.guitarfetish.com/Humbucker-Rout-adapter-ring-Fits-Strat-pickup-ANGLED-THREE-COLORS-_p_4349.html

Another option is to contact Seymour Duncan and ask what they have available that will get you close. Or, have their custom shop design a special humbucker for you.



Thanks ThunderPunk. By the way, the Epiphone is made of mahogany with a maple top. My favorite Tele is the 72 thinline semi-hollow so I don't think that I'm too far off in my expectations. I'll check out the single coil adapters though. Wasn't really aware of them before.
#6
Quote by vjferrara
Not really into them. Haven't picked one up in a long time but the last few that I played I definitely wasn't a fan of.


I felt that way when I first picked one up about 10 years ago. At this point I have four, including two new JTV-89Fs.

Things change.
#7
Quote by dspellman
I felt that way when I first picked one up about 10 years ago. At this point I have four, including two new JTV-89Fs.

Things change.


Wow. I might have to give them a second chance sometime soon. It's been about 8 years or so since I last played one. At the moment, the Epi is already purchased so I'll upgrade the pups first and definitely keep my eyes peeled for a variax later on.
#8
i really don't think that you are going to get a convincing tele twang or strat tone from a HB equipped semi. i have a nice semi, and three USA teles and a pair or MIM strats. the semi will not do the strat thing at all. coil splitting is overrated.

i would get your Epi how you like it, and look into getting a nashville strat (3 pickup tele with strat SC in the middle). i have one, and between that and my semi, i can cover pretty much anything.
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#9
So, I've been doing a bit more research and have narrowed it down to the Seymour-Duncan Stag-Mag or P-Rails. Does anyone have any firsthand experience with either of them?
#10
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i really don't think that you are going to get a convincing tele twang or strat tone from a HB equipped semi. i have a nice semi, and three USA teles and a pair or MIM strats. the semi will not do the strat thing at all. coil splitting is overrated.

i would get your Epi how you like it, and look into getting a nashville strat (3 pickup tele with strat SC in the middle). i have one, and between that and my semi, i can cover pretty much anything.



I do have a few more guitars in mind for later on and I will definitely be looking into getting a Tele. I've never played a Strat that was comfortable. They always feel too small and have a thin sound for my taste. My boss has an early 60's Strat that I really like as far as feel goes but I'm not a huge fan of the sound. Possibly a reissue with some better pups would be what I'd have to shoot for if I do end up with a Strat later on.
#11
p-rails are pretty good. they won't sound exactly like a p90 or a single coil but they do provide a whole bunch of options.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#12
Quote by AcousticMirror
p-rails are pretty good. they won't sound exactly like a p90 or a single coil but they do provide a whole bunch of options.


agree. for a bar gig i think they do a decent enough job so that most in the audience won't notice. of course in Nashville everyone plays so be assured that someone will notice.
#13
I have a p-rail in a telecaster loaded with a triple shot ring. Let's just say - it doesn't sound like my other telecaster. It is a really cool pickup though, and makes the most difference in cleaner tones/settings. When you start pumping up the gain on your amp, the differences between the settings are very minimal to my ears, but still there.

I think a Phat-Cat 90 would probably be the best route if you want an actual single coil sound that fits in the humbucker slot. I think a tele-adapter in your epiphone loaded with a Luther Lee Chick's Pick tele pickup in the bridge would sound pretty cool.

P-Rails are cool pickups, but they aren't going to get you the bite and twang you're looking for.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#14
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i really don't think that you are going to get a convincing tele twang or strat tone from a HB equipped semi. i have a nice semi, and three USA teles and a pair or MIM strats. the semi will not do the strat thing at all. coil splitting is overrated.

i would get your Epi how you like it, and look into getting a nashville strat (3 pickup tele with strat SC in the middle). i have one, and between that and my semi, i can cover pretty much anything.

First of all, hur hur hur.

Second, the 2 coil-split guitars I have(LP classic and a PRS SE custom) IMO sound more like a p90 with the coil split on than a 'true' single coil. I'm split(lol, puns) over whether a coil split is overrated, or whether manufacturers advertising gives people the wrong impression of what it does - like there is tonal variety, just not what people expect.
#15
Quote by slapsymcdougal
First of all, hur hur hur.


I managed to resist posting that. Just about.
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#16
FillerTron type HBs can get pretty twangy when split. Might be your best option.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRh_hG6MuXA&sns=em

Reverend's Club King RT is a semihollow with their FillerTron inspired RevTron mini-HBs. They don't have splitting, but their bass contour control gets you something tonally analogous. Here's a brief demo so you can get a feel for how FillerTrons might sound in a semihollow.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXK5bBu1ALA&sns=em
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jul 18, 2015,
#17
Quote by monwobobbo
agree. for a bar gig i think they do a decent enough job so that most in the audience won't notice. of course in Nashville everyone plays so be assured that someone will notice.


Nashville is definitely one of the most enjoyable places to play. You never know who will be out in the crowd.

Quote by ThunderPunk
I have a p-rail in a telecaster loaded with a triple shot ring. Let's just say - it doesn't sound like my other telecaster. It is a really cool pickup though, and makes the most difference in cleaner tones/settings. When you start pumping up the gain on your amp, the differences between the settings are very minimal to my ears, but still there.

I think a Phat-Cat 90 would probably be the best route if you want an actual single coil sound that fits in the humbucker slot. I think a tele-adapter in your epiphone loaded with a Luther Lee Chick's Pick tele pickup in the bridge would sound pretty cool.

P-Rails are cool pickups, but they aren't going to get you the bite and twang you're looking for.


Thanks for the firsthand thoughts. I haven't looked into the Phat-Cat 90's but I'll definitely check them out.


Quote by slapsymcdougal
First of all, hur hur hur.

Second, the 2 coil-split guitars I have(LP classic and a PRS SE custom) IMO sound more like a p90 with the coil split on than a 'true' single coil. I'm split(lol, puns) over whether a coil split is overrated, or whether manufacturers advertising gives people the wrong impression of what it does - like there is tonal variety, just not what people expect.


This is my first experience with a split coil setup. The only time I've ever really had the opportunity has been in stores. The few guitars that I have played with split coils had varying results. The Gibson that I played had by far the most tonal difference when switching between the split coil and Humbucker setup. I'm hoping that it'll stay that way with the Epi.
Quote by dannyalcatraz
FillerTron type HBs can get pretty twangy when split. Might be your best option.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRh_hG6MuXA&sns=em

Reverend's Club King RT is a semihollow with their FillerTron inspired RevTron mini-HBs. They don't have splitting, but their bass contour control gets you something tonally analogous. Here's a brief demo so you can get a feel for how FillerTrons might sound in a semihollow.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXK5bBu1ALA&sns=em


Thanks for the recommendation! I am only familiar with Reverend guitars through Unknown Hinson. I'll have to look into them a bit. Are the FilterTron pickups like the Fidelitron pickups from Fender?
Last edited by vjferrara at Jul 18, 2015,
#18
In my experience, the better the HB being split, the better the results of the split.
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!
#19
I prefer my pickups too bright rather than too warm, because you can always take the edge off if it is there, but you can't put it back in if it isn't. So something like SD Jazz, with single coil and/or parallel switching. Single and parallel are very similar in my SD Jazz, and give a reasonable facsimile of a single coil sound..

I also like P90's, but I'm not so sure about covered ones like the Phat Cat, I think that they might take the edge off.

FWIW, my semi-hollow an '82 Westone sounds very dark even with SD Jazz - that is why I installed the series/single/parallel switching, but it is still nothing like a solidbody.

I've also got a set of GFS Memphis Retrotrons, low-output Gretsch-style AlII humbuckers, in one strat. I really like them, you could mistake them for SCs with some added complexity. I think they would do well for Nashville sound in a semi-hollow,
#20
Quote by Tony Done
I prefer my pickups too bright rather than too warm, because you can always take the edge off if it is there, but you can't put it back in if it isn't. So something like SD Jazz, with single coil and/or parallel switching. Single and parallel are very similar in my SD Jazz, and give a reasonable facsimile of a single coil sound..

I also like P90's, but I'm not so sure about covered ones like the Phat Cat, I think that they might take the edge off.

FWIW, my semi-hollow an '82 Westone sounds very dark even with SD Jazz - that is why I installed the series/single/parallel switching, but it is still nothing like a solidbody.

I've also got a set of GFS Memphis Retrotrons, low-output Gretsch-style AlII humbuckers, in one strat. I really like them, you could mistake them for SCs with some added complexity. I think they would do well for Nashville sound in a semi-hollow,


Thanks Tony Done! I hadn't thought about it before but I could definitely see how too bright would be preferable over not bright enough. I'll be keeping that in mind. When you say "single" and "parallel" is that the same thing as wiring in series vs parallel? I am completely useless when it comes to electronics but judging from the tone and wiring demos I've watching it seems like wiring them in series causes them to be a bit more open and a little brighter than wiring them parallel. I'll look into the Rectroyrons as well.
#21
A lot of folks use the term "split", ie just one coil out of the two aavailbale - I prefer to call that "single". So you have three switching options, series in which the coils are wired end-to-end, parallel, in which they are wired side-by-side, and single (ie split) in which one coil is used. You can get all three options on a dpdt on-on-on switch for each pickup. I use a 4pdt switch, and both coils are wired to it, so both switch at the same time. I also use the screw pole coil, not the slug pole, for single so that I retain good string-to-string balance.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jul 18, 2015,