#1
I use an Epiphone Special-I as my main axe, but the pickups don't sound so good, so if I put in some better sounding Seymour Duncan Pickups and lets say ran it through a Marshall head and cab, would I sound respectable or would the guitar not be good enough and sound poor because of the guitar body, thanks for any help!
#2
I do this all the time. If a guitar plays well all it normally needs is a good set of pickups to sound good - as long as it's plugged into a good amp. Now when you say Marshall - which one? Some Marshalls are total garbage.
Gilchrist custom
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#3
Yes, upgrading pickups can absolutely make a noticeable difference in the quality of what you hear through the speakers.

But your AMP is the foundation of your tone. That's the crucial part of the equation. The ice cream in the sundae, as it were.
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 May 18, 2016,
#4
The pickups in your guitar are pretty thin and weak so even if your amp isn't the best a pickup swap would help your tone considerably. Which pickups to get depends on what amp you have. You may wan't a set affordable pickups from GFS so that you can have extra money for an amp upgrade but if your amp is reasonable then go with some better brands of pickups, like the Duncans you are currently thinking of. I'd like to give more detail but to do that I would need to know what types of music you play and what amp you are actually using.
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#5
Quote by CorduroyEW
The pickups in your guitar are pretty thin and weak so even if your amp isn't the best a pickup swap would help your tone considerably. Which pickups to get depends on what amp you have. You may wan't a set affordable pickups from GFS so that you can have extra money for an amp upgrade but if your amp is reasonable then go with some better brands of pickups, like the Duncans you are currently thinking of. I'd like to give more detail but to do that I would need to know what types of music you play and what amp you are actually using.

Agreed.

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#7
I have an epiphone special made out of plywood and just recently put new pickups in it. It did make a big difference. Unfortunately the new pickups sounded worse but the information was there. The pickups made a dif. Also the setup, making the pickups parallel with the strings and fairly close to them.
#8
Out of curiosity, were they simply bad pickups, or did they just not sound good in that guitar?
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!
#9
The woods in electric guitars are highly overrated with regards to the sound. The pickups and hardware that actually touches the strings (nut, bridge, frets) all have MUCH more effect on the tone.

GFS pickups are an excellent value, but if you're chasing a particular sound that Duncans can give you, then those are still good value for money. As far as the amp goes, there are a LOT of choices better than a Marshall on a tight budget. Depending on the style you play and the volume you want/need something from Laney, Bugera, Blackstar, Jet City, or Traynor will probably take you a lot further. Especially if you throw in a good overdrive.
#10
Quote by Tony Done
Yes. Good pickups + good amp + a lump of wood.


Completely this, the pick-ups, amp and your fingers are the tone makers.
Don't just do it to any guitar though, make sure it's one you'll enjoy playing at a gig.
#11
Quote by Cathbard
I do this all the time. If a guitar plays well all it normally needs is a good set of pickups to sound good - as long as it's plugged into a good amp. Now when you say Marshall - which one? Some Marshalls are total garbage.

A DSL40C was one of my options.
#12
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Out of curiosity, were they simply bad pickups, or did they just not sound good in that guitar?

It's a fairly run of the mill basic guitar for $129 because that was all I could afford at the time so they're just plain bad in my opinion.
#13
Quote by CorduroyEW
The pickups in your guitar are pretty thin and weak so even if your amp isn't the best a pickup swap would help your tone considerably. Which pickups to get depends on what amp you have. You may wan't a set affordable pickups from GFS so that you can have extra money for an amp upgrade but if your amp is reasonable then go with some better brands of pickups, like the Duncans you are currently thinking of. I'd like to give more detail but to do that I would need to know what types of music you play and what amp you are actually using.

The music I play is Hard Rock/Heavy Metal kind of thing from Led Zeppelin to Guns N' Roses to Iron Maiden, it kinda touches base with all of that.
#14
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Out of curiosity, were they simply bad pickups, or did they just not sound good in that guitar?

That is a good question! Probably not meant for me but The so called bad-sounding ones i was referring to were emg-hz and the good ones were the ones that came with it. They are simply identified as epiphone and have a kohm reading of 16 kohms. The hz had less sustain, and less distortion on the high gain channel. So if you want a more mellow muted sound with no heavy metal crunch and possibly more mid and bass ranges, then you might kike the hz better. There was a difference in the sound, however, which is the point. Of course, this was all observed on plywood. Newer sg are mohogany right? A different amp might be more worth it anyhow as turning a 129 dollar guitar into a 329 dollar guitar might only get you 10 percent closer to the sound you want.
Last edited by geo-rage at May 19, 2016,
#15
If you have a good amp (sounds like you do), then yes, pickups would be the logical upgrade. If your guitar plays well, you like it, and are just unhappy with the sound, there are a lot of choices (I am sort of partial).
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#16
I'd say pickups (or pickup) - I found the neck p/up fine in my cheapie Dean Explorer.
Also - might be a good idea to swap the pots and input jack while you're at it - it is not much more work and you can get quality ones from say Stewmac.
#17
Quote by knoxsw
The music I play is Hard Rock/Heavy Metal kind of thing from Led Zeppelin to Guns N' Roses to Iron Maiden, it kinda touches base with all of that.



Sound like you need something with quite a lot of versatility. Zeppelin and Roses are both famous for their PAF style pickups while bands like Maiden have had many guitars with distinctly different sounds. I'm going to suggest you look at something just slightly hotter than a PAF for the bridge and aim for a solid PAF tone in the neck. Going with duncans I would recommend the custom 5 for the bridge because it can give you a solid PAF tone when you need it to but it has quite a bit more grunt if you need that for some the the leads. In the neck I'd probably go with either the 59, or Seth Lover. If you want clear neck tone with a nice sparkle in the high end then the 59 would be best but if you want a thick warmer less aggressive tone (think slash leads) go with the Seth Lover.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at May 21, 2016,
#18
slightly different opinion here. yes better pickups will improve the tone of pretty much any guitar. having said that I can't see spending more on the pickups than the guitar's new price (which you paid.) I would be more inclined to take the money you would spend on SD pups and perhaps sell your current guitar for what you can to purchase a better guitar on the used market. a better guitar is more likely to have better stock pups at least. this goes along with the idea that your amp is the key to your tone. the guitar is still your instrument though and getting one that is more likely not to have issues down the road is very important. bottom of the line cheapies often don't last and things like tuners wear out much faster. just my 2 cents