#1
Hey guys, this is my first time on the forums and i'm looking for some advice. I recently purchased an Epiphone G-400 SG and i would love to purchase some new pickups for it, i was looking into some Seymour Duncan P-Rails. I'm trying to get a 90's grunge rock sound and was recommended these on their website. I also was looking into coil tapping, the G-400 pro comes with it and I wanted to know if i could customize my pickups with that configuration. any help or advise would be welcome and appreciated so thanks in advance! 
#2
P-Rails are sort of the ultimate in coil tapping, except that there are TWO coils that can be left active. One is a P90 coil and the other is a rail coil single coil. It's also possible to run the two coils together either as a standard humbucker (serial wiring) or wired in parallel (still humbucking, but a bit thinner in sound). 

Ask SD about their Triple Shot pickup rings. These have switching for the P-Rails built in, and you can select all options for each pickup from there. 
#3
Thanks for the reply, didn't know about the triple shot pickup rings, it exactly what I'm looking for! 

Edit: On doing some research people say the material is kinda shoddy, is a push/pull pot a viable option? 
Last edited by chriscuellar81 at Apr 1, 2017,
#4
Check out their diagrams when you choose which pickups you'll buy. http://www.seymourduncan.com/wiring-diagrams

I just installed some Seymour Duncans with a push pull tone knob for coil splitting. I was going to add in a second push pull in the volume for phase switching but got lazy. They have tons of wiring options
#5
Quote by chriscuellar81
Thanks for the reply, didn't know about the triple shot pickup rings, it exactly what I'm looking for! 

Edit: On doing some research people say the material is kinda shoddy, is a push/pull pot a viable option? 


Not really. Consider that there are four possible positions for each pickup. 
I installed two three-position miniswitches for series/rail coil/P90 for each pickup and put "both pickups parallel" on a push-pull. 

I have to note that I'm not a fan of push-pulls, though it seems to be a fall-back for folks who have commitment issues and are squeamish about putting holes in their guitars (I'm not). I can never tell whether the P-P is activated at a glance. When you pull or push, you inevitably rotate the pot. And when you pull, you're always taking a chance on launching a knob into an audience (ask me how I know...).

I haven't heard the "kinda shoddy" business. They've been around for several years now, and this is the first I've heard. 
#6
The triple shot rings are a bit dodgy, I didn't like the set I had much. Maybe you don't hear much because they're not very popular. Complaints about them are easily found in searches for reviews. 

The switches are small, not super durable or replaceable, hard to see and use on the fly. The plastic is flimsy for a pickup ring, lots of flex. Not sure if that matters but as a  whole they don't exactly scream high quality.

Plus the pads on the triple shot rings make you cut the lead wire on the pickups very, very short. That's not the end of the world but you do end up with pickup leads cut to a couple of inches, which drops the resale and requires some extra work if you want to stop using the rings or put the pickups in a different guitar. 

I prefer mini switches, or push/pulls if drilling is not an option. The rings do what they say but the switches are tiny to the point of being frustrating and the quality is not great. 
#7
I think the switches are cool to have for like experimentation...but they are very very hard to use live and you'll really find out that having that many options is great in theory but not so much in practice.

you can't really have all of your cake and eat it too. some options on the prails sound better then others but it kind of ends up being average at everything.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
Last edited by AcousticMirror at Apr 3, 2017,
#8
Quote by AcousticMirror
I think the switches are cool to have for like experimentation...but they are very very hard to use live and you'll really find out that having that many options is great in theory but not so much in practice.

you can't really have all of your cake and eat it too. some options on the prails sound better then others but it kind of ends up being average at everything.


I'd sort of agree with some of this and sorta not with some of the rest <G>.

My first suggestion is to NOT take SD's recommendations about what's a bridge pickup and what's a neck pickup and what's a "balanced set." There are three different output levels on P-Rails (or were when I bought them), and I've had an opportunity to dink with all three. I'm not going to tell you what I ended up with, but I will tell you that it doesn't follow any SD religion. Just remember that you're there primarily for the rail coil and the P90 and that the humbucker modes (serial and parallel) are just bonus. 

As with anything on your guitar, you'll have go-to switch modes. Muscle memory (neural pathways, actually) and familiarity will dictate what you use most live. But since there's a lot of sitting around practice time and experimentation as well, you'll appreciate the options, and you'll find new things that you want to use live. 
#9
Ya they don't sound bad. I'd still like to try the hotter ones. but I still think that if you go in expecting a perfect p90, single coil and hum bucker sound you'll be disappointed.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#10
PRails are decent pickups, but not great. Jack of all trades, master of none. But I can see solid reasons for using them.

If I were trying to get HB, P90, and singlecoil tones in one guitar, I'd get a P90 (or HB-sized P90) in the neck, and a splittable HB in the bridge. In my experience, a decent but not universal rule is the better the HB, the better the sound when split. Some exceptions exist- TV Jones makes excellent pickups, but explicitly advise they not be wired for splitting. And there are even HBs that are made by housing a pair of the company's singlecoils in a HB housing, so when split, you get genuine singlecoil tones.

So, what's your budget?
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#11
Quote by dspellman
Ask SD about their Triple Shot pickup rings. These have switching for the P-Rails built in, and you can select all options for each pickup from there. 


I'll vouch for the triple shot mounting rings they are a great way to split coils, series/parallel, in/out of phase etc totally reversible, no drilling or replacing pots, basically no permanent mods to your guitar. I have one for my TV Jones Power'tron Plus on my Blacktop Jazzmaster the switches are small and admittedly not as easy to switch on the fly in the middle of a tune but with some practice it can be done quicke enough.
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#12
Quote by dannyalcatraz
In my experience, a decent but not universal rule is the better the HB, the better the sound when split.  


"Better?"  I usually look for a hotter humbucker for good quality when split. One of my favorites is the Carvin M22SD. It's about 13K or thereabouts, and a properly raucous rock pickup with an Alnico V magnet (IF I remember correctly). Split, it's near perfect. 
#13
Quote by dspellman
"Better?"  I usually look for a hotter humbucker for good quality when split. One of my favorites is the Carvin M22SD. It's about 13K or thereabouts, and a properly raucous rock pickup with an Alnico V magnet (IF I remember correctly). Split, it's near perfect. 


I meant to put in ", usually hotter" but didn't.

In my experience, you need both the higher output and better sound quality for a good split tone- higher-output but crappy humbuckers still sound crappy when 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!