#1
So I played a friend's guitar with bare knuckle pickups in it and I want to get a guitar with a set. I was thinking an esp eclipse would be a good choice for this... I was looking at the specifications between a $1000 ec-1000 and a $400 ec-256, and the only difference I see are the pickups? Since I'm changing those out, would it be the best idea to go with the 256? I was even considering trying out a $350 agile and dropping them in there.
#2
the biggest difference (if you swap pickups) will not be the tone of the instruments but you will probably notice a difference in playability.  In addition to swapping pickups you should also invest in a good setup to make the cheaper guitar play and feel like the more expensive one.  Cheaper guitars tend to cut cost by spending less time on the setup and using cheaper parts.  A 3 or 4 pc body sounds the same as a 1 or 2 pc body but the cost of materials is significantly less and that is where you see most of the savings.  They also save money by using cheaper metals and tuners but on this specific example I doubt that is going to have any noticeable effect on the instrument.  The only thing you are bound to notice is that the more expensive guitar is easier to play but it is only going to be easier to play because they are going to spend more time in the shop making sure it's set up correctly.  If you take it to a luthier and have them make sure the frets are level, adjust the action, file the nut slots, and adjust the truss rod then the cheap guitar will play just as well as the expensive one.
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#3
I'll ask the obvious question. Why would you consider changing the pickups in a guitar before you even own the guitar and hear what the pickups in it sound like. While the sound of the guitar is heavily determined by the pickups it's not the only factor. The guitar itself, it's hardware (pots, bridge, nut, frets etc.) all contribute to the sound. Just because a certain type of pickup sounds good in one guitar doesn't mean it will sound good in any other guitar. I don't know about the ESP but I have two Agile guitars and I like the pickups in them but that's my opinion. Why not buy the guitar you like first, play it for awhile, then decide if the pickups need changing? Just a thought.
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#4
Pickups don't account for the $600 difference. If you can afford the better guitar go for it. The version with emg pups may suite you with no change.
#5
Bare knuckles make some cool pups. 

What's your budget and what kind of guitar does your friend have?
#6
Quote by monwobobbo
Pickups don't account for the $600 difference.

That is true but  a 1-2 pc body vs a 3 -4 pc body could account for around $300-$500.  If you are getting new pickups and a setup anyway then the cheap guitar is better value for the musician but still worse for someone that may sell it in the future.  If you like the original pickups and don't get a setup the expensive guitar is better value.
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#7
Better nut, better pickups, locking tuners and a better job on the frets. Not to mention a much less chance at little imperfections.
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#8
Quote by CorduroyEW
That is true but  a 1-2 pc body vs a 3 -4 pc body could account for around $300-$500.  If you are getting new pickups and a setup anyway then the cheap guitar is better value for the musician but still worse for someone that may sell it in the future.  If you like the original pickups and don't get a setup the expensive guitar is better value.


Can't agree. No production guitars are 1 piece for starters. A 2-3 pc body won't add anywhere near that much. The 1000 series has far more attention to detail and used better hardware and electronics.
#9
Quote by Rickholly74
 I'll ask the obvious question. Why would you consider changing the pickups in a guitar before you even own the guitar and hear what the pickups in it sound like. While the sound of the guitar is heavily determined by the pickups it's not the only factor. The guitar itself, it's hardware (pots, bridge, nut, frets etc.) all contribute to the sound. Just because a certain type of pickup sounds good in one guitar doesn't mean it will sound good in any other guitar. I don't know about the ESP but I have two Agile guitars and I like the pickups in them but that's my opinion. Why not buy the guitar you like first, play it for awhile, then decide if the pickups need changing? Just a thought.

Well, I currently own and have owned guitars with EMGs in the past. I know what they produce, and I like them, which is why I don't want to take them out of my current guitar. But, I am very intrigued with what I've heard from guitars with BK pickups and i'd like to own a guitar with them... To my knowledge there really isn't any mass produced guitar the comes with them from the factory so I have to put them in something, and since I don't want to change my current guitar, I believe my only option is to buy a new guitar with the intention to change the pickups. I mean, obviously if I bought something and just fell in love with the way it sounds with the pickups it has... I'd probably have to buy another guitar. I haven't played the ESP LH-150 pickups in the EC-256 (never played a 256, only the 1000) but I don't really expect much. I also like the idea of customizing a guitar...
Quote by Guitaraxe
Bare knuckles make some cool pups.

What's your budget and what kind of guitar does your friend have?

He has an EC-1000, I don't really know what my budget is, I haven't really set one... I'm not really enamored with the idea of owning "expensive" guitars, I just want it to sound and play as I like, so if I can get something with the same playability and tone without the "cool" factor of being in a $1000+ guitar, i'm totally ok with that, and I am totally ok with saving some cash. 
Quote by DarthV
Better nut, better pickups, locking tuners and a better job on the frets. Not to mention a much less chance at little imperfections.

Ah... well if the overall quality is different I might have to go with the more expensive one, maybe i'll head over to guitar center and see if they have any to compare... I was really hoping the only difference is the pick ups and I could save some cash. 
#10
Quote by kaossurge
If I plan on changing pickups right away, is there a benefit to getting an ec-1000 over an ec-256?

Yes.

The EC-1000's feel better and are simply better made guitars in general.

Relying only on a spec sheet when making a guitar purchase is very shortsighted. Anyone can throw bareknucles in an asian mahogany plank with jumbo frets and an ebony board and sell it for $600. What the spec sheet doesn't tell you is that the difference in price comes in some part from how well all those ingredients were put together.
Quote by CorduroyEW
That is true but  a 1-2 pc body vs a 3 -4 pc body could account for around $300-$500.  If you are getting new pickups and a setup anyway then the cheap guitar is better value for the musician but still worse for someone that may sell it in the future.  If you like the original pickups and don't get a setup the expensive guitar is better value.

This is somewhat off-topic, but I find it funny when people claim that fewer pieces of wood in the body sound better when those same people are willing to spend thousands of dollars getting guitars with 9 pc laminated necks. I wish some people made up their minds.
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#11
It really depends on why multiple pieces were used.
Gibson can't make a les Paul under 9 pounds without gluing 5 pieces of scrap wood together and then hollowing the entire thing? Probably not so great.
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#12
Quote by kaossurge
Well, I currently own and have owned guitars with EMGs in the past. I know what they produce, and I like them, which is why I don't want to take them out of my current guitar. But, I am very intrigued with what I've heard from guitars with BK pickups and i'd like to own a guitar with them... To my knowledge there really isn't any mass produced guitar the comes with them from the factory so I have to put them in something, and since I don't want to change my current guitar, I believe my only option is to buy a new guitar with the intention to change the pickups. I mean, obviously if I bought something and just fell in love with the way it sounds with the pickups it has... I'd probably have to buy another guitar. I haven't played the ESP LH-150 pickups in the EC-256 (never played a 256, only the 1000) but I don't really expect much. I also like the idea of customizing a guitar...

He has an EC-1000, I don't really know what my budget is, I haven't really set one... I'm not really enamored with the idea of owning "expensive" guitars, I just want it to sound and play as I like, so if I can get something with the same playability and tone without the "cool" factor of being in a $1000+ guitar, i'm totally ok with that, and I am totally ok with saving some cash. 

Ah... well if the overall quality is different I might have to go with the more expensive one, maybe i'll head over to guitar center and see if they have any to compare... I was really hoping the only difference is the pick ups and I could save some cash. 


There are production guitars with BKPs, but they might not be in your price range (or in a guitar that you want at all??). Have you thought about buying used? Just me, not sure I'd look into dropping a $250-300 set of pickups into a $400 guitar.

Another question, what are you using for an amp?
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#13
Quote by AcousticMirror
It really depends on why multiple pieces were used.
Gibson can't make a les Paul under 9 pounds without gluing 5 pieces of scrap wood together and then hollowing the entire thing? Probably not so great.

That's really not the point.

The point is that if those people insist that fewer pieces sound so much better because glue dampens vibrations between one piece of wood and another, then why are they so content with buying guitars with necks made from multiple pieces from a tonal standpoint? Of course multipiece necks are stronger, but that doesn't make it less hypocritical.
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#14
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
That's really not the point.

The point is that if those people insist that fewer pieces are so much better because glue dampens vibrations between one piece of wood and another, then why are they so content with buying guitars with necks made from multiple pieces from a tonal standpoint? Of course multipiece necks are stronger, but that doesn't make it less hypocritical.


Do people do that? All the laminate neck people ive seen also the million piece pretty wood body guys

I mean kiesel has an option where they cover both sides of your neckthrough with pretty wood and those guy think it's the shit.

Most single piece body guys are all about that quartersawn neck.
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Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jun 10, 2017,
#15
Quote by AcousticMirror
Do people do that? All the laminate neck people ive seen also the million piece pretty wood body guys

Of course they do that. It's popular internet wizzdumb that fewer pieces sound better. Ever crawled out of that rock you're under and been on My Les Paul before?

Maybe the multipiece guys realize that multiple pieces don't make a guitar sound like crap at all.
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#16
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Of course they do that. It's popular internet wizzdumb that fewer pieces sound better. Ever crawled out of that rock you're under and been on My Les Paul before?

Maybe the multipiece guys realize that multiple pieces don't make a guitar sound like crap at all.


Right but the mlp guys aren't really the lam neck guys is all I'm saying. Although I think they came to somewhat the right conclusion without the right reasoning though.

I mean the mlp guys are generally insanely but there aren't any 9 price historic Gibson necks.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#17
Quote by DarthV
There are production guitars with BKPs, but they might not be in your price range (or in a guitar that you want at all??).


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#18
(imo) Tough call really. In the end you would only get a close approximation above or below your friends guitar. Would your friend sell you his guitar?
#19
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
 Yes.

 The EC-1000's feel better and are simply better made guitars in general.

 Relying only on a spec sheet when making a guitar purchase is very shortsighted. Anyone can throw bareknucles in an asian mahogany plank with jumbo frets and an ebony board and sell it for $600. What the spec sheet doesn't tell you is that the difference in price comes in some part from how well all those ingredients were put together.

 

But I mean could that asian mahogany guitar with bare knuckles not be set up to sound and play nicely? 
Quote by DarthV
There are production guitars with BKPs, but they might not be in your price range (or in a guitar that you want at all??). Have you thought about buying used? Just me, not sure I'd look into dropping a $250-300 set of pickups into a $400 guitar.

Another question, what are you using for an amp?

I wouldn't mind buying used... Also, the thought of dropping those pick ups in a "cheap" guitar (As long as it's set up to my liking and plays well) is actually super intriguing to me... I like sleepers.

and for the amp i'm using a valveking for now

Quote by Guitaraxe
(imo) Tough call really. In the end you would only get a close approximation above or below your friends guitar. Would your friend sell you his guitar?

Haven't asked. I like it, but I really wouldn't want to do that either... I kind of like the idea of customizing it myself even if im just slapping some pickups in it. I don't need a clone of his guitar.... 
Last edited by kaossurge at Jun 10, 2017,
#20
Quote by kaossurge
But I mean could that asian mahogany guitar with bare knuckles not be set up to sound and play nicely? 

It most definitely could, but the amount of work and money to get that guitar to the level of your friend's would likely cost as much in pickups, hardware and fretwork as acquiring the guitar your friend has used on ebay. That being the case, what's the point?

If getting the best quality guitar for your buck is the aim, you're probably better off in the long term forgetting about replacement pickups, selling the guitar you currently own and buying the one you really want.

Aftermarket parts are a sunk cost. That means that while replacement parts cost you money, little to none of that money can be recovered when you come to sell it. As a general rule, the more original and unmodified a guitar is, the higher its resale value. So even if you do sell the guitar in the future, you're not going to get any of that money from those mods back.
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#21
I have an EC-1001FR and an E-II Eclipse Custom and there is a huge difference between the two - frets, finish, fit, etc. Holding them it's easy to tell the difference.

I'm guessing there is a similar difference between the 256 and 1000.

ESP recently put a video of the entire Eclipse line with all the differences.

I'd buy a used 1000 and go from there.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#22
How are pickups ever a sunk cost unless you sell the originals to fund the replacements

You can take them back out and put the stock ones when you sell.

If anything pickups are an investment. Hell I still have a random box of bkps and other stuff I bought for testing
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#23
Quote by AcousticMirror
How are pickups ever a sunk cost unless you sell the originals to fund the replacements

You can take them back out and put the stock ones when you sell.

If anything pickups are an investment. Hell I still have a random box of bkps and other stuff I bought for testing

Just pointing out to TS that if he thinks he'll get his money back by selling the pickups with the guitar, he's mistaken.
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#24
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Just pointing out to TS that if he thinks he'll get his money back by selling the pickups with the guitar, he's mistaken.

I'm not really worried about resale value or anything like that. I wouldn't be buying with the intent to sell, but if I did, I'd just revert the guitar to its stock pick ups and sell the aftermarket stuff separately.