#1
i have and epiphone g400 custom. it feels awesome to play, the action is nice and low and the chunky neck suits my rather large hands. i'd say that about a quarter of epiphones are good guitars because of the cheap way they are produced (i got a good one). however the pickups are terrible and i feel the need to give it a bit more flair.
slowly, bit by bit, i intend to replace the pickups, change the stop bar tailpiece for a bigsby (not maestro), buy top quality grover tuners and replace the plastic nut with a bone one. i'm undecided on whether i should replace the pots.
in theory i should then have a fantastic feeling and sounding guitar. the question is: is there anything i have missed out? can the body itself make much difference (its solid mahogony)? and most importantly is it worth it?

finally, any ideas for pickups? i intend to hollow out the middle humbucker put leave it there for aesthetic purposes. i play modern rock, nothing too heavy (think wolfmother and muse) and blues rock (think black keys and white stripes)

thanks a bunch, sam
#2
Isn't it funny how now most Epiphone & Gibson owners will finally admit there are quality control problems, but they all insist they got one of the good ones?

Anyways, it really isn't worth it. Decent eletronics, new tuner, bridge and nut will cost about as much as buying a decent guitar the first time round instead of the SG + this would have.

IMHO, cut your losses, sell the SG and put all the money towards a good guitar that gets it right the first time. But I know how people these days like to say "But I did this one myself" even though they generally do nothing other than talk their parents into driving them down to the store to pay for these alterations, so you decide.

For future reference, whenever you replace pickups, it is ALWAYS worth replacing pots, jacks and switches. Especially for you yanks. It's a very minimal expense, and it can make all the difference.
Quote by kyrreca
If your EQ looks like this your audience will look like this
#3
it's solid mahogany. it's a good starting point for modifications.
IMO, there's no need to put a middle bucker if you won't use it.
for pickups, there's the Duncan Custom 5/Jazzn combo and the JB/59 combo. pretty much cover what you play.
Ibanez RG321MH (Air Classic/Tone Zone)
Fernandes Telecaster (Twang King/stock bridge pickup)
Blackstar HT-20 (Scumback 55 speaker/ Tung Sol tubes)
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
Lava Cables Clear Connect, Soar and Mini ELC
#4
Quote by leviticus_22953
it's solid mahogany. it's a good starting point for modifications.
IMO, there's no need to put a middle bucker if you won't use it.
for pickups, there's the Duncan Custom 5/Jazzn combo and the JB/59 combo. pretty much cover what you play.


Nice pickup choices!
Quote by kyrreca
If your EQ looks like this your audience will look like this
#5
huge thanks leviticus.
cofflecakes you missed the point. some of us cant afford expensive equipment and therefore upgrading it is a way improving the instrument without having to spend a huge amounts of money in one go. i am not looking to impress people with tales of "doing this myself", i simply cannot afford a good gibson sg, the guitars i own have been given to me or found. this guitar with modifications will cost a hell of a lot less then a gibson sg custom.
however i did manage to look past some patronising comments and find some useful info.
lastly, i am from manchester. when i last checked, manchester was not part of america

i'll take a look at those pickups
#6
Quote by samisabig1
huge thanks leviticus.
cofflecakes you missed the point. some of us cant afford expensive equipment and therefore upgrading it is a way improving the instrument without having to spend a huge amounts of money in one go. i am not looking to impress people with tales of "doing this myself", i simply cannot afford a good gibson sg, the guitars i own have been given to me or found. this guitar with modifications will cost a hell of a lot less then a gibson sg custom.
however i did manage to look past some patronising comments and find some useful info.
lastly, i am from manchester. when i last checked, manchester was not part of america

i'll take a look at those pickups


you cant go wrong with those pickups.
what cofflecakes what trying to say was that the cost of upgrading your guitar might be equivalent or even be more than the price of a new and better guitar. but it's still your choice if you want to upgrade your guitar.
Ibanez RG321MH (Air Classic/Tone Zone)
Fernandes Telecaster (Twang King/stock bridge pickup)
Blackstar HT-20 (Scumback 55 speaker/ Tung Sol tubes)
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
Lava Cables Clear Connect, Soar and Mini ELC
#7
i know what he was trying to say, just not very helpful. he could of guessed from the original post that i like my guitar and dont want to sell it. and when he says "they all insist they got one of the good ones", i could say the same about his Ibanez SA220FM. its just not very helpful.

any suggestions on tuners?
#8
Regular grover tuners should drop in with no drilling. About 35 bucks from stewmac.
#9
Quote by Tackleberry
Regular grover tuners should drop in with no drilling. About 35 bucks from stewmac.

+1
Peavey XXX combo *upgraded screen resistors, Tung-Sol's, and 6L6's*
Schecter Syn Std. * modded, scalloped, and worn*
Schecter C-1 Elite *still sexy*
Ibanez AEL 12-string

"He who sticks his dick in peanut butter is fucking nuts"
#10
definately go with seymour duncan jb's and grover tuners. Also, maybe check out some dunlop strap locks, and a bigsby trem.
LTD JD 600
Fender Celtic Esquire
Ibanez RGA7
Schecter S-1 Elite
Line 6 FM4
KORG Pitchblack
Digitech Whammy
Dunlop Wah
Ibanez TS-9
ISP Decimator
Peavey 6505 Halfstack
Marshall 1960b Cab
Line 6 POD X3 Live
#11
FIRST thing you do, replace the pots.
1 MEG bridge, 500K neck and middle on tone, 500K for volume.
I'd suggest putting in a push/pull on/off for each pickup, since the 3 way switch doesn't really give you as much variety as total control of all 3.
If, after all this, the stock pickups still aren't giving you what you need, check your amp.
If it has tubes (if you did all this, it better), see about changing them to quality tubes.
The best tone I personally have heard came from tubes pulled from older electronics, then power matched before being put into the amp. It's time and labor intensive, and depending on your region, it can be costly too, but well worth it. Also, check your speakers. You can't go wrong with celestions, even the 70 dollar ones sound better than anything else by leaps and bounds.

Finally, if after all these other mods you find it still necessary to change pickups, I'd say go with GFS, I've never failed to be disappointed in seymour duncans, and I don't know about you, but 80-100 for all three pickups instead of 75 a pop is a big difference. Since you're also into modern rock, you might want something with more power than a PAF-correct pickup or P90(which are the only GFS pickups worth getting, the vintage 59 and mean 90), I'd say go with a rockfield fat ass in the bridge. Passive, but with alot of definition, it won't blow away your other two pickups, in volume, but there is a bit of boost there. For blues, you GOTTA go with a mean 90, they're just perfect vintage P90 sound, humbucker sized, middle, neck or bridge they'll do an awesome blues tone, though crank the volume on a nice tube amp, you can get all the way to AC/DC power with one. Total cost (for all three): $120.
This combo will seriously make you love your guitar. I put a vintage 59 neck/ mean 90 bridge combo in my dot and a vintage 59 neck/rockfield fat ass in my G 400 and I don't know which I play more!

As for bridges, keep in mind that the G-400 is "import sized", unless you wanna buy a gibby size and import brushings.
Well, bigsbys are ridiculously expensive, but that's a fact of life.
When you get a bigsby, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, try to use the standard tune-o-matic bridge. This is because: A. you'll snap strings. Alot of them. Wen I tried to sue the standard TOM and a bigsby it was like every other bend I'd lose the G, the B, or the E. B. Getting strings to stretch, tune up, and not totally lose every iota of tonally on a bend was a total night mare. C. It felt wrong. There was a delay between bending on the bigsby and the strings actually loosening. It totally threw me off.
Anyway, I'd suggest getting either a rolling TOM (which guitarfetish.com, same folks selling GFS pickups, sell) or a graphtech or tonepros TOM.

As for a nut, unless you have a HIGHLY SKILLED luthier who has been doing bone nuts for decades, and can go about three weeks without your guitar(because really skilled luthiers always seem to take about that long), I'd shy away from a bone nut.
Graphite nuts are much easier to use, and they, too eliminate all the problems of plastic nuts, plus they're self -lubricating, very handy.

I personally believe locking tuners are worth their weight in gold. So I'd suggest going with those.

Anyway, your total cost for all this stuff will end up being approximately 300 to 400 bucks. Not including American matched tubes for your amp and new speakers.

But trust me, well worth it.
...
Please do not insinuate anything sexual from that.

Quote by cobain_is_king
If your friends don't like your guitar, cover it in stickers and it'll be teh rawks!
#12
i'd go for schallers instead of dunlop strap locks.
Ibanez RG321MH (Air Classic/Tone Zone)
Fernandes Telecaster (Twang King/stock bridge pickup)
Blackstar HT-20 (Scumback 55 speaker/ Tung Sol tubes)
TC Electronic Nova Repeater
Lava Cables Clear Connect, Soar and Mini ELC
#13
You haven't got to a huge amount of expense to get a Epi SG sounding nice.

The stock wiring is crap, as are the stock pickups. Replacing those will make it 100% better - although the truth is it's never going to set the world on fire.

I upgrade mine with a pair of Zebra PAFs - nothing stupidly expensive, and replaced the pots with CTS 500K's, orange drop Cap, a decent quality switch, and proper cloth covered wire, and it made a hell of a difference.

It depends what sound you are looking for I guess, but mine was a very versatile guitar - I've just sold it actually - never did get on with the neck very well - but it was a pretty decent, great sounding guitar for not a huge amount of cash.
#14
Quote by Cofflecakes
Isn't it funny how now most Epiphone & Gibson owners will finally admit there are quality control problems, but they all insist they got one of the good ones?

I guess its because they get used to the guitar and end up liking it. hey, i'm like that with my epis i always assume i got one of the good ones. Though i am pretty certain my cheapo lp junior is one of the better ones based on all the others i played (they since have had a lot more in the shop and they all feel totally wank to play, but they sound good).
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#16
Quote by samisabig1
cheers guys, especially lansmitchell; massive help

No problem, man.
I totally suggest you check out the epiphone forums.
( forums.epiphone.com )
I've learned ALOT from those guys, all are really great help. I've got the same sn there.
Plus, they're nice. They don't have the "dump your gear, buy what (artist) uses, or you're a faggot" attitude the UG guys do sometimes.
...
Please do not insinuate anything sexual from that.

Quote by cobain_is_king
If your friends don't like your guitar, cover it in stickers and it'll be teh rawks!