#1
So, here's my situation, everybody.

As much as I'd want a second guitar, I think I'd be best off modifying the hell out of my current one, and in the process, making it as versatile to the level that having a second guitar would provide.

Now, the guitar in question is an Epiphone Dot Studio, worn cherry finish with black hardware. Currently all stock.

I already plan on adding a Bigsby (black chrome, of course), and replacing the pots and the switch. I do not trust that switch in the least. Also, I'll likely need some new tuners (the current tuners do hold tune exceptionally well, but that might get messed up with the addition of a Bigsby).

The only real issue is the matter of what pickups to go about using. I've looked at and considered a few types of GFS pickups, including the Mean 90s, the Dream 180s, the "basic" PAF-style humbucker, some of the Retrotrons, and the lipstick tube humbuckers. However, just looking at them isn't a terribly good judge for me.

So, if I tell you (generally speaking) of what I want in terms of sound, would you be able to recommend me pickups?

If so, here we go.


just in general terms, some of my "guitar heroes" are David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, George Harrison (slide, post-Beatles), Mark Knopfler, Neil Young. though, as far as tone, Gilmour has had the most influence.

I approach the bridge pickup primarily as the rhythm pickup, due to its greater "cut". So, I'd like something that would provide clear rhythm tones, clean and distorted (grunge-style, Neil Young-ish distortion being the heaviest I'd likely go). clarity, basically, being able to hear every note in a chord would be nice.

Thus, the neck is primarily my soloing pickup. Preferably, I'd like something with a lot of range: being able to go from a good jazz tone, to wild fuzzed-out early Gilmour lead tone, and whatever may occur in between. something that'll cut through the mix nicely, as well.

And, if it fits in somewhere, I'd like to be able to cop some Brian Setzer-like Gretsch tone.


I can try to make this more clear, I guess. I can post a pic or two of the guitar, as well.


Any and all help with this matter is greatly appreciated.
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#2
maybe you should just buy a gretsch for a setzer tone.
a fender strat for knopfler and gilmour.

etc...
#3
That'd be wonderful. But, I don't have that kind of money. And I can borrow a friend's strat if I feel like jamming on one.

Basically, I want to make my current guitar as versatile as possible. I was hoping you guys would lead me in a direction to make it so.
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#4
From someone who plays 3-4 shows a week: Get a backup guitar, upgrade them later. A backup guitar isn't just for versatility, it's for when your main axe goes down. Guitars sometimes break, electronics fail, strings break, etc... Get a second so you're prepared for a rainy day.
#5
Well, I may, yes. There's a Strat in a local pawn shop going for around $90 I may pick up soon.

But, really, I'd like to just get answers to the matter at hand, and worry about backups when I actually go and start gigging.
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#6
I'd say go for whichever ones of the ones you mentioned are P-90 style. They just seem like the best of both worlds - clarity of a single with the ability to go heavy like a 'bucker.

Either that or get some normal 'buckers and get them coil split (tapped?). That's just what I've done with my Epi Dot, with some Bareknuckles Stormy Mondays, and they're great. They do need re-wired though ....
#7
Ah, SugarRush, thanks. I'd been considering a Mean 90 in the neck for some time now, very nearly decided on it in fact. I just dunno if I want to go with a second one for the bridge...
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#8
just going for one bump.
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#9
Since you want versatility, go with humbuckers wired for coil split. Before I make a pickup recommendation, let me explain what I look for in pickups. To me, clarity and smooth, balanced clean tones are most important. You can always get overdrive and crunch from effects.

Based on what you said about wanting to hear every note in chords and wanting to do jazzy stuff, I'd recommend checking out www.billlawrence.com. I have a set of L500R (neck) and L500XL (bridge) in my LP (I run a VJ through a 1x12 like you) and the clarity is amazing. They are so clear that you truly have to finger chords properly because you do hear every note you play. Check out the reviews on Harmony central.... people rave on them, for good reason.
#10
I upgraded my dot with these:
Graphite nut
Rolling TOM bridge(from guitarfetish)
GFS vintage 59 neck
GFS mean 90 bridge
500K gibson potentiometers

I'm going to buy locking tuners if it's necessary once I get the bigsby, but with the lack of friction due to the graph nut and roller bridge, and the fact I properly "lock" my strings in the tuners anyway, probably not needed.

I play alot of rock n' roll, blues, a little jazz, e AC/DC, and some punk rock(with a distortion pedal) on this thing.
I've been told after gigs it sounds better than a gibson.
...
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!
#11
seriously
...
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
whatever you do, get locking tuners for the bigsby.

mean 90 for the neck pickup, coil-split PAF style bucker for the bridge.

EDIT: backup guitar ftw. dont do any mods before u have a backup
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#13
Well, Cedric, thanks for the recommendation there, but I'd really prefer sticking with guitarfetish, due to me severely lacking money. I'm hoping to get a full upgrade complete for about $250.

Ian, why did you choose the bridge for the Mean 90 over the neck? And, vice-versa, Angus, why'd you choose a PAF for the bridge?


Additionally, I've been recommended Dream 180s in both slots by Jay from GuitarFetish, with a possible coil split in the neck. What's the general opinion on that?
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#14
Quote by Wulver
Well, Cedric, thanks for the recommendation there, but I'd really prefer sticking with guitarfetish, due to me severely lacking money. I'm hoping to get a full upgrade complete for about $250.

Ian, why did you choose the bridge for the Mean 90 over the neck? And, vice-versa, Angus, why'd you choose a PAF for the bridge?


Additionally, I've been recommended Dream 180s in both slots by Jay from GuitarFetish, with a possible coil split in the neck. What's the general opinion on that?


I put the P-90 in the bridge because I liek the blues bite, or early rock n' roll, even AC/DC works great.

I put the Vintage '59 for the neck because I like the fatter sound, better output, and the blues, rock n' roll, punk and jazz tone, it's great for allman brothers.

DO NOT GET THE DREAM 180.
It's thin, weak, and feeds back easily, in a solid body. Not good.
I can't imagine coil splitting possibly making the tone fatter, so that wouldn't help.

If you want something that's a good humbucker then a good P-90 when split, get the Seymour Duncan P-rails. You can also split it into a tele-sounding single coil if you put it on an on/off/on switch. But that would cut pretty deep into your bigsby/roller bridge/tuner fund.

So far you have:
Bigsby B-700: $100
Gotoh Locking tuners: $80
GFS Mean 90 and Vintage 59: $70
GFS roller TOM: $22
Gibson 500k Potentiometers: $44
That's 306+shipping.
I wouldn't recommend the GFS locking tuners, or their potentiometers at all, but you DO NOT wanna keep epi's stock pots, which is part of the 50 dollar increase in price.
Still, definite deal, once you hear how it sounds through a nice tube amp with just a little crunch, you won't stop smiling.
...
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!
#15
You could save substantially on pots if you go with Alpha or CTS instead of Gibson. Plus if you have a P90, that one won't need a coil tap switch.
#16
Are the GFS pots really that bad? I'd prefer not to spend so much on just a pair of pots, if I can manage it. But, then again, do you have a link for the Alpha or CTS pots? I was rather wary of their tuners, though, so as long as I can get some good locking tuners in black somewhere, I'm content.

And yeah, I suppose a roller bridge is necessary. I won't mind one of those.

Ian, since you seem to know something about GFS pickups, what do you think of the Retrotrons? I wouldn't mind getting some Gretsch-like tones out of my guitar.
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#17
If you are going down the versatility line then I might say go for a P-90 style for the neck and a PAF-style for the bridge. That's just personally, since I'd want the neck for great cleans and the bridge for the harder, dirtier parts.

If you can stretch to it, I'd recommend (only based off of other recommendations though, no personal experience) the Swineshead AMP for the bridge. The way it's designed, when split it becomes a true single-coil pup, not the weaker-than imitations most split 'buckers are.

And, while I'm here, I may as well ask lansmitchell a question. How much of a difference did the new bridge and pots make on your Dot, as I'm trying to decide on the mods for mine. Bearing in mind that I'm keeping mine hardtail.
#18
the P90 Neck and PAF Bridge was the route I'd originally considered taking. guess there's no real harm in going back to it, if it can get the tones I want.

Would there be any advantage in getting Mean 90s in both positions?
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#19
Double P-90 awesomeness, of course

Seriously though, that pairing sounds amazing - I've just got my thinline P-90 Tele copy back from my tech with some Lollar pups, and it's glorious. But I can see some people would want more bridge output, so I'd stick with my PAF/P-90 suggestion.
#20
Quote by Wulver
Well, Cedric, thanks for the recommendation there, but I'd really prefer sticking with guitarfetish, due to me severely lacking money. I'm hoping to get a full upgrade complete for about $250.

Ian, why did you choose the bridge for the Mean 90 over the neck? And, vice-versa, Angus, why'd you choose a PAF for the bridge?


Additionally, I've been recommended Dream 180s in both slots by Jay from GuitarFetish, with a possible coil split in the neck. What's the general opinion on that?



I meant the 90 at the bridge. my bad. i use the neck pup as my main pup, so when i list combos, i sometimes list them backwards! the 90 will have more bite in the bridge.
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#21
Quote by SugarRush66
Double P-90 awesomeness, of course

Seriously though, that pairing sounds amazing - I've just got my thinline P-90 Tele copy back from my tech with some Lollar pups, and it's glorious. But I can see some people would want more bridge output, so I'd stick with my PAF/P-90 suggestion.


Well, I'm not saying I want a ridiculous amount of output. If I can get good bite out of the bridge, and good smooth soloing out of the neck, that's all I really need.

So, I'm starting to lean towards the Mean 90 combo here...
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#23
Thank you for the hardware links.

Apparently, though, I'm having trouble finding some 3x3 locking tuners in black. Could someone help me with that matter? Or, if the strings are tied around the tuning pegs properly, and in conjunction with a graphite-lubricated nut (it's pretty simple, just rub the grooves with some pencil lead) and a rolling bridge, will I even need locking tuners for my Bigsby?
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay