#1
So ive been trying to figure out what pots come in the an Epi LP Custom, and havnt had any luck. The sweep the pots have is one of the few things i do not like about this guitar. If anyone knows what pots it comes with, and what would be a good upgrade it would be greatly appreciated!
#3
Ya. I would like to have a broader range out of it. The volume controls dont cut much volume, and then abruptly it just cuts all of it.
#5
The epi pots are just cheap ones. And yes putting better pots in will make a big difference. Going with audio/volume, linear/tone will get rid of that sudden volume drop. The treble bleed mod will keep the treble when you roll back the volume some like it some dont. I have the treble bleed on switches for each pickup like a bright switch for when I want to use it.
#7
My Epi LP Std came with Alpha pots (500k volume, 250k tone) - just upgrading to 500k CTS pots and following Gibsons wiring spec made loads of difference to mine.

So if you change to all 500k pots you are making quite a change, and YOU WILL, notice and improvement in the sound you can get out of your humbuckers.

Shameless plug for my own thread, but if you have a look at https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=961043&page=1&pp=20

There a few bits on wiring my les - personaly, I have gone for following Gibson spec - no need for any treble bleed mods or anything silly like that (the only time I have seen a treble bleed mod used is when trying to fix a limitation with the so-called 50's wiring?) - I explain my reasons for this in the thread.

If you are in the UK, then you can take advantage of the US exchange rate and get these: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=220276712889&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT&ih=012

I got mine for about £20 + you also get the sprague orange drop caps which they put in Gibsons

Getting matched pots gaurantees the values, just cos it says 500k, don't mean your'e getting 500k. The alternative is to take a multimeter down to your local guitar shop and test them yourself before buying (good luck!)

If price is a problem, just go for non matched, but I would definately also rewire the whole thing as per a real les paul. You'll be glad you did, amazed at the difference and how cheap it was to do it.

You may need to make the holes in the body slightly larger to allow the CTS pots to fit though. Don't panic, you can easily do this with a small circular file and make a nice snug fit.
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Last edited by cuthbertg at Oct 8, 2008,
#8
Quote by cuthbertg
My Epi LP Std came with Alpha pots (500k volume, 250k tone) - just upgrading to 500k CTS pots and following Gibsons wiring spec made loads of difference to mine.

So if you change to all 500k pots you are making quite a change, and YOU WILL, notice and improvement in the sound you can get out of your humbuckers.

Mojo.

Pots are pots. If you can tell me why those CTS pots will sound different than Alpha pots, I'll believe you.
The only difference in upgrading is the accuracy in the recorded value - CTS pots have a much smaller tolerance.
#9
^ lol, hello again mate.

If you're looking for a scientific explanantion, then you aint gonna find one with me i'm afraid!

I did do a lot of reading up when upgrading mine (I started off going with Gibson branded ones to begin with - I've still got two 300k long shaft if anyone wants to buy 'em!) and ended up going for matched CTS ones, after trying non matched ones first - which were also a significant improvement over the old ones. There's also the thing about using the correct taper type etc. Theres some good stuff on www.singlecoil.com + other links on my thread which I used to read up on if you wanna take a look.

Another significant factor was the fact that I rewired the whole thing as well, so aplogies to all if I gave the impression that I could auraly tell the difference between Alpha and CTS pots.

The CTS ones IMHO are just made better - you only need to compare the two types in your hand to see. I have also read about etter quality control, better quality materials etc on the CTS pots. There must be some reason that people Gibson have used them for years?

If you notice, I do actually say that in my EPI LP, I had 250k tone pots - so infact, changing purely to 4 x 500k CTS (or whatever) pots will make a difference. This is quite possibly also the case with M_Soares as well.

Changing my wiring and installing 500k CTS pots mad my guitar sound better and made my volume + tone controls work better.

Also, I have read that there is a +/- tolerance of 20% on even CTS pots, so you could have a 400k and a 600k in the same set....
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#10
Alright so the wiring format on the Epi is also different from the Gibson? So then realistically it would be best to change the pots and rewire it to a gibson spec. Ill have to go to the local shop and mess around with a gibson LP. Thanks for the info guys!
#11
Quote by cuthbertg
^ lol, hello again mate.


Quote by cuthbertg
I did do a lot of reading up when upgrading mine (I started off going with Gibson branded ones to begin with - I've still got two 300k long shaft if anyone wants to buy 'em!) and ended up going for matched CTS ones, after trying non matched ones first - which were also a significant improvement over the old ones. There's also the thing about using the correct taper type etc. Theres some good stuff on www.singlecoil.com + other links on my thread which I used to read up on if you wanna take a look.
A logarithmic taper on an Alpha pot is the same as a logarithmic taper on a CTS pot.
As much as I love singlecoil.com, a lot of the info they share is mojo, with no basis behind it.
Quote by cuthbertg
Another significant factor was the fact that I rewired the whole thing as well, so aplogies to all if I gave the impression that I could auraly tell the difference between Alpha and CTS pots.

The CTS ones IMHO are just made better - you only need to compare the two types in your hand to see. I have also read about etter quality control, better quality materials etc on the CTS pots. There must be some reason that people Gibson have used them for years?
I won't argue that the 50's style wiring doesn't make a difference, I use that style of wiring, found it to be more responsive than modern wiring.
As far as CTS being made better...They may use different stuff on the resistive element of the taper, but I don't think it makes a tonal difference. The 16mm Alpha pots I used are all within 1% tolerance of the recorded value, never had a problem with "matching sets", nor did I need to order tons of them to get that kind of closeness.
As far as your Gibson comment...I don't think that Gibson using something qualifies it as quality. After all, for the last couple of years, new Epiphones have had better hardware than Gibson's guitars. I could name other examples. Fact is, they use them because that's what people know and look for - doesn't mean it makes a difference.

Quote by cuthbertg
If you notice, I do actually say that in my EPI LP, I had 250k tone pots - so infact, changing purely to 4 x 500k CTS (or whatever) pots will make a difference. This is quite possibly also the case with M_Soares as well.

Changing my wiring and installing 500k CTS pots mad my guitar sound better and made my volume + tone controls work better.

Also, I have read that there is a +/- tolerance of 20% on even CTS pots, so you could have a 400k and a 600k in the same set....

A change from 250K to 500K will make a huge difference. Really open up the top end - no doubt! However, this is not always the case. My Epiphone SG G-400 had 500K pots. As for increasing the usefulness of my volume/tone controls, like I said, I believe 50's style wiring makes a difference, but I think as long as you have quality pots, you're good to go. No need to spend 5-8 dollars on CTS pots when comparable Alpha pots can be found for as low as 1.25 USD. And for tone controls, I find using a different value capacitor works better, for making it more usable. Most humbucker equipped guitars use a .047 uF cap - I prefer a .033uF capacitor myself.

Note that I'm not making these posts just for the sake of contradicting you or proving you wrong, it's that I don't like mojo and voodoo magic myths being spread about guitars, like harmonic nodes and other such BS.
I'm just trying to balance the views depicted here.
#12
^ No Worries Dude, you can play Scully to my Mulder anyday!

Joshing aside tho, I mean the main point on which we agree is that there is a possibility that the chap has 250k tone pots and changing the lot to 500k will make a positive difference.

Also, changing cap type/value a good option while you're at it

However, do not insult my intelligence and suggest for even a second that the only thing I looked at when looking into messing with my electronics was singlecoil.com!

I havent tried 50's wiring yet, I use the way they wire them now + with silver braided wire etc.

I got put off the '50's wiring method' by the fact that people then felt the need to later add the treble mod, and the fact that the way that the tone + volume interact was inconsistent and there was a certain feeling of .....now whats the word I'm looking for........, ahh that's it - Mojo, about the whole thing.

I am gonna try it though, as people do say good things about it as well.

From the searching I did, there was only a 20% price difference between CTS and Alpha which in turn were approx 50% below the price of the gibson branded CTS pots.

Getting my EPI to the same standard a real LP and spoiling her was the priority for me though - saving enough to buy myself a spare pot didn't really float my boat to be honest.

If you're happy with alpha pots and can get them for .60p odd GBP (it would be helpful if you could provide a link for others to get in on this great deal) , then you are a man less easily troubled than I and therefore please feel free to harp on about them!

In short though and IMHO, CTS are more expensive because they are made with higher quality materials, better q/c and last longer - you can argue the toss til you're blue in the face, you are not gonna convince me that I would rather use a cheaper made alternatve for my baby. Sure I cannot tell the difference by listnening - never said I could, I just think my guitar is worth using higher quality parts for.

Now for a bit of a niggle - with the pot values for an EPI LP in mind, do you not think that your first suggestion that "they are 500k" was a little presumtive? Just because your G400 had them, does not lead you to the obvious conclusion that all EPI LPs (a very different beast) come with 4 x 500k pots? I must say, that i do find that kind of thing annoying.

FYI and FTR - I just checked my 15 yr old EPI SG - it has two 500 and two 250k alpha pots - you cannot generalise like that and expect to get away with it.

Which leads to your rather cynical views on Gibson, "Epiphones have better hardware than Gibsons these days" - Well good luck trying to convince the world to dump their gibbys cos your £300 EPI came with "better hardware." You were doing your best to flout this one all over my thread and I found rather tiresome trying to say to you, No mate, the hardware on mine is the stock EPI crap and I'm upgrading to the better quality, more expensive and desireable Gibson equivalent. Jog on me old china, jog on!

Of course I think Gibson overprice everything, and they don't setup anything properly unless it comes from the custom shop. But they are by no means shite and they do produce some of the best guitars the world will see, using high quality parts. You even have a copy of one of their better known models which in turn is produced by a subsiduary company!

If you wanna be yin to everyone's yang and set the world to rights by dispelling all guitar 'mojo' then good luck in your quest sonny, I almost wish I had your enthusiasm. Just be aware that in doing so, you are both opening yourself up to attack as a hypocrite, and also people, like I, may not like to feel they are being pestered/bullied into agreeing with whatever you say just to shut you up


Relevant bit:

To answer the thread starters' last question though, The wiring on my EPI LP was totally different to the Gibby LP I had years ago - the way the caps were wired, the quality, gauge and type wire used to connect it all up - quality of the components. I'm really glad I upgraded my EPI - I have a nice warm glow inside now my controls are really useable + the whole signal is slightly hotter by using better better wire etc You got the idea though - take a look and have a go on a Gibby and see if you think it's worth doing


Take a wander down to your local and compare - A shining example to us all
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Last edited by cuthbertg at Oct 9, 2008,
#13
my Epi standard has 4 500k pots its a chinese from this year... Im in the process of gutting it, after I got rid of the god awful wiring the pickups didnt sound too bad... I've PG'd the stock neck pup tbh it aint bad but the volume / tone controls are a bit ropey atleast it doesnt sound like it has a pillow over it now was just so dull...
Last edited by johntb at Dec 5, 2008,
#14
if you do swap any parts at all though, remember that *ALL* manufacturers, without exception, buy their parts based on price, not quality.

so buy the cheap ones and they will work for you. dont waste cash on expensive parts that do exactly teh same job... especially with vintage guitars! (vintage the age, not the manufacturer)
Thank you please.
#15
if you want more range could you not just wire a hole heap of resistors to a big switch or a slide or something?