Hey everybody

so my birthday is coming around and I figured the cold Michigan winter is coming as well so I need something to work on during the cold weekends. And what could be better than modding a les paul?

I have a Epiphone les paul standard limited edition candy apple red, one beautiful instrument. A while back I changed on my pickups to a SD '59 in the neck and a sd custom 5 in the bridge. I also changed out all the electronics to a vintage kit from RS.
I also am going to order a set of Grover Deluxe keystones to get a little bit of a vintage look. Does anybody have any ideas for good other mods I could do to it? I was thinking about a new bridge, could anybody recommend one?

thank you for all the help
Find a luthier and add in one of those old Gretsch-style tremolos. That's like, the king of vintage.
Well, you could put in a Jimmy Page wiring harness, which is two coil taps, a phase switch, and a series/parallel switch, all in push-pull pots. Tone Pros makes the best bridges and tailpieces. Also add some new studs for both, and its gonna be much better sustain-wise.
I put EMG's in mine and blacked out the knobs on it. I have the same guitar as you I think. I've always thought it would be cool to put a real Floyd Rose on it. How much would it be to do something like that?
^ Ultimate Floyd Rose thread.

It would be a few hundred dollars just for the labour.

I would only recommend EMGs to the thread starter is he were to have a good tube amp.
Enjoi <--- Friend me
Quote by Scowmoo
Otter, you're my new god.
change the pickups, tuners, bridge etc. Make it all custom: Put a tele bridge on it, put some special tuners on it, get custom wound pickups. Have interesting wiring, concentric pots, push pull pots, coil split etc etc the list goes on....
I decked mine out with a full rash of Gibson parts - the only original bits are the wood and the frets. After upgrading the pickups and wiring, I would say that the following changes made the most difference:

1) Full setup as per gibson custom shop found here (click on setup tips)
2) I got a tonepros (metric) locking tailpiece and bridge which they now put on ther Gibby LP Std - this dropped straight in using the original bushings. One thing worth mentioning here is that because of the extra width on the tp bridge, you will probably have to raise the tailpiece a bit to ensure that the strings clear the back of the bridge. While I was initially disapointed about this (i have always had my tailpieces screwed right down as far as it would go) It has not caused me any problems.
3) Bone nut - nearly every Epi i have played has had a nut which is too high
4) Pickup mounting rings - The gibby ones are angled better to keep the pickup paralell to the strings. They are also smaller (bredth, width + height) and require a bit of fitting (re drilling holes and making sure that they fully cover the epi 'grand canyon' style pickup cavity. I also had to get a gibby pickgaurd and shape it a little. It would be a lot simpler (and cheaper) to file down the epi ones to the same height and angle as the gibby ones though.

EDIT - also while the tonepros bridge is advertised as pre-slotted, you will still need to use nut files on the saddles to get the strings to fit in properly and set them up with the same radius as the fretboard ( mine was 14") to make it perfect. If you dont have nut files, you can kinda make them by superglueing bits of string to a piece of dowling but it takes for ever this way (probably a good thing). I got a set of files from warmouth for around £30 cos I have wanted a set for the last 15 years or so.

Doing this was great fun, I did go a bit mad with the bone nut and made it a bit too thin on one side - it works fine and is an improvement over the original - self lubricating too but I have ordered a set of digital calipers to have another go at making one and get it spot on.

I love my guitar
Last edited by cuthbertg at Nov 4, 2008,
Thanks a lot everybody that some great ideas!!!

I already changed out all the electronics so I am good on that.

so would you say that the tonepros tailpiece and bridge is worth it?

thanks for all the information cuthbertg sounds like there is really not much epiphone left on your guitar haha
No worries - pass it on, that's what i say! Like I said, just the wood and the frets!

It was worth it for me cos of the timing of my purchses etc - I got all of the kit from the states, I live in the UK and the exchange rate has been good.

There are no two ways about it, the Tonepros one ( I think the bridge model number was TBN3 or something) is better made, has and increased range/is wider - so there's no having to take the saddles out and reverse them etc. The saddles are machined in so you cant take them out, and they dont wobble have a much smother action when adjusting the saddles etc.

On top of that, it also locks which is handy. My stock bridge etc were okay actually and pretty solid etc, but the tonepros one is definitley an improvement.

I also find it more comfortable to rest my picking hand on cos its wider and the saddles arent quite as high as the old one

Theres a lot said about tonal improvements - I for one cannot confess to noticing any major improvement, though I am partially deaf and wear hearing aids!

That said, I'm confident that when unplugged it is a bit louder and I did measure 20 + second sustain plugged in clean. However, I never measured it before.

Excuse to show pic:

Quick point. Don't they put proper grovers on the epiphone les paul standards? If so just replace the tuner buttons for vintage style ones. Cheap and easy.

Perhaps strap locks? I love the ones on my strat (even though I had no problems with the originals)

Finally, some new caps. I getting some Vitamin Q paper in oil caps soon as I've heard great things about them. Not too expensive either...