I feel like I'm not getting the best out of my Epiphone Les Paul Standard. I'm happy with the action and feel of the guitar but I feel the electronics and hardware aren't the best. So I've been thinking of what I can do to better fix this problem. My tone is fairly muddy which probably has to do with the cheap stock pickups and maybe wiring and pots? Then the issue of my bridge where I'm constantly breaking strings at the bridge saddles. I might also want to get locking tuners for the tuning stability and for the fact that they make putting strings on so much easier. So here's some ideas I've got so far...

http://store.guitarfetish.com/gfsporacrpok2.html Seems good for heavier rock?

http://store.guitarfetish.com/colespaupelc.html Will this help much?

http://store.guitarfetish.com/wibrrobrlost.html This might fix the string breakage?

http://store.guitarfetish.com/wiezlotu3x3f.html Wilkinson puts out quality stuff right?

Last but not least I probably need a new nut, I've been looking at Graphtech's Black TUSQ nut which seems good.

Any knowledge on these items and opinions would benefit me hugely, Thanks in advance.
Epi Les Paul Standard
Vox AD50VT
How old of a LP standard is this? If it has grovers, don't bother. I'd get a Tonepros locking metric bridge (sold on multiple websites like musicians friend). GFS pickups are apparently pretty good for the price. I'd get duncans though, IMO much better
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Last edited by oneblackened at Nov 10, 2008,
Its an 06 so I'm pretty sure its Korean made. I do believe the grovers are quite nice but the locking tuners seem a whole lot easy to restring which could come in handy during a gig. But other than that is the only reason I'd get them. I don't really have a problem with intonation with the bridge I have now and the bridge I have locks onto the studs anyways. I just have a problem of strings breaking at the saddles. I've also looked at graph tech saddles but they are quite expensive.
Epi Les Paul Standard
Vox AD50VT
Last edited by AgresiveNapkins at Nov 9, 2008,
If they're breaking at the saddles, you don't have to replace the bridge to reduce breakage. Take some really find sandpaper, and remove the burrs in the saddles. There - I just saved you some money.

I'd invest that money you saved on some nicer pickups. Those power rails are way too high output - completely unnecessary - and arguably could be as muddy as your current pickups.
Hi, I know it's a wiki entry but if you go here and scroll about halfway down, there is a serial number lookup guide if you want to check. or you can try this auto ones

Please forgive me if i sound negative here, but I did mine recently (the only original bits are the wood and the frets!), So I'm aware of a couple of potential pitfuls that you may be heading toward.....

Pickups - I don't have any experience with GFS pickups (they look good tho), so cannot really comment other than to offer an opinion. Personally I would miss having adjustable polepieces so probably give rails a miss.

Electronics - Definitley a good idea to do a bit of an upgrade/change here. I went with CTS pots, silver braided wire, switchcraft switch and bumblebee caps which was expensive, but i like it. I also wired it up the same way as a real les paul.

The kit that is in the link looks like a direct replacement for your current gear - same switch and input jack, and he does not say what value or taper type the pots are. If somebody had their epi les paul electronics nicked, then I might suggest getting that kit but if you want to spoil your guitar/upgrade bits of it, then there is other stuff out there which would be more of an upgrade than a replacement. I think some Gibby les pauls have orange drop capacitor for example - you could get some of them for pennies.

The Bridge - Unless you are happy to plug and re-drill the post holes for the bridge (which is a hell of a job+you need the right tools), then you need to ensure that it will fit your epi. The only one I found was the tonepros metric bridges. I went with a T3BT-N and it was worth it.

However, if string breakage is the only reason you want to change it then I would suggest polishing the stringslots on your current bridge. you can do this by supergluing bits of guitar strings to the thin side of a lollipop stick or peice of dowell and using it like a file, OR, getting some very fine wet and dry paper, loosening the string off a little and then wrap the paper under the string and and use that. Careful tho - check often and dont wear the slot down so that it affects the action of that string.

Tuners - I don't have experience with that brand, or even locking tuners so cannot say much abouth them being quicker to restring or anything. The ones you have on there are good - not as good as some people seem to think I reckon - but good.

I believe that you have the 14:1 ratio Grover Rotomatic (stewmac cat part 0901) which would cost $36.55 from stewmac to replace. Lots of people on here seem to think that epi's come with the slighlty more expensive 18:1 ratio, which I would love to believe but it make far more sense to me that epi would go with the cheaper ones. However, I cannot find any official source(epi/gibson website etc) to confirm one way or the other. Hopefully, someone will now point me in the right direction?

Nut - Getting rid of the stock hollow plastic thing will be a good move. Tusq is great, but I go with bone on my Les. If you are going with a pre cut one - make sure that it's going to fit first. Either way, it's not some thing that you can just drop in - it takes a bit more than that to get the slot depth/action right based on the height of your frets etc. There's a helpful bit on the stewmac site here. Apologies if you know all this.

Sorry if I've brought you down from your happy guitar place! If I can help at all, just le me konw.

I really enjoyed upgrading mine, and I'm so pleased with the results - I hope you have as much fun.
I've heard around here to stay away from any GFS "Rail" pickups, but their others are decent. I'd seriously go with some DiMarzio PAFs though, if you want affordable, high quality pickups.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

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Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

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check out irongear pickups.

i got a pair of rolling mills in my epi LP standard and they really improved the tone. £25 each delivered. the tuners and bridge and nut should be ok as is unless you really know what you are doing.

the wiring also isnt that bad. just upgrade the pickups and try and resolve the string breakage without changing hardware and see how you feel then. the epi lse paul is not a bad guitar out of the box.
Thank you please.
Thanks for all the advice everyone. The reason I'm probably going to go with TUSQ is because they have a nut built specifically for Epiphones. I guess I should definetly start looking for some new pickups though I'll just have a look around. Actually I think I might go for the GFS fat PATS because all of the reviews I've heard about them are amazing.
Epi Les Paul Standard
Vox AD50VT
Last edited by AgresiveNapkins at Nov 10, 2008,
Quote by cuthbertg
bumblebee caps

Way to waste an obscene amount of money on caps that sound the same as every
other cap

Do they actually sound better than regular poly film ones? I would never pay $25 for caps.
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i bought a roller bridge from guitarfetish for my epi les paul and i love it. I haven't broken a string since
Quote by Øttər
Way to waste an obscene amount of money on caps that sound the same as every
other cap

Do they actually sound better than regular poly film ones? I would never pay $25 for caps.

To my ear (I'm partially deaf and wear hearing aids - you might say that I have bionic ears!!) they do sound better/different - but is hard to notice

They cost me £25, so its more like $45

Edit - but of course - I am a grown up with three kids and job so £25 is a night down the pub or a pizza - not that much really

I was trying to get that '59/'59 VOS sound - I didn't have much choice.

If I were to do it again, I would look for real bumblebees. a lot of 140 caps just went on ebay for $60 odd - I may buy a lot and then split and sell them for a fiver per set or something.

I agree, they are very expensive and if you are expecting a major improvement, then you will be disapointed.

There are cheaper paper in oil caps around though - I'm gonna see if I can get some on ebay or something
Last edited by cuthbertg at Nov 11, 2008,
Thats for the info on the roller bridge. It just seems to be such a better design than the sharp little triangle saddles. The pots I have now seem to work nicely as in no scratchy noises when turning them so I might hold off on upgrading all the electronics until I get new pickups. I found some decent looking locking tuners on stewmac so I might go with those if I have the extra cash to do so.
Epi Les Paul Standard
Vox AD50VT