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:rockon: My main guitar is a 1971 black Les Paul Custom, purchased new by me as a teenager....before that I had an SG junior (that I traded away like a fool....)
Anyway, after recently discovering the fabulous Derrick Trucks Band, I wanted to get back to an SG and explore that upper fretboard again.
Lack of $$$ being a reality, I settled on a new Epiphone G400 that our local retailer had in stock.
I purchased it thru our local luthier, Gary, who buys at a discont form the retailer, then gives it a proper set up, fret dressing, bone nut, etc, so that it played like a dream when I took delivery. It sounded pretty "doinky" though, thin sound, no sustain...certainly compared to even my stock Les Paul.

I have read about both CRCoils and RSGuitarworks on this forum, so I sent to both of them for the necessary parts to bring the Epi up to snuff.

The "Fillmore Set" from Jim at CRCoils is everything he says they are. Just awesome. It's like they're somehow compressed and eq'd just perfectly. Rich warm tone and tons of sustain. (I also went to a light weight nickle tail piece...apparently that helps with sustain?) And my guitar just cuts thru the mix so nicely now...
His pickups arrived about 3 days after I ordered them, and had no extra taxes or duites owing.

The parts from RSGuitarworks, on the other hand, took about two weeks to arrive and had all kinds of extra duites $ and taxes $ owing. (The two companies fill out their customs froms differently). RSGuitarworks also short shipped me a switch that was part in my order. They did send one immediately when I contacted them, but then it took another couple of weeks, and for some reason they put its value at $114.00 on the customs forms, so it cost me another $25.00 at the post office to pick up the short-shipped switch!
Their wiring kit came with a clear diagram so that once the correct switch finally arrived I wired it all together in a couple of hours. I'm not any kind of electronics person at all, but the RS diagram was easy to follow and the thing worked like a champ right off the bat. No buzzes or noisy pots/switches.
I'm so glad to have found out about these pickups and parts kits on the forum here. What a great resource.
Interestingly, I've recently dealt with four different on-line suppliers in the course of upgrading this Epiphone guitar and rebuilding a 1960 Bassman amp. CRCoils was the only company that didn't mess up my order. And not only didn't he mess it up, his stuff arrived fastest and cheapest. The other three suppliers all either short-shipped items, or sent wrong items; in all cases resulting in lots of unnecessary expense $$$ and delays for me.
Anyone else have better luck shopping on line? Looks like I'm batting about 250...
The guitar sounds like a winner though, what a treat to play. And the 'new' tone seems to bring fresh insperation...
:rockon:
 

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Jim has amazing customer service and his pickups are first rate. He also knows how to ship and I've never paid any extra taxes or duty on his stuff. I've recently made a point to only buy from people willing to ship via USPS. If you use their Global Priority or Global Express service it will cost a bit more but it always arrives very quickly with no extra charges. It's deliverd by Purolator on our end. That's also the way Jim ships his stuff up to Canada.
 

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Anything I ship to Canada goes USPS.

When I had an amp shipped to me from Canada via UPS it came damaged, and the sender paid for insurance, which the Canadian "Mailboxes, etc." politely did not apply to the shipment. Ahole then went out of business when UPS took over...which led to...tariff/customs duty issues with Fedex on returning the amp (customs duties not paid by the recipient immediately, and after they were paid, the Canadian Fedex crew never notified Fedex USA who threatened to cut off my shipping account, talk about a freaking mess!).

Now, if I ship a speaker to Canada, or anything else, I insure it for full value, then mark it as a gift. That way the client pays no duties/tariffs, and I don't have to deal with the Canadian customs folks overcharging, or neglecting to pay the right people for the duties.

It costs a bit more to ship, but the hassle free experience is worth it.
 

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For a high $ item like a guitar I like to use FedEx overnight, about $150.

For anything else I always try to get them to use USPS. The post office is slower getting it here but way cheaper. Their standard brokerage charge is something like $5.

Awhile ago I brought in some Hammond parts from Goff Prof, they only ship UPS, so the brokerage, duty etc. worked out to roughly the value of the order, effectively doubling the cost.

-----

Congrats on the upgrade!
 

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Congrats, happy that you're enjoying...

Question - which G400 do you have? I have the "Faded" one, and I think it sounds pretty good all around. But from what it says on the site, my pickups are different than the ones in the other G400 models. Of course, I'm not really picky, I don't think, so that may have something to do with it!

Take care:rockon2: :rockon:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
which G400

:DevilGuitar:
Hi there. This G400 is the red/glossy finish. When I first got it about a year ago, I put my '71 Les Paul aside to play the G full time. It always sounded fine, and especially playing thru effects, I guess the 'real' sound of the guitar was kind of disguised.
It was only recently when I was running it pretty much straight into a Fender Virbo-Verb at a relatively hi-volume gig, that I noticed it was starting to sound pretty wimpy. Just no punch, and kind of shrill in the high register. In addition, I had occasion to play my Les Paul again right after that, and the sound difference was now very obvious.
I bought the G400 for the hi-fret access. It was new from the store, and it came to me all set up by our great local luthier. (frets dressed, bone nut, playing like a dream.) Now that the electronics are full quality, the sound is there too. It plays (and sounds) way better than the $2000 (real) SG that was hanging in the store beside it. I'm into this guitar (case included) for about 1/2 of that. And I can't say enough about those WCcoils pickups. We've recorded a couple of rehearsals since the guitar has been back together, and it sounds just great in the mix.
 

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On the topic of shipping from RS Guitarworks, they do ship UPS, which is not so bad to Canada for pots, caps (low value items). For things like pickups (higher value), I can imagin ethis would be more of a problem.

Also, they're great folks, but they don't seem to know what a Nafta certificate is . . .!

Brian
 

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definately check your local store for the smaller stuff next time. that switch costs 15 bucks and the pots are about 7 each. just a comment for if this happens again. I only get american stuff when I have absolutely no other options
 
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