The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

Upgrading A Epiphone LP

3846 Views 28 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  dwightfrye63
hi everyone,

i have a epiphone les paul standard plus, equiped with a dimarzio paf pro in the neck position, and a seymour duncan distortion in the bridge position. what i wanted some help with (or at least a good couple of opinions), is some good alterations that i can make on the guitar.

for example, with pickups would sound the best in a epiphone les paul? if changing the pots would be a good idea or not? things along that line of thought.

i basically play rock music, along the lines of alter bridge, creed, nickelback, vertical horizon, live ... and i wanted to change the guitar so it would sound good within that line of sounds.

thanks in advance,
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Gutting all the electronics is a good start. The pots, the switch, the jack and the wiring. I am about to start the process on an Epi I just bought.

Swapping the tuners is a pretty essential upgrade on most Epi's too.

I don't really see any problem with the quality of your pickups. What don't you like about them?
I did the same with my epi, new tuners,switch and pots. I still have the original pups, haven't had a great urge yet to change them out the stock sounds pretty good to me. I found tuners to be a must and the same with the selector switch. Oh yea and another thing was the input jack, cheap. After all that a pretty decent guitar.......
thanks for all the replies so far,

the problem with the pickup configuration i have right now, is that one of them is high-output (the s.d. distortion) and the other one isn't. also i think that the s.d. distortion pickup has a really bright tone, and i'm looking for a warmer tone, along the lines of a nice warm clean sound.

as far as the pots, input jack and other alterations that were mentioned so far, what are the best options? what do you guys usually put in your guitars or would put in your guitars?

i was thinking of putting some planet waves auto-trim locking tuners. i've heard that they're pretty awesome, and that the tunning rarely strays.
The kits are pricey but I like the RS Guitarworks electronics package. The pots are really smooth and responsive. I upgraded the tuners to a good set of grovers. Pickups are a whole other thing. I am sure there is a thread on here somewhere about HB's. I like the Wolfetone myself but there are a lot of choices.
thanks paul, i'm going to start looking into getting that RS Guitarworks electronics package, it seems to be really nice and easily assembled, so that is probably my best option (since i'm not that good with electronics yet)

what can you tell me about the wolfetone pickups? i was looking around their website and it seems to be pretty good, altho they don't have any samples for me to check out.

another alternative i've been looking into is the CRCoils pickups, they have really nice sound samples of them on their website, but the prices are kinda rough on the wallet.
I have been looking at kits as well, and Mojotone offers a complete kit as well. I am not sure about the quality though, I have been asking around on forums trying to find out. They also offer a preassembled one that is the same price as the unassembled one on RS.

The only guitars I have ever upgraded are my Teles, so I don't know much about other parts. Can anyone tell me if this is a good kit from the description?
Sorry to hi-jack your thread.
You PM me about a Skelf guitar. I can't reply as you have ran out of space for your PM's you need to delete some before my message can be delivered.
those Mojotone electronic packages seem to be pretty good, at least from the description that they left on the website, and the prices aren't that different from the RS Guitarworks

anyone out there that has tried them out already?
use 500K pots, but try a 250K on the vol of the bright pup. That should help to warm it up a bit. Also get some air between the strings and the pup, dropping it down can sometimes clean it up.

I think Guitar Electronics sells CTS audio taper pots and good caps. Might save a bit buying in Canada. Make sure you order the correct shaft length though.
Epiphone's take short shaft pots correct? I just started looking at kits recently.

That mojotone one listed is the long shaft pots.

I'd buy from a Canadian retailer in a second, but I want to be able to get all my parts from one source, and preferably in a kit. I haven't found a Canadian retailer who does that yet.
I just picked up a new Epi Les Paul Classic and find this thread interesting.
I’m beginning to read about the less then great electronics in the guitar, that’s not to say I would notice any difference at my current playing level, but likely plan to do similar in the future as I find fault or my expectations increase.

Torndownunit: I have read that the Gibson Les Paul uses the long shaft. However I don’t know if the Epi is the same. I would have assumed it was but maybe someone could confirm?

I am pretty sure I have read Gibson 'imports' use short shafts. Again, I am looking for clarification as well though.
then considering that epiphone's use short shafts, and gibsons use long shafts (assuming that that's the case) .... it's probably best if i get the RS Guitarworks electronics package. (since they have a specific electronics package for epiphones)

what would be the best tuners to put in it tho?
i was thinking of something along the lines of Kluson Aged Les Paul Type Groovers or the Planet Waves Auto-Trim Looking Tuners (these last ones i've heard are pretty good, not even a jackhammer could take the tunning away and it also cuts the strings, but i takes away the vintage look to the guitar)

also, does anyone know any guitar luthiers that can make a epiphone look more vintage?
I believe Gibson USA line uses the long shaft pots, Gibson Historic uses the short shaft.
Best to pull one first to make sure.
Ive never installed an RS kit, but they are supposed to be really good. I did bring in a set of their superpots, but haven't installed them yet.

did you have them ship it over? or did you get them directly?

(if you got them shipped over, how was the delivery time? extra charges? duties? did you have any problems with them?)

they seem to be a pretty awesome upgrade, especially since from what i've been hearing just those changes can turn a 500$ guitar into a real tone machine! (along with a pickup change)
upgrade epiphone

Hi there, for what it's worth, I just upgraded and Epi SG with WCCoils pickups (The Filmore Set), RSGuitarworks pots/switch/jack/kit, plus the RSGuitarworks ultra light weight tailpiece which is supposed to help add sustain.

With these upgrades, this $400 guitar (originally more like $1000 with case, set-up, and upgrades) is now a realistic sidekick to my other main axe, a 1971 Les Paul Custom, which I purchased new (a lifetime ago). Also, I can't stress enough the importance of having our guitars set up by real luthiers. Before I even took the Epi home from the store, It went to our local luthiers shop for a real set up...fret dressing, hand carved bone nut,etc. It played like a dream after this, but the sound was definately lacking.

The WCCoils pickups arrived about 3 days after I ordered them. No fuss, No mess, No extra charges from our Canadian customs.

RSGuitarworks was another story. Their stuff took two weeks to get here, and even though I'd spoken to them on the phone prior to placing the order, they still messed it up. Then I had to wait another two weeks for the stuff they mis-shipped (which I had already paid for). So it was a month waiting for RSGuitarworks to get the right parts here, plus LOTS of extra $$$ for customs and duty. I had to pay tax and duty on both orders, even though the second shippment was a result of their error. It's all in the way the shipper fills out the customs documents.

That said though, these components are awsome. The pots really work well with smooth, even response, and the tone controls function like never before. And the guitar does have lots more sustain, perhaps partly due to the new light weight tail-piece.

And I'm still raving about the WCCoils pickups. Forget the store-bought mass-produced stuff. These hand wound humbuckers are amazing. It's like they have just the right amount of compression and eq built in....and he (Jim - the fellow who builds them) has lots of pick-up styles styles and sound samples to check out on-line.

Based on this experience, I would strongly urge anyone to try out these components. RSGuitar works has great quality stuff that does what they claim (even if their service is a little lacking, in my experience anyway.) And the WCCoils pickups are cream-of-the-crop for sure.
Good luck in making your upgrade decision. Tons of fun.

See less See more
Ya a setup and a new nut are definitely on my list. I am capable of doing the electronics myself though, so I am going to try to get that stuff done first.
Udu Mango

i'm definately going to follow in your footsteps so to say.
the CRcoils Fillmore Set seems to be really impressive, but i'm not quite sure how it would react in a more rock environment, things along the lines of police, creed, vertical horizon, def leppard, live.

but without a doubt that hand wound pickups are a completely new breed of "beings" (so to say), the sounds are completely personalized, and in most cases are 99,9% better than buying emg, seymour duncan or other mass-produced brands.

my idea is, like yours was, to get this epiphone as close to the real deal as possible. i hadn't remembered those little changes that one a good read luthier can make, but i'm going to start taking care of that right away. so my next steps right now are going to be getting it properly set up and a new bone nut.
I had my Watson Les Paul copy re-fitted with a pair of Gibson Series VII humbuckers. What a tremendous difference!! It's a heavy rocker now with lots of growl & decent distortion. Biting leads in the bridge position too!
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.