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MilleniumMan

Replacement Pickups for Epiphone Les Paul Standard.

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I have always been told that if you swap the stock PUPs in a Epi LP(not a special or 100) that it will sound nearly as good as a Gibson LP. I have an Epi LP with Alnico Classic humbuckers and I was considering swapping them for new buckers. Which should I get? I essentially want it to sound as close to a Gibson LP as possible. Should I just buy Gibson brand pups? Which ones? There seem to be a ton of them. My two favorite LP players are Angus and Slash if that helps you know which pair works best for me.

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There are a lot of choices like:

- Duncan 59's

- Gibson Burstbuckers

- Gibson 57 Classics

- Dimarzio 36th Anniversary PAF's

etc.

 

And that's only in the PAF realm. Check out the Seymour Duncan and Dimarzio websites. Listen to samples on YouTube. Figure out what you are looking for out of that LP and then buy the pickups accordingly.

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I have always been told that if you swap the stock PUPs in a Epi LP(not a special or 100) that it will sound nearly as good as a Gibson LP. I have an Epi LP with Alnico Classic humbuckers and I was considering swapping them for new buckers. Which should I get? I essentially want it to sound as close to a Gibson LP as possible. Should I just buy Gibson brand pups? Which ones? There seem to be a ton of them. My two favorite LP players are Angus and Slash if that helps you know which pair works best for me.

 

Both Angus and Slash have been known to use PAF-type humbuckers with AlNiCo 2 magnets. Supposedly Angus was using Pearly Gates for a while and Slash was using AlNiCo II Pros before he got his own signature set modeled after those.

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Both Angus and Slash have been known to use PAF-type humbuckers with AlNiCo 2 magnets. Supposedly Angus was using Pearly Gates for a while and Slash was using AlNiCo II Pros before he got his own signature set modeled after those.

 

Yeah, I've got an Epi/Slash with the Slash Alnico II Pros, and what I found to be interesting about them is that they are a bit thinner and edgier sounding than some other PAF style p'ups, but with the gain rolled on, they really do sound gorgeous because the articulation and harmonics shine through.

 

But upgrading the pickups won't really get you Gibson quality tone, but it will indeed improve your tone. You'll get a more vibey and chimey tone. Often the wood on Epi's isn't quite as resonant, so I'd recommend pickups that aren't too bright.

 

I like the Gibsion 490s for classic rock. If you want a harder edged rock, the 496/500 combo can work quite well. Those ceramic magnet p'ups have a bit of a flatter EQ so they don't tend to over emphasize the highs like a '57 (for example) might do. I did put some DiMarzio Anniversarys in an Epi LP, and it really didn't do those pickups justice, but OTOH, that was an Epi Ultra and they are a bit short of meat under the strings, i.e. heavily chambered.

 

Often times I've found that the manufacturer did a better job of selecting pickups that are better voice matched to their builds than I can achieve with my after market mods. And if you're already playing with pretty high gain to get Slash or Angus tones, the difference you'll get with an upgrade may not be as beneficial as you might think. I'm not particularly a fan of Epiphone pickups for clean tones, but with overdrive, they can indeed sound pretty darn easy on the ears. They are not ice-picky fo sho.

 

Anyway, happy hunt.

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I have always been told that if you swap the stock PUPs in a Epi LP(not a special or 100) that it will sound nearly as good as a Gibson LP. I have an Epi LP with Alnico Classic humbuckers and I was considering swapping them for new buckers. Which should I get? I essentially want it to sound as close to a Gibson LP as possible. Should I just buy Gibson brand pups? Which ones? There seem to be a ton of them. My two favorite LP players are Angus and Slash if that helps you know which pair works best for me.

 

Are you assuming that all Gibson Les Pauls sound the same, though? I don't know about that...

 

Have you played your Epi alongside a Gibson? I own an Epiphone Les Paul Custom, and it sounds better than either of the Gibsons I once owned. It definitely depends on where and when your Epi was made as well.

 

Slash uses Seymour Duncans, as stated. Angus has his own set of Gibson pickups, but he doesn't play a Les Paul, nor do you hear those humbuckers on classic AC/DC, unless you prefer modern AC/DC.

 

You don't need Gibson pickups for a classic Gibson sound. There are tons of different PAF style pickups out there.

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I'd go with what Bucksstudent said, not all GIbsons sound the same. Do you want Slash or Bluesbreakers or Jimmy Page Zack Wylde, Or even Les Paul himself? The List goes on. I've recently swapped pickupsmin my own Epi Les Paul standard with SD 59s, and they're perfect for me, I love them, I'm very vintage in my tastes and these clean up wonderfully for that, as well as getting all the drive I want. So versatile. Bu that's me, it may not be your taste, you may want more modern harsher tone, or even mellower and jazzier. YouTube may be your friend I'd definitely look at the Seymour Duncan pagwe for that they no overloaded with distortion to hide the sound.

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Thanks all for your replies! Lastly, are these easily installed? I have never swapped PUPS before. Should I have them done and what is that likely to cost? Or is it something I should learn to do myself?

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You need a soldering iron and of course solder. I'm by no means any sort of expert in electronics but I've done mine. Just practice and a steady hand. Again Seymour Duncan website has wiring diagrams. I've no idea on cost for getting someone else to do it but you're safe in the knowledge you won't break anything.

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Electronics work is relatively easy. I taught myself to swap pickups and build wiring harnesses. You need a good soldering iron (about 40 watts).

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