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Old 01-21-2019, 10:05 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Originally Posted by Golffishny View Post
Would a swap from a Gibson P-90 to mini humbucker be an easy drop? Should I change the electronics at the same time?
Should be. I've not done it. Here's an adapter ring (also comes in cream): Here's how it looks in a 339 (in cream):

I see swappers using the same pot values (500k) for p90s and minihumbuckers. If you're happy with your electronics, leave as is.

If electronics change is desired for quality reasons, and yours is a semihollow/hollow guitar where you have to work through F holes, do the electronics upgrade at the same time. Most luthiers want $200 or so to dive in/out of F holes.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:34 AM
C-ville Brent C-ville Brent is offline
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I've changed pickups in several solid body electrics - pretty straight forward. I've got an Ibanez AG (hollow body) that I'm not in love with the pickups. This is a very different ball game. There are some videos on this topic that provide some hints to make it easier. I plan to replace them with DiMarzio Air Classics this summer when I have time. I'm going to experiment with something besides the usual method - inspired by DiMarzio's prewired strat pickguards. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:24 AM
Steel and wood Steel and wood is offline
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I've got a Wilkinson bridge pickup in my Telecaster and Fender Custom Shop 54's in my Stratocaster save for a Seymour Duncan pickup in the middle position.

Happy, but could have lived very easily with the stock standard pickups.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:58 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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I had fun swapping pickups and even a whole bunch of guitars but if I did it over I would delay gratification, try more guitars at the best shops, and buy a nicer guitar to begin with.

If the OP has not yet bought, a Telecaster is really great and easy for DIY work and a versatile instrument. The Epiphone ES types were far more random as far as finding one that was set up well. Some others that seemed to be Korean were high quality.

If you want a semi-hollow I'll point out the PRS SE I had was amazing for the price point. Also, it seems like the Ibanez and Yamahas at stores near me are built better than a lot of Epiphones but not priced too high.

Good or bad, in my GAS-crazy era there was no doubt it was easiest to sell classic models - the Stratocasters and Telecasters - that were also very easy and fun for doing modifications.
ƃuoɹʍ llɐ ʇno əɯɐɔ ʇɐɥʇ
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:59 AM
M Sarad M Sarad is offline
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I put Seymour Duncan Everything set in my MIM Sunburst Strat. Total improvement over the pups that came with it.

Harmonic Design Vintage + pups in my MIM Tele. Stunning improvement over the Fender Noiseless pups it came with,

HD Vintage+ pups in my PRS Gold Top Double Cut McCarty. Hotter than I imagined. New volume pot allows me to get the sound of the Duncans I replaced turned up to 5-7. All the way gives more power, snarl, volume, intensity.

Throbak PreT PAFs came with my 2016 SG. I find the original TTop pups in my old Melody Maker Sound much better.

Three Dimarzio Super Distortion Humbuckers were installed in my PRS SE. surprisingly, they are the smoothest and cleanest sounding of everything installed in my guitars.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:20 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
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Originally Posted by clintj View Post
With semi hollow and hollow bodied guitars, it can be more complicated to swap pickups. A traditional Gibson or Epiphone like the ES-335 or -339 requires unbolting and pulling the whole wiring harness out of the body to reach where the pickups are soldered to the control pots...

If you know you want to swap pickups in that style of Epiphone, I'd recommend changing out EVERYTHING while you have it apart. If you're the type to swap just the pickups then wonder whether the pots and capacitors could also benefit, and then the budget pickup selector switch and jack start acting up, labor could eat you alive having that same work done 3 or 4 time...
Agreed. Semi-hollows are definitely more difficult. But super high quality wiring kits just are not that expensive. I did this exact thing to my Epi Dot 335 (BCS Vintage Wiring Kit + 2 SD HB Antiquities). Total cost of parts = $300. The work was challenging for me, but this is one of the best guitar investments I've made.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:53 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Here's a famous pickup swap: Duane Allman traded the '57 gold top on the left, plus some money, for the '59 cherryburst in the center. The day the trade was made, while he and the owner of the cherryburst were out, sneaky Duane sent his roadies in to take the pickups out of the goldy and swap them into the cherryburst because he preferred them and their hot output. Before that, the '57 gold top (with pickups intact) was the guitar used on the Layla sessions. The cherryburst (with goldy's pickups) was the sole guitar he used for all the songs on the Filmore East album. He tuned onstage between songs for the slide songs. The '58 or '59 darkburst on the right was his favorite that he preferred for the last year of his life and used on the Eat a Peach sessions.

The three guitars weren't ever in the same room until the night before the last Allman Brothers concert, October 27, 2014, when Duane's daughter, Galadrielle, owner of the two bursts, and the current owner of the gold top, had them all brought in to be played for the final show on the 28th. MORE.

"It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "
Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Old 02-11-2019, 07:18 PM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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...if you are intrigued by the possibilities and so-inclined swap em....but be forewarned....once you start sampling pickups it can be addictive....if you do become addicted here’s a a really good soldering station with a variable really makes it fun instead of a pita...

.....and Bob your chiming in as our resident guitar and gear historian is always a is the extremely informative Musicians Room....thanks for all you do...

Last edited by J Patrick; 02-12-2019 at 08:12 AM.
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