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Humbuckers interchangeable?

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(@nowandever29)
New Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

Hey all,

I've had an acoustic for a while, I like it, and I'm not embarassed to play in front of others (finally!). I want to be able to play some of the songs and genres that I need an electric for. So I've got an electric coming, and I have a couple of questions. The guitar is an Epiphone SG G-310, from eBay, with the original humbuckers. In investigating guitars, several people said this is a great guitar for the money, except the humbuckers suck, especially the neck one. Everybody recommended replacing the stock humbuckers, at least the neck. So here are my questions:

1) Are all humbuckers physically and electrically interchangeable? Or, am I limited with the G-310 to only certain compatible humbuckers? Or can I pick up any and drop it in and have it work?
2) Keeping in mind that price is important (hence the beginner guitar), what humbuckers would you recommend for the neck and bridge pick-ups?
3) Is it hard to replace the humbuckers? Do I need to have the guitar re-tuned electrically if I do? I.E., should I do this, or should I take it down to guitar center and pay for them to do it? I'm pretty handy, but balancing the electrics might be difficult for me, if that is necessary.
4) I've got my eye on a couple of different amps, waiting for both auctions to end. The one I'm planning to buy (unless it gets ridiculously high) is a Peavey Vyper 75. Does that make a difference in the humbuckers I should use?

I plan to try out the standard humbuckers when the guitar gets here, but people seem pretty consistent that that was the year that Epihone stopped buying their humbuckers from someone else (forget who) and making them themselves, and they didn't have it down yet, and to quote one reviewer, "If you're going to buy this guitar and replace the humbuckers, you'll have a great value on your hands. If you're going to buy this guitar and keep the stock humbuckers, then don't buy this guitar!

Thanks In Advance,
- Bill


   
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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1305
 

I'd try the stock humbuckers and see if I liked them first. "Conventional wisdom" is usually too conventional and completely lacking in wisdom.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
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(@ballybiker)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 493
 

I'd try the stock humbuckers and see if I liked them first. "Conventional wisdom" is usually too conventional and completely lacking in wisdom.

+1

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


   
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Another +1. Always give 'em a good try and see what YOU think. Online opinions aren't worth much. But if you decide you want different ones, they are readily interchangeable. You need to be able to read and understand a simple wiring diagram, solder, and use a screwdriver. If I were dissatisfied, I'd try adjusting pickup height and possibly changing the tone capacitor value before spending money on new pickups. I have changed some, but I can usually get happy with what I've got.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@bluezoldy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 329
 

Another +1. Always give 'em a good try and see what YOU think...

I'm another very agreeable lad with that opinion. :)

♪♫ Ron ♪♫

http://www.myspace.com/bluemountainsblues


   
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(@nowandever29)
New Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

While I appreciate everyone's opinions (and I AM planning on trying the stock humbuckers), I would appreciate it more if you could directly answer my questions below. I know that you might not be able to answer all of my questions, but would like to see any answers you can provide to any of the questions:

1) Are all humbuckers physically and electrically interchangeable? Or, am I limited with the G-310 to only certain compatible humbuckers? Or can I pick up any and drop it in and have it work?
2) Keeping in mind that price is important (hence the beginner guitar), what humbuckers would you recommend for the neck and bridge pick-ups?
3) Is it hard to replace the humbuckers? Do I need to have the guitar re-tuned electrically if I do? I.E., should I do this, or should I take it down to guitar center and pay for them to do it? I'm pretty handy, but balancing the electrics might be difficult for me, if that is necessary.
4) I've got my eye on a couple of different amps, waiting for both auctions to end. The one I'm planning to buy (unless it gets ridiculously high) is a Peavey Vyper 75. Does that make a difference in the humbuckers I should use?


   
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(@dan-t)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5044
 

You should be able to replace your humbucker pick ups with just about any other humbucker pick up, except for active pick ups which need a power source.

Here are some vids I found on YouTube on changing pick ups:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgib50ROqRc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMZLEgSiuIg&feature=related

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

Dan did answer your questions, but just in case it wasn't clear, Pretty much, not at all, pretty much, no opinion, no, no (and also no), and no opinion offered (or that might mean he implied no.

+1, btw, on everyone elses suggestion of giving them a shot. I looked at the current new one listed on Musician's Friend and it just said "2 Open Coil Humbuckers". Sounds like some pretty basic ones to me. They make it a point to list out what type of pickups are in their next level up models (like the g-400). I know the ones in that are pretty decent. I have one. I did change them, but only because they were the exact same ones that were in my Epi LP custom and I wanted to have more of a difference between the two.

RE #1: If they are humbuckers and they don't tout off some wording indicating otherwise, they'll likely fit.

RE #2: Economy, but getting quite a good reputation are the GFS pickups from Guitar fetish. http://store.guitarfetish.com/pickups.html Too many to choose from. The sometimes list out the neck and bridge pickups that sort of go with each other. At least they did with the p-90s I just got for a different project.

RE #3, part 1: Not at all. Pretty much all's you'll need is soldering iron, solder, screwdriver. Maybe a wire striper. As far as the rest of #3, I really don't know what you're talking about as far as electrical balance and such. I know on some other types of pickups that it's advisable to have a matched set in some applications to reduce hum and such, but humbuckers are pretty user friendly.

RE #4: I don't know the amp you're talking about, but I still say no. I've never ever even seen or heard anyone ever say "man, don't get Brand X pickups if you own a Brand Y amp."

What I will point out though, is that not getting the desired tone you're looking for is not due to pick-ups in many cases. For example, if you're trying to imitate artist X's tone on some song, it might be a question of effects pedals or even the amp itself. Some of these rockers use a 1/2 dozen effects pedals or more. There's a whole lot to it sometimes. Your amp has some of them imitated and you can use up to 5 effects simultaniously according to what I just read. You'll need to spend a good deal of time learning your amp and it's capabilities and perhaps just as important, it's limitations. I have not looked, but there might even be a forum for your amp somewhere out there that has real users who share settings, patches, etc. That's just the gear side. Technique is a whole other set of issues.

All that rambling aside, after you spend some time with your new gear and learn some of the electric guitar techniques of the rock stars (or whoever), you may find that your pickups may lack a little bite, or maybe not growly enough, or maybe too muddy,,,,whatever. The point is, there will be a specific "problem" that you will be trying to solve with new pick-ups. At that point, you will know what you have and what you want and can make a better decision on which set of pickups to get. That'll be a whole other thread....

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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