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GF upgrade for Epiphone Les Paul .... ooops!


(@trguitar)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Well, decided to do an upgrade to my Epiphone Les Paul since it is my favorite over the 2 Gibsons I own. New tunomatic bridge, just like a Gibson only fits the Epi ..... from GF, awsome! So, I ordered the electronics upgrade kit too. Pots, caps and a switch and a jack. Well, I open the LP up and it already has the full sized pots and quality switch. I was taken back. If it ain't broke don't fix it. OK, to the Agile AL2000, that has to have the cheap stuff. Nope, full sized pots and good switch to boot. Hmmmmm :? Korean made Epiphone SG ....... aaaaahhhhhh ... tiny pots, crappy switch and the jack has been shorting out anyhow. I put the kit to good use. Now I need to buy a new bridge for that one. 8) I was shocked to see the made in China LP had those quality pots and switch. I mean, I had no problems, I just assumed they were the cheap ones. Live and learn.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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 Ande
(@ande)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 659
 

Got good use out of it, anyway.

I'm curious, though- how come you're looking to make changes on a guitar that sounds great and isn't giving you problems?

I always get nervous about stuff like that- what if I accidentally change the stuff that makes it good?

Best,
Ande


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(@dan-t)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I'm curious, though- how come you're looking to make changes on a guitar that sounds great and isn't giving you problems?

I always get nervous about stuff like that- what if I accidentally change the stuff that makes it good?

Same here. If it ain't broke...

"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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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Did you trade your girlfriend for an Epi Les Paul?

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Oh .... wasn't looking to change the sound. I just wanted a quality switch and pots is all. Same with the bridge, better built. I hate those cheap TOM bridges with that retaining wire on them. For the pots and switch, in the future I'll look before I order.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I've had to replace that stupid switch on both my epi LP and SG. The POTs always seemed rather odd to me. It's like 1 thru 10 doesn't equal the output. The difference between 5 and 10 is minimal. Every other guitar I have is kind of as you'd think it should be. Especially the Gretsch.

Have you ever thought about doing that "Jimy Page" upgrade kit in? The one where there's a push-pull for coil splitting or whatever? I've pondered that one for the SG. Ain't touching the LP unless it breaks.

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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(@trguitar)
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Not really interested in that Jimmy Page thing as I have experimented in the past with such things and I know I don care for out of phase sounds. Series to parallel switching is a little more interesting to me but anyone who has heard me play knows its a series wired hot humbucker at the bridge with an overdriven tube amp for me.

What I gather from my lesson is that the older possibly Korean Epiphones had those awful tiny pots and cheap toggle switches and the newer made in China ones have the full sized pots and correct style of toggle. For the Rondo guitars, I realize that Kurt has a say on what goes into them. I think Gibson was just cutting corners and it showed. Some of those Korean Les Pauls I understand were alder with veneers? My sons Epiphone Les Paul bass is. My made in China Les Paul is all mahogony, neck and body and it sounds it. I just thought that for $419 it had to have cheap electronics. I was wrong and the wiring job was well done too. With my new beefier TOM bridge (the one without the retaining wire) I am a very happy camper. The only way it is inferior to my Gibson Les Pauls now is the truss rod and the MOP vs MOT on the board and I can't upgrade that. Well, not on my own and I bet that would cost.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I had to replace the toggles on my MIK LP and my MIC SG. Have not had to open the back of either of them for anything yet. Not sure what the POTs are in there.

What does that better bridge buy you? I had never thought of replacing one.

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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(@trguitar)
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Topic starter  

It's all about the springwire clip on the top of the cheaper ones. The one side is open on the top where the screws for the saddles pass through so the wire holds them down. This can cause rattling and instability when adjusting intonation. I noticed a long time ago that my Gibson bridges were solid on both sides and worked much smoother when adjusting intonation. It's a small thing but $12.95 is a small price. Guitar Fetish makes a "large bushing" version that will fit an Epiphone Les Paul. They give you the bridge, posts and bushings. I left the old bushings cause I was afraid to mar the finish but changed out the posts and bridge. Drop in replacement, no issues, just had to re-intonate. Here are a couple of pics so you can see the difference.

Coincidentally both of these pics are from GF. They have the wrong bridge in one picture so I wrote to them and they assured me the replacement bridges they have in stock do not have the wire clip. The black and gold versions show the correct bridge in both pictures.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@hyperborea)
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It's all about the springwire clip on the top of the cheaper ones. The one side is open on the top where the screws for the saddles pass through so the wire holds them down. This can cause rattling and instability when adjusting intonation.
Both of those are Gibson style bridges. The one with the retaining wire is the original Gibson TOM bridge and there are those who are historical accuracy nuts who must have their vintage replica Gibson or Gibson-esque guitar with that bridge. The other one is the Nashville style Gibson TOM bridge. Not only do that not have the retaining wire they have a longer intonation adjustment.

You're right that the buzzing retaining wire can drive you nuts. I replaced the bridge on my 335 clone for just that reason. Interestingly, the same bridge (same brand and model) on my LP clone is fine and doesn't buzz.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@trguitar)
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Yes! You are right! Mine have the nashville bridges. Bigger travel is nice and yes ... some buzz, some don't. :? The LP didn't but ...... wanted the upgrade anyhow.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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