Epiphone LP Custom Pickup Advice (For Metal Primarily)

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Roden, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Roden

    Roden SS.org Regular

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    ALL SUGGESTIONS ARE APPRECIATED!!

    I have a 2 year old Epiphone Les Paul Custom which is in really good shape and plays great. Now since i learned how to play with this guitar i wouldn't want to get rid of it but the only problem i seem to have with it (now that i started playing it again after a year of primarily 8-string) is that the stock pickups are terrible.

    Sadly I am not able to get one decent sound out of them (running the guitar through Axe-Fx), so i am thinking about changing them. Now i know EMG's are the first suggestion when it comes to metal but i got them on my 8-string and I think on a guitar like this they wouldn't sound that good. I am thinking of putting Seymour Duncan Custom (SH-5) in the bridge pickup but i have no idea what i could put on the neck (maybe SD Pearly Gates). I like bands like Tool, Porcupine Tree, Megadeth and basically all the metal classics. Since i have my 8-string for technical AAL / Rings of Saturn kinda stuff i am looking to "metalize" this Epiphone LP as much as i can to play mostly metal classics and other 6-string songs.
    HELP A BROTHA OUT!!
     
  2. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I had an Epiphone Les Paul for a long time and ended up putting a Dimarzio D-Sonic in the bridge. Absolutely phenomenal tone. I don't know why I sold that guitar. Oh yeah, it was to fund a new amp...:lol:

    Anyway, the D Sonic is a nice medium-output pup so you can actually use a little more gain with it and it responds well to picking dynamics. The thing I loved most about it was that tight, palm muted riffs in D or C tuning stayed clear, but it didn't sacrifice low-end to achieve it. It is one of the tightest pickups I've played, yet doesn't achieve it by removing all the low-end like so many other pickups.
     
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  3. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    I've heard great things about Duncan SH-5's in LP's, and they work great paired with a Duncan 59 in the neck. You could also consider a Duncan JB or Distortion for the bridge.
     
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  4. Science_Penguin

    Science_Penguin SS.org Regular

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    The Dimarzio Evolution just KILLS in an LP. Friend of mine had one installed in his Epiphone and I borrowed it to play a Kiss tribute show once.

    Also, I'm gonna go ahead and get in my obligatory recommendation for the Bill Lawrence L-500XL. Usually the first passive I recommend. High output, but very clear, and a damn fine value for how low the price is.

    If you are willing to try EMGs, I can say, the typical 81/85 combo sounds fine in a Les Paul, BUT, if you don't mind paying a little more, give the X series a shot. I was surprised how accurate the sales pitch was- same basic tone, but more dynamics. If you like EMG tone, these won't disappoint.
     
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  5. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Duncan Custom/'59 pair is one of my favorites. Versatile, dynamic, and great for heavies if you dig in with your right hand.
     
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  6. elkoki

    elkoki SS.org Regular

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    I had an LP custom that sounded fucking awesome, but I did not like the access to the upper frets and it had a huge dead spot on the 16th fret of the A, also some bad buzzing on the high frets. So I sold it, it really had great thick tone for leads. Sad I had to sell it, I hope to get one again.

    In my experience my LP had a really dark kind of muddy tone in the neck, so very bright pickups would give it better clarity and less mud. I tried a Super 2, Paf 36, and D activator neck all of them worked great. Super 2 and DA were similar, very bright and lots of output. the 36 was like a more classic sounding version of them, bright and glassy but not crazy output .

    If you don't want to mix pickup brands then try either a Sentient or a Jazz neck, they're similar to those above ^ without all the high output. They'd sound nice in an LP I can imagine.

    I also tried a Liquifire which was very thick sounding. I did a demo of that , you can hear it here :



    If you're going to go with Dimarzio's try a Super Distortion and a Paf 36th anniversary. Versatile, and awesome set. IMO I think an Super D sounds better than an SH-5
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
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  7. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood SS.org Regular

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    I like the Custom, but I'd use a Jazz or Sentient for the neck.
     
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  8. Roden

    Roden SS.org Regular

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    I hadn't really considered Dimarzio at all but the demo sounds fire and it can actually be a valid combination as well. Thanks for the suggestion!
     
  9. Roden

    Roden SS.org Regular

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    Yeah man totally i got EMGX's in my 8 string and they are killers. However since i got EMGs in one of my guitars id like to go passive on the other just to have that as an option as well. I have heard about Bill Lawrence as well but people are saying the pickups arent as good as they used to be so i dont know whats up with that.
     
  10. Roden

    Roden SS.org Regular

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    Yeah exactly everyone swears on SH-5 when it comes to LP's. 59s are great too but i am wondering if there is a better option when it comes to metal. That combo is however a safe bet in any case!
     
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  11. Roden

    Roden SS.org Regular

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    Thank you all for your suggestions! Im kinda torn between SD's and Dimarzios now since i hadnt thought of that combination but regarding the SD Custom (SH-5) in the bridge position, if i decide to go with that..
    What do you guys think would be better on the neck '59, Pearly Gates, Sentient or any other for that matter? (dont forget for mostly metal purposes)
     
  12. ah_graylensman

    ah_graylensman SS.org Regular

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    FWIW, Adam Jones of Tool and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth are both long-time JB users, although MegaDave has (somewhat recently) switched to Duncan's actives.

    I had a Duncan Custom/59 set in my Epi LP for a long time, and they work very well together. The 59 neck can be a bit boomy, though. The Pearly Gates neck and Jazz are brighter and more articulate than the 59 neck, with the Jazz being brighter than the PG neck IMHO. I've not tried the Sentient, but I've heard good things to the effect of it being similar to the Jazz with a more modern voice.
     
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  13. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    59's are 'richer' in my opinion than most of the other common Duncan neck pickups. So its nicer for 'rich' solos than say a Jazz or Sentient.

    I haven't played a PG in a long time so I can't really comment on it; however, I own multiple Sentient's and have played a few Jazz's as of late.
    The Jazz is more upper mid and treble focused, and clearer than a 59 but not as rich. The Jazz is great for cutting through so this may be something you'd want. Common dislike for this pickup is usually that it can be too bright or harsh in some circumstances.
    The Sentient is a mid-ground between a 59 and Jazz, and is perfect for detailed lead runs with amazing note clarity. It's richer than the Jazz and is more even sounding overall, but still has nice cut in a mix. The most common con listed for the Sentient is its 'blandness,' which is largely due to aim toward 'note clarity/expression' at the expense of a richer more saturated tone.

    If you're more interested in a neck that cuts with lots of note clarity then a Jazz or Sentient are great options.
     
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  14. Science_Penguin

    Science_Penguin SS.org Regular

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    The thing about Bill Lawrence is, there's two separate companies making effectively the same pickup, its just, due to some weird branding thing that happened way back, you have Bill Lawrence U.S.A. and then the company Bill himself started after he left them, Wilde Bill Pickups.

    I don't know which one they were talking about, but I've used both (albiet a couple of years ago, since I've gone all EMG now) and they both performed just fine.
     
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  15. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood SS.org Regular

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    If you are doing more modern metal, the Sentient. More classic styles, go with the '59 or Jazz.
     
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  16. charlessalvacion

    charlessalvacion SS.org Regular

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    If you want to try Bare Knuckle pickups, I highly suggest the BK Nailbombs. I have them on a LP Standard, it slays.
     
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  17. Roden

    Roden SS.org Regular

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    Thank you all guys for your recommendations they were really valuable and i think i will go with the Custom and Sentient!
     

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