• TGP is giving away a Strat, Tele, and Jazzmaster. Click Here for full details.
    Click Here to upgrade your account and enter today!

Replacement pickups for Epiphone Sheraton II

pattste

Member
Messages
1,655
I recently acquired an Epiphone Sheraton II and would like to replace the stock pickups with something much higher quality (that shouldn't be difficult).

I want a classic PAF sound. I usually play clean (think blues with the neck pickup or country with the bridget pickup). I don't want a high power pickup that will overdrive at 3 on the clean channel. I don't play jazz with this guitar, I have an archtop already setup for that.

Pickups that I'm considering :

GFS Vintage '59 Alnico Gold (good reviews and can't beat the price)
Gibson Classic '57 (can't go wrong with these, I guess)
Seymour Duncan '59
Seymour Duncan Seth Lover

I'm open to boutique pickups even, if it's worth it.

Any opinions?
 

Jim Gilmore

Member
Messages
86
I have had a 57 classic neck and 57 classic-plus in the bridge of my Epi Sheraton 2 for the entire ten years I've owned it. That combo sounds great in that guitar. I do like the slightly overwound bridge pickup sound I'm getting with that 57 classic+. You can try the WCR Crossroad set; a low-output PAF clone you'll read a lot of praise about here, and on other forums. They are very good PAF sounding pickup, I've got them in two other guitars. In general, it sounds as if you'll want to stick to the lower output, classic PAF style pickups. There are lot's to choose from these days. Check over on the Les Paul Forum as well. Lots of humbucker opinions there, and an "Other Gibsons" forum that will include semi-hollow guitars. All that reading will help you get an idea, and help narrow your choice list, but buying a set and installing it will be the only true test. Best of luck & enjoy the process. Additional Note: You might want to up-grade the stock switches, pots and caps while your at it. With having to fish it all through the F holes, your tech will charge you, but the stock, inexpensive electronics will be shown for exactly what they areonce you install the better pickups.
 

mainsale

Member
Messages
1,695
I put a set of Lollar "Lo-Wind" Imperials into my 335 along with Hoveland tonecaps and 50's wiring and never looked back.
 

joey_r

Member
Messages
60
I believe that my Epi Dot has the same pickups as your Sheraton II. The stock humbuckers are alnico PAF-types created for the Epi Les Pauls. As I understand it, they're both Epi LP neck pups. I found the neck pickup to be inarticulate and bass-heavy, even after being adjusted. The bridge pickup was a little thin, but really not too bad.

I installed a pair of SD '59s. They sell them as a set for around $125, and covers are easily found (just make sure you're buying actual Duncan covers or their size equivalents). I found the bridge replacement to be a good, but not drastic, improvement. The Duncan brought in some clarity and added some needed girth, and I believe it tamed the high-end a little (I might be wrong on the last point, as I did a lot of height adjustments.) But the neck pickup was a drastic improvement. The Duncan is as smooth and clear as any neck pickup I have ever played. And by dropping the bass side a little and adjusting the pole pieces, it has excellent balance. The tone knob doesn't get nearly as muddy as I thought. In fact, rolling of the treble gives a great jazz tone.

Now I'm sure that there are some better boutique pups out there. But the Duncan set costs as much as one boutique pup, so if price is a consideration, I highly recommend the SD 59s.

As a final note, if you decide to buy the 59 set and separate covers, search the Duncan forums on installation instructions. Basically, you tape the inside of the cover over the non-adjustable lug, take two winds of tape off the pickup, put the cover on, and solder the cover to the baseplate. It's not hard, but you need to do it right to prevent excessive microphonics.
 

go7

Member
Messages
2,499
From your description of desired sound,we are alike. FWIW I would consider 2 pups.Firstly, Wolfetone Dr. Vintage, secondly Lollar Imperial low winds. As above post while you`re at it I would highly reccommend the RS wiring kit. Good Luck!
 

teXum

Member
Messages
551
I have a set of Duncan Antiquities in my Sheraton II. A very significant upgrade from the stock pups, and in my ears these would fit you description perfectly.

The Antiquities are comparably low output, very open sound, with strong, clear highs without any shrillness, and distinct low end. Don't believe you can get much closer to the classic PAF sound without buying the real deal.
 

driver8

Senior Member
Messages
585
All those that you mentioned are good pickups. I would have a hard time deciding between them. Don't forget the stewart mcdonald "Golden Age" pickups, too -- they are really excellent, very PAF-y and like half the price of SD 59s for the same or maybe even better tone.
 

pattste

Member
Messages
1,655
I have a set of Duncan Antiquities in my Sheraton II. A very significant upgrade from the stock pups, and in my ears these would fit you description perfectly.

The Antiquities are comparably low output, very open sound, with strong, clear highs without any shrillness, and distinct low end. Don't believe you can get much closer to the classic PAF sound without buying the real deal.
Update : After much research, I have ordered a set of Seymour Duncan Antiquity humbuckers. I should have them in a week and they should be installed a couple of weeks later (my luthier is quite busy). I'll let you know how they sound in a Sheraton.

I know that the idea of installing high-end or boutique pickups in a middle-of-the-road guitar is debatable. But providing the guitar in question has potential, I've had very good success doing it in the past. These guitars often surpass production guitars costing 2-3 times as much.

Thanks go to everyone who offered suggestions in this thread.
 

Dylan61

Member
Messages
957
And how did it turned out? Where the Duncan's a good choise.


Update : After much research, I have ordered a set of Seymour Duncan Antiquity humbuckers. I should have them in a week and they should be installed a couple of weeks later (my luthier is quite busy). I'll let you know how they sound in a Sheraton.

I know that the idea of installing high-end or boutique pickups in a middle-of-the-road guitar is debatable. But providing the guitar in question has potential, I've had very good success doing it in the past. These guitars often surpass production guitars costing 2-3 times as much.

Thanks go to everyone who offered suggestions in this thread.
 

_pete_

Member
Messages
1,606
I know that the idea of installing high-end or boutique pickups in a middle-of-the-road guitar is debatable. But providing the guitar in question has potential, I've had very good success doing it in the past. These guitars often surpass production guitars costing 2-3 times as much.
I wouldn't necessarily call a Sheraton II middle of the road. I've had 335's that don't sound or play as well as mine.

You made a good pup choice. Those will sound great in it. I had Seth Lovers in mine for a long time and got great tones with them. I'm now running a set of Epi Elitist pups in it and it sounds perfect.
 

lpdeluxe

Member
Messages
1,532
Be prepared to be patient. Everything on the Sheraton II has to go in and out through the treble f-hole. I installed Seymour Duncans in one I had, and it was tedious work.

Since Epi electronics are pretty low quality, you should replace the pots and switch along with the pickups -- and some Sheratons (the one I had, for example) have f-holes too narrow for full-size pots.

I've written a piece on rewiring the Sheraton, and I'll be glad to e-mail or PM you a copy (it's a Word doc). It goes into some of the issues you'll run into with the project, which others have compared to building a ship in a bottle.

In the event, the new pickups weren't enough to make the Epiphone a useful guitar, so I traded it off and got a Gibson 335 -- which didn't need any work at all to sound great.
 

CitizenCain

Member
Messages
4,821
I did the whole upgrade deal on an Epi Dot once, pots, caps, jack, switch. Used Duncan Seth Lovers.

That guitar sounded incredible.
 

pattste

Member
Messages
1,655
And how did it turned out? Where the Duncan's a good choise.
Yes, the Antiquities were stellar pickups. They took the sound of the guitar to a whole other level. In the end, however, I sold the Sheraton II when I found a great Gibson ES-335 Dot. With all the upgrades, the Sheraton was maybe 75% of the guitar my 335 is (for 25% of the price). But I didn't want to settle for 75%.
 

frisco kid

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,873
Do any of your Sheratons say Epiphone by Gibson (in logo script) on the headstock? My bro in law just bought one and we can't tell where it's made as there are no labels or decals indicating country of origin.
 

Dylan61

Member
Messages
957
What is the first letter from the serial number?

Do any of your Sheratons say Epiphone by Gibson (in logo script) on the headstock? My bro in law just bought one and we can't tell where it's made as there are no labels or decals indicating country of origin.
 

MatthewK

Member
Messages
152
Do any of your Sheratons say Epiphone by Gibson (in logo script) on the headstock? My bro in law just bought one and we can't tell where it's made as there are no labels or decals indicating country of origin.
Korea - late 80s/early 90s - is where they were making them when that headstock was used. If the lettering is that kind of angular script rather than the rounded letters of later Sheraton logos.
 

lpdeluxe

Member
Messages
1,532
Yes, the Antiquities were stellar pickups. They took the sound of the guitar to a whole other level. In the end, however, I sold the Sheraton II when I found a great Gibson ES-335 Dot. With all the upgrades, the Sheraton was maybe 75% of the guitar my 335 is (for 25% of the price). But I didn't want to settle for 75%.
That was my experience. I ended up with about $350 invested in the Epi, and paid $1750 for the 335. To my mind, the Epiphone wasn't worth what I paid for it, while the Gibson was a bargain. It's that much better.
 

frisco kid

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,873
Odd...no serial number but angular script like the Gibson logo font. Probably Korean then...thanks guys!


Korea - late 80s/early 90s - is where they were making them when that headstock was used. If the lettering is that kind of angular script rather than the rounded letters of later Sheraton logos.
 

bento

Member
Messages
7
First of all; A happy New Year to all of you fine members in here!

So; I'll just have to chime in - as a new member of this fine forum. I must admit I've been lurching for some time, and I have a strong feeling that this might be one of the most serious forums around in this matter!

To the point; I've just been given a 2002 Samick manufactured Sheraton II for my 40th birthday, and I must say I'm pretty impressed with the build quality of the guitar. Neck is top notch and the overall finish is very nice, IMHO.

The first thing that struck me when I played my first amplified chord on the Sheraton was that the guitar needed a new set of PUPs. Then after playing a bit more, I was convinced this was the case.

After reading for several days and nights, I've decided (and just ordered) a set of near mint condition, signed, early 90's Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers for my guitar.

What I'm wondering now is what other mods I should do at the same time as the PUP replacement - it will be done by a professional local luthier, btw.

I know that most say that all of the electronics should be replaced, and this makes me wonder;

-- with what?

Please, give me some good advice on what pots and what switch would be good match with the SD SL's...

Also, please apologize for any newbie behaviour on the forum, I've only just registered and just started reading the rules & regulations.

All the best,
 
Last edited:




Trending Topics

Top