Replacement pups for Epiphone DOT?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by 247jamz, Dec 26, 2004.


  1. 247jamz

    247jamz Member

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    Hi all,

    My friend lent me a mid 70's 335 and I love the way it sounds. I can't afford one so I bought a Epiphone Dot (335 knock off). It plays pretty well, and sounds good, but I like the sound of the 335 much better.

    I'm looking to replace the PUPS in the Epi with one similar to the 335, but I don't know much about them...I haven't measured the impedance, but isn't that only part of the sound (output)?

    Now I understand these are two different guitars, and I am not going to get the same exact sound. Acoustically, they sound pretty different, and this difference carries through to the amp (335 is brighter, more detailed). I play through an Aiken Invader (sounds like a '72 Marshall).

    If anyone has any ideas on a good pair of pickups that are designed to replicate the sound of original mid 70's 335 pickups, or any other suggestions, I'm all ears. Also, I'd like to stick with the chrome covers.

    Cheers,

    Dave
     
  2. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    i have an Epi Dot LTD and i recently upgraded all the electronics and hardware.

    i got a set of WCR crossroads pickups. (www.crcoils.com),
    RS guitarworks electronics upgrade kit,
    aluminium tailpiece, a new bridge, grover keys, switchcraft jack and switch.

    with very little spent you can make your epi sound even better.

    just don't change the pickups and leave those electronics on...

    and that bridge, t/p, and keys...

    after all these your epi will sound better than the 70's 335.

    (if you plan to change the bridge and t/p, be careful with the bushings. The koreans use their own... and they don't match with the normal ones)
     
  3. 247jamz

    247jamz Member

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    These look like great suggestions alderbody, but I will end up spending more on the guitar than I bought it for! ;) (it was a factory 2nd, paid $300 USD)

    I was thinking of changing the chrome hardware over to gold, to match my Les Paul (it is black/gold, and the Epi is black/chrome). Maybe now is a good time...

    Did the new bridge and electronics really make that much of a difference? And what do you mean about being careful with the bushings? Would replacement bushings not fit correctly or something? This particular guitar was made in China, rather than Korea, I don't know if that makes a difference.

    Dave
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I'd probably go for a set of Duncan '59s if you're looking for maximum bang for the buck.

    I'd agree with Alderbody that replacing the stock electronics as well as the pickups is worthwhile and makes a noticeable difference to the tone.

    In order to change pickups 'properly' on a 335-type guitar, you have to get the complete wiring loom out - if you're patient and think ahead you can do it.

    Since you have to get the whole lot out anyway, to me it makes little sense to refit the same cheap parts and excess-length low-quality wiring.

    To assemble the new wiring loom, a great way to do it is to copy the layout of the holes on a piece of stiff card (hold it down on the top of the guitar and punch through the holes) and use that as a jig to hold the pots and switch while you wire them up.

    Also, the new pots won't fit through the old holes in the body, so you need to open those up (a taper reamer is recommended).

    I'm less sure that changing the bridge and tailpiece makes a really big difference to the tone - it does make some, but small in proportion to the electrics.
     
  5. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    i'd agree with John about the hardware. I mostly changed them just to improve intonation and ...change the looks (chrome instead of gold). Of course the aluminium t/p adds clarity.

    the bushings of my Dot where wider than the ones that came with the replacements, which had the normal - traditional dimensions.

    and also the pot holes are indeed a bit narrower. they need some widening work in order to fit CTS or similar pots.

    it's a quite easy job though. i did it myself.

    the whole electronics job needs patience and some skills as John mentioned but i did it with no problems.

    what's bugging my mind lately is to cut off the extra
    ... headstock... you know. that big headstock!

    maybe i'll do it...
     
  6. 247jamz

    247jamz Member

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    Hi Alderbody,

    Yeah, that headstock is huge!

    I have lots of soldering experience, and I've replace pickups in my guitars plenty of times, so I feel confident doing that. I agree with John and you, I should just replace all the electronics while I'm in there. RS Guitarworks (www.rsguitarworks.net) has some good kits with replacement parts.

    I was thinking of going to gold from chrome, do you still have the old tail piece and bridge? I'll buy them from you....how about tuners? I have chrome Grovers on mine.

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  7. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    I dropped a set of Wagner Crossroads in a Turser ES-335 copy about a year ago, and it really transformed an inxpensive guitar into a real tone machine.

    I haven't even changed the rest of the electronics, as the CTS pots won't fit through the f-holes on this guitar, so I'm stuck with the cheap mini-pots the guitar came with.

    So, two thumbs up for the Wagners... I have Goodwoods in my PRS, and they're phenominal as well.

    On a side note, does anybody know if there's such a thing as a "higher quality" mini-pot?
     
  8. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    try Alpha pots. you can get them from small bear electronics.
    (that's one place i know...)

    if i remember well, fulltone uses them.
     
  9. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    dave,

    i have all the gold hardware but if you lived in Greece i would give them to you for free.
    But it's kinda messy to send them to CA...

    i think you can find anything you like where you live...

    btw, Jim Wagner (WCR pickups) is in CA i think...
    and he's a great guy. he'll help you find what you need!

    sorry for the H/W, long distance... :(


    Happy new Year! :) :) :)
     
  10. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    Cool -- thanks. :)
     
  11. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    i have to let you know that the small Alpha pots i got, donot have a knurled pot shaft edge, which means that your plastic knobs would not probably fit if they were made to fit such shaft types.

    you might need knobs that come with the retaining screw.

    that's something you could have on mind.

    maybe they optionally come with a knurled shaft, but this is something you should try to discover... :)

    good luck and Happy new Year's Day! :)
     
  12. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    Cool, thanks for the tip!
     

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