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Vintage Epiphone Mini-hums

CthonicEwes

Member
Messages
550
I love the sound of the mini-humbuckers in my '63 Crestwood Custom--kinda like a strat w/balls (pardon the expression!) or an Lp w/ cut. What do you guys & gals think? Were the same mini-hums used in 60's firebirds? They don't really look the same. They look more like the hums used in a 70s LP Deluxe. Are they unique to vintage Epiphones?

Thanks all,
Bob
 

rockaction5

Member
Messages
84
Epiphone , before being under Gibson "protection" allready had a kind of "mini pickups" the "new yorker" but as they become a part of gibs they stop use it and create the mini humbucker you're talking about in order to bring something different from the big company.
The first epi were often wind around 7.2 to 7.8Kilo Ohms, they are easy to notice, they are nickel plated, the corners are sometime quite edgy not as round as later the pole screws are self threading kind and the back of the plate wear the famous little "patent apply for" sticker.
I use to buy them as often as possible on ebay some years ago when nobody tried to listen them and that you could get a decent pair for 20/30 dollars.. now they are 10 times this price....for one...
Later Gibson did his own mini humbucker, covers are chrome plated and the patent number is engraved on the back plate, and the worst thing... they are (for me ) underwounded.. they reached rarely a small 6/6.2 kilo Ohms... and are lot less good sounding. they use these pu's (on P90 plastic cover) on the lespaul "deluxe " model that some consider at the time as a cheap lespaul and comment that they were made in order to sale uninteresting and delirious amount of P90 lespaul bodies, or was it a kind of war and jalousy from gibson toward Epi?
Anyway! for my crestwood reissues I use the Jason lollar copies, they are very similar to the early Epi model (but chrome plated...) the all parts are not so bad (nickel plated) , I used them on the lefty crestwood I did for Nicke royale (Hellacopters) but they are not really alike one from an other...(Impedandance value are from 6 to 8.5 k ohmx!!!)
Hope my english was good enough , I need practice...
 

amc

Member
Messages
3,141
Lollar minihums are the way to go......

IMO: the best minihums I've ever used
 

TravisE

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,551
The pickups in my '65 Epi Riviera are untouchable. I have gotten so used to that sound. Full-sized humbuckers, to me, just don't sit in the mix nearly as well. Even on the neck pickup, I'm sitting in the right frequency range to cut through...without being "cutting" or harsh. They sound, to my ears, like a smoother, quieter P-90. Every time I play my Riviera, I fall in love. It's perfect.
 

Custom50

Member
Messages
8,545
I absolutely love the sound of those old mini humbuckers. The have just enough twang, and they are bright but not too bright if you know what I mean. They cut through, but are never shrill. I'm often amazed that mini humbuckers never really caught on with the masses.
 

CthonicEwes

Member
Messages
550
Hey all, glad to see some action on this thread! I posted about a week ago and nobody replied, so I figured there wasn't much interest in the topic. Glad to hear there are others with experience of these cool sounding pickuups. I'd like to add that I've got another batwing epi with the black p90s, and it actually sounds similar to the minihums, just not as great!

Hej, rockaction5, thanks for your detailed response. Are you from Sweden (Hellacopters)?

I think the early epi pickups were called "New York" (not "New Yorker") pickups because epi began using them when they were still in New York. I have never heard them, although I have read they are not that great sounding. Still, on looks alone, give me a '58 or '59 Crestwood or Wilshire (With the NY pickups) and I'd go to heaven!

I have been to Sweden a few times and I have to say I've seen some great vintage guitars and stores there, especially in Sodermalm. In fact, I do remember seeing some cool vintage epi's (3-on-a-side headstocks) in a shop just up the street from from the train station by the Gondolen. Kinda off to the side (although there are several cool stores off to the side there!). I seem to recall the store also had cool vintage furniture.

Anyway, your English is fine but I am confused about one thing--what are your "crestwood reissues?" Do you make copies of crestwoods, or do you mod the cheap asian crestwoods (I think) that Epiphone put out recently? Tak!

And to all--from what I can tell from your comments, the vintage epi minihumbuckers were only used in epiphones and not Gibsons. Hmmm...How does Lollar market his minihum copies, as Gibson-flavored or as Epiphone derived?

So, please keep things going, let's hear what you all have to say!

Cheers,
Bob
 

CthonicEwes

Member
Messages
550
Oops, I see (from another thread on the new Epi reissues) that rockaction5 is actually based in France and does actually make repro Crestwoods. Cool. I wonder if Gibson has a problem with your reproductions, though, especially now that they are reissuing a vintage Wilshire....

Ok, one other observation/question: my pickups are slightly microphonic. Is this common with the old Epi minihums? (I love the sound so much that I can live with it as it really only manifests itself when I tap the pickup covers...)

Cheers,
Bob
 

rockaction5

Member
Messages
84
Wel... my opinion about the asian crestwood..they are cheap but way too expensive for what they are... I won't touch them even with an iron stick!
I did my own copies from Deniz Tek original ( previous owner Fred sonic smith as everybody know) with very old solid mahoganny (30/60 Yold ) , ebony and old school cellulo finishing, inlays are mother of pearl not "MOP" . the Lollars I'm using are special order, I send Jason a couple of my old and best originals and ask him to be closer as possible of their characteristics, he did a good and friendly job, I order twice from him to make a bunch of copy and will probably soon order a third batch, they are hotter than his stock minis which are already better than the gibsons... and pretty close to the original.
I don't really care if Gibson feel angry I make the crestwood copy...excuse me people at the gibson factory ... because :
1 - I make very few of these
2 - I make my best to be as good as were the original luthiers who make them, from me it's purely a "labour of love" so I'll be very sorry they feel injured by my work (as for my mosrite copy...)
3 - I reissued them first

visit my guitar site , there's a couple of fine guitars (www.daguetguitars.fr)

I recently did a crestwood deluxe Bass which doesn't originally exist on the epi brand , that's probably a thing they would have made if only they 've thought about it...

here : http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/ind...ndID=5898540&albumID=2460125&imageID=55840218

microphonic... well... about all "old" pu's are microphonic as long they're not potted or specially shielded... nothing serious on average powered amps (up to 50 W), but could be specially annoying when playing loud... There is probably a lollar near you who could potted them ? if you're that kind of player (take care of your ears..., too late for mines...)
have a nice day all.
 
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CitizenCain

Member
Messages
4,821
Man, he was so great!! The guitar he's playing in that clip is identicle to mine...other than it looks like the tip of the headstock is cut off for some reason. Strange.
One of the comments says he cut the headstock so it would fit into a 335 case. Those are the kinds of things that make the old blues guys what they are!
 

CthonicEwes

Member
Messages
550
Rockaction5 aka Roger: Do your guitars have skinny necks like the originals? I have "tres petit" hands, so I find the necks comfortable. Cool that you made a guitar based on one owned by the guys from Radio Birdman/MC5. What made that guitar so special?

I remember a lot of the punk/new wave bands used epis 'cause they were cheap and plentiful, back in the day. Those were the days! Oh, man, I feel old now...

As far as your Bass--have you ever seen/played Ambassador's or Rivoli's. I've got an old Ambassador (can you tell I'm into vintage epiphone?) and it makes an interesting thud.

Carry on!
Bob
 

rockaction5

Member
Messages
84
Rockaction5 aka Roger: Do your guitars have skinny necks like the originals? I have "tres petit" hands, so I find the necks comfortable. Cool that you made a guitar based on one owned by the guys from Radio Birdman/MC5. What made that guitar so special?

I remember a lot of the punk/new wave bands used epis 'cause they were cheap and plentiful, back in the day. Those were the days! Oh, man, I feel old now...

As far as your Bass--have you ever seen/played Ambassador's or Rivoli's. I've got an old Ambassador (can you tell I'm into vintage epiphone?) and it makes an interesting thud.

Carry on!
Bob
Hello Bob,
I have strong but small hands too, ask "mercyy" (on the other thread) my necks are really fast and just the good size for hand like ours, and I can make any size you want. the birdman/Fred crestwood was modified by fred in the choice of pickups which is different from the usual gibson switching system .
about the bass, I allway thought the epi model were not really "esthetic" a"deluxe" bass with the hammon pickups looks like a better design (for me) just a question of personnal taste!
good day all!




 
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deluxemeat

Member
Messages
1,482
I have been to Sweden a few times and I have to say I've seen some great vintage guitars and stores there, especially in Sodermalm. In fact, I do remember seeing some cool vintage epi's (3-on-a-side headstocks) in a shop just up the street from from the train station by the Gondolen. Kinda off to the side (although there are several cool stores off to the side there!). I seem to recall the store also had cool vintage furniture.
bob- you talkin' halkans?
 

CthonicEwes

Member
Messages
550
Hmm, not sure. Off the top of my head, but using a map, you get off the T-Bana, go up the hill, turn left up Gotgaten (excuse lack of double dots); there are 3 great stores as you head up Gotgaten, I think the one I'm talking about is first, a little off Gotgaten on the right. Then, up more on Gotgaten is another cool store with lots of Hagstrom etc. Finally, there's another store just off Gotgaten to the right that's just before Medborgarplatsen. The one I like (the first one) seemed to have cool old epiphones and lots of cool 50's furniture--kind of my dream store, really! I rarely see old Coronets (earlier I said Wilshire) w/NY pickups, and I remember seeing one there.

Of course, head further into Sodermalm and there are at least 3 more cool vintage gear shops. Can you tell I like Sodermalm? Oh, yeah, forgot about Normalm, too, but that's a whole other thread.

Bob

p.s., for people wondering what the hell we're talking about--Sodermalm and Normalm are neighborhoods in Stockholm.
 
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rockaction5

Member
Messages
84
Roger, this is off topic but I just have to say you are a breath of fresh air in the guitar making community. Your Crestwood repro is very cool, and I always loved those. But I really enjoy your designs like the Birdman. Nice stuff.
Thank you for the nice comment, I did very few of these (though Deniz really love it) people mostly likes to "look like" than being "different" the best of my design (for me) was the "dagrite" and my birdman sister bass is a really good one too.
have a nice day

 
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