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Epiphone SG Pro Limited Edition: a couple of questions

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by davidrf, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. davidrf

    davidrf Strat-Talker

    Age:
    39
    468
    Dec 27, 2010
    Italy
    Hi there,
    I borrowed from a friend of mine this here brand new Epiphone SG Pro Custom Shop Limited Edition in this strange greenish/grayish color. I never owned an Epiphone (only Gibson stuff) and I'm pretty surprised on how resonant, playable and nicely sounding this litte thing is. A couple of questions:

    1) Can anyone tell me for sure what kind of pickups are loaded on this guitar? I searched and the SG PRO has some kind of Epiphone Alnico Classic Pro 4, but I'm not sure if this "Custom Shop Limited Edition" has the same pickups, and I can't find a definite answer.

    2) I owned a 2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded Worn Cherry with stock pickups. I currently own a 2016 Gibson Les Paul Standard with Vineham custom pickups (based on Alnico II Pros) and a PRS Custom 24 with custom pickups from the italian luthier Romano Burini, modeled on classic PAFs. In comparison I find this Epiphone SG more aggressive sounding, I can definitely hear that peculiar tone everyone talks about (naturally these pickups are not even close to the pickups I have on the other guitars, especially on the clean channel, but they still are good!). The question is this: changing the SG stock pickups with something like the Alnico II Pros or PAFs will result in losing that peculiar SG tone or the guitar will retain it anyways?

    3) In the clean channel, when I roll off the tone of either neck or bridge pickup, the sound becomes really muffled and muddy. Naturally, that doesn't happen in my other guitars. Could it be a problem of pots and electronics or the pickups are to blame? It would be nice to swap the pots, the capacitor and whatever and be able to get rid of this problem.

    4) Is there a way to make the guitar more balanced when used with a strap? The upper pin in that position makes the guitar headstock dive down every 5 seconds... it's really bad.

    Thanks a lot in advance!
     

    Attached Files:

    Namelyguitar likes this.

  2. gofmusic

    gofmusic Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 24, 2013
    Montevideo
    Man, tell me how did you do it! I mean owning a LP standard and a PRS before you even meet the cheaper epis!!
     

  3. davidrf

    davidrf Strat-Talker

    Age:
    39
    468
    Dec 27, 2010
    Italy
    It's just I usually don't like the shape of the headstock so I never had one Epi :D
     
    craigh likes this.

  4. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    Huh? Why would he have to own an Epi before buying a Gibson? I didn't own a Sigma before buying my Martin.
     
    The-Kid likes this.

  5. davidrf

    davidrf Strat-Talker

    Age:
    39
    468
    Dec 27, 2010
    Italy
    From the lack of replies I understand Epiphone SGs are not so popular in this forum :D
     

  6. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Strat-Talker

    463
    Dec 16, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    (1) On the pickups, it's difficult to determine easily because they swap them around fairly often. In general on the newer models, the more expensive ones get Alnicos while cheaper ones get rather hot ceramics.

    (2) It changes it some but it will still sound SG-ish if you swap in another humbucker. To get a big change that means going to some kind of single coil (P95, gold foil, etc).

    (3) Better pots and caps will help, usually. It's kind of luck of the draw on them. Sometimes you'll get an Epiphone with very good pots that sound good and sometimes you'll get mud or shorting out from bad solder joints.

    (4) A nice wide leather strap should do the trick.
     
    gofmusic likes this.

  7. gofmusic

    gofmusic Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 24, 2013
    Montevideo
    Oh you again... please... I said meet, not own. But whatever if you want to troll this thread too, go on...
     

  8. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Dental Floss farmer Strat-Talk Supporter

    The Pickups should be Alnico classic pros which are not bad at all. The strap should help the dive, moving the strap button to the upper horn will stop it or A Bigsby will balance it perfectly:D. I love my SG.
     
    Rastus likes this.

  9. Bob the builder

    Bob the builder Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    58
    May 2, 2016
    Cranston, Rhode Island
    The neck dive is just a SG thing. Relocate the strap button
     

  10. roger@pennyflic

    roger@pennyflic Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    60
    Jul 4, 2013
    melbourne
    I am a new owner of an Epiphone SG G-400 pro (not sure about the custom ones) and I am more than pleased with it.
    I did a side by side comparison in the shop with a number on Gibson SG's and I opted for the epiphone. A Gibson SG standard is $AUD2300 while the Epi was $AUD499. The cheaper gibbies were between $AUD1000 and $AUD1500 and quite frankly the Epi was the better quality guitar.

    Neck dive: I think it's just a thing with SG's but I watched a luthier video for 2 hours while he set the Epi up and he said that he had some lead in the body cavity of his. At home you can always sit down else just hang on to the neck.

    Very happy with the Epi though, won't be swapping anything out. Good luck with yours.
     

  11. ryunker

    ryunker Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    54
    Feb 18, 2014
    Crystal Lake, Il
    I have the epi g400 pro custom limited thing, and also a Gibson sg special, the Gibson has utmost clarity on the cleans, but I gravitate way more to the Epiphone. In all I have five Epiphones and have had the need to modify none of them.

    DSCN0006.JPG

    I do have a Wilshire pro that I was leaning to modify, then opened it up fixed every solder joint and now those thoughts of mods are gone.
     
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  12. rudos1

    rudos1 Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 16, 2013
    Boston
    Huge Epi fan here, I put Duncan 59s in my G400 and love it!!
     
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  13. pwhite

    pwhite Strat-Talker

    390
    May 24, 2015
    South Carolina
    I traded my last ever CV 50's Telecaster a couple of months ago for a Pro 400, the 66 model. I have never owned a SG in my life I have always played Les Pauls and never considered a SG. Man was I wrong on that one. I absolutely love this cheap SG, the neck shape feels as good or better than any guitar I have ever played. I had to do a fret level and polish on it because I don't think it had ever been touched but I really like it, and I am wondering what else is out there that I have not played because built in bias I have.
    I sit down and play at home so the neck dive is a non issue for me, if I were gigging it and I really would not have a problem playing this guitar out and about maybe I would try and add some weight to the body. Here is what mine looks like, it has become one of my favorites to play.

    IMG_0828.JPG
     

  14. Rastus

    Rastus Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 1, 2014
    Australia
    Epiphone SG's ?....

    I kick myself for not acquiring one years ago. One of the biggest mistakes of my life...

    Killer guitars !
     
    The Strat Dude likes this.

  15. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014
    Michigan
    .

    2015+ Epiphone did a big upgrade in their pickup manufacturing and they got a lot better tones.

    I have an older 2005 that I bought used from a guy that had upgraded to a Duncan on the bridge but retained the original pickup so I swapped back. I tweaked the cap for 0.033uF instead of stock and it improved greatly (more sparkle when wide open). I used to swap pickups but the controls impact the tone at all times as a system. I follow a regimen of adjusting pickup heights, swapping tone cap, then volume pot(s), then series cap on a still too muddy pickup before pickups. $20 instead of $200 in swaps. This guitar gets played a lot more than a vintage Gibson hereabouts.

    There are collectors of Korean-made SGs (and LPs) like some follow MIJs and I found the reason tonally they are preferred is a lot of them were built with 0.033uF tone caps rather than 0.047uF typical.

    If you play cleans on the neck pickup, try lowering the neck pickup to the trim ring then raise the screw poles up in a Strat-stagger pattern and you'll get great cleans even without doing other mods. If you do this with the bridge pickup I'd keep the screw poles flat across vs each other for a more Tele/P90 tone. Still retains the humbucker feature.

    If you like the tone you get out of the guitar now, if you change pickups or controls you can push it around maybe better or maybe worse. If you want to experiment with differences but kind of like what you have I'd pull the whole wiring harness and parts as a set to put aside then build from the ground up and you can always go back to original that way.

    For balance, I use a leather strap that is smooth on top but napped on the back. Some use a plastic bag of marbles carefully put in the control cavity or a weight on the strap.

    .
     
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  16. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    Dude I was just asking why you seemed to imply that one must go through the cheaper versions to get to the more expensive one. Not sure why you feel asking a legitimate question is trolling.
     

  17. gofmusic

    gofmusic Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 24, 2013
    Montevideo
    Ok, Ill do it. Just seems the normal path to me, not that everyone must follow it, but I think most do, thats why I showed surprise. The same way you dont ride a Lamborghini before you even know what is like to drive a normal car, most people go through less espensive models before they get the nerve to spend thousands on a Gibson or PRS core. I think you are clever enough to have gotten my point without this explanation, thats what came through as trolling. Sorry if that wasn't your intention.
     

  18. gofmusic

    gofmusic Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 24, 2013
    Montevideo
    Yeah, the headstock is a bit odd. Lots of people dislike it. I had an Epi, and it was the part I liked the least.

    Mine had Alnico Classic Humbuckers (epiphone) and sounded really nice, it was a Les Paul Studio. Really solid guitar, nothing fancy but came loaded with grover tuners and it was a trustworthy guitar for a fair price. I guess Epis SG (actually G400) came with the same set of pickups. The only complain about the sound is that sometimes it can become a little muddy, I think changing the pots and caps fixes that.

    If you keep it, Id change the electronics and eventually use any of the stock pickups you took out of the expensive guitars if you still find it muffled.

    As for the neck, as others suggested, relocate the pin. There are some models where the pin is relocated from the fatory. I think Tony Iommis one is one of them. There are a couple places you can relocate it. Or else, just learn to live with it, the same way you deal with heavy les pauls... or just play the Custom 24 LOL.
     

  19. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    Yes I assumed that was your meaning but again I don't see the logic in this situation. The OP has owned many nice guitars according to his past posts. If this was someone's first guitar I could see going with a lower priced model since they may not even stick with guitar but I don't see the need to try out cheaper models of say a LP before getting an actual Gibson if you are already a player. Just like my point of saying when I decided I wanted a better acoustic than the $75 Dean I had a few years back I knew I liked the Martin tones. I did not start with buying a Sigma and playing it for a while, I went and bought an OM-21. I have been playing guitar for 27 years so I knew I was going to stick with playing and think it's better to get what you want vs a stop gap solution that will usually wind up costing more in the long run than just saving up and getting what you really want the first time.
     

  20. gofmusic

    gofmusic Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 24, 2013
    Montevideo
    I guess this discussion could go on for days, but it will be a big offtopic, so I wont let it. You are right.