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Replacing epoxy potted pickups

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  • Replacing epoxy potted pickups

    I’ve got a Gibson ES Artist that I want to change pickups on. Do I have to stay with epoxy potted as Gibson advises or will any type humbucker work ? My information is coming from the owners manual for the guitar. Hoping you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about

  • #2
    The attached pic explains what I have. Also there are onboard active electronics which may or may not determine what pickups I can use.

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    • #3
      I don't think I would want to do anything to lessen the collector's value of the guitar. The pickups are designed to go with the internal electronics. Do you know the specfications for the pots or the pickups? Because a passive pickup may not work too well with the value of the pots or the wiring scheme and you might need to gut the electronics to go with passive pickups.

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      • #4
        I gotta agree with snowdog. As much as I love modding guitars, I think I'd let that one alone. You've got a unique axe there.

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        • #5
          The ES Artist was famous for its unique Moog electronics, and the pickups were a big part of it. It was used by Steve Howe in ASIA, and has a very unique sound.
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan
          Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

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          • #6
            The original pickups work just fine as well as the Moog effects. My only reason for considering a pickup swap was the gold pickup covers are tarnished bad. I wanted to just change out the covers but the limited research I did led me to believe trying to remove epoxy potted pickup covers would likely compromise the pickup itself due to he potential of cracking the epoxy. My only issue has been cosmetic only.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Suburban View Post
              The original pickups work just fine as well as the Moog effects. My only reason for considering a pickup swap was the gold pickup covers are tarnished bad. I wanted to just change out the covers but the limited research I did led me to believe trying to remove epoxy potted pickup covers would likely compromise the pickup itself due to he potential of cracking the epoxy. My only issue has been cosmetic only.
              You should be able to re-plate those pickups with a gold plating kit.

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              • #8
                If you don't want to work on them your self, I am sure the Custom Shop can replace those covers. Contact them for a quote. On a side note...what does the expander sound like on that guitar? We were just talking about that circuit on this forum a few weeks ago, but none of us had ever used one.
                Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan
                Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mincer View Post
                  If you don't want to work on them your self, I am sure the Custom Shop can replace those covers. Contact them for a quote. On a side note...what does the expander sound like on that guitar? We were just talking about that circuit on this forum a few weeks ago, but none of us had ever used one.
                  I listened to a demo last night on Youtube and it sounds like it cuts the mids while slightly boosting the treble. It sounds a bit bright but the person doing the demo didn't try dialing it in much. The treble boost or expander might be interesting with the neck position.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecx1wLxzEh8
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU23yuijNOI
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6q-ABzNvso
                  Last edited by idsnowdog; 08-14-2020, 08:25 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Those are Tarbacks or made the same as Tarbacks. The covers can't be replaced because the epoxy holds the pickups together. They don't even have a full base plate. Everything was placed in the cover and then the epoxy was poured in to hold it all in one piece.

                    Personally I would leave it completely alone, but if the worn gold really bothers you maybe replacing the pickups is not a terrible idea. if they are Tarbacks you'd need something bright but high-ish output to get a similar sound. Just be sure to keep the original pickups! (Or send them to me...)

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