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Thread: epiphone dot pickup swap

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    Default epiphone dot pickup swap

    I have an epiphone dot, one of the newer blue/green ones, I bought it brand new in the fall of 2018. It has their alnico classic combo. Honestly, don't have any real gripes about the pickups, I think they are fine. However, I happen to have some duncans sitting around. I have a jazz neck and an alnico ii pro bridge. I'm familiar with the jazz neck and like it in general. The Alnico 2 pro I bought for a different project that didn't materialize. I'm assuming that a swap from the epis would be for the better, but maybe not. considering that it's a semi hollow, with only f hole access, I'm inclined to replace the pots, switch etc. Supposedly the components on this guitar are okay quality, and they seem to work fine. so my questions are these:
    1. do y'all think the pot/switch upgrades would be worth it? anyone switched out the "newer, better" epiphone harnesses for the better or worse?
    2. anyone used this particular pickup combo. I haven't seen it get much talk. I'm thinking back to the original pre-humbucker les paul custom, which had (I think) an A2 p90 in the bridge, and the newfangled A5 "staple" pickup in the neck. A lot of guys go with A5 in the bridge and a2 in the neck, but I don't see of the reverse a lot. Is this a rare type of pickup configuration because it was just ahead of it's time, or did they abandon it for good reason? Again, if this were a basic solid body, I'd probably just do it and see, but with the inherent difficulties of switching stuff in a dot, I'd like to make this a real calculated decision.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    Hard to say if any swaps would be worth it. The Alnico II Pro is most likely warmer, but you didn't say you had an issue with the current pickups. I certainly wouldn't take out perfectly working electronics unless there was something wrong. The search for 'better' usually always results in a sideways step, especially if you don't name anything that is wrong with what is in there.
    It might be a fun quarantine thing to do, if you are curious and patient. But do it then for the knowledge, not that it will be some grand difference.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    With any Asian produced guitar, the first thing I do is install a Switchmaster jack.

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    Super Toneologist elelpe's Avatar
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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    A2Pro bridge and Jazz neck is actually a set I ended up with in my Epi Dot a few years ago.
    In the bridge position, I started with '59 (thin with unpleasant treble), then settled with A2Pro (nice bite and crunch, in fact I bought its tele version APTL1 for my tele because I wanted similar quality).
    In the neck position, I started with A2Pro (mushy), then '59 (too much low end), and finally settled with Jazz (clear with healthy amount of boominess). I don't usually favor Jazz in other guitar, but in that semihollow it was what I aimed sonic wise.

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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    Quote Originally Posted by elelpe View Post
    A2Pro bridge and Jazz neck is actually a set I ended up with in my Epi Dot a few years ago.
    In the bridge position, I started with '59 (thin with unpleasant treble), then settled with A2Pro (nice bite and crunch, in fact I bought its tele version APTL1 for my tele because I wanted similar quality).
    In the neck position, I started with A2Pro (mushy), then '59 (too much low end), and finally settled with Jazz (clear with healthy amount of boominess). I don't usually favor Jazz in other guitar, but in that semihollow it was what I aimed sonic wise.
    oh, great! that's good to hear, thanks.

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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Hard to say if any swaps would be worth it. The Alnico II Pro is most likely warmer, but you didn't say you had an issue with the current pickups. I certainly wouldn't take out perfectly working electronics unless there was something wrong. The search for 'better' usually always results in a sideways step, especially if you don't name anything that is wrong with what is in there.
    It might be a fun quarantine thing to do, if you are curious and patient. But do it then for the knowledge, not that it will be some grand difference.
    Yeah, I really don't have any complaints. Ideally I'd like to put in a pair of Seth lovers, but yeah... this is just me looking for greener grass.

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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    I put Seths in my 2005 Dot, but as ICTGoober already noted what it really needed more than anything was a new output jack.
    I miss the 80's (girls) !!!

    Seymour Duncans currently in use - In Les Pauls: Duncan Custom(b)/Jazz(n), Duncan Distortion(b)/Jazz(n), 59(b)/59(n) w/A4 mag, P-Rails(b)/P-Rails(n); In a Bullet S-3: P-Rails(b)/stock/Vintage Stack Tele(n); In a Dot: Seth Lover(b)/Seth Lover(n); In a Del Mar: Mag Mic; In a Lead II: Custom Shop Fender X-1(b)

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    mild old man perv Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    I have two Episodes Dot Studios and the jacks are just fine thank you. If it goes bad, switch it then. These clods are just clumsy oafs who jam things in holes like...well, let's move on.

    I also agree - If the electronics are not a problem, don't do it. Until your ears have a problem, everything is fine.

    As for the pickup combo - I have never done that. But I have had A2P's and one of my Epic has a JB / Jazz combo in it.

    what you are doing is creating a very balanced guitar. You are putting the bright/modern sounding Jazz in the darker neck spot, and the darker A2P in the bridge. Switching from neck to middle to bridge should yield some different sounds, but not extremely so. A Jazz Bridge and an A2P neck would result in ultra fat/dark tone and ultra bright/thinner tone, a large distinct difference. Since you went opposite, it is going to sound much more balanced from neck to bridge.

    The really interesting thing here, I think you'll find would be the middle. The A2P is gonna have some bass/mids, and fatter highs, while the Jazz is really going to put a little cut into the equation, even though it is in the neck. The both on position should be a really nice full, even sound! You might prefer it to either alone. Of course a dash of volume /tone may allow all sorts of blending when both on.

    I'm assuming, but don't know, that the guitar is fairly bright already, but Epi's can vary quite a bit.

    Dot Studio1: JB / Jazz
    Dot Studio 2: P Rails with Triple Shot rings, with stacked concentric CTS 500k pots. (I paid a tech to do that!)
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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    That's my main fear, is that disparity between the pickups' inherent qualities will make for less variation between the 2 positions. Good point on the middle position possibilities. I think I might need to put these into a solid-body first just to test it out and see.

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    mild old man perv Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    They won’t be that similar - they just won’t be extremely different. Your opinion on different may differ from mine. They will be distinctly different. But it won’t be night/day. It will still be neck vs bridge, and not as similar as a 59 neck and a 50=9 bridge tone wise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    Aceman, I'd say this one is a tad on the bright side, but overall a pretty well-balanced sound.
    If I'm being totally honest with myself and you guys, I'm mostly doing this just for the sake of doing it. I have other guitars where I am doing or have done pickup changes just for the hell of it. I put a set of SSL-1's in a strat just to make it as "traditional" sounding as possible. I've got a strat with a D Activator in the bridge that I'd always really liked, then one day it hit me that I wanted it to be a tad less compressed, and a bit more open sounding, so I bought a super distortion (still haven't gotten around to re-doing that yet, though).
    I have 3 guitars with stock pickups that I really wouldn't consider changing: a zach myers with the 245 S's, an epi lp special with stock epi p90's, and a schechter with their high output 'buckers (those in split mode are very nice single coils).

    so on this dot, although I'm not necessarily unhappy with it, it just needs some change. Ultimately, I want to put Seth Lovers into it, though I've mentally waffled between those and Saturday Night Specials (I absolutely LOVE those in my SG). so the more I ponder it, I've probably answered my own question. Instead of putting in a jazz/a2pro set just because it's on-hand, I should put in the Seths that I really want. Every clip of those that I hear, they just sound so "alive." that's what I'm really searching for for this one.

  12. #12
    mild old man perv Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    Are there other reasons to swap pickups???

    Can't think of a better reason than "Just to do it".

    Hard to argue with Seth's, 59's, PG's or A2P's in a Dot/335 style.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    Are there other reasons to swap pickups???

    Can't think of a better reason than "Just to do it".

    Hard to argue with Seth's, 59's, PG's or A2P's in a Dot/335 style.
    Thank goodness, I was starting to feel guilty about contemplating a swap just for the hell of it.

    It's funny, I'm often a proponent of giving epiphone pickups a fair shake. I think often they're played through beginner amps, and therefore get a bad rap. I think they're pretty good through a good sounding amp (and player). And, in some instances, I've got guitars where, on the outset, I'd think "oh yeah, I have to upgrade these pickups," only to find out that they're perfect for what I want in that guitar. And in others I've replaced the pickups... just because. In general I usually find that a jump from any brand to seymour duncans, I'm happy. But not always. However, when I'm able to salvage the duncan in question, I know that somewhere down the line, that pickup will find the right guitar.

    In this one, I just know that something else will give it that "oomph" or what the French call... I don't know what. I truly believe that SNS or Seth Lover would be EXACTLY what I'm looking for, but now I just need to find out if I've got the stones to fish pots and wires through F Holes to make this current pickup situation work. Strats and Les Pauls, I'm fairly confident in my abilities, but this... Or it might be good experience until I save up for one of those. I'd just hate to render the dot useless until then.

  14. #14
    mild old man perv Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: epiphone dot pickup swap

    Sometimes I swap to fix a guitar.
    Sometimes I swap looking for a sound
    Sometimes I do it to get experience with a pickup for the experience
    Sometimes I just have a crazy idea...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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