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Epiphone Casino Pickups

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by LKNJ, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    I have an Epiphone Casino Coupe, which sounds wonderful unplugged and plays really well. Unfortunately, plugged in it sounds dull and muddy. I don’t have much experience with fully hollow body guitars, so not sure if that’s just what they tend towards. Or, whether it’s the brass pickup covers, or just crap pickups.

    anyway, I’m a big fan of p90s. So, I’m really surprised with the sound of this guitar. Not sure whether it’s worth it to try to upgrade the pickups.

    anyone out there with experience with these guitars?
     
  2. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    There a few places that may rewind what you have for reasonable prices. Here’s one:

    http://www.gravelinpickups.com/repairs/

    I probably would have done it if I would have kept the Casino Coupe that I had. Nice ax.
     
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  3. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    I've had a Casino for many years and I love it.

    The hollowbody definitely makes the Casino a very midrangey and almost honky sounding guitar. The P90s can't compete with the hollowbody.

    The only thing I have done is get some Lollar spacers to raise the bridge pickup and balance the two pickups in the middle position.
     
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  4. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

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    I have a 1996 Epiphone Casino made by Peerless in Korea. The pickups are stamped SANYO on the base plate. They sound pretty good but maybe a bit more raw than the US-made models.
     
  5. Treehouse

    Treehouse Tele-Meister

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    Have you tried adjusting the pickup height? @LKNJ
     
  6. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The Asian import Casinos have pretty hot pickups. Wound to maybe 11.5k if I remember right. That is one thing contributing to a muddy sound.

    You’re right that the metal covers dampen highs though. I changed to plastic covers on my full size MIJ Casino (Gibson USA P90s) and it brightened up noticeably. I also added a shim from Lollar on the bridge pickup to improve volume balance between the two pickups. Would recommend both changes before you think about swapping pickups.

    Make sure the pickup covers you get are for import pickups. String spacing isn’t exactly the same.
     
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  7. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    When I bought mine years ago, there was another Casino in the store that had Fralins in it. I remember it being very clear and bright sounding, articulate. Probably more versatile.

    However, the one I ended up buying had stock pickups. It just had mojo! Quite honestly, I only used the middle position. The neck was too bassy, the bridge was too thin, but in the middle was magic! I liked it better for that sound alone than the one with Fralins, the stock middle just sounded so syrupy.

    But yeah, long story short if you want an upgrade for clarity, the Fralins would be a good choice.
     
  8. chillybilly

    chillybilly Tele-Meister

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    I have a Casino Coupe (the original owner installed a Bigsby) and have had the same experience with the stock pickups which are no doubt el cheapo no matter if they're called 'Gibson designed' or 'Fred The Wonder Horse.'

    I do like the unplugged sound and the famous airy tone when amplified.

    Almost from the start I intended to swap the pickups out as I knew they would be underwhelming. But Duncan and some other models seemed expensive. Expensive? I've spent a Brinks truckload on other guitars, amps and pedals since I got the Casino. What am I moaning about?

    The truth may be that I'm afraid better pickups will make me like and play the guitar more. What's the problem? Well, I don't want to start having to worry about feedback, amp angles, etc. I went through the same thing with acoustic-electrics and ended up using an LTD thinline piezo-only 'acoustic' and the Fishman Aura pedal (a fantastic solution, by the way).

    Still, I have no excuses really. Time to shop for pickups. I think I once looked at Wolftone, Duncan and Lollar.
     
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  9. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    I had a GC limited run Korean-made Casino from a few years back. Loved the guitar, hated the stock pickups. Picked up some relatively cheap Kent Armstrong P90's, Lollar spacers and added a Bigsby and it turned out really, really nice. While I was at it I replaced the wiring harness (which was definitely an upgrade since the stock harness really was junk). Was a PITA and was like building a ship in a bottle, if that makes sense. The Kent Armstrong pickups were way less hot and sounded great and didn't break the bank.

    The problem with the import Casinos are the pickups aren't the same size as the USA models, making finding aftermarket options a bit tough.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  10. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think hollowbody guitars are like this by their design. If you're not used to it, it can seem muddy but it has its own thing going on. I've put brighter sounding pickups in my hollow guitars, and it helped, but they lost their "hollow" sound by doing so.
     
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  11. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    They probably have 500KΩ pots, maybe try 1 meg vol.'s.

    You can leave the tones alone.
     
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  12. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a set of these I got from someone who swapped them out. The bridge was a whopping 15k and the neck was 12k. I recently put the neck one, minus the case, in a cigar box style guitar build.

    20200723_090822.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  13. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    15k!!! That’s almost a JB!
     
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  14. zook

    zook Friend of Leo's

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    I have a '61 reissue Casino. It came from the factory with Gibson P90's and better pots and switches. It is an amazing guitar, great sound.
     
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  15. PARCO

    PARCO Tele-Meister

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    I seem to remember someone here posting about taking a lot of wire off of some Epi P90's and improving the sound. I did a search but I couldn't find the post.
     
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  16. guitarsophist

    guitarsophist Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I had the same problem with my Casino. I put Lollar '50's wound P-90s in mine. Great pickups!
     
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  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Here's the order you should take, test at each stage:
    1- adjust pickup heights (generally lower is better), include testing raising screw poles, I like a Strat stagger pattern for neck pickups.
    2- swap volume pots for measured higher brighter, lower darker. swap caps lower for brighter even when dimed.
    3- series cap on the too muddy pickup, first try 0.047uF
    4- swap pickups and go back to the top of the list

    Don't fix a tone problem with $200 pickup swaps (you'll do more than one) that can be fixed with $2 or $20 in control electronics. They are all a system.

    .
     
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  18. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Most of those Epi P90s are crap. They are pretty much give away pickups when you attempt to sell them.
    Just get a set of real Gibson P90's and be done with it. You can often get a set for $100 in soapbars, more for dogears. If you can use the baseplate on your Epi's for Gibson soapbars that may be an idea. I have converted soaps to dogs before.

    Here's your first Gibson for $59 shipped: https://reverb.com/item/34806101-gibson-p90-soapbar-pickup-free-shipping
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  19. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Changed my Epi Korea pickups for Gibsons along with a treble bleed. Night and day better. Lovely guitar. The tuners can be the other weak point
     
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  20. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

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    That was mostly for the Epi Wildkats. The wiring in them just sucks the tone out of the pups. Yes they are a little dark and overwound but fix the wiring and it's like night and day. I have done the fix.
    https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/to-all-wildkat-owners.280980/

    I have no experience with stock Epi Casino pickups. But I do have an IBJL Revolution Casino with Gibson USA pickups which I really like.
     
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