Epiphone ES 339 - how are the stock pickups? (Update: I bought one!)

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Dismalhead, Mar 28, 2020.

What action would you take in my position?

  1. Buy the ES 339 and don't mess with the pickups. The stock ones are fine.

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. Find yourself the P90 version and don't mess with the pickups.

    6 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Hold off, save up, and get a real Gibson ES 339

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  4. Buy the ES 339 and pay someone to swap out the stock pickups.

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  5. Buy the ES 339 and do the work yourself. You've done it before, do it again lazy dude.

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  6. I like turtles.

    4 vote(s)
    22.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey people,

    Used to have a Sheraton, sold it because it was too heavy and I have back problems. Thinking maybe I'll delve into the semi-hollow thing again with an ES 339. I played one a while back at GC and it felt and sounded great, but I didn't plug it in.

    I know some people on the forum have one, and I'm wondering how the stock pickups are in it. They are called Alnico Classic PROs. Are they good enough that you'd leave them in for the life of the guitar?

    Normally I wouldn't worry about stock pickups because I'd just pop a new set in myself if I didn't like them. But I replaced the pickups on my old Sheraton and it was a certifiable nightmare for me going through the F holes. I think I made three wiring harnesses before I got it right. Swore I'd never do it again, and I'd like to stick to that. So I'm wondering what you guys think of the stock p'ups.

    Also, at least for a time they sold a P90 version of the Epi 339 - I'd be interested if any of you have experience with those too.

    Last of all, why don't they put an opening to the controls in the back of hollows and semi-hollows? Seems like it would be a small change and it's really stupid not having one. Is there any reason other than tradition?

    Thanks!
     
  2. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I am buying a new guitar, I want it to have exactly what I want ... if not, I will find out who makes what I want and buy that ...
     
  3. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    Charlotte, NC
    I tried both the Epi and The Gibson, both with P90's. I brought the Epi home since they are both the same build quality, and all of the P90s were perfect. The Epi was, in all ways, just a better deal.
    And I should note that the splittable ProBuckers on my Sheraton II Pro are there to stay.
     
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  4. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    Troy, MO
    A bandmate has an Epi 339 with humbuckers, and it’s got two push-pull pots for activating coil taps on them.

    I immediately loved the guitar upon playing it. I was surprised how bright it was, in a good way. The coil tapped pickups sounded pretty bright and single-coil-y, and the two tapped pickups combined sound was killer for chord stuff. Kinda lush, kinda crisp and cutting edge to it.

    The full humbucker sounds were thicker but still pretty bright and detailed. All of the variations seemed useful and likeable to me.

    On top of that, I thought the action, neck cross-section and body shape felt good too. Never been too comfortable with a 335-type guitar nor do I gravitate to that sound, but for me the 339 was something significantly different. I would have seen no reason to change it, other than maybe smuggle it from his house to mine.
     
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  5. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Afflicted

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    Dollar for dollar, the Epi is far the better deal, save for the snob factor. The current Epi Humbucker Pro pickups are the real deal tonally. I have replaced full sized HBs in a couple of my hollowbodies with Epi Humbucker Pro minis, and they sound NICE!
     
  6. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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  7. reactor99

    reactor99 TDPRI Member

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    Georgia, USA
    In case you change your mind, I have the humbucker version and like the Alnico Classic pros a lot. Much more clear than some of their older designs. Supposedly they're similar to Classic 57s.
     
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  8. Tele Slacker

    Tele Slacker Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Location:
    South Carolina
    I’ve got a 339 Pro (Epi). Wonderful guitar (don’t tell the Tele). The only work I had done was some fret leveling, due to some fret buzz. I have never once bought about changing pickups - they sound great!
     
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  9. Don Spagnoli

    Don Spagnoli TDPRI Member

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    Zionsville, IN
    I bought mine in 2014, and went with it right off the wall at Guitar Center in Merrillville, IN. I was driving home from Chicago and just stopped in. Good sound and plenty of push when needed. The Humbuckers are solid performers for this guitar. I do recommend popping of the V/T knobs and spraying a little pot cleaner down the shafts. mine were slightly scratchy which is characteristic of the Chinese builds.
    I liked the weight and feel of the neck since I have average hands. The coil split gives it a more P-90 sound, not so much single coil, but still nice.
     
  10. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    NOTE: We all want to see it.....
     
  11. Masmus

    Masmus Tele-Meister

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    For those of you who want to change pickups in a hollow body, do yourself a favor and attach fishing line to the pot shafts and switch then pull them through. Use a stiff wire once the jack is out, pull it through the body and the jack and the nut itself make a loop on the end and attach it loosely over the ground that connects to the 1/4 inch jack. when done pull the wire and jack through tighten the nut then push the wire back and twist to remove from the jack. That is if you want to change pickups.
     
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  12. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    Scotland
    My buddy has the P90 Pro version. Excellent playing and sounding guitar, with no modifications, other than setup to taste. :cool:
     
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  13. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

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    Location:
    philly suburbs
    GC had a used P90 339 ( natural, gorgeous) I was in the market for a 2-pickup axe after a good year with a single pup LP Jr (not going anywhere, great guitar), went home to sleep on it, was gone of course. Really liked it, hope you enjoy yours! Let’s see it...
     
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