High quality nickel silver Epi Pro humbuckers for dirt cheap

Antigua Tele

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I recently bought a bunch of pickups from AliExpress branded "Epiphone", Pro-Buckers and Alnico Classic Pros.


jPfaWk1.jpg



No, they're not all great. The chrome colored Alnico Classic Pros appear to be the "real deal". Unfortunately all the gold ones turned out to have cheap parts inside, and are likely not the "real deal".

Here is a side by side:

1plLGpc.jpg


The chrome on the right has a real nickel silver cover, vintage correct hookup wire, bobbin shapes and a real wood spacer. The other has none of those things, but they do both have AlNiCo bar magnets. I'm only suggesting the chrome Alnico Classic Pro be considered for purchase.

This is the AliExpress product page https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001462520827.html?spm=a2g0o.order_list.0.0.71691802rwN9OA but then they let you choose a "color", and it's not really a "color", but whole different pickups. The "color" at the very end, labeled "kit 05" and "kit 06" are these nice Alnico Classic Pros that appears to be the genuine article, almost entirely vintage correct PAF style humbuckers with vintage correct parts, for only $36.13 for the set of two, at the time of this writing. That's the lowest price to quality ratio I have ever seen, almost twice as good as the already great Tonerider and BYO, and of course orders of magnitude less costly that a largely similar boutique product.

The inductance values on those bridge and neck are 4.9H and 4.7H, which is very typical PAF, a little "underwound" for a typical bridge pickup, very normal for a neck pickup.
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
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Joined
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Posts
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Manassas Park, VA
I recently bought a bunch of pickups from AliExpress branded "Epiphone", Pro-Buckers and Alnico Classic Pros.


jPfaWk1.jpg



No, they're not all great. The chrome colored Alnico Classic Pros appear to be the "real deal". Unfortunately all the gold ones turned out to have cheap parts inside, and are likely not the "real deal".

Here is a side by side:

1plLGpc.jpg


The chrome on the right has a real nickel silver cover, vintage correct hookup wire, bobbin shapes and a real wood spacer. The other has none of those things, but they do both have AlNiCo bar magnets. I'm only suggesting the chrome Alnico Classic Pro be considered for purchase.

This is the AliExpress product page https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001462520827.html?spm=a2g0o.order_list.0.0.71691802rwN9OA but then they let you choose a "color", and it's not really a "color", but whole different pickups. The "color" at the very end, labeled "kit 05" and "kit 06" are these nice Alnico Classic Pros that appears to be the genuine article, almost entirely vintage correct PAF style humbuckers with vintage correct parts, for only $36.13 for the set of two, at the time of this writing. That's the lowest price to quality ratio I have ever seen, almost twice as good as the already great Tonerider and BYO, and of course orders of magnitude less costly that a largely similar boutique product.

The inductance values on those bridge and neck are 4.9H and 4.7H, which is very typical PAF, a little "underwound" for a typical bridge pickup, very normal for a neck pickup.

A user testimonial:

I really don't know enough about humbucking pickups (say Epi vs. real Gibsons), to be critical- but I do trust my ears.

I have the Epiphone Classic Alnico Pros in my 2018 Epiphone SG- 400 Pro ( coil taps),
and it may be the pot upgrades in the new Epis ( now CTS 500K) rather than the pickups themselves- but these pickups sound fantastic/clear ( not too hot) and most importantly, don't lose Treble/high end when turn pickup Volume controls back, from full- on volume.

This was NEVER the case with the 4-5 Epiphones I bought ( and sold).from the mid '90's-2008.

This includes a few Epi Dots, whose pickups were replaced by either Gibson '57 Classics, and even one Burstbucker/bridge.
The guitar tones just were not useable to me/ too dark or muffled. Frustrated, when you are holding beautiful, good-playing guitars!

So now, this SG is my ' Gibson style guitar' for mainly a Fender player (just dig the lighter body weight of an SG vs. an LP or 335) and I am tickled with this guitar- and pickups ( dig the coil taps for Dead tunes and funky stuff) sound very good to me
 

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Antigua Tele

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Posts
3,239
Location
west coast
A user testimonial:

I really don't know enough about humbucking pickups (say Epi vs. real Gibsons), to be critical- but I do trust my ears.

I have the Epiphone Classic Alnico Pros in my 2018 Epiphone SG- 400 Pro ( coil taps),
and it may be the pot upgrades in the new Epis ( now CTS 500K) rather than the pickups themselves- but these pickups sound fantastic/clear ( not too hot) and most importantly, don't lose Treble/high end when turn pickup Volume controls back, from full- on volume.

This was NEVER the case with the 4-5 Epiphones I bought ( and sold).from the mid '90's-2008.

This includes a few Epi Dots, whose pickups were replaced by either Gibson '57 Classics, and even one Burstbucker/bridge.
The guitar tones just were not useable to me/ too dark or muffled. Frustrated, when you are holding beautiful, good-playing guitars!

So now, this SG is my ' Gibson style guitar' for mainly a Fender player (just dig the lighter body weight of an SG vs. an LP or 335) and I am tickled with this guitar- and pickups ( dig the coil taps for Dead tunes and funky stuff) sound very good to me

I can't stress enough, I should put it in larger font size, these Epi pickups I have were bought on AliExpress, and were not out of a real Epiphone guitar, so all bets are off when it comes to comparing the two. These pickups are a lot more simple in design than people realize though, and if these don't sound like the stockies in your Epiphone, it's only going to be on account of differing inductance values.

But I know what you're talking about, the old Epi pickups, commonly the 57CH, and the HOTCH, had brass covers, and the HOTCH was (almost certainly) modeled after a JB, and so if you were hoping for a good classic Gibson sound, they did not deliver, they lacked in high end. It's a real shame because there's no reason those guitars shouldn't have sounded as good as a Gibson.

Having dealt with lots of cheap Chinese guitars, I have even less affinity for pre 2010(ish) Epiphones, their quality was pretty bad, not far removed from the $300 counterfeits you see these days. The Epi's made since 2010 have been a lot better, worthy of the $700(ish) price tag they typically have now.
 
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Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
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Joined
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Posts
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Location
Manassas Park, VA
I can't stress enough, I should put it in larger font size, these Epi pickups I have were bought on AliExpress, and were not out of a real Epiphone guitar, so all bets are off when it comes to comparing the two. These pickups are a lot more simple in design than people realize though, and if these don't sound like the stockies in your Epiphone, it's only going to be on account of differing inductance values.

But I know what you're talking about, the old Epi pickups, commonly the 57CH, and the HOTCH, had brass covers, and the HOTCH was (almost certainly) modeled after a JB, and so if you were hoping for a good classic Gibson sound, they did not deliver, they lacked in high end. It's a real shame because there's no reason those guitars shouldn't have sounded as good as a Gibson.

Having dealt with lots of cheap Chinese guitars, I have even less affinity for pre 2010(ish) Epiphones, their quality was pretty bad, not far removed from the $300 counterfeits you see these days. The Epi's made since 2010 have been a lot better, worthy of the $700(ish) price tag they typically have these days.

Yeah, my point is only to compare my current Epi ( and its electronics), with my previous Epis. Not with Gibsons or US pickups.

Was not really expecting the guitar to sound this good; bracing for a letdown...

( plus I got it in 2020 on CL, used $300 w/o case, wow!)
 

beyer160

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I was just playing my Ibanez AS73 with the Aliexpress A2 humbuckers you recommended a couple years ago, thanks for that!
 

TX_Slinger

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Oct 5, 2019
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653
Location
The Sticks, TX
Interesting they chose to use correct nickel silver baseplates but I guess that's so they would pass the "first glance" test.

Did they knock off the Epi logo on the baseplates too?
 

Antigua Tele

Friend of Leo's
Joined
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Posts
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Location
west coast
Interesting they chose to use correct nickel silver baseplates but I guess that's so they would pass the "first glance" test.

Did they knock off the Epi logo on the baseplates too?

It does look like the base plates are authentic, as well as the Molex connectors, it's the bobbins in particular that don't look like anything I've ever seen in a real Epiphone, and instead look like what is found in very low priced and counterfeit Gibsons. The four pickups that have Chrome covers appear to be authentic all the way through, so it's a strange combination of authentic and inauthentic parts.
 

Wound_Up

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Shreveport, LA
It does look like the base plates are authentic, as well as the Molex connectors, it's the bobbins in particular that don't look like anything I've ever seen in a real Epiphone, and instead look like what is found in very low priced and counterfeit Gibsons. The four pickups that have Chrome covers appear to be authentic all the way through, so it's a strange combination of authentic and inauthentic parts.
Not sure id call them inauthentic until I compared them to a known genuine, like pickup instead of a different model.
 




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