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> Trade Up Or Just Change Pickups?
ReverendRando
post Feb 2 2011, 01:17 AM
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Hello GMC and welcome to my first post!
Isn't this exciting! biggrin.gif
I've been playing guitar for about 2 years now, and for those two years I've only used a single electric guitar. That guitar is my ESP LTD F-50 which is a low-end model in the F series. I received this guitar as a gift and for the first year it had a great sound, or so I thought. Now that I've been playing longer I have really become dissatisfied with the tone. I really love the body of the F-50 and I want something like it because I've used it for so long. So should I replace the pickups on my guitar, if so which pickups should I get, or should I just move up to the ESP LTD F-350 which is exactly like the F-50 but with Floyd Rose, and EMG-81 pickups with a $620 price tag? I would rather have the cheaper option honestly, lol.
Lengthy question, but can anyone help me out?
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Todd Simpson
post Feb 2 2011, 01:25 AM
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Putting an expensive pickup set and nice trem on that guitar may be a bit much. Your basically over-upgrading it. Have you ever seen a cheap car with really nice rims/wheels? It would be kinda like that.The pups are gonna be 200 bux, not to mention the whammy and Tech/luthier work. Honestly for just a bit more you could get a nice guitar with all that already in it. Or a really nice guitar with that stuff in it that is a year or so old.

If you want to swap out something, I'd say find a pickup you like (hopefully something a bit cheaper to buy and install than an EMG Active which is pricey to buy and install) and replace the bridge pickup and call it a day and start saving for a better axe. Otherwise, down the road you may be kicking yourself for dumping so much money in to a low end guitar. You could honestly find one used that someone already did this too on ebay for less than you are about to spend.

Still, I've seen several posts like this where the person just does it anyway. In the end it's up to you.


Todd

QUOTE (ReverendRando @ Feb 1 2011, 07:17 PM) *
Hello GMC and welcome to my first post!
Isn't this exciting! biggrin.gif
I've been playing guitar for about 2 years now, and for those two years I've only used a single electric guitar. That guitar is my ESP LTD F-50 which is a low-end model in the F series. I received this guitar as a gift and for the first year it had a great sound, or so I thought. Now that I've been playing longer I have really become dissatisfied with the tone. I really love the body of the F-50 and I want something like it because I've used it for so long. So should I replace the pickups on my guitar, if so which pickups should I get, or should I just move up to the ESP LTD F-350 which is exactly like the F-50 but with Floyd Rose, and EMG-81 pickups with a $620 price tag? I would rather have the cheaper option honestly, lol.
Lengthy question, but can anyone help me out?



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Daniel Realpe
post Feb 3 2011, 11:09 PM
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yeah, I just bought my guitar to get chicks....NOT! hahah but that was funny


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ReverendRando
post Feb 4 2011, 03:33 AM
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Thanks for the advice Todd

After some thought and some insight from GMC, and my local guitar shop I've decided to buy a ESP LTD MH-350FR, it's in my willing price range $550-$700, it has EMG 81/85, and after trying one out I've concluded it sounds amazing!
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thefireball
post Feb 4 2011, 04:34 AM
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Haha, well....I'll just let you know what I'm doing with my other 2 cheaper guitars.

I'm putting cheaper pickups in my cheapest guitar, and then some nice pickups in my other not-really-cheap guitar. I find it to be a waste to make my other guitars obsolete. They are not being used. I would use them if I had better pickups. One guy explained to me that he doesn't see it as a waste, because he can just take the new pickups out of one guitar and put them in another guitar he buys.


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Mudbone
post Feb 4 2011, 09:14 AM
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I checked out that guitar, and its a nice guitar, but theres two things you should keep in mind before you buy it. The first thing is its not an original Floyd Rose, and therefore is not manufactured to the same standards as the original. This means that over time it will wear out and not keep tune perfectly. If someone else here has had a different experience with an unoriginal Floyd Rose, please chime in smile.gif The other problem with this particular guitar is the maple top, which I think is a laminate instead of a solid piece of wood. Now usually laminates don't have any issues with build quality, but I have seen a few where the laminate top peeled off the guitar, and this was brand new in the show room.

Now, about upgrading your current guitar biggrin.gif I wouldn't waste any money installing a trem into it. Putting EMG's into may be a little expensive, but EMGs do have a tendency to overpower the sound of cheaper tonewoods, especially when used with high gain. And just like someone else said earlier, you can always put them in another guitar later. Installing EMGs isn't that difficult, they come with the whole installation kit (volume and tone knob) and the only soldering you will have to do is connecting the input jack.

So, if I had the same guitar, what would I do? I would just upgrade the pickups only, probably something from GuitarFetish.com. Most of their humbuckers are within the $20-40 range. The Crunchy Pats are highly rated, and to me the the VEH (Van Halen tribute pickup) looks interesting. It uses Alnico 5 magnets, something you'll never find on cheap stock pickups.



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