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Epiphone Les Paul Bass with "Dimebuckers"

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Mykk, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Hello everyone.

    My Epi LP Bass needed some new pickups after the stock ones became microphonic and than stopped producing sound all together.

    I decided to try something different, unconventional and a bit risky. I wanted to try the Duncan SH13 'Dimebucker' on my LP bass.


    As you can see, thanks to the Korean made body with the holes routed out off center the pickups don't sit perfectly under the strings. But it still works and sounds even.

    The original blade style humbuckers


    I know that the majority of guitar players loathe this pickup, claiming it's too bright and the highs are way to shrill. As I was waiting for the pickups to arrive I wired in a set of 250k CTS pots and the .022uf caps that came with the pots, I doubled the caps up in parallel (In a goofy 50's Gibson & Modern tone circuit kind of way) with one cap pre volume pot & one cap post volume pot.


    For the most part, I followed the wiring diagram via Gibsons website for the exception of my tone caps and I have the pickups going to the volume pot outside lug and output is middle lug:

    http://www.gibson.com/Files/schematics/LP Bass wiring.PDF

    Wired this way (as I figured it would), the independent volume & tone controls work globally. So if one volume pot is all the way off it mutes the bass. However it doesn't necessarily bother me because I have the volume & tone pots 100% up all the time.

    Curious to hear what a Duncan SH13 'Dimebucker' sounds like in a Epi Les Paul Bass?

    The basses original character is still very much evident. Rather, it still sounds like the same bass. This bass has always been very dark and rather muted. With the new pups the presence is exaggerated, the highs are boosted and it has more growl and more bite for sure.

    Here is the same bass, with the original pups playing an APC cover.


    I still need to spend some time dialing it in. But ultimately, I'm happy with the result and it doesn't sound half bad. I think I can make it better with some experimenting.

    Cheers ~Mykk
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
    ctmullins likes this.
  2. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I quite like the tone now. If you're going to experiment, there are two main things you can do: if your volume pots are 250k right now, up them to 500k for more brightness, and you can switch capacitors for different values to see whether you like a deeper or more open tone.
  3. webelo


    Jun 7, 2011
    Douglas, MA
    Nice! I really like what youve done here. It's funny that you should out the SD rail humbuckers in. The tech at my shop was recommending those when I was looking to replace the humbuckers in my univox.

    The lows are a bit too dark for my taste, but I really like the little bit of grit on the tone. If it were me, I'd put 500k pots in to brighten up the lows a tad.

    I'm curious to know what doubling up the caps does?

    Really nice work!
  4. Thank you.

    Doubling the caps in parallel combines both the values. A .022uf cap doubled would be .044uf. I could of just installed a .047uf cap, if I had one. But I had plenty of these .022's laying around.
  5. webelo


    Jun 7, 2011
    Douglas, MA
    Ahhh... that makes sense :)
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    If you want a similar bright pickup, but not wound as hot, try out one of the pickup that the Dimebucker was copied from:

    Wilde Bill's Twin Blades

    The Dimbucker is a copy of the L-500XL. The lower inductance models (C, R, or L) would be cleaner sounding.
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    500k pots won't brighten up the low end, they will just bring out more high end. That deep dark low end will still be there.
  8. This morning I had a tone pot act up on me. Than, later in the day a volume pot went out. Weird. Perhaps I hurt the pots when I heated up the metal body to solder the grounds in place.

    I removed the pots and decided to experiment with the wiring. After hours of trying different combinations I currently have it wired in Megabucker with a 1m resistor parallel to sim a 1m volume pot without a tone circuit. Sounds incredible, I attempted to sim a tone circuit with various caps & resistors. But it just sounds best without anything. I'll keep it this way for a bit.
  9. the wako kid

    the wako kid

    May 11, 2011

  10. I could spend more time making the recording sound better. But to all intents and purposes, this is my Epi LPBass w/Dimebuckers wired in series/megabucker.

    This sound is closer to what the original humbuckers sounded like wired in parallel. However, these digital amp simulators always seem to lack in something. The bass sounds much nicer through my tube pre-amp and rig.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014

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