MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
4,127 IQ
#1
Part 1: NGD
Needed to cut down my collection; sold a bunch of gear. Realised this left me with some extra cash and a spare slot in my guitar rack. Went bargain hunting.

LTD PB-401, made in Korea in 2010. £360, including delivery and a very, very nice case. Not bad given they're £550 or so new and the last few runs were made in Indonesia and China, to boot.
Sold as second hand, but described as new and it does seem to be totally untouched; it even still has the plastic film on the rear cover. Judging by the strings, frets and the action, I don't think has even been played since it left the factory.

Mahogany body, slightly slimmer than a normal Les Paul or PRS Custom, but slightly thicker than the ESP/LTD Eclipse. Mahogany body, mahogany neck (set), rosewood fretboard, 22 frets (slightly larger than standard), 24.75" scale. Neck heel is slightly contoured, it's not exactly the 'set-through' design on ESP's super-Strats, but it's an improvement over the usual set neck heel.
Hardware's pretty basic: Grover standard tuners, generic tune-o-matic and stopbar and an Earvana graphite compound nut, which is nice but it's a little odd that they used a black one when Earvana make them in ivory too, which surely would have fitted the look better.

Electronics are where it gets fun. Stock, this has two Seymour Duncan P-Rails, a 3-way to select rail/series humbucker/P-90, 3-way pickup selector toggle, 500k master volume and 500k master tone.
However, I've used P-Rails before now and I know that the rail coils sound terrible. Additionally, I don't like A5 magnets in anything, I never use tone controls and I use out of phase tones a lot. So, I've swapped magnets over and rewired everything.
I now have just the series humbucker and P-90 tones, and on the bridge pickup I have the option to switch phase while in humbucker mode, which also brings in a 1meg volume control (in place of the original tone control); this gives me one volume control on the bridge to change the neck/bridge blend, and the master volume to control the overall output. The magnets in the bridge have been changed for one A2 and one A4 while the magnets in the neck have been replaced with an A3 and an A4, so the tone of both pickups in all modes is a little softer than the scooped tone of the stock A5s.
Additionally, the stock volume pot was logarithmic taper, which I loathe, and it was quite stiff to move as well as measuring 482k; this has been replaced with a linear taper pot which measures 512k, that also turns faster.

Pictures!



Not seen dot inlays done this way before.



The heel is only a slight contour, but combiend with the double cutaway the fret access is improved over the usual set neck design; it feels like playing an SG, despite the thicker body and earlier join.



I do love Korean guitars. Most of the guitars that I have ended up keeping are Korean, whilst I've sold every Japanese and American guitar I've ever had. They're not the greatest guitars ever, but it's nice to have something that is A) built decently enough that you can rely on it while B) being cheap enough that you can focus on playing it, rather than looking after it.






Part 2: NPuD
(I realise that pickup talk is meant to go in GG&A really, but I didn't think this deserved its own thread, though I still wanted to give it a mention.)

A while back I grabbed a dirt cheap Epi LP Studio, which had some surprisingly decent pickups in it, as far as MIC stock pickups go, at least. But they were destined to be removed, as I had been on the line to Seymour Duncan and had some unique SD Custom Shop pickups on their way to me.

Basically, I just want to say that if you want some custom pickups where you can just say "I want to make THIS guitar sound like THIS", the SD Custom Shop will nail it for you. They got it perfect for me first time around.

My request was for something that was a proper humbucker but which had a bit of the extra bit that a P-90 has; additionally, I wanted a smooth, 50s still tonal balance, but the more compressed response of modern pickups. They were to fit into a basic Les Paul with a naturally darker tone than most LPs, with just 500k volume controls on each pickup (I always disconnect the tone controls) and phase switching. Finally, I wanted the neck pickup to be wound for a quarter more output than the bridge. These are the result.
The bridge pickup has 42 AWG wire wound to a total of 9.4k (uneven; coil closest to the neck is the slightly hotter of the two), wax potted, an A8 magnet, one row of slug coils and one row of allen screw poles.
Neck pickup is 43 AWG wire wound to 12.7k (again, the coil closest to the neck is slightly more powerful than the other), unpotted, an A2 magnet and the same slug/allen combination as the bridge; it is made 'reversed', so it is installed in the Peter Green style with the visible pole pieces towards the bridge.

Still not sorted out this whole recording thing, other than using the UX1, which practically disregards pickups. So all I can do is stress how ridiculous these sound. It's like if Peter Green had grown up listening to too much Nightwish. The neck pickup sends a lot of the output to the amp, but the tone has the same balance and clarity of a typical PAF copy, with just a tiny bit more treble; pinch harmonics scream out of it, completely killing the motion that you need to use a bridge pickup to do them. The bridge has the tight wound strings of modern pickups and the smooth plain strings of classic ones; with low gain it sounds very close to a P-90, with high gain its got the sound of an EMG 81. The middle position sounds like the clean tone on Prince's Purple Rain when in phase, and out of phase the extra power of the neck pickup instantly gives a Peter Green/Joe Perry/Gary Moore solo tone.

Lacking sound clips, a picture of the unusual—but I think, rather swank—look will have to do.



... Though, they did cost more than the guitar. Each. Maybe I should have saved them for something a bit nicer. Eh, it sounds bang-on perfect and plays decently enough.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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Tom 1.0
Hot For Teacher
Join date: Jun 2007
6,308 IQ
#2
What a thread title..... What a colour!

Awesome guitars these! Though naughty Fibble for buying another guitar lol
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1977 Burny FLG70
dannyalcatraz
Black Cherry Jello
Join date: Dec 2008
3,265 IQ
#3
HN big pile of stuff D!

(As for the pups- if you do decide to get something nicer, you can always swap 'em out from this baby.)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
hminh87
Justin here!
Join date: Apr 2007
4,672 IQ
#4
Thats one smokin' hot guitar!
G͔͓̅e͎͉̟̽ͬ͐̎̃͐ͨͅå͈͖͕̹̤̟̐̏͋ͅr̩͕̫̰̗s̹̳̼ͥ̒̍̄̅ͥ̚:


ESP Standard Eclipse I CTM VW
ESP LTD Deluxe H-1001
ESP LTD Deluxe Viper-1000 STBC
ESP Edwards E-EX-100STD
Warmoth Paulcaster "Tiger"
Tanglewood TW170 AS
Vox Tonelab ST
Blackstar HT-1R


Mephaphil
No empty frets.
Join date: Apr 2012
1,956 IQ
#6
That's pretty cool, man. I've never played one. That finish looks great.

HNGD!
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


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Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


JustRooster
Internet Bully
Join date: Jan 2005
7,166 IQ
#7
I just put both P-rails in a friend's guitar. I'm a big fan of them!

Quote by EyeNon15
Thats too bad, I was under the impression I was arguing something profound

MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
4,127 IQ
#9
Quote by Tom 1.0
Though naughty Fibble for buying another guitar lol
My flimsy justification is my rack is made for six guitars and there were only five in there. So long as the Kramer stays in its own case. And I leave one out.

And I ignore the two under my bed.

And the three in the attic.


... I am completely incompetent.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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dannyalcatraz
Black Cherry Jello
Join date: Dec 2008
3,265 IQ
#10
So...you're saying you can't count to six?

Hmm...6 in a multi-stand, and 7 others? You need another guitar to avoid having an unlucky number of them!

(You can keep #14 in a case under a ladder, guarded by a broken mirror and a black cat.)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
Arby911
Finding the Pattern
Join date: Jul 2010
832 IQ
#11
Congrats, and nice job on the writeup.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
2,967 IQ
#12
Quote by MrFlibble
My flimsy justification is my rack is made for six guitars and there were only five in there. So long as the Kramer stays in its own case. And I leave one out.

And I ignore the two under my bed.

And the three in the attic.


... I am completely incompetent.


ahahahahahah excellent

nice scores there.
Quote by classicrocker01
Only on UG would I say I got engaged and bought a jet city and get congratulated on the amp


WholeLottaIzzy
UGs Only Rhythm Guitarist
Join date: Apr 2011
6,023 IQ
#13
You reckon if I sent a few videos to Seymour Duncan with the sound I want, their custom shop could wind me some pickups to match that sound? Or is that a bit far fetched?
MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
4,127 IQ
#14
Quote by WholeLottaIzzy
You reckon if I sent a few videos to Seymour Duncan with the sound I want, their custom shop could wind me some pickups to match that sound? Or is that a bit far fetched?
I didn't send them videos, but I did name specific songs and certain other manufacturer's pickups as reference points. The most important thing that they stressed to me, since shipping back and forth would be a total pain and we wanted to get the pickups right the first time around, was to be really specific about the guitar the pickups were going into, right down to the string gauge I'd be using with it. If they don't know what sort of sound your guitar has then they'll just be guessing at the pickup spec.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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gregs1020
Hi mom!
Join date: Dec 2007
10,786 IQ
#15
that's about as badass an LTD as i've ever seen.

nice score.

huge love for the gold sparkle.
Quote by Roc8995
I don't think I've ever played anything in black walnut. It's a great ice cream flavor, so I assume it works well for a strat too.

Quote by JustRooster
The slugs in the pickups for telecasters are from old winchester rifles, which is why they sound so country.
dannyalcatraz
Black Cherry Jello
Join date: Dec 2008
3,265 IQ
#16
I have to say, I'm not a huge fan of gold guitars. Many times, they have a slightly greenish cast to my eyes, but that one seems to avoid that issue. Very pure & clean, a true gold.

I hope I'll be as lucky down the road- a limited edition guitar I ordered was no longer available in the color I chose, so I had to settle for the gold metal flake instead.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
H4T3BR33D3R
Resident Gibson Whore
Join date: Nov 2007
2,488 IQ
#17
Tremendous looking guitar man.


I wish it was mine
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mmolteratx
UG God
Join date: Sep 2008
3,786 IQ
#18
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I have to say, I'm not a huge fan of gold guitars. Many times, they have a slightly greenish cast to my eyes, but that one seems to avoid that issue. Very pure & clean, a true gold.

I hope I'll be as lucky down the road- a limited edition guitar I ordered was no longer available in the color I chose, so I had to settle for the gold metal flake instead.


Half the beauty of a gold guitar is the greening with age.

And I really like the aesthetics of those pickups. Heard good things about the Duncan CS, particularly after they got the Leesona winder. Might have to check them out instead of ordering another pair of Sheps. I assume you had to go straight through them, right? No dickinv around with a dealer?
E-peen:
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(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
GOLDIE93
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2007
389 IQ
#19
Nice.
Gonna have to look into one of them. I loves me an all gold guitar.
YA GOTTA HIT IT ON THE ONE
pics of gear updated on profile 11/16/09
nickdohle
Let's a go Mario!
Join date: Feb 2009
1,255 IQ
#20
HNGD! I loved the P rails I played. Extremely versatile and I had a blast with all the switching possibilities. You can nail just about any tone with those. They should be recommended around here more
miio
Registered User
Join date: May 2011
234 IQ
#21
Thats pretty damn sweet! HNGD man!
MrFlibble
Puts a bangin' donk on it
Join date: Apr 2008
4,127 IQ
#22
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I have to say, I'm not a huge fan of gold guitars. Many times, they have a slightly greenish cast to my eyes, but that one seems to avoid that issue. Very pure & clean, a true gold.
That's the bronze elements of the old 'Goldtop' nitro paint. Most poly golds don't discolour and you can get other shades of gold nitro that won't discolour either.

But having slightly larger flakes like this does help, too. Original Goldtops have quite a smooth metallic quality, so you get more of the colour and less of the metallic. Any discolouration becomes more obvious. The larger and sparklier (if that's even a word) the flakes get, the more you'll just notice the reflective properties and the less you notice any inconsistency in the colour.

... Personally, I'm just a big camp girls' blouse and love anything gaudy.


Quote by mmolteratx
I assume you had to go straight through them, right? No dickinv around with a dealer?
I'm in the UK, so I normally would have had to have gone through a shop; as it happens I've a friend at SD's UK distributor, so I was able to cut out one of the two middle-men, at least.
My understanding is that if you're in the US, you can phone up Seymour Duncan directly and order right from them. For everywhere else, you need to contact a shop who will contact the local distributor who will contact Seymour Duncan.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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dannyalcatraz
Black Cherry Jello
Join date: Dec 2008
3,265 IQ
#23
Personally, I'm just a big camp girls' blouse and love anything gaudy.


I can't say I like "anything" gaudy- I have owned several Volvos and currently drive an Accord- but I'm flashy enough to confuse the hell out of people.

Once, wearing jewelry I designed, a slik shirt, and a pink vest done by Cosette into an Irish pub (in not the best neighborhood)to shoot pool & drink with two of my friends (a redheaded girl and a 6'4" behemoth), I thought I might get picked on or mocked by patrons thinking I was gay.

But nobody bugged me whey left me at the pool table to take care of business elsewhere in the bar. They returned 20 minutes later, laughing their asses off.


Apparently, according to conversations held in their vicinity, I had been mistaken for a "leg-breaker" and "hired muscle."
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.