#1
For you tl;dr folks, I put main points in bold.

I've been getting wayyyy into surf music lately, and I've found that playing it comes quite naturally for me, so I'm going to push forward and start a band (in fact, I have all of the members lined up already). None of my guitars have tremolos, two have single coils, and none of them are exactly recognized surf guitars. Here's the deal:

I want to turn my Gibson SG Standard into a surf machine. The plan:
Put a Bigsby on it. This will be via a vibramate system. In total, this will cost $160. Do you think that's worth it, especially since it's reversible?

Also as a side thought, should I put a roller bridge in place of the normal tune-o-matic? This won't be immediately either way, so there will be graphite/nut sauce in the mix until then.

Next, install a single coil in humbucker size. I have one on my firstact custom shop PW580. It's a great pickup and I looove the sound, I just want it in my SG. The question here: neck or bridge? Whichever I don't put it in will get a Guitar Fetish filtertron knockoff. I'm thinking single in the neck and humbucker in the bridge, but that seems too boring and normal. Sway me.

Anything else I should do? The obvious answer here is 'paint it surf green!' which would be amazing, but I could never do that. This was my first guitar (flame away if you're jealous or whatever) and I don't want to do anything non-reversible to it. The only current modification is a set of Grover tuners in silver because that green looks like boogers. Last thought: any reason to switch off of .10 strings? I can't think of one, but I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks for any help I may get! I don't think this belongs in GB&C since they're all reversible mods/accessories that don't require any technical help.
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#2
Okay, let's try this again. Anybody?
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#3
Doesn't your first guitar hold a bit of sedimental value?
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#4
Quote by wair138
Doesn't your first guitar hold a bit of sedimental value?


Sentimental? Or is the guitar muddy river deposits...?
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#5
Quote by biga29
Sentimental? Or is the guitar muddy river deposits...?


Sentimental :P
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#6
How old is this lovely SG you want to turn into some mockery?
Couldn't you mess with something of no value, like a Tele?
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#7
Quote by Lurcher
How old is this lovely SG you want to turn into some mockery?
Couldn't you mess with something of no value, like a Tele?


That's what I was thinking...
#8
A SG with a Bigsby can be sweet... but are you sure you wanna drill on it? You could also get a Stetsbar. No drilling required and I've heard it does the job well, but it looks awful in most guitars and is incredibly expensive.

I'm not too convinced you can get a surf sound from a SG, even with the single coil. Maybe you should just get a Strat or a Tele. It'll be more expensive than just modding your SG, of course, but they're better suited for the task.
Last edited by The_Bozz at Jul 4, 2009,
#9
I don't see anything wrong with it, except instead of puting a bucker sized single in, I'd get buckers with coil split. That way you don't have to choose between singles and buckers

Or you could spend $350 on a Squier Classic Vibe Tele. That or get a used MIM Standard for $250-350
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#11
well, put the single coil in the neck, use heavy gauge strings, and lots of reverb and play clean. you need a really bass heavy tone, but most of the surf guitar sounds comes from the musican
#12
Did anyone click the 'vibramate' link? That's a mount for a bigsby that requires no drilling. I already have a telecaster (didn't anyone read my sig?) that I baby, and my SG is the beater guitar. It's a 2003 model that I bought in 2005.

My budget is like $250 max so I'm not buying a new guitar for this project, I already have enough guitars. I also know how to get a surf tone, since like I said I have the pickup in one guitar, and my amps and effects are all set up. I just want vibrato and a more playable instrument that looks totally wacky and unconventional.
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#13
I say do it. You probably also might need a trem in the future, it's nice having one.

If you think about it, you're not doing anything irreversible to it so I don't see why not. And on top of that Bigsbys look awesome.
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#14
If you're getting that serious about this style of music (talking about starting a new band), why not buy a new guitar rather than bastardize your SG? In the end, with a Bigsby slapped on it, heavier gauge strings, new pickups and the lot, you'll probably find that this guitar still isn't suited to the genre.
#15
Well I just don't have money for another guitar. I'm happy with the ones I have. The heavy gauge strings are just a side thought that I probably won't go through with. Right now I get the exact tone I want with my SG bridge and the FA bridge pickup. I already know it can make the sounds I want it to as far as tone goes, I know it fits the genre well enough, I just think the pickup swap would make it above and beyond what I expect of the instrument.
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#16
I think it's a great idea, it doesn't hurt to experiment around. It's silly that everyone's saying you'll be mutilating it or you won't get the sound you want; if no one ever experimented with look and sound and went beyond the restrictions of what kind of genre the guitar was "made for", how would guitarists make their own unique tone or differ from one another?

And plus, even if it doesn't give him the exact sound he's looking for, maybe he'll find something he likes even better. Maybe we'll see the birth of acid surfwave or something
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#18
id love to see a sg in surf green
it would either be epic
or epic fail
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#20
given any thought into soapbar pickups?
maybe one of those lipstick tubes?

go wild man, really theres no reason not to do whatever the hell you want to that sg (within reason, no acrylic paint please). after all, they are just tools
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#22
Yeah it's reversible with that trem you linked to, so why not? Screw all these guys and their insistence on keeping any Gibson/Fender/Etc guitar all original. Ultimately, they're just lumps of wood. Do whatever you like with it! Nobody's gonna tell me not to drill holes in and saw lumps off my Limited Edition Gibson. That's right - I'd even butcher a "collector's" one.
#23
I don't have any experience in this kind of stuff, but it seems like a cool idea to me!
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#24
Well I ordered the vibramate and a B5 last night, now I'm looking for a good roller bridge that will drop in place of my tune-o-matic. Anyone have any suggestions for something cheap? I found a billion of them for LPs but I'm not sure if it's the same for an SG, the ones in the pictures don't look like my bridge at all. Help?

Also, any more input on what to do with pickups would be great. Thanks!
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#25
http://www.zzounds.com/item--SEMANTSTRATB

If you were looking for Singelcoils
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#26
Quote by Zapher
http://www.zzounds.com/item--SEMANTSTRATB

If you were looking for Singelcoils

As awesome as that looks, I need them to be humbucker sized. I found some great stuff from GFS so I'm probably gonna go that route.
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
#27
Update: P90 has been installed in the neck (turns out it's an AlNiCo V which is pretty sweet!) and the vibramate is in place! Now I'm just waiting on the Bigsby to get here in the mail (hopefully tomorrow) and then I'll have a whole ton of pics and clips.

Anything else I should do to the guitar while I wait?
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
#28
Skip the bigsby, go for a Stetsbar. Surf requires bends that are too severe for a subtle bigsby.

Also, consider some humbucker-shaped P90s for that classic surf sound. Humbuckers sound wonderful and all, but surf resides with fender jazzmasters and strats (singlecoils) and Mosrites (P90s). Since it is humbucker-sheaped, you will not need any routing in the body and it will get you that surf sound.

Edit: just realised how late my advice is.
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Last edited by kranoscorp at Jul 13, 2009,
#29
u should refinish the SG to surf green, that's what i'm going to do to my faded V. But that's a faded V, I probably wouldn't do that to an SG Std lol
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