#1
Yesterday I happened to stumble across this guitar on craigslist, guy was interested in trades, so I bit. Ended up trading him my xbox 360 and a whole mess of games that I haven't played in years. Pretty good deal for me at least



This is a mid-1970's Univox "Effie". Basically a copy of an Epiphone Casino, it has a thinline body with no center block, and twin humbuckers.
Guitar came in surprisingly good aesthetic quality for it's age. It had the expected buildup of fretboard gunk, but a few swipes of lemon oil helped sort that out. I swear the first time I put the oil on the fretboard it absorbed half of it, the poor wood was so parched and dry. Definitely feels and looks a lot better now. The neck itself is quite interesting. It's a flat D shape from what I can tell, way more flat than my strat's neck. I'm not sure how I like it yet, but it's nice that it didn't come with a baseball bat neck like I expected. I used to own an Ibanez RG and this neck profile reminds me a lot of it. Kinda cramps my hand forming chords at times, but I've been out of practice over spring break so that may have caused most of the discomfort.

Moving on to the important part, the sound. I didn't really have any expectations going into this, having never played a Casino or 335, just messed about on a thinline tele once. The sound is amazing, when it comes through. The wiring or the pickups, maybe even the pots, have gone bad, so it takes a little fiddling for the signal to come through, and when it does, you have to make sure you don't knudge the toggle switch or it will cut out. The bridge humbucker doesn't appear to work when the toggle switches to it, but in the center position it comes through. I'm going to drop in some GFS filtertrons or something similar soon and get the wiring sorted out so this thing can really shine. From what I do hear though, the tone is beautifully open, very warm but also has a lot of definition, not exactly what I was expecting from ancient humbuckers. The midrange is pretty pronounced, the lows are tight and woody, and the highs just sit above everything without being harsh, just chimy and clear.

First impressions: I think I can really learn to love this guitar. It's quite unique, you don't see many people running around town with 40 year old japanese guitars, and it's got the tone to make it a solid addition to my setup.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Pickup suggestions?
They're all welcome, please post away
#2
If you consider it a "vintage" guitar why put garbage pickups in it?
Bhaok

The following statement is true. The proceeding statement is false.
#3
According to my pricing guide, the guitar is worth $350 to $500 in excellent condition. Honestly, it's a vintage guitar. I wouldn't change a thing. Although it's not exactly a 60s ES-335, changing the pickups will ruin the value of the guitar. Leave the vintage pickups as-is. Just fix the bugs without altering the guitar.
#4
I'm not exactly concerned with retaining it's "vintage" value, that's not why I bought the guitar. I want this puppy to shine, I want it to complement my music and be used as a tool. I can understand why it may not be a great idea to put GFS pups in there, they're not that great I admit. I am a student in college atm so I'm low on cash, my thought process was that I would get the pups and fix the wiring and signal issue myself without having to take it in to the shop, all in one go. I would love to pop some boutique pups in there but I can't exactly afford $150 a pup right now. It's nice to hear some opinions though and it's helped me make my mind about the direction I want for this guitar. I think I'll get it set up by our luthier, replace the scratchy pots myself as needed, keep the original pups until I can get some pickups that are worth it later this summer.

I'm a bit worried about working on the guitar. I've never tinkered with any sort of hollow guitar. There doesn't really seem to be a way to get into the interior of the guitar to mess with the wiring without removing the pickups or input jack. So how do I get to the pots? I can only assume that I remove the top, let them drop, then fish them out through the f-holes, but then how do I wire them up?
#6
Fancy
Caparison Angelus HGS, EMG 85/85 18V | Krank Rev1, JJ's | Mesa Recto Cab | Maxon OD808
#7
I remember those. I'd leave it be if I were you. Enjoy it!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#8
Best way of rewiring this is probably gonna be to remove the pickups and gently tease the wiring out through the pickups cavities after unscrewing everything from the outside first. Then you wire everything up before putting it back in. Tie some really thin string around the pot shafts, the jack plug and the switch then feed that through the respective holes before reeling the pots etc through the holes like landing a fish or whatever. Screw in and you're done.

If you like the sound I'd say change out the pots and caps for some nice CTS/sprague ones of the same values, along with a decent switch and jack as these things are likely the source of the problems rather than the pickups.