#1
Folks

I just pre-ordered an Epi LP Custom (the Ace Frehley Budokan model) and it only just occured to me that with three pickups, that middle one might get in the way when I'm picking.

Thing is, I REALLY REALLY want this guitar...is there any way around it? I was thinking I could lower the pickup so it's less in the way, or even remove it all together? But I'm not very technical, so I'm unsure if this will cause problems or anything.

This is the guitar: http://www.epiphone.com/News/Features/News/2012/Ace-Frehley-and-the-Budokan-Les-Paul.aspx

Any of you guys have any experience with this kind of thing? Thanks!
#2
Lowering the pickup will reduce its output and also make its tone clearer. Considering the guitar already has a high output bridge pickup and a thick-sounding neck pickup, it actually does make sense to lower the middle pickup for the change in tone if nothing else; there's not much point having another high output, thick-sounding pickup. You might as well get something clearer in there, add some variety.

The main problem I have with third pickups on Les Pauls is simply that it tends to limit your tone options, since the LP controls were only designed for two pickups and adding more means you have to either take away certain combinations or one pickup is always on or certain pickups won't have certain controls or... you get the idea. Ace himself actually only used the bridge pickup. My advice would be to get the guitar, lower the middle pickup a little bit and see how you like it. If you find yourself mostly just wanting to use the neck and bridge pickups, you can always rewire it like Ace did and leave the middle pickup not wired to anything.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.
#3
I can't see how a pickup can ever get in the way when picking - the pick shouldn't be sticking that far through the strings.

It's interesting (or incredibly boring) to note that Ace's middle pickup was just a dummy, it wasn't actually wired in - i think he sometimes used the cavity for smoke stuff.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#4
"It's interesting (or incredibly boring) to note that Ace's middle pickup was just a dummy, it wasn't actually wired in - i think he sometimes used the cavity for smoke stuff."

No, no...that is INCREDIBLY INTERESTING. Anything to do with Ace, I can listen to all day.

I'm with MrFlibble...I was actually thinking of lowering it if it gets in my way, but also of leaving it unwired. I only use the bridge pickup on my current LP anyway, and I'm happy with that. I leave the neck one turned off so I can do that toggle switch stuttering thing that Ace does. I'm obsessed with Ace, yes.

Is unwiring (de-wiring?) the pickup a big deal or can I do easily myself? I guess I could ask Google that, but we are in a guitar forum, so...
#5
Nothing wrong with being obsessed with Ace, I have a 3 foot square canvas painting of him on my wall

You proably won't want the pickups too high anyway, the Super Distortion in the bridge is damned powerful and will just mud up if it's too close.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#6
3 foot canvas! Hahaah...That's what I'm talking about, man!

What would be the effect of ripping the middle pickup out completely? I'm not really wanting to do that, but...just out of curiousity...I mean, how low can you set it anyway? I'd like a good amount of space in there. I mean, yes my technique is probably less than perfect but I'm fairly heavy handed with my picking...I like to really dig in when I'm bending.
#7
I've got an Epi Riviera Custom that has 3 P-90's in it... after a few minutes of playing it, you won't even notice the Center Pup...

As for controls go, what you'll wind up with is 3 volume controls and one Master tone. Turn volume for the middle pup up or down til you like the tone you're getting... the 3 humbucker configuration takes a bit of getting used to, but once you've got it down, the sound choices are amazing...

I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
#8
If you do only use the bridge pickup then you can take the neck and middle pickups out completely. There would actually be several benefits to this. The reduced magnetic pull on the strings would give you slightly more resonance and sustain, it'll reduce the weight of the guitar (only very slightly, but hey, better than nothing) and it means the pickup selector switch will act as a killswitch all the time, rather than just when you have the neck volume turned down. And they're DiMarzio pickups, so you could even sell them for a fair bit of cash.

Ace didn't just have the middle pickup disconnected, the neck pickup was disconnected as well. He did of course leave all three pickups still in the guitar though - that was just an aesthetic choice. Either way, at least disconnecting the middle and neck pickups is the 'right' way to replicate his guitar.

Disconnecting the pickups is easy, if you're sure you won't want to put them back in at some point. You can just open up the back of the guitar and cut the wires coming from the pickups with a pair of wire cutters (or even just sharp scissors). Try and cut the wires close to where they are soldered to the pots, so there is as much spare wire still attached to the pickups as posisble. If you want to keep the pickups in prime condition (or think you might want to reattach them later), you can desolder them instead; again, this is very simple to do. Rmeoving the pickups entirely (which I'd recommend, unless you really want to keep the 3-pickup look) is a simple case of unscrewing them form the mounting rings.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
A child is trafficked and sold for sex slavery every 30 seconds. Support Love146.
#9
MrFlibble (and everyone else!)...that is awesome info, mate. I'll see how I get on with it, and if I need to remove it completely, I'll just do that. Thanks loads for your help. I was all worried this morning I'd have to cancel the purchase. And, I really did not want to do that. This thing looks freaking awesome and I can't wait to get my hands on it ("That's what she said").
#10
Even if you do remove the pickups you can simply put dummy bobbins in the pickup rings which is what Ace did with his middle pickup AFAIK.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#11
Dummy bobbin? Not sure what that is. That raises an interesting point, though. If I did remove the middle pup, it'd look a little shit with a big hole in the guitar. I guess I could replace it with something that's nice and low and out of way...any suggestions?
#12
smoke bombs

A dummy bobbin would just be the plastic part of the pickup without the magnets or wires, that way you'd keep the look but you wouldn't have any additional magnetic pull on the strings - they're about 80p each from allparts.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#13
Smoke bombs! Hahaha...awesome idea.

Like the idea about the dummy bobbin. This is all great advice, chaps. Really appreciate it.

Now, I just need to get the freaking thing and start playing it. Still....waiting...!
#14
Quote by Ace_1973
Smoke bombs! Hahaha...awesome idea.

Like the idea about the dummy bobbin. This is all great advice, chaps. Really appreciate it.

Now, I just need to get the freaking thing and start playing it. Still....waiting...!

It's i bit of messing but worth it so's you don't ruin the styling of the guitar.

Just for giggles here's my tribute to Ace's less talented mate
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/steven+seagull/pictures/gear/17831/
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#15
NICE. I really don't mind that Iceman, but I always thought Paul's Flying V was waaaaaay cooler. Then again, I always thought Ace's LP was way cooler than the Flying V, too. My question is, in all seriousness, why would anyone play anything OTHER than a Les Paul? Best guitar ever. I take it you also have one, Mark? (I gather that's you're name from the sig?)
#16
I have a weird Epi Les Paul that kind of looks like a toilet seat, it's got some funny pearloid finish...something's not right with it though because you could drive a bus under the strings and I can't get them lower without buzzing regardless of what I do with the truss rod.

The Iceman's a funny beast, it's a bit awkwardly weighted and looks really long but is very comfortable to play. Les Pauls do tend to sit quite comfortably but I think on balance I personally prefer longer scale lengths
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#17
"Drive a bus under the strings" Hahaha...When I first got my LP I found it a nightmare to play as I'd been on a strat copy for ages before it, but now I can't go back. I actually used to have a lime green Ibanez (early 90s!) that was a dream to play, but just was not cool (unless you were playing it in a Poison tribute act).
#18
I had the 3 pickup Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty. It's weird at first, but it's easy to adjust. And, the middle pickup doesn't really do much. Wire it up like a strat, so you can use neck, neck + middle, middle, middle + bridge, then just the bridge.