#1
Hi all,
I hope you can help. I have a 1982 Aria PE R80 guitar that I am planning to do some upgrades on. It is a Les Paul style guitar. The guitar is 100% stock and I would like to do upgrades that don't prevent me from returning it to its original condition.
For a 33 year old guitar it is in good condition overall. The neck and frets are in excellent shape. The body is in good shape except for a few nicks and scratches. However, the guitar is very noisy. I think that the bridge needs to have a ground wire put in. Also, I am planning to copper foil shield the pickup and control cavities. When I do this, do I connect the ground wire from the electronics to the copper foil shield?

The upgrades I have planned are:

Locking tuners: Schaller or Sperzel or perhaps something else?

Bridge and Tailpiece: Currently it has the stock bridge and tailpiece which are very much like Gibson's tune-o-matic setup. I am looking for recommendations on something that would easily put on without any woodwork. Recommendations are welcome.

As for pickups, I am going to try a Dimarzio Norton DP160 in the bridge position. I welcome recommendations for a complimentary neck pickup and/or a different pickup setup altogether. FWIW, I will be playing classic/modern rock and some country music. I won't be doing any shredding. I really enjoy Neal Schon's playing/sound if that helps. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks and take care.

-JP
#2
You seem to have the right idea.

The tuner holes may need to be larger if they are press in bushings originally.

Gotoh makes some nice replacement bridges

A new Graphtech nut would be a good idea also
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#3
Quote by jfpenkala
FWIW, I will be playing classic/modern rock and some country music. I won't be doing any shredding. I really enjoy Neal Schon's playing/sound if that helps. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks and take care.



FWIW, most of the guitars that Neal has been using are set up similar to one another by Gary Brawer in San Francisco. Traditionally, his favorite bridge pickup has been a hand-selected hot '57 (about 9.2kohm; not a standard reading for a '57). Because he has a sustainer on most of his guitars, the single-coil size sustainer driver shares a pickup ring with a DiMarzio Fast Track II single coil size humbucker. You'll usually notice that his quad of controls are spaced differently from the way most LPs are (this includes the Gibson sig guitar from about 2005, the Yamahas he used at the Yamaha dealer meeting at NAMM while he was in transition, and the current PRS he's using now. His controls are a master volume, master tone, a Sustainer Intensity knob and a sweepable passive mids cut on a push-pull. The information on the mids cut control is available from Gary Brawer in an older (April, a couple of years ago) Guitar Player magazine article.

A new bridge probably isn't going to be an expense you need to incur unless the current one has collapsed or corroded badly. I'd definitely go with a Tusq-type nut; this can make a bigger difference to your maintaining tune than new tuners.
#4
I'm wondering why you want to change the hardware. I'm guessing it came out of the Matsumoku factory, the same as my '82 Westone, and the only real weakness was in the pickups and a small flimsy tailpiece. The tuners on mine are still very good, probably Gotoh., and if your tailpiece is Gibson style, it could be as good as any standard quality version you can get now.
#5
Quote by dspellman
FWIW, most of the guitars that Neal has been using are set up similar to one another by Gary Brawer in San Francisco. Traditionally, his favorite bridge pickup has been a hand-selected hot '57 (about 9.2kohm; not a standard reading for a '57). Because he has a sustainer on most of his guitars, the single-coil size sustainer driver shares a pickup ring with a DiMarzio Fast Track II single coil size humbucker. You'll usually notice that his quad of controls are spaced differently from the way most LPs are (this includes the Gibson sig guitar from about 2005, the Yamahas he used at the Yamaha dealer meeting at NAMM while he was in transition, and the current PRS he's using now. His controls are a master volume, master tone, a Sustainer Intensity knob and a sweepable passive mids cut on a push-pull. The information on the mids cut control is available from Gary Brawer in an older (April, a couple of years ago) Guitar Player magazine article.

A new bridge probably isn't going to be an expense you need to incur unless the current one has collapsed or corroded badly. I'd definitely go with a Tusq-type nut; this can make a bigger difference to your maintaining tune than new tuners.



Thanks for the insight into Neal's guitar setups. I read in another post that he used a Sustainer and a FastTrack2 but always wondered about that because I didn't know they shared the space in the neck position. At this point, I don't think I want to go through the cost/effort of installing a Sustainer. FWIW, I am replacing the tuners because a couple of them slip. The guitar has a brass nut. I thought those were okay? However, I will probably keep the bridge.