#1
I'm considering heavily modifying a guitar to be used as a sort of "in the studio" guitar- so there is no need for more than one guitar. At this point I'm sure you're confused. Read on.

Everything will be switchable quickly and easily, without removing strings.

For starters, lets talk about normal stuff:
I'm thinking soloist type body style (I won't be building it, I'll probably buy an old junker)
Tune o matic (preferably no tail piece)
Locking tuners
1v 1t 3 way switch
HH configuration

Now, onto the weirdness
The reason I've opted for a tune o matic is because there will be no space for bridge tension springs. I will re-route the pickup routes all the way through the body. So essentially, it will be like the Gibson Les Paul Push Tone in that regard, but not ugly as sin, as I will be leaving the pickup rings, and actually painting it. (I can't stand the lack of pickup rings, especially in combination with the natural finish on those- I'm not an LP hater lol) I'm thinking of coming up with something similar to the metal plate gibson uses in the control route for shielding, but for a different purpose. It will be to quickly remove the pots and pop in another set quickly, so the pots will be attached directly to the plate, and the plate will be secured to the body of the guitar with several screws. This is to allow me to use pickups that need different value pots, so I can have active humbuckers, passive humbuckers, passive single coils, etc. As far as single coils go, I can use these to be able to use them- Ill be able to remove the pickups, remove the ring, and slide this adapter under the strings.

And yes, I know, it will weaken the body, but keep in mind, this is going to be for studio use, it's not going to be thrashed around

What do you guys think?
#2
for an old junker guitar try guitar fetish they have a clearance sale but you for the sake of tone get some good woods for it being made out of, pickups and wiring are great and within reason even the lowest end guitars can sound great but this is personal experience.

however craigslist, gumtree (uk), kijiji (canada) or ebay are great sites to get bodies and necks. I recently sold a strat knock off all sanded down and cleaned up for 100$ so some people just want to get rid of stuff.

I like the tuneomatic with no tailpiece idea that is more sustain
locking tuners make sure they are 18:1 precision
for the 1T switch try the fender TBX. it shapes the tone 2 ways
for the shielding I've always thought copper shielding was the best option
however wiring mods I can tell you all sorts of ways to get every possible tone out of pickups you can imagine.

turning active to passive I suggest the seymour duncan blackout modulator. It turns passive pickups active because the preamp that makes pickups sound is mounted on a printed circuit board and onto a high end Bournes potentiometer. However 250k resistance there is ways to achieve it for the warmth of single coils.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jan 2, 2015,
#3
IIRC the soloist doesn't have an angled neck, so a TOM might not be the best bridge choice.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#4
Quote by slapsymcdougal
IIRC the soloist doesn't have an angled neck, so a TOM might not be the best bridge choice.

I didn't mean a genuine jackson, necessarily, but a soloist style, for example, I've got an LTD MH series with a TOM.
#5
Quote by Tallwood13
for an old junker guitar try guitar fetish they have a clearance sale but you for the sake of tone get some good woods for it being made out of, pickups and wiring are great and within reason even the lowest end guitars can sound great but this is personal experience.

however craigslist, gumtree (uk), kijiji (canada) or ebay are great sites to get bodies and necks. I recently sold a strat knock off all sanded down and cleaned up for 100$ so some people just want to get rid of stuff.

I like the tuneomatic with no tailpiece idea that is more sustain
locking tuners make sure they are 18:1 precision
for the 1T switch try the fender TBX. it shapes the tone 2 ways
for the shielding I've always thought copper shielding was the best option
however wiring mods I can tell you all sorts of ways to get every possible tone out of pickups you can imagine.

turning active to passive I suggest the seymour duncan blackout modulator. It turns passive pickups active because the preamp that makes pickups sound is mounted on a printed circuit board and onto a high end Bournes potentiometer. However 250k resistance there is ways to achieve it for the warmth of single coils.



The point of this project is that everything will be hot-swappable, so I can switch pickups in a minute or two, using quick connectors for everything, including the pots. This way, I'll have the "perfect" recording guitar
#6
Quote by guitar42697
The point of this project is that everything will be hot-swappable, so I can switch pickups in a minute or two, using quick connectors for everything, including the pots. This way, I'll have the "perfect" recording guitar


Been there, done that.



There are/have been a lot of these concoctions done over the years, none of which were particularly successful.

I think I already have a pretty good recording guitar in the Variax JTV-89F. You might try finding one of the older 500 series electrics (I have one). You'll see them on eBay for around $350-500 these days:



Several reasons why you see these in recording studios.

1. 25 guitar models built in. Switch from tele to strat to LP to SG to 335 to Rick 12 to resonator to acoustic to electric sitar.

2. Edit the guitar models from your computer if you wish

3. Alternate tunings are a click away, up to an octave above or below the string's native tuning. No change in string tension. Want an open G for slide? Singer need a couple of steps down to hit the Steve Perry notes?

4. Single coil sounds (tele, strat, P90's) are noiseless.

5. If you use the Variax (ethernet) cable to a floor or rack-mount pod, you can a) change amps/cabs/fX, alternate tunings and guitar models on the fly with a single stomp and b) you don't run into capacitance considerations that you do with normal guitar cables and c) you don't run down the guitar's internal batteries.

6. The 89F version alllows you to use the Floyd with everything, including bass and baritone tunings, because there's no change in string tension.
#7
I remember the variax actually. They are all ok tones but nothing spectacular so like some kids garage band going to the studio the first time to show their families around christmas time or to pass out to their friends at school or playing a few gigs in cheap clubs with hardly anyone but I'd never play a big stadium with one. Then again I always despised Line 6 gear and just recommend it to people on here who are new to guitar.

anyways... from an engineer / guitar tech perspective.
to make things solderless you'll have to solder a bit. You could go with a seymour duncan liberator which are about 20$ to make pickup swaps solderless but then the question is getting the right resistances. 25k , 250k and 500k or brighter. Because as we know to the trained ear a 1000k pot versus a 25k pot is like night and day. I'd suggest the higher value pots for humbuckers or single coils in a linear potentiometer (B1000k lets say) and then just turn as much brightness down as you want so 5 would be your 500k and then 3 would be roughly 250k.

getting back to things
I'd highly recommend the varitone
a lot of the wiring mods require 4 wire pickups and unless you get TW series EMG you can't do a lot of them.

To make things solderless though you're going to need what are called a wire crimper and "fast on" connectors the male and female variant. Just make sure to get the right kind. On an import input jack it's roughly 4.2mm. You squish the connectors to the end of an unshielded wire. Some of the pins have to squish on to the shielding of wire. From there just test the connection by yanking at the wire and seeing if the wire comes out. If not put some shrink wrap tubing over the exposed part and you've just made a solderless connector like EMG does for their input jacks.

so female ones connect to potentiometer contacts
male ones can connect stuff half way if you'd ever need it
where to buy? ebay
wire crimp tool? ebay, the ratchet squishing one you see all the pros with on ebay give the best results
alternatives, screw in terminals or breakaway headers which are in the PCB world.
honestly all the trouble though I tell people just to solder. Focus on one wire where it starts and begins and you're set.

the seymour duncan liberator is solderless about 20$ american
the blackout modulator is another alternative as well to make passives active.


once either are set up it's a few screws, but with enough googling I'm sure you can just add a preamp (circuit board) to the guitars wiring and make any pickup active without having to have an extra set of pickups.
#8
I think it is massive overkill. I would go variax, or (my preference) HH with single/series/parallel switching to get a variety of sounds. Another option that I have tried is to get humbuckers with 12 screw poles, in which the screw poles can be removed to get Z-coils (three from each coil) or quasi-true SCs (all from one coil, single coil switch selection).

Also, in a studio you can get a lot of variation in tones by altering the amplification/recording chain, and sound editing on the recording.
#9
I've played several Variax guitars, personally, I don't like them, and I prefer the real tone over the emulated tone. I found an old Schecter Damien 6 Diamond series for $100, thinking about going for that.