#1
I'm a teenager, and I have sort of taken over my father's strat, and I intend to leave it for him when I move out. It's no fender, it's a no-name mid 70's copy, and from the information I've been able to conjure up, it was made in the USSR. It's a very nice guitar, nice thick 50's style neck, big CBS headstock, clear closs finish, and the hardware is very aged. Unfortunately, most of the hardware is aged to a point where it needs to be replaced (particularly, the tuners and pickups, both are literally rotting) I've decided on Gotoh vintage style tuners, with white buttons.
The reason for this is that the original button broke off the high E, so I replaced it with the button from a set of tuners that had white ones, and he liked the way it looked. The original tuners don't hold very well, and overall, have too many plastic parts than I would like there to be on a set of tuners.

The bridge doesn't actually have a sustain block, it's literally a piece of sheet metal bent into a sort bracket shape, like so : [
I intend to put a Gotoh 510 low friction vintage tremolo on it, as I don't want to spend a ton of money (It's about $90 on amazon)

As far as pickups go, I definitely want an HSS config. I would like to keep the original pickguard, as it's still in good condition, and is naturally aged. The pickguard is cut for SSS, of course, and I dont want to cut it up, I would prefer to leave the SSS cutouts in the pickguard, as well as the fact that I haven't got a router, and the body itself is routed for SSS as well, therefore, I'm thinking single coil sized humbuckers. I'm thinking a duncan JB Jr, but I'm not sure yet. What single coil sized bridge humbucker would you guys recommend for Zeppelinesque sound?

For the neck, I'm thinking a neck tele pickup, in reference to Jimmy's tele. Are there any vintage style tele neck pups that are reasonably priced?

Not sure what I'm going to put in the middle position, suggestions would be helpful.

Feel free to criticize my choice in parts.

Also, yeah, I know, the amp is also a factor in the sound. I've got a 1981 Marshall Lead 12 that is more than capable of getting some decent Jimmy tones with the right pickups.
Last edited by guitar42697 at May 4, 2015,
#2
With the amount of money you are going to put into this guitar you could probably buy a fairly good used Tele that at least you will get resale out of if you ever intend to sell it.

If you can find a tele with Vintage Reissue 52' pickups those are pretty good for all intents and purposes.
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#3
Jimmy was fond of teles I heard he used them a lot in the studio for that matter. Two or three guys on youtube got really into it.

Jimmy Pages wiring is very intricate, wiring in this case is very important to get some of his sounds so 4 wire pickups are a must to do out of phase in at least two of the positions on this guitar. Phase reversal for 2 wire humbuckers. Single coils it's a whole different story.

there is one pickup seymour duncan makes called the "whole lotta humbucker" you can try out. BUT honestly it's about as much about the guitar sound you've got and you working with it. A cool pickup or 7 with peoples names on it that wheren't designed for strats isn't going to help as much as we think/believe. . I mean you could get a guitar processor like a line 6 pod (on a budget they are pretty good, not tour worthy) or something like positive grid.

for Jimmy pages wiring he has a lot going on in his les pauls though, he can get 20+ sounds out of his wiring and it's one wiring that everyone cringes when they see because it's so complex and intimidating as you'd need 4 push pull pots. You've got a coilsplit in each pickup for single coil sounds with that buzz people put up with , a way to put both pickups in parallel (hum cancelling coiltap not coilsplit, weaker signal) and finally out of phase for the twangier tones. Now you wouldn't need all of this going on in your strat, you could coilsplit or whatever most of the pickups not all and so forth but in the end it's very difficult to get someone elses tone without starting with a similar guitar this is why processors are great today where we can "correct" our own guitars instead of having to run out for exactly what Jimmy used.
#4
Quote by thejester
With the amount of money you are going to put into this guitar you could probably buy a fairly good used Tele that at least you will get resale out of if you ever intend to sell it.

If you can find a tele with Vintage Reissue 52' pickups those are pretty good for all intents and purposes.


Thing is, it's more about the meaning behind it, the body and neck themselves are actually rather nice, so it would be worth it. I don't care about resale value, and neither does he
Part of the reason I'm doing it is because he believes the guitar is worthless and belongs in a landfill, which it does not, it plays surprisingly nice.

The goal with this guitar is to cram as many sounds as I can into it- I'm aiming for the Les Paul tone with the JB (I know it's not going to sound like an LP, but that's alright, it'll get it close enough) I want the tele sound in the neck pickup. I may be able to salvage the middle pickup that's already in the guitar, it's got a distinct sort of danelectro sound to it, sounds great playing kashmir on it.

So like I said, it's less about the money and more about the meaning.
#5
Quote by Tallwood13
Jimmy Pages wiring is very intricate, wiring in this case is very important to get some of his sounds so 4 wire pickups are a must to do out of phase in at least two of the positions on this guitar.

Hogwash. The "Jimmy Page Wiring" was added to #1 after Zeppelin stopped recording, and I have yet to hear any of these allegedly crucial switches in action in any of the hundreds of hours of live Zeppelin tapes out there. Most people have never even heard Page playing with that wiring, so to suggest that it's necessary to sound like him is incorrect.

Page got a massive range of live tones out of a Plexi or a Hiwatt (depending on the year) and a Les Paul with standard wiring and a swapped bridge pickup (T-Top instead of a PAF). Different tones were almost all done by manipulating the standard LP controls, and with a cocked wah where necessary. The "Jimmy Page Wiring" has almost nothing to do with anything you'll ever hear on a Zeppelin album, live or studio, and it's mostly an attempt by the uninformed or overzealous to stuff as many switches as possible in a guitar with little regard for practicality or necessity. It's an interesting wiring, for sure, and it does get you a lot of sounds, but unless you're trying to reproduce mid-90s Jimmy Page with the Black Crowes and not late-70s Jimmy Page with Zeppelin, you'll want to look elsewhere for electronics cues.


If you want to sound closer to a LP, I would not suggest using a JB. It is a very good strat pickup and it's a decent pickup in a Les Paul but it is not going to help your strat sound like a Les Paul. It is going to make your strat sound like a hotter strat. It's a bright pickup without much warmth or bass. For something closer to the LP sound you're probably going to want a little '59 or similar. Again, the JB is a good pickup and I actually think it would be great for playing zeppelin with a strat, but if you want to sound like a Les Paul it's the wrong tool for the job. A PAF is a better fit for that specifically.

Also, you're not going to be able to drop in a tele neck pickup. It won't fit. Any decent strat neck pickup ought to be good, though, or you could get something like the Duncan duckbucker or a lipstick tube if you want a more pronounced effect. The Duncan Twangbanger is an actual tele pickup that will fit in a strat, but I haven't played it so I can't report on if it does the job. You'd probably want to put it in the middle position if you went that route.
#7
They're quite close. I changed a pickguard for a friend a while ago, he wanted to go to a full sized JB from the junior. So a pretty good test, back to back and with the same guitar. With some adjustments they were basically indistinguishable. The only small differences I noticed were that the junior was a bit crisper and maybe a little harsher/thinner in the high end but they were surprisingly close. I use the Junior myself now if the guitar is set up for SSS already. I used to install a full sized JB on everything under the assumption that it would be a bit better, but after that test I just put in whichever model fits the current pickguard. It's not worth the pickguard conversion unless you care about how it looks.

Of course, the JB is probably the best translation to the smaller format. It's already a bright pickup so the ceramic magnet they use to get it in a smaller size isn't as big of a departure. The little 59 is not quite as accurate IMO but I've not had the chance to try it in the same guitar like the JBs. Even if they aren't exact they are both very good pickups, unlike the other "rails" single-sized buckers from Duncan.
#8
Page played the Tele that he had been using with the Yardbirds on the first Led Zep album with a small Supro amp. The Tele had been a gift from Jeff Beck (his childhood friend). There are excellent videos of both late stage Yardbirds performances and early Led Zep performances with Jimmy playing that same Tele with Marshall's live and the Supro in the studio. Though he moved from the Tele to a Les Paul (that he bought from Joe Walsh in his James Gang days), I think Pages tone on the first album with the Tele was the ultimate Jimmy Page tone.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at May 5, 2015,
#9
Quote by Rickholly74
Page played the Tele that he had been using with the Yardbirds on the first Led Zep album with a small Supro amp. The Tele had been a gift from Jeff Beck (his childhood friend). There are excellent videos of both late stage Yardbirds performances and early Led Zep performances with Jimmy playing that same Tele with Marshall's live and the Supro in the studio. Though he moved from the Tele to a Les Paul (that he bought from Joe Walsh in his James Gang days), I think Pages tone on the first album with the Tele was the ultimate Jimmy Page tone.



With the exception of You Shook Me which was on a borrowed Gibson V.


II and III was mostly LP IIRC.


Pagey whipped out the tele again for the stairway solo on IV as well.
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#10
Great. Didn't know about him using the Flying V. I always thought that when he used his bow on the Tele it sounded better than later when he did it on the Les Paul. There a Yardbirds video on YouTube of them playing live on a German TV show doing "Days and Confused" and the Tele with the bow sounds great. They also do "Happening Ten Years Ago" with Jimmy playing both his parts and Jeff Becks's.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#11
I think your Dad is right. You say it's a nice guitar but go on to describe a pretty rancid POS. pouring $$ into this one is probably unwise at best but if you must... Put a vintage Strat PU in the neck an lil 59 in the bridge. Then find an old Fender Champ, dime it and wail. If you got the chops, Zep tone should be on tap.

You are describing about $400 in parts needed which would buy a nice mim Tele tomorrow.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at May 7, 2015,
#12
Quote by Cajundaddy
I think your Dad is right. You say it's a nice guitar but go on to describe a pretty rancid POS. pouring $$ into this one is probably unwise at best but if you must... Put a vintage Strat PU in the neck an lil 59 in the bridge. Then find an old Fender Champ, dime it and wail. If you got the chops, Zep tone should be on tap.

You are describing about $400 in parts needed which would buy a nice mim Tele tomorrow.



The guitar itself plays nice, and is built out of pretty nice woods, it's simply that the guitar is literally so old and played, certain parts are deteriorating, however, the guitar itself is in reasonable condition given it's age
#13
Quote by guitar42697
The guitar itself plays nice, and is built out of pretty nice woods, it's simply that the guitar is literally so old and played, certain parts are deteriorating, however, the guitar itself is in reasonable condition given it's age


ignore the guys telling you to get a different guitar.

They always say that when this kind of question comes up and can't seem to wrap their heads around something being sentimental or meaningful to the player.

Good luck with your project though, hope it exceeds your expectations.
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#14
Quote by guitar42697
What single coil sized bridge humbucker would you guys recommend for Zeppelinesque sound?

For the neck, I'm thinking a neck tele pickup, in reference to Jimmy's tele. Are there any vintage style tele neck pups that are reasonably priced?



Take a close look at the DiMarzio Fast Track II for the bridge position. I'm actually using one in the neck position of a Les Paul (Yes, it's a single coil size humbucker...), but it was designed for the strat bridge position.