#1
I'm really excited about the release of the Epiphone RD but not willing to shell out $799 for it new, nor do I want to wait months trolling the used market for a good deal (though I'll probably catch myself looking around every corner and in every pawn shop I can find - but I digress). I'm waiting to modify my Epi Les Paul with the same basic setup as the RD. Does anyone know about active pickups enough to suggest or speak against them? I'm considering more of a Gibson based conversion (using active humbuckers) rather than the Epi version. Still thinkinxce though. Thought?
#2
I don't know that one. Got a link?
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#3
Are you talking about the Lee Malia Artisan RD?

If you are, then how are active pickups relevant to the discussion? The Artisan RD's pickups are passive.
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#4
Yes the excitement has built for me in relation to the Artisan RD, but my original love is with the Gibson RD's from the '70's and 80's...many of those were installed with active pickups and that's what I'm considering. My apology if this was not conveyed effectively with the "Gibson based conversion (using active humbuckers) rather than the Epi version" statement.
#7
Well if youre really interested in what Lee Malia actually uses in his guitar then the Gibson setup wouldnt be correct considering he never used one AFAIK.
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#8
H4T3BR33D3R I'm just in love with the form and feel of the RD guitars and the versatility that many of them offer given their distinct setups. I am truly uninterested in replicating the sound of Malia or using a setup like his just for the sake of it being his sound and setup. I more just love the RD and want to incorporate some of it's components into a guitar I have because purchasing one isn't financially viable for me at the moment...
#9
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_RD

Hmmm...sounds like the Gibson version was kind of like what Godin calls its High Definitiin Revoicer (HDR) system and a precursor to Moog's own guitars from a few years ago...but not as well executed as either. Shame, too, considering Moog did the electronics on them.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
Just putting different electronics in a Les Paul will hardly give you the form and feel of an rd. I'm confused at where you are going with this.

This almost feels like advertising
#11
monwobobbo Yes, I'm totally advertising. Thanks for your inquiry...everyone's a critic huh...no one simply has an input relative to the actual topic simply wants to argue semantics, etc. To be expected I guess...
#12
Well, it IS confusing.

What- precisely- is your goal?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#13
To get close to mod my Les Paul inspired by the RD of the old brought about by the hype of the newer release. I want to edge toward that sound and setup without having to shell out major $ for a new guitar (or even more for a vintage guitar). Goal of this thread....to get feedback about such hardware and related things to the modification and process thereof. To be more concise, here's an example, does anyone have experience with active pickups? Does anyone have related modification experience? if so, did it seem worth it for you?
#15
So I'm trying to figure out exactly what you're looking for here, and have three guesses, you tell me if any of these are correct:
  1. You're looking to do an active pickup conversion in your Gibson (I'm assuming Les Paul)? 
  2. You're looking for the Moog active electronics that came in the original RD's, which I'm assuming would be quite expensive/hard to find these days
  3. You're trying to make your guitar sound like the modern Epiphone Artisan RD, which has passive electronics?

I think it's pretty clear you're not advertising anything, I don't see where that idea came from, but that's pretty much the only thing that is clear in this thread, lol.
#16
jackleigh918

I mentioned advertising because of the way you have presented things. It's just odd.

Dude just slapping any old active pickups in your Les Paul won't accomplish what you seem to want. The RD had a very specific circuit in it which was more than just the pickups. It should be no surprise that most here have never played an actual RD. They were rare even when new.

Your goal isn't as clear as it could be.
#17
Thread was moved to forum: Gear Building & Customizing

I think more luck will be had here.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#18
I think I see what you are going for here but as others have said putting modern active pickups like EMG's or Duncan Blackouts will not offer the switchable bright mode, treble and bass boost, compression and expansion of the vintage Moog circuit board set up therefore will not really replicate the sound of the vintage RD guitars.

So in order to achieve what you are seemingly going after simply installing modern active pickups is not going to accomplish that and you would need to aquire the Moog pickup/circuit board setup to mod your LP. I was able to locate one for sale on Reverb $300 for the circuit board and electronics sans the pickups but be be ready to get out your router:

https://reverb.com/item/6121350-gibson-rd-artist-moog-electronics-only-w-schematic-1977?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4veyg4H61QIVBUSGCh3HuAwyEAkYAyABEgLmYvD_BwE&pla=1
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

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Last edited by Evilnine at Aug 28, 2017,
#19
Who is this Lee Malia? Is he only famous in America? I live in Germany and have never heard of him - despite being very active on youtube, instagram etc.
Hooper drives the boat chief...
#20
Quote by jackleigh918
To get close to mod my Les Paul inspired by the RD of the old brought about by the hype of the newer release. I want to edge toward that sound and setup without having to shell out major $ for a new guitar (or even more for a vintage guitar). Goal of this thread....to get feedback about such hardware and related things to the modification and process thereof. To be more concise, here's an example, does anyone have experience with active pickups? Does anyone have related modification experience? if so, did it seem worth it for you?


Here's the first thing you don't understand. The pickups weren't really active pickups. There was a separate active preamp in the guitar that provided a bright mode, etc. in the original.

These things were fairly common in the '70's on higher end guitars, and they often offered both an active and a passive mode (should the 9V battery die, etc.). One example is the active mode preamp on Carvins of the era (and right up to the early 2000s) -- the pickups themselves were passive, but an active preamp changed the tone controls. Instead of the usual 2T 2V setup, you had an active treble with a plus or minus 15 dB active boost/cut (the middle detent on the "5" was about what you'd get if you dimed normal tone controls) and an active bass with a plus or minus 15 dB active boost/cut. There was a master volume and a blend knob. In addition there were phase switches and single coil choices.

Other '70's choices: the Ibanez AR500 came with an active/passive system that had passive pickups but an active preamp that added boosts and active EQ (three knob) and more. Bartolini offered an active preamp setup that included two different treble boosts and a varitone-like six-position switch. Alembic was all over the place with active preamps as well.

In short, you're misunderstanding the whole setup on a '70's RD and the modern RDs with the Lee Malia name tacked on are NOTHING like the originals, do not have active pickups and have, at best, a coil under the pickguard to help reduce some of the hum of the single coil in the bridge and any single coil mode on the bridge pickup. That's lightyears from the original RD setup.

Gibson was concerned, at the time, that synthesizers were taking over the world, and since they owned Moog Music at the time, they had Bob Moog design circuitry that they thought might get them attention and update guitars. The circuitry is (on the ones I've played) noisy and not very well developed (Moog left to form his own company) and I'm not sure you'll be impressed. You might be more impressed with the *idea* of it than you will be with the implementation. No one (other than you) is clamoring for it to be reissued.

There are preamp designers out there (mostly working on custom basses) who have great designs that could easily be adapted to a guitar. There just hasn't been a market for it on the guitar side of things.
Last edited by dspellman at Aug 28, 2017,
#21
Quote by jackmiddlemiss
Who is this Lee Malia? Is he only famous in America? I live in Germany and have never heard of him - despite being very active on youtube, instagram etc.


He's not famous in America -- he's with a brit group called Bring Me The Horizon (BMTH). Not on my play list, either.
#22
Quote by dspellman
He's not famous in America -- he's with a brit group called Bring Me The Horizon (BMTH). Not on my play list, either.

Good, I was afraid I was missing something good  
Hooper drives the boat chief...
#23
dspellman

Yeah, even the very nice Moog guitar kinda...fizzled.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#24
Still not going to get you anywhere near the Moog circuitry but Seymour Duncan does offer the BMP-1 modular preamp that will essentially make any 4 conducter wire pickup into an active pickup. Just trying to give you some options.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/seymour-duncan-blackouts-modular-preamp/h70264000002000?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIov-xiKn61QIVzouzCh0aLgYDEAQYASABEgIH6fD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

Last edited by Evilnine at Aug 28, 2017,
#25
Quote by jackmiddlemiss
Who is this Lee Malia? Is he only famous in America? I live in Germany and have never heard of him - despite being very active on youtube, instagram etc.

I thought it was just me. Never heard of him.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#28
Evilnine Thanks for your response. I appreciate the research and time you applied to providing this information. I'll be updating shortly after installation is complete...or throughout the process if there are any hiccups (I'm a little nervous to cut into my guitar but eager to see how this turns out.
Last edited by jackleigh918 at Sep 10, 2017,
#29
I'll be updating shortly after installation is complete...or throughout the process if there are any hiccups (I'm a little nervous to cut into my guitar but eager to see how this turns out.
#30
You could always get an Eastwood RD and mod that. They're a little cheaper than the Epi's and I think there's more room to cut out a spot for the electronic circuit if you need to.