#1
I hope this is the correct forum.

I've been sitting here for the past few weeks reading about all of the custom jobs you guys are doing on your guitars. Some of the building work is MINDBLOWING.

I currently own an ebony Epiphone Les Paul LP100. I love the black, but I'm getting sick of the cream. So I've decided to make a few modifications.

I've drawn a quick mockup in illustrator, and I just wanted to post my ideas here and get a few tips and suggestions.

This is the guitar as it currently stands (lays/leans against my bed?):

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As you can see, stock pickups (not enough grunt, or sustain ), stock pickguard, stock three-way switch, stock everything. Not particularly exciting.


Here are my ideas:

Pickups:

I play mostly rhythm and solo (the other guitarist in my band plays the lead riffs, so I guess he's the lead) in a band that plays light metal/heavy rock/dark rock and not-as-raw punk rock. I'm thinking of installing a Seymour Duncan Phat Cat in the neck, and a Seymour Duncan JB (SH-4) in the bridge. My strings are Dean Markley 10-52s.

Is this a good pup combo? I've only ever played those pickups on different guitars, and haven't heard them together. I have a 75watt Randall solid-state combo amp and I mainly leave it alone for performances, opting to switch between clean/distortion with my foot pedal, and using stomp boxes for extra effects/more distortion. I choose my tone directly from the pickups, using combinations of the guitars volume/tone knobs, so I think that these pickups will allow for a lot of versitility. The low-end PHAT meat and potatos Phat Cats will give me a an awesome amount of 'chugg' for my rhythm parts, whilst the SH-4s will give me a really good amount of sustain and 'wail' for my solos.


But, will I need any specific parts (new pots? which ones?) to install these pups, or can I just install them as is (ie, rip out the old, solder in the new)?


Hair and Makeup:

I've decided to change the pickup rings to black (glossy metallic finish) and black speedknobs (I decided to keep the speedknobs instead of going for the tophats. I think it would suit it better).

I'm going to take out the old threeway pickup selector switch and replace it with a mini toggle (like this), and get rid of that cream 'rhythm/treble' ring (instead I'm just going to have the toggle screwed straight into the body, with a felt washer between the metal and the guitar's finish).

And lastly, new pickguard! I've seen a bunch of guitars with a really nice mirror finish alloy guard, and I think they look awesome.

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And, because I'm not 100% sure of the mirror finish pickguard, same mods as above, but with a triple ply black pickguard...

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Well, that's about as far as I go with regards to modding. I'm a fairly stock standard kind of girl, so these modifications are pretty huge to me. I'd really be interested in hearing (reading?) your thoughts.

P.S. Yes, I did draw those guitars in illustrator. If anyone would like to use them, I have vector .eps files of them all. Just note me.
Last edited by vaxwell at Mar 10, 2007,
#2
this isnt any help but im a noob at guitar building, but could u send me the illustrator program thing?
Go for the mirror finish pickguard, way cooler
BTW i have the same strap yay
Quote by sargasm
I like to draw pictures of penises everywhere.

It makes me feel like a big man.


Proud owner of a fender deluxe player's strat - honey blonde/maple neck Here it is

Member of the Stratocaster Lovers Group
#3
I can't send you Adobe Illustrator because it's a HUGE program *coughmaybeyoucoulddownloaditfromatorrentsitecough*

Or did you mean for me to send you the .eps files of the guitars? What's your email?

I love that strap, man It's such an awesomely comfortable strap.
#4
go with a jb in the bridge and a sh-2 jazz in the neck
and i have the epi lp custom limited and i can tell u the mirror pickguard kicks ass
and that whole thing with the mini toggle, i hate how on epis you can accidently hit the switch lose all your tone cuz it went to the middle
You get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!
Last edited by blacklp at Mar 10, 2007,
#6
Quote by blacklp
go with a jb in the bridge and a sh-2 jazz in the neck

Thanks for your suggestion. What's your reasoning behind the sh-2 jazz? What benefits does it have over the Phat Cat?

Quote by The RyMan
dont waste your money. buy a new guitar.

Sorry, I should have specified that I don't want to buy a new guitar. I love my guitar - I just want to make it mine rather than some stock standard thing that everyone has. It feels perfect - I love the weight of it, I love how the neck feels, it has perfect action and I love the bolt on neck (there are some benefits to bolt ons). Therefore, a new guitar is not an option. I'm just looking for a way to improve on what I already have.
Last edited by vaxwell at Mar 10, 2007,
#7
ive done everything u want to do except for the toggle, its all pretty easy stuff and it sound like the guitar will look good
You get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!
#8
its smoother is guess is a way to describe, but i didnt read the part about what styles you play, and which pickup is best for your situation, u really have to install them and swap them out and find which one you like, its all opinion
You get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!
#9
Mmm, I suppose the best way is via trial and error. The only problem with that being that it really hurts my bank account. lol. I might see if I can get my hands on an sh-2 because I haven't heard it yet. I'll have a listen and see if it suits my style.

You've already done everything I want to? I'd love to see pics of your guitar
#11
^ He can always just use a washer.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#12
Quote by vaxwell
... I'm a fairly stock standard kind of girl, so these modifications are pretty huge to me. I'd really be interested in hearing (reading?) your thoughts. ...

Quote by Will_Minus
^ He can always just use a washer.

vaxwell is a girl, OK?

vaxwell, I'm not familiar with the PUs mentioned so far but I do like how you've obviously done your research. Your guitar may be fairly inexpensive but since you're fond of it, that's enough reason to try and improve it further.

Keep us updated. Good Luck!

#13
Really? The first time I imply a threadstarter's gender, and I get it wrong. Just my luck.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#14
Quote by Will_Minus
Really? The first time I imply a threadstarter's gender, and I get it wrong. Just my luck.

When I saw how organized the post was, the level of detail, how polite, pics without being asked, and obvious research already done, I just went - OK, this doesn't sound like the typical noobulet what kind of paint do I use or how do I remove the knobs blah blah blah poster. So I thought, "Awesome! A girl modder!"



#15
Ippon's in love!
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#16
Quote by vaxwell
P.S. Yes, I did draw those guitars in illustrator. If anyone would like to use them, I have vector .eps files of them all. Just note me.

That's what I thought! Too nice to be just Kisekae. Good stuff. You go to an art school, or something? Using and owning Illustrator isn't too common among the average computer user.

Quote by Ippon
When I saw how organized the post was, the level of detail, how polite, pics without being asked, and obvious research already done, I just went - OK, this doesn't sound like the typical noobulet what kind of paint do I use or how do I remove the knobs blah blah blah poster. So I thought, "Awesome! A girl modder!"

Bwahaha. Excellent deduction, Ippon. By the way, thanks for the Grand Funk Railroad mention you gave a while ago. I'm totally hooked on their basslines and Mark Farsner's awesome fuzz tone.

On the subject of 'To Phat Cat' or not...Using another humbucker might be nice just to keep hum cancelling abilities. Like previous mentioned, a good neck pickup combo with the JB would be a SH-2 Jazz. I personally prefer the SH-5 Custom or the SH-11 Custom Custom. Seymour Duncan has some clips of the aformentioned pickups on their site, seymourduncan.com.
Why the mini-toggle, though? What kind of pickup config do you hope to achieve?
#17
Quote by Punk_Ninja
is that 'mini toggle' going to fit in the hole for the regular switch? or is it just the stick part of it that's small?


I've already bought the mini toggle and it fits perfectly. I'm not sure if it's exactly the same as in the picture, but basically all that's different from the regular switch is a skinny, shorter 'knob' part.

Quote by forsaknazrael
Why the mini-toggle, though?

Coz it's cute Yeah, mainly practical and aesthetic rather than having any special configuration significance. When I start getting into it and play near the neck (one of our songs has this cool 'bridge, bridge, neck' galloping strumming pattern) I tend to knock it, and I figure a smaller (and better looking IMHO) one would be easier than drilling a new hole and re-routing it. I'm not too good with advanced electrics/woodwork so I'm not really keen on anything more than replacement - it will be the same neck/neck&bridge/bridge config.

Quote by Will_Minus
^ He can always just use a washer.

Correct. Switch, body of guitar, felt washer, metal washer, screw nut. All the treble/rhythm ring is, is a big plastic washer.

Quote by Ippon
Keep us updated. Good Luck!

Thanks. Your encouragement means a lot.

Quote by Ippon
...how organized the post was, the level of detail, how polite, pics without being asked, and obvious research already done...

Lol. I've been lurking around the forum long enough to know how you guys like things presented But seriously, it's just a common courtesy - if you're asking for help, there's no reason to be a total jerk.

Quote by forsaknazrael
That's what I thought! Too nice to be just Kisekae. Good stuff. You go to an art school, or something?

Yup, I'm in my last year of university (graphic design and its applications in multimedia) and working as a graphic designer for a hospitality company. Tis good fun! BTW, what's a Kisekae?

Quote by forsaknazrael
Like previous mentioned, a good neck pickup combo with the JB would be a SH-2 Jazz. I personally prefer the SH-5 Custom or the SH-11 Custom Custom.

I was just looking on their site. The ones that you mentioned all seem to be bridge pickups. Now, I'm not sure so I'll ask anyway; can you put bridge pickups (or recommended bridge pickups) in the neck position, and visa versa?
Out of all the ones you suggested, I really like the overall tone of the SH-11 but it's quite similar to the JB (I LOVE that pickup, lol). The SH-11 has an EQ range of 3/7/7 so I'm not sure how well that would fare in the neck position. I think I'm looking for a meatier sound - unless you meant to pair up the custom and the custom custom (EQ 7/6/9 and 3/7/7 respectively - sounds pretty rounded). I'm looking for slightly more diversity than the SH-11 and JB combo would give me, so I can really get a good range of tones by just mixing up the volume/tone controls on the guitar. I wish they had some soundbytes for the phat cat - I've heard it, but I want to hear it next to their soundbytes... Damn.

Wow, that was a long list of replies. I'm gunna shut up after one more question. :p

Is it better if the Resonant Peak and DC Resistance is similar or doesn't it matter? I've got a good ear and can pick what sounds good, but all of this other lingo confuses me.
Last edited by vaxwell at Mar 11, 2007,
#18
I'd say something intelligent but you seem to know more than me.

I think it's easthetically much better with the black and chrome.

Can we comission you to make mockups of our guitars in that illustrator thing? It'll be good practice for you Haha if so I wanna go first!
#19
Quote by vaxwell
Mmm, I suppose the best way is via trial and error. The only problem with that being that it really hurts my bank account. lol. I might see if I can get my hands on an sh-2 because I haven't heard it yet. I'll have a listen and see if it suits my style.

You've already done everything I want to? I'd love to see pics of your guitar

Im waiting for a JB to get here right now. If you have played a guitar with a JB in the bridge, more than likely it had an Sh-2 Jazz in the neck. Its said to be the most popular pickup combo.
...
Last edited by rockr09 at Mar 11, 2007,
#20
Quote by vaxwell
Coz it's cute Yeah, mainly practical and aesthetic rather than having any special configuration significance. When I start getting into it and play near the neck (one of our songs has this cool 'bridge, bridge, neck' galloping strumming pattern) I tend to knock it, and I figure a smaller (and better looking IMHO) one would be easier than drilling a new hole and re-routing it. I'm not too good with advanced electrics/woodwork so I'm not really keen on anything more than replacement - it will be the same neck/neck&bridge/bridge config.

Well, see I ask, because with a mini toggle, it'll be a bit harder to wire it neck/neck&bridge/bridge. Usually toggles are just pickup on/off switches when they're used to select pickups.
If you hit the pickup selector when you strum, rotate it the other direction, haha. Simple change, but it'll help.

Quote by vaxwell
Yup, I'm in my last year of university (graphic design and its applications in multimedia) and working as a graphic designer for a hospitality company. Tis good fun! BTW, what's a Kisekae?

Thought so. I have some friends who go to art school, plus I've done some graphic stuff, but all on my own. Just enough to be familiar with Illustrator and the like, and proficient in PS. Kisekae is this guitar designing thingie that a lot of people here use to felsh out their modding ideas. Lemme get a link...
http://www.nymphusa.com/kisekae/kisekaeE1.asp

Quote by vaxwell
I was just looking on their site. The ones that you mentioned all seem to be bridge pickups. Now, I'm not sure so I'll ask anyway; can you put bridge pickups (or recommended bridge pickups) in the neck position, and visa versa?
Out of all the ones you suggested, I really like the overall tone of the SH-11 but it's quite similar to the JB (I LOVE that pickup, lol). The SH-11 has an EQ range of 3/7/7 so I'm not sure how well that would fare in the neck position. I think I'm looking for a meatier sound - unless you meant to pair up the custom and the custom custom (EQ 7/6/9 and 3/7/7 respectively - sounds pretty rounded). I'm looking for slightly more diversity than the SH-11 and JB combo would give me, so I can really get a good range of tones by just mixing up the volume/tone controls on the guitar. I wish they had some soundbytes for the phat cat - I've heard it, but I want to hear it next to their soundbytes... Damn.

Wow, that was a long list of replies. I'm gunna shut up after one more question. :p

Is it better if the Resonant Peak and DC Resistance is similar or doesn't it matter? I've got a good ear and can pick what sounds good, but all of this other lingo confuses me.

Oh, sorry, I was just voicing my preference of the SH-5 and the SH-11 over the JB. I'm not a fan of the JB. Nah, putting those bridge pickups in the neck would be no bueno.
The SH-11 has a meatier sound to it than a JB, I think, honestly. I've always found the JB too be a bit trebly and a little thin for my liking. The SH-5 has a ceramic magnet, so it's most definitely meatier than the JB, but it doesn't clean up as well as the SH-11. However, I can get good cleans with a little roll of the volume, and then I switch the pickup's wiring to parallel wiring. It also gets a bit brighter. That's a good mod, I think - a series/parallel switch.
The SH-2 Jazz would be my neck pickup suggestion for ya, if you want to go full on humbucker. You could also use an SH-1 '59 in the neck, it's a bit brighter than the Jazz. Mark Morton of Lamb of god uses two '59s in his guitar, so they'd fit well for your brand of music, I think.
Don't worry about the DC Resistance and resonance peak. Honestly, they aren't THAT indicative of the tone of the pickup. The DCR helps a bit when determining output, though.
#21
Damn you and your freaking huge knowledge of pickups! I see you changed your band too, as did I
I'm honestly not all that fussed about having two dissimilar pickups, I guess it's the OCD in me wanting everything to look balanced and matched. I like the chrome parts and mirror pickguard idea though.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#23
Quote by Ippon
When I saw how organized the post was, the level of detail, how polite, pics without being asked, and obvious research already done, I just went - OK, this doesn't sound like the typical noobulet what kind of paint do I use or how do I remove the knobs blah blah blah poster. So I thought, "Awesome! A girl modder!"





But obvoiusly there's the slim chance that u could just be being sexist and it's actually just a guy who isn't an arsehole. u can be forgiven tho 'cos there aren't many, i'm freinds with pretty much all the ones in my town- most ppl here are either chavs or jst general dickheads/pissheads/junkies (including girls aswell, btw) or i could have just gotten the wrong end of the stick and u actually know him/her (im confused )

I think that lp ll look gd when it's dun, i think ur strings r gd. I woz thinkin of getting a p90 neck p/u for my lp copy but i think the 24 fret neck intrudes a bit.

Also if u get pu's with more than about 20% difference in dc res, then u will get a big diffo in volume. Doesn't really matter if u don't plan on mixing them both tho. ALso if u got a Single coil p/u with half the dc res of the humbucker then u could coil tap the hb and mix it with the p90 and u would get a very wide tone.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
Last edited by eddiehimself at Mar 11, 2007,
#24
Quote by eddiehimself
But obvoiusly there's the slim chance that u could just be being sexist ...

Actually, when vaxwell posted "I'm a fairly stock standard kind of girl" towards the end of her first post ...

I usually post when there's a need for clarity/explanation or when somebody needs to be complimented. Otherwise, I skip it.

#25
oh well that explains it then.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#26
Quote by eddiehimself
But obvoiusly there's the slim chance that u could just be being sexist and it's actually just a guy who isn't an arsehole. u can be forgiven tho 'cos there aren't many, i'm freinds with pretty much all the ones in my town- most ppl here are either chavs or jst general dickheads/pissheads/junkies (including girls aswell, btw) or i could have just gotten the wrong end of the stick and u actually know him/her (im confused )

I think that lp ll look gd when it's dun, i think ur strings r gd. I woz thinkin of getting a p90 neck p/u for my lp copy but i think the 24 fret neck intrudes a bit.

Also if u get pu's with more than about 20% difference in dc res, then u will get a big diffo in volume. Doesn't really matter if u don't plan on mixing them both tho. ALso if u got a Single coil p/u with half the dc res of the humbucker then u could coil tap the hb and mix it with the p90 and u would get a very wide tone.


Oh dear. No offence buddy, but this post was exactly what Ippon was talking about with the post-profiling (neat little term I made up, innit )
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#27
Yes ok i understand now i just couldn't be arsed to read all of the first post, ok?
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#28
You got some skills with illustrator, nice work! And I like the grey/black with mirror pickguard, it looks very very rock n roll, but in a more modern approach. I have always loved miniswitches, and I know how annoying it is to accidently switch pups. I always tape my 5-way to the neck position when i play guitar live.

I really think you should get chrome covers for the pups, they would look great with the mirror pickguard.


edit: fooled around a bit in kisekae, got this
Last edited by m_hedborg at Mar 11, 2007,