#1
Well, I'm planning on upgrading a guitar. I've never done this before, so I feel like it will be a good way to learn. The guitar I am upgrading is a Les Paul Special 2. I know, it's a giant piece of crap. But it's my giant piece of crap, and I want it to be me slightly-less-crappy piece of crap. It's my first guitar, and I want to be able to go back and play it 10 years from now, and have it sound some-what decent.

Anyways, I'm planning some simple upgrades to make it more playable, and maybe a little easier on the eyes. First thing first, I'm going to fit it with 2 chrome, overwound humbuckers. Then I'm planning on putting on some gold wilkonson locking tuners, to keep it in tune better. Then I'll replace the bridge and tailpiece with gold gibson ones. I want to put some strap locks on it, then screw on a black pickguard. I'll probably also throw some gold knobs on there.

Now, I have 3 questions. First, could a complete novice remove a set of humbuckers, then put in 2 new ones, using only a wiring diagram and a soldering iron? Second, would it be possible to screw a pickguard to a special 2 (it's flat top, and has no holes to do it. I'd have to screw it in myself)? And third, would gold hardware and a black pickguard look good on a heritage sunburst les paul special 2?


It's that guitar.

Ps- I know normally replacing pickups doesn't make a huge difference, but in this case, I think it will. I'm going from probably the crappiest pickups on the market, to a good mid-range set. I'm also playing through a nice tube amp (above).
#2
Nice amp there. Never seen a 3-speaker amp before. All the hardware upgrades would do the guitar alot of good i think. You should be able to take out the pickups fairly easily. I would get new pots, caps, etc. Would improve the sound even more with the new pickups. And yea, you could put a LP Jr. or LP Sepcial pickgard on it, i think it would look good if you went to a single-pickup Jr.-style guitar with a tortise-shell pickguard.
#3
first gold will look like crap with that guitar anyway
replacing anything to just change the color its stupid
the strap locks and tuners may be a good idea though
your biggest improvement with tone will come with replacing the pups
try seymour duncan depending on the tone you want
their screaming demon pickup is a good all around choice
great cleans and screaming leads and not very expensive
and even if youve never done it before
its fairy easy to install the pickups by yourself
but dont try to do the pickguard unless your experienced
#4
Quote by qotsa1998
Nice amp there. Never seen a 3-speaker amp before. All the hardware upgrades would do the guitar alot of good i think. You should be able to take out the pickups fairly easily. I would get new pots, caps, etc. Would improve the sound even more with the new pickups. And yea, you could put a LP Jr. or LP Sepcial pickgard on it, i think it would look good if you went to a single-pickup Jr.-style guitar with a tortise-shell pickguard.

Thanks. It's an OLD amp...I think. I don't even know what model it is. I was thinking about upgrading to 500k pots, but I don't really know how to, or if it would make a noticable difference in the sound? And as for the pickguard, I was just going to do a standard Les Paul 3 ply one, with a standard gold bracket. Would that work?

Quote by joesyrnichenko
first gold will look like crap with that guitar anyway
replacing anything to just change the color its stupid
the strap locks and tuners may be a good idea though
your biggest improvement with tone will come with replacing the pups
try seymour duncan depending on the tone you want
their screaming demon pickup is a good all around choice
great cleans and screaming leads and not very expensive
and even if youve never done it before
its fairy easy to install the pickups by yourself
but dont try to do the pickguard unless your experienced


First, I'm not changing it just for the color. I'm sure that the gibson parts are alot higher quality then the epiphone ones, which feel somewhat flimsy. And where would the difficulty be in putting on a pickguard? I thought i'd just have to screw 2 holes into my guitar and be done with it?
Last edited by InTheRain at Apr 14, 2008,
#6
It's an Epi with humbuckers, so it should already have 500k pots. The tonal differences between 250k and 500k are readily noticable. 250k pots are warmer-sounding and are used with single-coils to balance out the brightness. 500k pots are brighter and are used to balance out the warmth of humbuckers.

I think it would look great with a tortoise pickguard and gold hardware, but leave it as two humbuckers. As for drilling, get a small drill bit and drill pilot holes so you won't risk cracking the finish when you put in the screws.
#7
Yeah, I opened it up, and there were already 500k pots in there. Oops. Anyways, I'm leaving it 2 humbuckers, but I'm upgrading to better ones. At least, I'm going to try.