#1
Hello. I have Recently purchased a Gibson SG for about $650, so i still have some spare cash for what I was actually planning on spending. Anyways, Its not real fancy and its pretty beat up. Its got a few dents here and there, madly scratched pick guard and the pickups and screws are heavily rusted. I saw this guitar and fell in love with it. ( and my idea for customizing.) Here are my plans, but i need help with the pickups.

-Alpine white Paint, Black bevel surrounding the body.
-2 Black Mod Stripes running down the back of the neck.
-Active Emgs 89 and 89R both white (is this a good combo?) See here
-Painted headstock to match the body.
-Grovers to replace the vintage tuning heads (these for some reason suck and don't hold tune)
-And change the pick guard to match the paint, or polished aluminum See here
What i needed help is on 2 things.

first:
My guitar has no humbucker pickup rings, i believe the term is exposed pickups.
Is it possible to install these emgs anyways? Do I have to drill holes? and does the pick guard have holes for use of pickup rings?

and second is:
Where can i get a template to repaint my gibson headstock. The template i want is the Gibson logo. I have a real gibson im sure of that, but i will be painting the headstock and the gold logo is kinda ugly in my opinion, i like the M.O.P. logo better but seeing as i do not have the finances to do that, i want to repaint the Gibson logo in silver, or black.

Any ideas, Comments?
#2
I wouldn't bother repainting the headstock. Also, you can simply attach the pickups to the pickguard like they are now.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#4
Quote by Guitargeek787
... the screws are heavily rusted. I saw this guitar and fell in love with it. ( and my idea for customizing.)
...
-Painted headstock to match the body.
-Grovers to replace the vintage tuning heads (these for some reason suck and don't hold tune)
...
Where can i get a template to repaint my gibson headstock. The template i want is the Gibson logo. I have a real gibson im sure of that, but i will be painting the headstock and the gold logo is kinda ugly in my opinion, i like the M.O.P. logo better but seeing as i do not have the finances to do that, i want to repaint the Gibson logo in silver, or black.

Any ideas, Comments?

Screws are inexpensive and easy to get so replacing them is a no-brainer.

Painted headstock and repainted logo? NO!!! It'll look like a fake Gibson with a painted logo. Seriously.

#5
Quote by oneblackened
I wouldn't bother repainting the headstock. Also, you can simply attach the pickups to the pickguard like they are now.


But i want the headstock to match the color of the body. I dont know, it might be much hassle.

and here are pics: click to make bigger







PS: I also came across a guitar like this, it looks as if it has no pickup rings
here
this is kinda the color i want
#6
Man, I seriously wouldn't touch that paint, and def not the HS.
The guitar looks real nice! Maybe just change out those pickups!
If you are set on making all these changes so be it, just my opinion.
#9
Man, I seriously wouldn't touch that paint, and def not the HS.
The guitar looks real nice! Maybe just change out those pickups!
If you are set on making all these changes so be it, just my opinion.

Thanks, I do like the silver though, but its got absolutely no finish, its really dull, and in the pics it looks amazing, but its actually not that great, there are ALOT of flaws, its just my camera doesn't pick them up. Pics at end of post.
if it wont hold tune check real close for cracks at the neck joint

No cracks, just bad tuners. Ive seen that other people tend to have this problem aswell. Must be a "batch" of bad tuners or my case...or both, haha
I wouldn't repaint the headstock. It looks fine.
Like Ippon said, it'll look fake

Like i said before the camera doesn't pick up details. Its actually quite dull, and is really banged up at the edges of the top. What i want isn't anything that would look fake. My idea is a White headstock with the same lettering only in black. It shouldn't look too bad, or fake. if it does, i could always repaint it the same color scheme. But hey, No one has actually answered my questions. Are the pickups (89 +89r) good? luckily though i found a template. so thats 1/2... Still opinions are appreciated, it will make my decision easier whether to paint or not.
anyways
on too pics: (P.s. I think i really need to paint it, because no matter how much i polish it up, it has this wierd "stench" to it. It smells like the previous owner kept it near a paint emporioum or something, haha. It smells heavily like paint and smoke. not too sure about that combo, but it has a strangeness to it. Maybe painting it again would fix it up a bit.)





#11
Quote by Øttər
Why did you pay $650 for this?

True..

You're not going to be able to make the painted Gibson logo look real. Trust me. Just leave it as is. I don't see the point. I would focus on mods that would make it play and sound better.

For tuning instability, check back on how you string the guitar/how it's strung now.
Do this:
http://www.stringthis.com/howtostringu.html

And lubricate points of friction with pencil lead, like the nut.

As for pickups, it depends on:
what music you play
what amp you have
what you find lacking about the tone right now

As for weird smells, cleans the fretboard with lemon oil. Change the strings. Wipe off the guitar and hardware. Wax the guitar with carnauba wax on the finished areas. Should be okay after all that...
#13
Quote by forsaknazrael
True..

You're not going to be able to make the painted Gibson logo look real. Trust me. Just leave it as is. I don't see the point. I would focus on mods that would make it play and sound better.

For tuning instability, check back on how you string the guitar/how it's strung now.
Do this:
http://www.stringthis.com/howtostringu.html

And lubricate points of friction with pencil lead, like the nut.

As for pickups, it depends on:
what music you play
what amp you have
what you find lacking about the tone right now

As for weird smells, cleans the fretboard with lemon oil. Change the strings. Wipe off the guitar and hardware. Wax the guitar with carnauba wax on the finished areas. Should be okay after all that...


OK, im pretty sure it might be the case, because i've changed strings 3 times, and it still is unstable. Im also sure its not my way of stringing the strings, because i use that same method as shown in the link. anyways, all do what you say edit this post if it fixes it.
I play a lot of metal (good metal, not screamo crap)
Marshal Mg100
and the tone suffers just a bit because of the rust buildup on the pickups. so replacing the pickups is a must anyways.
I used a wood polisher on the neck and body and fretboard, ill try the others too.
and also, It is possible to get a good looking Gibson headstock. The template im using was used to create this Lotus les paul ripoff into a Zakk Wylde "Gibson"
Before:



After:


why would you get two emg 89s? if anything get an emg 81 tw and an emg 89

Its like people who get 81/81. There has been a use for this combo, i've seen it before. But maybe you are right. I just really want the Coil split ability. Mainly for solos in the jam sessions when the guitar frequencies clash with the bass. Like in certain songs, you don't know if there is even a bass these days. So single coil is (IMHO) the way to go for solos, but humbuckers for my style. so both would "tickle my fancy"
Last edited by Guitargeek787 at Sep 2, 2008,
#14
Do. Not. Paint. Headstock.

And for the pickups yeah you don't need mounting rings, they attach right to the pickguard via those two screws. I tell you from personal experience. I dropped EMG's into my Special (see sig).
Lefty Black Gibson SG Special with EMG 60/85
15w Laney Hard Core Max
SG Commando

Quote by donkey the wise
I think plod just won the thread. All 1,019 pages of it. Won.
#16
Quote by Steve Plod
Do. Not. Paint. Headstock.

And for the pickups yeah you don't need mounting rings, they attach right to the pickguard via those two screws. I tell you from personal experience. I dropped EMG's into my Special (see sig).

cool, thanks thats good to hear. no need for extra drilling.
pics?
#17
Quote by Guitargeek787
Its like people who get 81/81. There has been a use for this combo, i've seen it before. But maybe you are right. I just really want the Coil split ability. Mainly for solos in the jam sessions when the guitar frequencies clash with the bass. Like in certain songs, you don't know if there is even a bass these days. So single coil is (IMHO) the way to go for solos, but humbuckers for my style. so both would "tickle my fancy"

How is a coil split going to help you pop through the mix? A single coil doesn't necessarily cut through better.....

Guitars and basses get lost in the mix because people don't have enough mids in their tones. The Guitar is a midrange instrument. you take that away, and you're intruding on the bass' frequencies.
#18
dude def dont repaint the headstock!!! and i have to agree that emgs arent the way to go if you have a solid state amp, they really wont sound all that good.
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#19
Quote by guitargeek787
cool, thanks thats good to hear. no need for extra drilling.
pics?


Sure, I'll get a pic on here soon... just a minute
Lefty Black Gibson SG Special with EMG 60/85
15w Laney Hard Core Max
SG Commando

Quote by donkey the wise
I think plod just won the thread. All 1,019 pages of it. Won.
#20
Ok, here's the pic! Sorry for the crappy cellphone quality but at least you can see for yourself: the EMG's fit perfectly.

Lefty Black Gibson SG Special with EMG 60/85
15w Laney Hard Core Max
SG Commando

Quote by donkey the wise
I think plod just won the thread. All 1,019 pages of it. Won.
Last edited by Steve Plod at Sep 2, 2008,
#21
Quote by forsaknazrael
How is a coil split going to help you pop through the mix? A single coil doesn't necessarily cut through better.....

Guitars and basses get lost in the mix because people don't have enough mids in their tones. The Guitar is a midrange instrument. you take that away, and you're intruding on the bass' frequencies.


Sure it does have to do with tone and eq on the amp, but I find that single coils cut through better. There are lots of bands that play strats and other single coil guitars, and when they solo, you can perfectly hear the bass. I guess its more a "Taste" because I find I hear the bass alot better with strats and good toned bass songs.
I have been playing since i was 6. I think i know what im talking about when i say single coils have a more "Bright" feel and that little push can distinguish the difference between a guitar and a bass. Especially with distortion.

And also, i do find that rust does affect the tone a bit. not a lot, but it does affect it. Think about it like this too, Its a chemical reaction, meaning it actually wears away the metal, oxidizing it. What you saying will also apply to badly made pickups (that the metal doesn't matter, so meaning that you can get a Gibson tone with $20 humbuckers). If the metal that carries the signal is rusted,or just crap, do you really expect a perfect clear tone? Plus my freind has an Sg faded, which looks to have the same pickups, we tested it on my Kustom Tube amp, and yes, there is a difference. Now before anymore ranting goes on, I know, they aren't the same guitars, I am sure there was some other factor messing with the sound, but either way, Im also a cosmetics guy, as a good tone an great playability kind of guy, so rusted pickups are a no for me.

dude def dont repaint the headstock!!! and i have to agree that emgs arent the way to go if you have a solid state amp, they really wont sound all that good.
Emgs sound actually quite nice. I have a jackson i redid, that had some really rusted jackson stock pickups, I did an overhaul on it, and put kerry king 81/85, and replaced all the hardware etc. and it sounds beautiful. On clean, it sounds amazing, almost like an acoustic guitar, on my Kustom, i wet people pants with the tone. Haha, its all opinion i guess.

Ok, here's the pic! Sorry for the crappy cellphone quality but at least you can see for yourself: the EMG's fit perfectly.

Sweet, i like it!
BTW did you have to use a router to put a battery box, or did the battery fit inside the backplate? I dont want to do anymore unnecessary drilling. I did on my jackson, and it was a hassle, but it all worked out.
#22
Quote by Guitargeek787
Sure it does have to do with tone and eq on the amp, but I find that single coils cut through better. There are lots of bands that play strats and other single coil guitars, and when they solo, you can perfectly hear the bass. I guess its more a "Taste" because I find I hear the bass alot better with strats and good toned bass songs.

More high end. But that doesn't necessarily mean it cuts through better.

Quote by Guitargeek787
And also, i do find that rust does affect the tone a bit. not a lot, but it does affect it. Think about it like this too, Its a chemical reaction, meaning it actually wears away the metal, oxidizing it. What you saying will also apply to badly made pickups (that the metal doesn't matter, so meaning that you can get a Gibson tone with $20 humbuckers). If the metal that carries the signal is rusted,or just crap, do you really expect a perfect clear tone? Plus my freind has an Sg faded, which looks to have the same pickups, we tested it on my Kustom Tube amp, and yes, there is a difference. Now before anymore ranting goes on, I know, they aren't the same guitars, I am sure there was some other factor messing with the sound, but either way, Im also a cosmetics guy, as a good tone an great playability kind of guy, so rusted pickups are a no for me.

No, no, it doesn't. Your thought process is wrong. The rust is not going to affect the magnetic fields of the pole pieces.

BTW, I can assure you that your friend's Gibson SG faded and this one do not have have the same pickups. They have 490R and 490T pickups. Yours has god knows what, but they're most likely not the same. You can't just conclude that "it's got to be the rust". That's a bad assumption to make.


I don't know, I don't think you should waste much money on this guitar's pickups, much less on modding this guitar. Stop buying gear, get a better amp. i'm super cereal.
#24
AMP, for gods sake, get a tube amp.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#25
Quote by Guitargeek787
Sweet, i like it!
BTW did you have to use a router to put a battery box, or did the battery fit inside the backplate? I dont want to do anymore unnecessary drilling. I did on my jackson, and it was a hassle, but it all worked out.

Nope the battery fits back there without any modifications. It was the easiest thing ever to drop the EMG's in. However, since the ones you want have coil taps, might that whole business take up more room in the back? If it does, then I think you will have to end up routering, because my setup is tight on the back plate as it is.
Lefty Black Gibson SG Special with EMG 60/85
15w Laney Hard Core Max
SG Commando

Quote by donkey the wise
I think plod just won the thread. All 1,019 pages of it. Won.
#26
Sweet. Probably not, is says its the same size as a regular emg, should fit well.
Anyways, this is what im trying to get to.

I want it exactly like this but in white. Headstock included, but apparently its going to be horrendous, so i won't do the headstock.
Also, theres going to be a pickguard i know that.
This is just the basic idea
This is the color scheme

alpine white, black bevel, and black pinstripes on the back of the neck.
I wanted the headstock to be like this, Matching the colors, if i don't paint it, it won't match the scheme
Last edited by Guitargeek787 at Sep 7, 2008,
#27
So it's going to be a different colour with different controls and a different headstock and different pickups?


Yeah, thats a great basic idea. Might as well have a ****ing strat pic up there.

Also, Dogismycopilot is right. Rust does not affect the tone. The metal a pickup is made of does, because it affects the magnets and shit.

I hope you customization goes well though. And although most of the guitar playing world agrees that EMG's are designed to drive a tube amp, go ahead and put em in. Just for shits and giggles eh?
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#28
Umm i dont know if you read in my other posts, but i stated i do also have a tube amp. Its not my main one for gigs that require alot of watts, but its good enough for a small lounge or something. I know Emgs drive tube amps, My Jackson has emgs, and I did put it on the other amp and yes, it sounds amazing. I have 3 amps. I don't need another one.
Also, where the hell do you see a strat from my description, Coil taps don't describe strats. Im sure oxidation ruins metals, so it may not affect the magnetic field, but it does affect the metal. Im sure an overly rusted pickup would sound different. Also i stated, that im not sure if it was the rust, I said there were other factors, and pickups MAY NOT have been the only thing changing the tone.
Anyways, Alpine white color, White pickguard, White emgs.... whats so hard about that?
Last edited by Guitargeek787 at Sep 7, 2008,