#1
Apologies if this is already in another thread - I couldn't find that much about it very easily.

After polishing up on my setup skills I have decided to mod my Cherryburst EPI LP Standard and get it somewhere near the Gibson LP '59 reissue in terms of hardware and electronics.

http://www.gibsoncustom.com/flash/products/lespauls/59/1959Standard.html

To those who think I would be mad to even bother, I'll set out what i have spent on this so far (inc delivery):

1 x EPI LP Std £259
Burstbucker #1 and #2 £105
1 x switchcraft LP 3 way switch £12.00

On Order:
4 x CTS 500k short shaft pots +
1m Silver Braided Gibson Wire £20.10
Pair Repro (paper in oil/Russian surplus) Luxe Bumblebee capacitors £24.00
40w soldering iron £8.00

So not bad really......? Even with just the pickups in and set correctly for height/setup it sounds beautiful!

I have looked up on various sites the debate over the modern vs the so called 50's wiring, and have decided that I'll probably just stick with the normal method. Some of the sites/pages I found useful at were:

http://www.axesrus.com/axeknobs.htm
http://www.doctorvintage.com/electrics/gib_electricals.html
http://www.singlecoil.com/docs/paula.pdf
http://guitarnuts2.proboards45.com/index.cgi?board=wiring&action=display&thread=1885
http://www.singlecoil.com/docs/caps.pdf
http://www.dominocs.com/AshBassGuitar/Gibson50s.html
http://www.fake58.co.uk

The main reason for sticking with the 'modern' wiring method is a) the fact that the Gibson Reissues are wired using the modern method and b) the 50's wiring method has been blamed on an inconsistency in workmanship at the time and that most guitars actually used the 'modern' method. Well, that's my opinion after trawling through the internet!

If anyone has noticed any glaring mistakes in the purchasing choices etc I have made etc, please let me know!!?

I'm afraid I have some questions, should anybody know the answers:

1) if you look at the picture of the Vintage '57 Les Paul cavity, it looks like the lead from the switch to the jack plug is the usual silver braided wire, but with a bit of insulation covering the portion that passes through the cavity? If this is the case, does anybody know what it is called etc/where to find it?

2) If you look at the 3 way switch wiring at: http://www.doctorvintage.com/electrics/gib_electricals.html I will probably use the normal method for wiring the switch, but what do I attach to the groung lug on the switch? Do I ground it to the other 3 wires like one of the pictures show?

3) How about the ground to the tailpiece? Should I connect it back up to the volume put like it is now?

That's probably enough to be getting on for now in terms of questions etc. If anyone has any q's for me, just post.

If anyone is interested, I might take photo's etc of the process?

Cheers.
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#2
definitely get a new tailpiece and especially bridge!!
and new tuners if it doesnt have grovers already (might as well get the old kluson types though...to keep it vintage looking)

Whodicted



Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
france is laaaaame


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#3
Quote by hendriko
definitely get a new tailpiece and especially bridge!!
and new tuners if it doesnt have grovers already (might as well get the old kluson types though...to keep it vintage looking)


Well that's phase 2 of the project I reckon (the difficult bits!)

I would love to get authentic bridge and tailpiece, but very hesitant when it comes to drilling holes....I have cracked a control cavity off in the past!

It's currently got silver griver kidneybean tuners, which are fine - I have used them in the past. I'm looking at some Kluson Vintage tuners, but I'm not sure if they'll drop straight in/make the back of my headstock look all messy from the filled in holes.

I also want to go with a bone nut.
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#4
yeah, that new nut and bridge is definitely gonna help the clarity and tone overall to be better!

oh, and pics really would be nice!

Whodicted



Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
france is laaaaame


Recognized by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2009
#5
Wait, wait, if it's a new Epi, don't get new hardware. New Chinese Epis have great hardware, better than Gibson!

1 - not important..
2 - The ground lug from the switch needs to be grounded....So you need to connect it to where ever the ground connection from your output jack is coming from.
3 - There should already be a ground wire coming from your bridge.
#6
K, bit of an update - still figuring out how to upload pics though....

I have wired it all up (just cts 500k pots, the original epi capacitors, switchcraft switch and using the silver braided wire for the time being as a bit of an experiment - the next stage is to fit MATCHED 500k CTS pots and then add the bumblebee capacitors so that I can see the differences one at a time.) and WOW, what a difference - a real marked improvement. The vol + tone controls actually work!! The output all seems a lot hotter and i'm finding that setting the vol to 8 and then bumping it up to ten for solo's works great - The tone controls have now become useful.

The days of setting it all to ten and forgetting about it are over!!!!

Thanks forsaknazrael - according to the serial number, it's a chinese epi, manufactured in '05. In terms of the hardware, the grover tuners are okay and tbh I dont have a problem with the bridge etc, but seeing as the new Gibby LP std comes with a tonepros locking bridge and saddle, Iam gonna upgrade it and I've got some klusons on thier way too.

This project seems to have got a bit out of control (oops!), here is a list of the kit I have on order..

silver braided wire - 1.5m
white vintage pushback wire - 1.5m
Tonepros TB3T - N, metric locking bridge + locking tailpeice - nickel.
Kluson tuners - nickel
Gibson knob - gold
Gibson pickup selector ring - cream
Gibson switch knob - amber
Gibson bridge pickup ring - cream (i'm gonna see if this fits and if it does order the other one and the pickguard)
4 x matched CTS pots

All of the spare bits will be used for my next project which will be a home made slide guitar thingy the type that is bbasicly a plank of wood with some strings and pickups on it.

I have also started to consider (deep breath, flame sheild up) haking up the headstock to resemble a the gibby one - I hate the epiphone one on a les paul - it just does not look right.

Does anyone know where to get hold of a replacement epiphone mother of pearl inlay? If I can't get hold of one I'll probaly just leave it blank - sticking Gibson on there would just be tooo sad.
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#7
Quote by cuthbertg
but seeing as the new Gibby LP std comes with a tonepros locking bridge and saddle, Iam gonna upgrade it.
Yours is an '05 Chinese one? If it's a late '05 then yours already has the locktone bridge (believe it or not, Epi actually got their paws on these bridges before Gibson did). So if you change the bridge, all you'l be changing is... well, literally nothing. if it's an early '05 then you might not have that bridge.

The easiest way to tell is to look at the stopbar (which is the part that's different in this bridge system, both on Epis and Gibson). Look at the inside of the posts. If you can see the locking joint, then you have the newer one of course and there's no point changing it. If you don't see that locking joint then it's not locking and you should change it!

Check HERE for a picture of what the inside locking joint looks like on a complete stopbar. Look at the posts, and the little bumps on the stopbar - they're what 'locks' it in place.


Also, if your guitar is one of those newer Chinese ones, then those tuners it has will be 18:1 Grovers. You can't get better tuning accuracy or stability than that, so changing them to older style Kluson tuners will also be a downgrade.
Of course if it's the earlier one then it won't have the good Grovers, so upgrade 'em all you like.
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#8
Cheers mr fibble - it's may '05, so no locking tailpiece/bride - just the good old fashioned fall- of- the- mounting- studs- and- scratch- this- cheap- chinese- finish- while- you- are- taking- all- of- the- strings- off type.

Shame though - I prefer the one in that link, it's less obvious than the tonepros type.

I'm not sure about the ratio of the grovers, but I've used tham before and I know that they are good tuners and work fine - its more of a looks thing, the Klusons (great name for a band!) just seem to sit better on the headstock. I have never used them before and I'm not too worried about tha ratio etc - I can tune the drone string on my banjo without any fuss.....

If they turn out to be a major pita then I'll change 'em back but I cannot really see it being a problem for me.

The next thing on my list is to get a bone nut on there - I have replaced nuts before but i'm a little bit anxious about doing this one - especially as it plays like a dream right now. There is a guy on the net who will pre cut a bone nut if you send him your nut and let him know the radius of your fretboard etc. I'm considering getting a precut plastic nut for an epi and sending him that so I wont have my baby out of action for weeks.

Has anybody aels tried to do this? What were the results?

I'm not taking it to any local techies - when I got it last year i took it for a full setup and asked them to change the pots to gibby ones and wire in the pickups. I paid 'em £50, they had it for three weeks (wow that was tough, I had only just bought it!) and all they did was badly wire in the pickups - the soldering was terrible.

The guy who runs the shop now (it used to be a great shop when his Dad used to run it years ago) was also taking the piss out of me saying that changing out the pots/electronics would not make any difference...........

I'm still deciding how to exact my revenge on that one - I may take thier website down and make them a nice new one ;-)
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#9
Burstbuckers are VERY far from a 59 Gibson PAF.
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#11
Quote by ClassicRock1169
Burstbuckers are VERY far from a 59 Gibson PAF.
Actually, they're as close as you can get. The BB #1, #2 and #3 are made in the same way with the same parts as the late 50's PAF pickups were. The #1 is under-wound, #2 is balanced and #3 is overwound, to emulate the inconsistencies in the wiring of original PAF's.

The BurstBucker Pros are very far from PAFs, as are all the other pickups Gibson make (which they claim have 'real PAF tone' anyway - they name-drop 'PAF' four times every sentence in their marketing even on things which have nothing to do with those pickups).

I should know, I've got a guitar with BB #2 and #3 and me Dad's got an actual '59 LP, and they sound nigh-on the same except the bridge BB (a #3, so the purposefully overwound one) is a touch higher output.
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#12
Quote by MrFlibble
Actually, they're as close as you can get. The BB #1, #2 and #3 are made in the same way with the same parts as the late 50's PAF pickups were. The #1 is under-wound, #2 is balanced and #3 is overwound, to emulate the inconsistencies in the wiring of original PAF's.


Seymour Duncan winds the Antiquities on the Leesona, the same machine Gibson used on real PAFs. Throbak Electronics have even taken further steps with unoriented magnets and such. Burstbuckers are far from as close as you can get.

I should know, I've got a guitar with BB #2 and #3 and me Dad's got an actual '59 LP, and they sound nigh-on the same except the bridge BB (a #3, so the purposefully overwound one) is a touch higher output.


Pics and serial number of your dad's '59?
#13
I asked CorduroyEW, since I know he knows much more about period correct-ness than I, and I was almost positive he had told me about Burstbuckers not being period correct, or I had read it elsewhere.

He told me this:
Quote by CorduroyEW
Gibson just used as many catch phrases as they could in order to sell a product. The burst bucker's biggest problem is that they use poly wire rather than PE. Another problem with the burst bucker is that the CNC machines they use now don't lay the wire down the same way the old lessona winders did. The last major issue is that they don't use vintage pole spacing. All of these things add up to a pickup that is significantly different.


I trust him.
#14
I'm happy with the burstbucker 1 + 2 combo.

Chances are, I will never actually get the chance to sit and compare mine with '59, so my first thought was to get whatever pickups they stick in a current Gibson Standard (infact, when i tried the guitar out in the shop, I never plugged it in as it was my intention to rip the guts out if it anyway - I was after a good natural tone and feel).

I then found out that there was such a thing as a '59 VOS, so just decided to replicate that as far as possible - Just rely on Gibson's research, why reinvent the wheel?

I have read up on them - one of the memorable reviews was in guitarist magazine, where they compared about 8 different flavours of Gibby LP's (including the '58 and 59' VOS's) and the '59 came out tops.

I also found this helpful (scroll down for the bit on Gibson pickups) http://www.erikhansen.net/?cat=5

If I had the resources, then I would LOVE to be able to make an authentic replica of a real '59, but seeing as I'll never be able to compare it to a real one, it seems a bit pointless.

I can however have a go on a '59 VOS (if I wear a suit to the guitar shop and flash a gold card!) and compare - so that was the option I went for
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#15
Finally bothered to work out posting pics!

Here she is before I started to molest her:



Close up of the body:



Close up of the Bridge etc:



As part of my initial setup I cleaned the fingerbaord and polished the frets as described HERE (click on setup tips on the left)

I was deliberatley a little bit heavy handed when sanding the frets with the block to flatten them down a bit and give it a more 'played in' feel. Some may say I'm mad, but it doesn't buzz, intonation is fine etc and it just feels better to me

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#16
Pickguard on, or pickguard off? I'm undecided, but i'd be cheaper if I preferred it off!

The knob pointers (I think they're really handy)and the amber switch top have turned up....!

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#18

I was being a bit sarcy!

What I mean to say is, that after looking around a bit - I had heard good things about that combination of pickups, they are what they stick in the VOS and some bloke who i have never heard of in a mag compared the '59 Vos to 7 other flavours of Les paul and said they were the best - now if that aint a carefully considered and fully formed opinion then I don't know what is...

And I agree with you about the pickguard.

Anyways, some more bits have turned up:

Bumblebee caps and some wire! I'll tell ya, these caps are pretty weighty too

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#19
I'm not doubting that some guys like 'em in their guitar. They're decent pickups. But, for around same price, or a little bit more, I would've looked at other sets.

How much did you pay for your bumble caps? I hope not too much. I'm of the opinion that the type of capacitor in your guitar's tone control doesn't matter too much.
#20
Well I love 'em!

I set the pole piece height as per the gibson spec (fret at the last fret, each pole piece on each pickup should be 1.19mm from the bottom of it's corresponding string) and with the CTS pot with the silver braided wire wired the way the VOS is - I know everyone says this, but....It's the best sounding guitar I have heard - and I did once own a Gibson Les Paul Custom, amongst others far too nasty to mention!

I totally get what you are saying though - it pays to shop around, ask friends, try things, take your time.

Perhaps my impatience got/is getting the better of me

In mitigation though, I did manage to basicly get both for the price of one on ebay £150gbp

The bumblebees cost £23.00, I have also got some orange drops on order so that I can compare them. Like you, I'm not totally convinced they make any difference but i figured that (again! )as the VOS has them, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to experiment and see for myself - eye of the beholder 'an all that jazz
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#22
Bumblebees were paper in oil, Mylar are metallized film. They're very different caps.
The orange drop are much stiffer sounding, the bumblebees will soften the bass more when you turn them all the way down.
Paper in oil caps tend to have a softer and slightly fatter sound overall than metallized caps. 23 pounds is quite a lot for PIO caps though, it's not difficult to find NOS vitamin Q or repro PIO caps for $10 or less here.
#23
I kinda like what your doing here. The only thing nicer than what your doing here would be modding a Goldtop to '59 specs, but i wouldnt repaint your axe. I reeeally like the finish on yours.
#24
^ Thanks man! I must say it is a lot of fun - seeing the changes go by one by one and mounting up is really enjoyable. Just upgrading the wiring and pots made a real difference - time to play with the bumblebees next!

I know they were a little pricey but I spent hours trawling the net for places that did this particular one and I could only find one place that had them in stock......it was my birthday......, and I was gagging for them!

It'll be interesting to see the difference between the 'bees and the orange drops - I'll see if I can record it.

What I have found, is that once you start getting into this you do start to notice other things creeping in and changing your sound - things that perhaps have become more prominent since the changes I have already made.

I have never felt the need to do a true bypass mod on my JD wah before, but now I have sent off for the ingredints to do that as well.
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#25
No more goodies have arrived yet - nasty postman

So I decided to wire in the bumblebee paper in oil capacitors and see what they're like! I have also recorded a before and after mp3 if anyone wants to take a listen.

I'm conviced that there is a definate change between the caps - the tone controls seem to act a bit differently and the sound overall seems to be a bit warmer. Having said that, it is all rather subtle and if i was blind tested, I personally don't think that i would notice a difference, but no doubt somebody with better ears would.

It was recorded into cubase (no EQ or anything) via DI using my vox AD30VT. I'm using the tweed 4 x 10 model, with all controls at 12 o'clock exept Gain and Volume which are set to 9 and 3 o'clock respectively.

The first bit is the before, when I'm mucking about with the tone controls, I'm moving them in steps of two at a time. The it stops for a bit, then again with the bumblebees.

Apologies for the playing, I buggered my wrist - you can almost hear me whincing when picking the chords! I also just wanted to let chords ring out etc - I figured that it would be easier to notice any change....

You can download the mp3 HERE

Let me know what you think!

heres a couple of pics as well, first of, getting ready to pull the old stock EPI caps out ( I take all of the controls out of the cavity and mount them on a card template - I find it a lot easier to work this way):



An now with them in - Don't they look lurvely! I have deliberatley left long leads on them, because I will be adding a new set of matched CTS pots when they turn up

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#27
They're ok - it works - just because it's not all shiny, does not mean to say you don't have a good connection. The photo is not the best either.

There is also solder left over from where I have been trying different wiring setups etc....

+ all but the pickup wires will be coming out when the new pots turn up (hopefully tomorrow) anyway
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#28
Um, just because it works now doesn't mean it's a reliable connection. Some of those look like cold solder joints.
If they're not shiny, and kind of malformed...there's a good chance they're a cold solder joint. They might work now, but somewhere down the road, might be in your bedroom, or at a gig, the joint will fail.
#29
^

::type

'Um', I appreciate your tenacity regarding good soldering practise my good man, .....however, could I draw your attention to the following points - two of which have already been mentioned twice in my posts above:

1) It works.
2) It will all be rewired when my new pots turn up shortly.
3) The last time I wired a guitar was when you were only 6 years old.......so please forgive me If my skills are somewhat rusty.

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#30
A few more bits have turned up:

The Klusons - These actually fit quite well using the old grover holes and drilling an extra hole at the back per tuner. You only really see the indentations from the old tuners on the face of the headstock when the light catches it. I think they really look great, and I now am happy for my eyes to wander further than the nut!

They hold tune really well, and I think I'm more used to the ratio on them because I can hit the right note first time now when tuning.

One of them was faulty however and seized up after so many winds, if you wind it back a bit and then try again it works fine. I emailled the guys I bought them off (wilburncustomshop on ebay) and they could not have been more helpful. Within ten minutes Scott had contacted Kluson and arranged a replacement to be shipped to me directly. 10/10 for customer service!



The tonepros bridge and saddle have also arrived.

I just dropped them straight in, used the old mounting studs. I quite like these and I am glad I bought them, when set up etc they are rock solid and hold intonation etc when you take the strings off.

I did also notice that the vibrations through the body were more prominent after installation.

Couple of gripes tho, because of the extended rang of the bridge, you have to raise the tailpeice up to stop the strings snagging the back of the bridge. Whilst I was initially really disappointed about this, I have not noticed any problems and it all seems fine. The tailpiece is rock solid - you have to take the strings off agin to really appreciate it.

Due to the problem above I now have to adjust the tailpeice when adjusting the action. I forgot an old rule (I have not raised a tailpeice for years and years)and tried to adjust while it was still strung and under tension. Needless to say that the tailpiece screws now have a couple of dents in them from my screwdriver (DOH!)

Also, while it is described as pre slotted I will be getting the saddles cut properly when the bone nut gets installed. All in all though, I am pleased with the purchase. I have not noticed any major tonal difference but is a better quality bridge then the one it replaced and it's easier to use when setting the intonation 8/10

The gibson gold bell knobs have also been fitted, they look great - really classy compared to the old Epi amber ones. They also seem to bring out the 'burst more as well!

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#31
Quote by cuthbertg
^

::type

'Um', I appreciate your tenacity regarding good soldering practise my good man, .....however, could I draw your attention to the following points - two of which have already been mentioned twice in my posts above:

1) It works.
2) It will all be rewired when my new pots turn up shortly.
3) The last time I wired a guitar was when you were only 6 years old.......so please forgive me If my skills are somewhat rusty.


1 - Like I said, just because it works now, doesn't mean a cold solder joint won't fail later. It happens.
2 - I understood that, just letting you know to get better at the joints.
3 - Well, I'm just letting you know. No need to get defensive.