2014 Traditional pro II - rewired - WOW!!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by GenoBluzGtr, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Okay, I grabbed a great bargain a few weeks ago when I picked up a brand new 2014 TradPro II Goldtop for a very good price.

    I was super impressed with the guitar itself, the playability, construction, fit/finish, etc... the sounds were darn good, but I noticed at the first gig, it was lacking a good bit of clarity, especially when played side-by-side with our other guitarists R8 and R9.

    I opened up the back plate and saw how weird and horribly small those push-push pots were. the caps were teeny/tiny and the wiring was a jumble of very small gauge wires. I also had static noises when I touched metal, I think it was due to the battery's proximity to the pots, etc... One thing I DID NOT like was the sound of the boost... it got raw, gritty and had way too much top end to it, so I knew I would never use it.

    So I did something that may seem like it was a bit silly, and had my tech do a complete re-wiring of the guitar. He used the new Emerson kit (here... http://emersoncustomguitars.bigcart...nos-paper-in-oil-caps-long-shaft-pots-lpv-pio ) that uses CTS pots, Paper-in-oil caps, MUCH better wire, etc...) and the difference is amazing!!

    Same pickups, same 3-position switch, just new pots / caps / resistor, new wire, and new jack. CLARITY!! The sound is much more open now, the middle position and neck position are AWESOME for throaty, deep, clear, clean tones.... the bridge is a real growler for those vintage PAF-like grinding tones and it overdrives SMOOOOOTHLY. Although I thought I would, I do NOT miss the coil splitting. The cleans are so clear and punchy now, that I MUCH prefer them to the split coil mode the guitar had before. No more buzzy/static noises, no more 9-volt batter, and REAL pots and wires in my guitar.

    I know some of you will say "Why didn't you just get a Standard or a Classic?"... I played LOTS of LPs in my search and I just preferred the way this particular one played.. the weight is heavy 10lbs 3 oz, and the neck is perfect.. bigger than a 60s but smaller than a historic 57.... almost right around a nice, comfy 59 shape, and it just bonded with me. Besides, it was marked for a sale price, close to $800-900 less than a new Standard.... and the Emerson kits are only $75 bucks.

    So if you like your Trad Pro II, but wish it were more "vintage" like in tone, this is a good option. YMMV, but I really, really like this guitar even more now. Definitely a guitar I can ply for every song in our lineup if i want... it's that flexible with just manipulation of the volume/tone/switch lineup. No splitting necessary (and no need for a boost switch!! the top is retained when you drop volume on this!!! NO MUD!)... so I can run with just guitar controls and a good OD pedal and play pretty much anything. Well.... within the limits of my playing ability!!
     
  2. zeffbeff

    zeffbeff Member

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    Very cool, thanks. I have a 2010 trad pro plus, and I really don't like the coil splits-- the 57 classic and BB3 aren't designed for split tones, so of course they sound crappy when split.

    I'd been meaning to rewire my guitar so it's back to normal les paul wiring, and now I think I'll do it! Though I'll just switch out the push pull pots for standard gibson pots.
     
  3. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    I put an Emerson kit in an SG I used to have for much the same reasons you did Geno, it didn't have the boost but did have much the same wiring woes and the pointless coil split push pulls. Made a huge difference. Later I tried a kit from Mojotone, and ended up going back to the Emerson kit. Can't put my finger on it, but the Emerson just sounded better.

    I have to agree with zeffbeff too, the BB's and Classics just don't do well with splitting. Not sure why Gibson chooses to put splits on those pickups. They're already fairly low output for humbuckers, in split mode they're super weak. The only way they are passably useable is with a boost and/or compressor, even then they just don't do the single coil tone very well at all.
     
  4. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    you're right, Noise... there is a "mojo" about them. After the rewire, I played side by side with my buddy's 2000 '57 reissue and they sounded VERY similar (bb1/2 instead if '57 classics so there was the Alnico 2 vs Alnico 5 difference)...
     
  5. Buckeyedog

    Buckeyedog Supporting Member

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    Geno, can you describe how it helped the 57+ in the bridge?? I have a Traditional and i like the guitar, but the classic + in the bridge gets a little bitty/harsh on the high strings. I'm thinking about doing this as well. I did read in your post about the bridge, but was it a big difference from before to after?? Thanks.
     
  6. aiq

    aiq Supporting Member

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    Subscribed, I have had a 2013 TPII I've had for a few months and I love it.

    Heavy, great build, and I run both PUs in split mode and twirl the knobs.

    I'm having a Firebird modded now and when that is done I want to have done what you did but with mini switches rather than push pull.
     
  7. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Buckeyedog, it is still a bright pickup, but the harshness is gone. I LOVE LOVE LOVE The neck pickup, but there is a bit of bite that the bridge has that is less "mellow" than the neck. After the rewire, however, it is much more controllable. A small tweak of the tone knob on the bridge pickup and it really balances out that bite. I also backed off my pickup height a bit, to help the LP match up with my Strats and Tele, so when I switch guitars I don't get a big volume change... THAT helped more than anything... just lowering the pickups a bit. major difference.

    Of note, my tech also found that almost every new Gibson he gets in his shop there is a need to adjust the radius of the bridge. The saddles are all filed so the strings ride "flat" across the neck,and causes a "deadness" to the G and D string if you adjust to get the right highs and lows... he simply does a minor file job to make the strings follow the fretboard radius better. He measures and makes sure every string is the same height above the frets. He said that it is an issue with EVERY gibson, even CS and other models. They don't make those adjustments apparently. That tweak made the playability even better than it was. bends are effortless now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  8. Buckeyedog

    Buckeyedog Supporting Member

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    Excellent, thank you! That's exactly the way I feel about the neck/bridge. Also love the neck pickup a lot but that bridge just has that bit of harsh in there.
     
  9. rapaul76

    rapaul76 Member

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    I did the same thing but I also added Seymour Duncan Slash Alnico II pickups to my Trad Pro II and it's unbelievable! The combination of the pickups and the new wiring harness really opened up the sound of the guitar. I love feel and playability. I ended up putting my57/Super 57 into a Les Paul Studio with a new harness and now that guitar screams! Enjoy your guitar!
     
  10. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    rapaul, how different is the Slash set from the '57s?
     
  11. rapaul76

    rapaul76 Member

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    To me, they've got more of an open, woody tone. The neck pickup is really creamy and both pickups have a ton of sustain. They aren't as hot as the 57/super 57 set, but that's ok with me. They can still get really nasty for rockin out, but without and harshness or any ice pick highs. Personally, I think they are a perfect match for my guitar.
     
  12. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    Looks like the kit mentions that it has 50s wiring and treble bleeds-though the pic doesn't show the bleeds. That alone goes a long way for retaining the clarity through the volume range.
     
  13. OiRogers

    OiRogers Member

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    Tag for interest... my 2013 Studio Goldtop has those dang push/pulls. Used em one and have no interest in using them again.

    My guitar has a great neck and it sings unplugged.... it's slightly less impressive plugged in next to my Standard.

    I know it would be redundant to have 2 LP's with similar wiring, perhaps a 50's wiring job in the Studio would give it the oomph it lacks and make it different enough from the Standard to earn it a permanent spot in the collection.

    Going to have to research and ponder more.
     
  14. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    yes, bigtone. The kit comes the the treble-bleed components and it can be wired up with or without them. I opted to have them, and it REALLY works well. I can go very low volume without almost imperceptible change in the clarity. no mud when cleaning up a dirt pedal now.
     
  15. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    One note to those who, like me, have the TradPro IIs with the battery compartment. The new pots and caps are much larger than the tiny ones that come stock in the guitar, so once you install the kit, there is no room for the battery compartment any more. My tech did a great job by gluing a piece of black plastic to cover the hole left by removing the battery compartment, but i plan to just buy a regular cavity cover at some point. I'll take a pic later and post it.

    The "patch job" my tech did with the battery compartment hole:

    [​IMG]

    The installed Emerson Kit (sorry for the crappy pic):

    [​IMG]

    The original TradPro Push-Push Pots...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  16. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Bumping this thread for new interest.
     
  17. aiq

    aiq Supporting Member

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    I'm thinking the 10 db boost isnt needed for me as I got the guitar to basically run split coil.

    Need the boost? Switch to HB.
     
  18. Buckeyedog

    Buckeyedog Supporting Member

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    OK, so was getting ready to order. Now it seems they only have a kit with "bumble bee" caps and it's $87.50. I don't see the $75 LP kit anymore. Interesting.
     
  19. Jazzydave

    Jazzydave Seeker Silver Supporting Member

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    I gut just about every guitar I get and turn to RS Guitarworks...always blows my mind that we pay so much for our instruments only to find they have inferior electronics.
     
  20. Buckeyedog

    Buckeyedog Supporting Member

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    So agree. Well, I ordered the bumble bee kit from emerson. I love the RS kits too, but this saved me $40 or so. Figure I'll give this one a try in my newly acquired LP Traditional.
     

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