Blueshawk - pickup replacement- should I?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Gibson 1964, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Gibson 1964

    Gibson 1964 Member

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    I like my blueshawk okay. The sound is not really what I hoped it would be as I am more of a 1950s p90 guy than a blues90 guy.

    Would wiring in a pair of wolfetones be a bad idea if I ever resell? I am not considering tossing the original pickups.

    But at current rate, I don't really play it much. I really like it. but the pickups seem a bit fendery and smoother than I like. I prefer my pickups to sound like the nastiest, dirtiest, p90 tone ever.

    I have two guitars with 1950s Gibson p90s in them. (one a 1950s gibson, another a melody maker that someone through in there a very long time ago) I have owned a guitar with a wolfetone pickup in it and I could hear a very little difference.

    My concerns are resale if this doesn't work out, and the fact that the poplar body might sound a bit too bright. Any thoughts?
     
  2. JB Eckl

    JB Eckl Member

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    I'm leaning towards keeping the stock pickups myself. They match the body wood and Varitone switch perfectly, and they're quiet too. I thought I was gonna hate them!

    Did you try adding some high end on your amp? They seem to snarl OK for me.
     
  3. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    YES! I HAVE SOME THOUGHTS!
    I use to have a Blueshawk and my opinion was in line with yours. Fendery and Smooth is a good description. The guitar doesn't sound like it looks or should. I also have a modded 61 MM with Antiquity P-90. I heard a 59 330 through a 50's Champ;that's the p-90 tone I like. It came down to two choices Antiquity and Wolfetones. Otherwise, you might as well sell the guitar. It's a great feeling and lite guitar;I never got into it playing wise cause the sound was so lackluster.
     
  4. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

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    If you like the Wolftones, then buy a set and install them. If you sell the guitar, put the originals back in and keep the Wolftones. No loss on resale.
     
  5. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    P-90's vary. But my first p-90 experience was 40 years ago. I dove into Live at leads, my first guitar was a 125 tc and one of my closests friends got a sg special with p-90's. P-90's sound great clean and super for Jazz or clean picking. But if you want blues and grit out of them, one element I think is key is NOT having Alnico5 magnets. I haven't heard a 5 sound like 50's. I think the Ant is 3 and the Wolftones also.
    Funny thing is as gritty as a p-90 can get; back off the volume and the cleans seem to be right there sounding very sweet.

    OK!!!! What do you all think??
     
  6. Gibson 1964

    Gibson 1964 Member

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    more a bit thinner than I like. it has high end, but seems like it needs a bit more growl and snarl. I have a set of wolfetones...

    My main influence tonally is Mike Ness for p90s.

    Teleman, did you try the p90s?

    The wiring somehow scares me a little in the blueshawk...
     
  7. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    The Blueshawk has a dummy coil, IIRC. If you don't want to use it, leave it out of the circuit. The same thing with the Varitone, although it is kind of a no brainer, either connect the wire going to it or don't.
     
  8. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    That's a start right there. Add switching to take the dummy out of the circuit. Maybe a pull pot. Maybe the pull switch on the tone pot can be rewired so it disconnects the dummy coil at the same time that it disconnects the varitone. If I'm reading the schematic correctly

    http://www.blueshawk.info/official_gibson_schematic.htm

    it won't affect the middle setting, just the neck-only and bridge-only.

    Another thought is add switching to get the neck and bridge in series.
     
  9. Gibson 1964

    Gibson 1964 Member

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    I like the idea of a dummy coil cutting down noise. I wasn't thinking of leaving it out. Tonally I think the issue is just the blues90 pickups. The tonal differences are exactly what they claim is different about them.

    The varitone has a push pull to cut it out of the circuit already, and the only thing I didn't like was the stock pickups felt thin. I also feel like it does not distort as nicely as classic 50s p90s.
     
  10. ProToneThinline

    ProToneThinline Member

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    Anything is an improvement over those Blues 90's.

    I had a Blueshawk until a couple of years ago. I replaced the stock pickups with a pair of Epiphone P-90's, and even those sounded much better that stock. A pair of good P-90's would sound killer in that guitar.
     
  11. BigPapiFan

    BigPapiFan Member

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    Your resale concerns are well founded. There are those who like the Blueshawk as it is and will pay you for yours. My advice is that isf you don't like it, sell it and buy a guitar that sounds right to you. I would suggest a Les Paul Special, SG Classic or other guiar with P-90s.
     
  12. JB Eckl

    JB Eckl Member

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    What sucks so bad about them? The 'smoothness' that the OP refers to?
     
  13. Dale

    Dale Member

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    I had a Blueshawk for a number of years. It was Gibson model targeted to get a Fender sounding guitar. It was not intended to sound like a P-90 equipped gutiar as the "Blues 90's" were not made the same or voiced the same. There is a dummy coil in the body as well for hum cancelling in all positions as I recall. I did really like the guitar but was just not a Fender sound type of guy then.
     
  14. rybass

    rybass Member

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    If you like the guitar and not the pickups do the swap.

    As far as resale just keep all the electronics and swap them back in when it comes time to sell.

    Awesome guitars stock IMO. I really miss the two I had.
     
  15. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    I have a Blueshawk & really like it for what it is. While it is not a nasty, growly guitar it is far from "Fendery". It is still much thicker sounding than a Fender. It is (duh) a great little blues guitar.
    If I wanted old school P-90 rock raunch in a lightweight guitar I would get a 2 pickup Junior or the like & keep the Blueshawk stock. YMMV.
     
  16. ProToneThinline

    ProToneThinline Member

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    The B-90's don't really suck, they're just not inspiring. They always sounded kind of hollow and dead to me.
     
  17. Gibson 1964

    Gibson 1964 Member

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    Thats it in a nutshell. The blueshawk is a pretty unique guitar featurewise. I like varitones, dummy coils and such. Unplugged it sounds good. Weight feels nice, and it plays like a dream.

    I own a couple p90 guitars. It just feels like it should be my ultimate guitar, but the pickups just kill it for me.
     
  18. ProToneThinline

    ProToneThinline Member

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    Those were my exact feelings. My 'hawk was one of the best playing guitars I've owned, but one of the worst sounding.

    A couple of weeks ago I bought a Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute. The overall feel and weight are very similar to a Blueshawk, but it has real P-90's, and sounds incredible. Put some nice P-90's in that 'hawk, and I think you'll be a happy camper.
     

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