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How to salvage an LP Studio...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ARch, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. ARch

    ARch Member

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    Back in '03 I was gearing up to buy my first "nice" guitar. I had come into some money and long story short, ended up at Guitar Center -- I had not yet found these boards, or any others to be honest, so the initial plan was to look at American Teles.

    After about 6 hours of browsing an playing, I found a real nice LP Studio right around my budget that seemed to fit the bill. Salesman tried to switch it out for a damaged one, and hid the original when I called him out on it, so I ended up having them ship me one directly.

    To the point -- I'm still not quite happy with it. LP weight doesn't bother me, and the aesthetics are fine -- it just doesn't sound quite right compared to other instruments I own or play. I wired it up in the last year with an RS kit, and it helped a lot, but the sound just isn't what I like. I play this game about once every 6 months or so, but I think it's time to check my options again.

    I can either:
    • Invest more money into it and drop in some new pickups (relative to the value of a Studio, no Lollars here)
    • Attempt to sell it and put together a small amount of money to buy something similar (another LP, at least something with 'buckers)
    • ??
    If I sell I'll probably only have a couple hundred to put on top of what I get for something new, so that might be a rough one, depending on what you guys think. I really like the basic LP sound, as seen partially here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=xqYHzLJDEss). The big point is, if I am investing more into it, I don't want it to be very much more.
     
  2. Giraffecaster

    Giraffecaster Member

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    sell it and find one that speaks to you.
     
  3. NortheastHick

    NortheastHick Member

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    i put a set of duncan antiquities in a couple of my studios and they are my favorite players now.
     
  4. ARch

    ARch Member

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    My G&L speaks to me, the problem is more so the budget. I doubt I could sell it for much.

    I really have no problem with the action, etc, it's a fine plain guitar -- just the tone.
     
  5. JDandCoke

    JDandCoke Member

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    sell it before you put more money into it.

    you need to like everything about it, cant polish a turd...
     
  6. ARch

    ARch Member

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    Along those same lines - how much can you really get for a turd? That's why there's the dilemma for me - sell it, have nothing for a while and wait it out, or ... try and drop in some pickups with the existing RS kit and enjoy the tone, and a nice beater.
     
  7. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Member

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    Well, one way to look at it is that for the bucks you'll lose, you owned it for awhile. You also gained a better idea of what you want. Don't call it a loss, call it tuition. Sometimes you pick up a guitar, play it, and you can't stop thinking about it. That's the one you buy.

    If it helps to think about that that way, plenty of people have "lost" a bunch of money learning the same lesson.
     
  8. JDandCoke

    JDandCoke Member

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    you know im not calling the guitar rubbish? they are still decent guitars really, just unfortunately this one isnt speaking to you.

    i was just using the expression.
    doesnt matter how much stuff you put into it its still the same guitar.
    cut your losses is my opinion.

    how about you keep the guitar for a while without modding it, whilst saving up funds.

    then sell it just to make up the final monies to get something you'd really enjoy
     
  9. kurtsstuff

    kurtsstuff Member

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    Most studios I've run across usually need some extensive set up work done to them and that's where I would start if it's like most studios??
     
  10. ARch

    ARch Member

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    It's probably about time for a nice set up, but I don't think that's the main problem.

    Also, I know you weren't calling the guitar rubbish -- and for the most part it's probably not. When I first had it I did like the sound, but now is hard to get a likable tone out of.
     
  11. Johnnytone

    Johnnytone Supporting Member

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    Swap the pickups.

    Go back to GC and get a set of Duncans (fairly low $) and try them out. If you still don't like it, return the pickups and start looking for another axe.
     
  12. ManliusGuitar

    ManliusGuitar Member

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    I'll echo the previous post and say it needs a good setup. That will help, but if you really have trouble bonding with it, I am not sure the pickups will help much. Most customers I deal with want to make a favorite guitar better, not salvage a guitar that has lost their positive vibes.... Although new pickups will definately make it better, is it the guitar you don't love anymore?
     
  13. AL30

    AL30 Member

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    Well Mick I think I may disagree a bit. I do agree about the "bonding" issue BUT I dropped a set of your FAT DIANE pickups in my LP Custom and it's never sounded better. They just wipe the floor with the stock Gibsons. I really enjoy playing it now. Before the swap I was always fighting it.

    AL
     
  14. Giraffecaster

    Giraffecaster Member

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    i guess the question that should solve this is what does it sound like unplugged? do you like that sound? sometimes guitars end up with dull sounding woods and if you don't like the unplugged feeling then pickups might not give you what you want.
     
  15. fugazi

    fugazi Member

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    My LP Studio is my go to guitar, and gets more play than any other I have. Got it for $400 used, because it had a busted pot. Flat out rocks. I guess I got lucky. I would sell it if it's not doing anything for you. In my experience a guitar either has "it" or does not.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. bynt

    bynt Member

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    AMEN!!!! I LOVE my Studio. I've pit it against several Standards and Classics and it just KILLED them. But, only after I put in new pickups. I really hate the originals. Just straight mush to my ear. So, I put in a Duncan JB/59 set up and it just COOKS. I ended up changing the 59 in the neck for a Dimarzio Humbucker from Hell because it's got a weird (in a good way) tone that's not single coil but not humbucker either. That's always been my issue with humbuckers: the neck. Anyway, I'm SO glad that I did it. Duncans' aren't dirt cheap but they are the best bang for the buck that I've tried and sure made all the difference in the world in my guitar. I just stress: if you really like everything else about the guitar, drop some Duncans in it. And you can find them used a lot of the time here on TGP. I wouldn't be so adamant if I didn't love my Studio so much. I'm sure that anyone who's unfortunate enough to remember any of my posts is probably sick of me ranting about my damned Les Paul. Just give it a shot. It "saved" my guitar which is now damn near my "go to" instrument of choice. :eek:
     
  17. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    It's not a turd, it's just got crap pickups in it.

    He likes the guitar.

    +1.

    The stock pickups in a Studio are characterless, congested, nasal-sounding rubbish (IMO). Put any half-decent aftermarket pickups in it and I bet it will come alive.

    I would start with a Duncan '59 in the neck and probably a Custom 5 in the bridge.
     
  18. ARch

    ARch Member

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    Well you just described what I'm hearing, so I think that's my answer. It's been four years, so we've definitely bonded -- but it can't be my go to when my G&L sounds so much better (of course, in a different way).

    The LP's treble pickup is very nasal and doesn't lose that tinny highness no matter how far/close I adjust the pickup -- the bridge mushes everything together unless it's set as low as possible, in which case I get separation of 6 terrible string tones.

    Honestly I think me playing so much with the pickup heights made it worse, but I can't find any happy ground here. The RS Kit made a difference but not the total change I was looking for -- I think, however, it may make any aftermarket pickups sound that much better.

    I've got a friend who will be looking to offload the pickups (SDs?) from his Heritage soon (I think he's going for Lollar's), so that will be good timing for me, and in the meantime she's probably due for a setup.

    Thanks guys --
     
  19. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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  20. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Here. Hand wound pickups by a TGP member who's also a great guy to deal with.

    http://www.bg-pups.com/hb.html

    They're far less $$$ than many others too.

    Good luck in your search.
     

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