Initial thoughts on tone -- new 1983 LP standard w/ shaws


Silver Supporting Member
Got this one in last week and still trying to play with the eqs to get it to sound the way I want it to.

Here are my initial thoughts -- the Shaws are way hotter than I am used to (they squeal in the house if anywhere facing the amp and not playing -- well, while OD is on) and the low end seems a bit "squishy". The neck pickup seems to be even hotter than the bridge and is BOOMING. The controls don't seem to do a ton to the tone and have limited useful range.

I am pretty sure all electronics are the original (opened up the back and there was a metal cover covering the pots, took it off, old looking pots with a couple little orange caps between them) and I am pretty sure these are Shaws (you can tell from the pics) --

I am playing through my badcat black cat (which rules) and can't seem to dial in the tones I am seeking -- just seems that the hot shaws are under a blanket or something -- don't know.

Would a change of pots and or pickups be in order to get what I want? I used to have LP with BB pro 3s - which I really, really liked -- and would love to return to something in that range.

I know the Shaws are somewhat sought after, but I am just not digging what I'm getting right now. Maybe it will be different mic'd and live in a few weeks.

Any thoughts -- new pots, pickups -- anyone else with Shaws describe them like this?

Here are the pickups and the guitar



cap'n rory

Check the values on the pots. My 82 Shaw equipped 335 was swapped out to 500K pots while it was out for a refret, and past reports on the LP forum suggested that it originally had 300K volumes and 100K tone pots. I can't verify that because my tech didn't return the original pots. I'm happier with the guitar now, although the bridge pickup is very bright on it's own. I got the best improvement from the refret, as I could not stand the low wide original frets. It seemed indistinct on lots of tones on the neck, 6130's are what he put on the guitar.
I also lowered the pickups and found a sweeter sound with them further away from the strings. It used to overload my Deluxe Reverb clone Allen Accomplice, and now it sounds a lot better. I agree on the Shaws tendency to be pretty hot pickups, try lowering them until you find a tone you like.
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Silver Supporting Member
I've already lowered both of them -- I have emailed RS Guitarworks and asked about the POTs -- ultimately I will swap the pickups for something more usable if I can't get the tones I want with pot changes.

I'm sure someone here would love pair of Shaws :)

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