Let's Mod an Epiphone Black Beauty

npfrs

Member
Messages
1,420
So lately I've been thinking of picking-up an Epiphone Black Beauty and making it a versatile/utility guitar. I have settled upon the BB as I hav become slightly obsessed with 3-pickup guitars and this seems like a good starting point. I do not have any humbucker/les paul style guitars at the moment so this would really fill in a lot of gaps for me.



The idea behind this post is to collect as many mods as possible that are available to me regarding this guitar. Wiring, pickups, trem systems, MIDI, etc, etc. I am not concerned with resale value so please that out of any considerations you might have.

So far I have thought about the following options...


  • White/creme pickup rings/switch ring
  • lose the pickguard
  • 3 vol/1 master tone for more switching options
  • Jimmy Page-style pickup toggles (one for each)
  • push/pull for coil-tap and/or series/parallel
  • bare knuckle in bridge, tv jones in middle, p90 in neck
  • bigsby or kahler/floyd rose/stetsbar
  • MIDI pickup (GK or Fishman Triple Play)
  • Varitone
  • Hipshot guitar xpander
  • kaos pad touchpad
Anymore thoughts/suggestions?
 

sleep

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,158
Sounds like fun, unusual pickup combo but why not? I hope you post clips if you do it.

I think there's reason why didn't see many Les Pauls modded with Floyds back in the day, and I think that reason is neck angle. The kahlers they used had disk like thumbscrews to accommodate for that... I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

I had a stetsbar on an LP studio and was not impressed. They aren't cheap, either.

How about a g/b bender? If you're not sold on the neck p90, a sustainer type thing would work well with the kaoss pad.
 

npfrs

Member
Messages
1,420
Sounds like fun, unusual pickup combo but why not? I hope you post clips if you do it.

I think there's reason why didn't see many Les Pauls modded with Floyds back in the day, and I think that reason is neck angle. The kahlers they used had disk like thumbscrews to accommodate for that... I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

I had a stetsbar on an LP studio and was not impressed. They aren't cheap, either.

How about a g/b bender? If you're not sold on the neck p90, a sustainer type thing would work well with the kaoss pad.
Sweet ideas!
 

npfrs

Member
Messages
1,420
Although the goal was to try to list as many possibilities as could be thought of I will say, after reading/thinking about it, I've decided on a few specific options for the build...

- Gibson Dirty Fingers (bridge), Lollar Charlie Christain (middle), Gibson '57 Classic (neck)
- push/pull for coil tap (bridge/neck), and series/parallel (1 for bridge/neck, 1 for middle)
- 3 vol/1 tone
- Hipshot xtender (E - D)

The other options I'm still debating on. If I put a Bigsby or Floyd on there, I won't be able to mount a MIDI pick-up (not easily anyways). Then again, if I won't be using a MIDI pick-up that often, I'd rather have a Floyd (for tuning stability).
 

kracdown

Custom User Title
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,978
I would do everything you mentioned... Bigsby it. Add a Piezo bridge.
 

LanEvo

Member
Messages
696
I've always thought 3-pickup Teles and Les Pauls should have a regular 3-way switch, plus a separate switch to toggle the middle pickup in or out. That way you don't lose the bridge+neck option.

The bridge+middle position is cool, but not as useful as bridge+neck IMNSHO.
 

sleep

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,158


The other options I'm still debating on. If I put a Bigsby or Floyd on there, I won't be able to mount a MIDI pick-up (not easily anyways). Then again, if I won't be using a MIDI pick-up that often, I'd rather have a Floyd (for tuning stability).
The GK type pickups include a bracket that mounts to TOM style bridge posts. You could still do that with a Bigsby, it won't replace the bridge (I might be misunderstanding you).

You could probably still attach the bracket that holds the converter box itself with the strap pin, or you could attach it to the back of the bigsby.
 

Franktone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,123
I am sorry to be a spoil sport but I like the way it looks already, an whole lot. I would change to:
- may better pickups, but still keep them under gold covers
- possibly a better nut
- maybe a better bridge
- maybe the switch to a higher quality one if need be
- possibly better controls and harness but only if need be
It looks too good already.
 

sksmith66

Member
Messages
2,952
if you want versatile then why not go nuts with it?

I'd put 3 buckers with coil taps and and a free way switch on it :

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electro...witches_and_knobs/Free-Way_Pickup_Switch.html

you could but dual concentric knobs on 3 of the pots and do a volume and tone for each pickup and a master volume pot.

Then put in a set of alternative electronics. I'd put a graphtech ghost with the acoustic and hexpander setup in it. so you get a piezo and a midi pickup.
 

jgk62

Member
Messages
145
I kept mine stock but changed it cosmetically to look like Frampton's LP.
Took the covers off the pickups, replaced the black plastic with cream, and replaced the black knobs with gold ones.

 

npfrs

Member
Messages
1,420
That free-way switch is pretty awesome, I have to say.

I sat down today and thought "What would I actually use?" and "What would I actually use first?"

Step 1: Buy the guitar (duh)

Step 2: Replace the pick-ups/wiring (including push-pull pots) + cosmetic changes (knobs/pu-rings/etc) + set-up (new nut/tuners/etc)

Step 3: Hipshot Xpander (E - D) + Big D Varitone

Step 4:
Graphtech Ghost Acousti-phonic/Hexpander pre-amp with TOM bridge

Step 5:
Bigsby or switch to Graphtech Ghost equipped Floyd Rose design

Length of time to complete the project? I guess it could be years - and that's fine.
 
Last edited:




Trending Topics

Top