Should I be apprehensive about putting $300+ into my cheap Les Paul

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jimmyohio75, Dec 5, 2017.


  1. bxlxaxkxe

    bxlxaxkxe Supporting Member

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    100% go for it. I like those things a lot and the better pickups are exactly what it needs to become a great guitar.
     
  2. bxlxaxkxe

    bxlxaxkxe Supporting Member

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    Definitely a worthwhile skill BUT if you do buy an iron, BUY A GOOD ONE. I bought a $12 iron from RadioShack and it has made me want to pull my hair out many times. Makes the job 10x harder than it needs to be.
     
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  3. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I just think it is a good feeling to be able to do a little basic luthiery on your own. And at very least, be able to swap pickups when you feel like it.

    The only way I would hire someone else would be, if a friend was in business at it and appeared to have been forgotten, and could use the work. I guess they don't even have classes for this in High School or Adult Education anymore in most places. Simple things like knowing how to solder well, lessen the sense of impotence as various world rulers face off against one another and other mayhem ensues. Soldering as therapy? Why not!
     
  4. redgold

    redgold Supporting Member

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    Don’t forget to do the abr and historic plastics next!



    Just kidding, let us know how it turns out.
     
  5. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    ****************UPDATE*******************

    I got my guitar back today (a day earlier than promised). WOW! Talk about an improvement! It is like a brand new guitar. The Pearly Gates pickups are awesome. The guitar tech rewired the pickups and pots to 50’s wiring. Makes a big difference when rolling back the guitar volume. The guitar shop gave me a great deal on the whole project. I bought the PG pickups from them and they installed the pickups, rewired the whole thing and finished with a set up all for $318. The pickups alone cost $239 (at most online retailers).
    Overall very pleased. This guitar is a gigging machine now. Well spent money indeed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  6. paulbearer

    paulbearer Supporting Member

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    PG set retails for $199, even direct from Seymour.
    Still, rewiring, install, setup for $118 is a good deal.

    Glad you dig it. I have a 93 Standard w a zebra PG set in it and it sounds great.
    I hadn't played it in a long time, but set it up last night and it's got the tone.
     
  7. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    With nickel covers they are $239 a set at GC, MF and Sweetwater. I got nickel covered ones because the stock Tribute had nickel covered pickups.
     
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  8. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    Good deal, OP ...well done! FWIW, you'd spend far more than that to find an LP as light as your Trib! ...good job!!

    Now go learn how to solder (easy and inexpensive) and save yourself even more for your next project ;)

    Edward
     
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  9. AudioWonderland

    AudioWonderland Member

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    That's standard procedure around here. The pickups can come back out if you sell it. Learn to solder and save a ton of money. Dad was a Ham radio tinkerer and he taught me to solder when I was young. Probably too young! It has saved me do much money over the years though.
     
  10. cutaway

    cutaway Supporting Member

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    You need to make darn sure it's the pickups making the guitar sound bad to you. Sometimes no matter what you put in a guitar it won't improve it. The pickups you're thinking of adding aren't altogether different from what you have in it assuming it has the originals.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  11. TubeStack

    TubeStack Supporting Member

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    Any time I’ve been in a similar scenario with a guitar, I’ve opted to sell it and buy the “next level up” (ie. Studio>Traditional, etc) rather than swap pickups, change electronics, etc.

    For me, it’s the best move. Far better to choose a guitar that makes me totally happy “as-is,” than to sink money into a guitar I’m luke-warm on and will possibly (likely) still not be happy with afterward and lose money selling.
     
  12. Luva

    Luva Supporting Member

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    Thanks for letting us know how things turned out. Glad you had a good outcome! Now, do follow up on all the good advice you have received - to buy a good soldering iron so you never need to use a guitar tech again, at least to swap out electronic components on an electric guitar. The right tools plus a little YouTube is all you need.
     
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  13. Cliffhydro

    Cliffhydro Supporting Member

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    Same magnet right?

    Would the wiring make that much of a difference? I have the same guitar and have been on the fence about a pickup change for a while now, but have been wondering about the pcb and the pots.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  14. cutaway

    cutaway Supporting Member

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    Depends really. Some people swear by different wiring schemes, but it's a personal decision.
     
  15. jimmyohio75

    jimmyohio75 Member

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    All I know is that the 490’s were bright, muddy and harsh sounding. The Pearly Gates are warmer and much more articulate. I almost sold my amp thinking that it was bright and harsh. Turns out it was the pickups. Amp sounds great now.
     
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  16. paulbearer

    paulbearer Supporting Member

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    Cool. Before you edited your posted it looked like you were seeing $289 or $299 on them. Enjoy the tone!
     
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  17. Cliffhydro

    Cliffhydro Supporting Member

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    Nice. Good info. I guess I'm gonna pull mine. Although I'm leaning towards Dimarzio 36th Anniversary. Muddy and harsh is definitely how I'd describe the 490s.
     
  18. LarryBirdsFace

    LarryBirdsFace Member

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    Hell yeah, you should. It already hits the important part, it plays GREAT!! Sound can always be tweaked, the way a guitar plays and feels can't (within reason outside of a setup and action adjustment)
    Pickups and electronics will make a big difference, then adjusting your amp to hit the sweet spots will make you feel like you've won the lottery. Do it, don't look back, grip it and rip it, dude!!!

    EDIT:: Apparently I didn't finish reading the thread, glad you like it!!!
     
  19. Rhythm Rocker

    Rhythm Rocker Member

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    The pickups were 490R & 490T, not Burstbucker Pros.

    Did you know that those 490R & 490T were reverse polarity....
    Pickup: Rhythm
    Style 490R
    Magnet material: Alnico II
    Polarities: Screw side is the south pole of magnet Reversed Polarity

    Pickup: Lead

    Style: 490T
    Magnet Material: Alnico II
    Polarities: Reversed Polarity

    Tonal & Resonant Advancements: Better Hum canceling with reverse polarity.
    http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2017/USA/Les-Paul-Tribute.aspx
     
  20. paulvcarter

    paulvcarter Supporting Member

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    If the basic wood is good, the neck is to your liking then upgrades are worth it. A less expensive guitar that plays well and stays in tune gives you much less worry, you can take it out and work it hard!
     
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