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Swapped pickups in a '72 Pawnshop!

FLStratcat

Member
Messages
514
Like many, I found the stock pickups to be lacking.. well, a lot. And I disliked the blender knob greatly after being used to having a 3/5-way switch. So I placed an order over at The Creamery (Jaime's a great guy, check his stuff out next time you're in the market for pickups. Though I've no affiliation, just a happy customer!), bought a 3-way and began the wait.

About a month, incl. shipping from the UK to the US, and I had received the new pickups. I went with the Wide-Range Humbuckers in standard humbucker size. Then I realized once I received them, the neck WR 'bucker was legitimate WR size! :jo So I ran out and got a chrome p'up ring and all was well.

After installing the new pickups, dialing them in and setting up the guitar. Wow is all I can really say. The sound absolutely blows me away. It's clear, extremely well-defined, and just plain awesome! :hiP The WRs absolutely exceeded my expectations tenfold! String-to-string definition is unreal, even with a heavy silicon fuzz. The clarity of complex chords is just outstanding. I'll stop raving so much now and get onto the real fun part, the pictures :p

Started with this:


And it became this:

(I apologize, I'll take a better picture tomorrow when it's light out, this is just a quick iPhone snap under some florescent lights, the neck p'up isn't crooked as it appears, it's just how the photo came out for some reason :jo)

Oh, and to show something I thought was interesting:


A little bit of masking tape, steel wool (0000), and a dremel polishing wheel with Mother's Billet polish turns your frets into GLASS. It's unreal how smooth vibrato is now. Just thought I'd share :bonk
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,301
Looks like you did a terrible job on that last fret! :p



Oh, and to show something I thought was interesting:


A little bit of masking tape, steel wool (0000), and a dremel polishing wheel with Mother's Billet polish turns your frets into GLASS. It's unreal how smooth vibrato is now. Just thought I'd share :bonk
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,301
I know what you mean though... I've been doing the steel wool thing since about 1992, and I think that makes them feel about 95% perfect. Started doing the Dremel thing (I use 3M rubbing compound) and man! They don't feel radically better, but I could almost do my hair in the in the morning.

If I had any hair. :p
 

rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,445
I think it's great that you've set the guitar up to be more how you want it, that's what these things are all about.

I can't find a single thing lacking in the tone of my '72. I'm usually the first person to go tinkering with pickups but this came from the factory with great tone that needed nothing changed to go play. I also adapted to the blend knob like a duck takes to water!

These are very nice guitars no matter how you want to set them up. :)
 

Lespaulsignature 74

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,751
Very nice guitars indeed! I just picked one up last week (surf green) at Sam Ash for $599. The neck radius and profile are very comfortable but it had tuning problems straight out of the gate (strings binding at the nut) and sharp frett ends. It's currently at the shop getting a new replacement bone nut and getting the fret ends filed/smoothed out.

I also like the tone of the stock pickups although I haven't had a chance to really crank it up in my apartment. I was also thinking about replacing the blender knob but then there would be no way of adjusting the tone of the pickups. Does anyone know if the WR humbucker neck pickup is potted?

I feel that these guitars provide a great bang for the buck.
 
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AD_

Member
Messages
429
I thought "Wide Range" humbuckers used some mystical unobtanium magnet material. The Creamery says they are AlNiCo II?

CuNiFe pole piece magnets are what I was talking about. Mystical never-again-seen magnet of the original Wide-range Humbuckers - that I don't know why we can't manufacture today if it is so much "better" than ceramic/alnico.
 

FLStratcat

Member
Messages
514
I thought "Wide Range" humbuckers used some mystical unobtanium magnet material. The Creamery says they are AlNiCo II?

CuNiFe pole piece magnets are what I was talking about. Mystical never-again-seen magnet of the original Wide-range Humbuckers - that I don't know why we can't manufacture today if it is so much "better" than ceramic/alnico.

Well the original Wide Range 'buckers were a CuNiFe magnet based deal, I believe the Creamery uses FeCrCo magnets but it mentions a similarity to AlNiCo but with more stable magnetic properties (take that how you will I suppose).

They certainly don't sound like typical humbuckers to me. More like a strat with a bit more everything. Twangier bridge, warmer neck, and the combined tone is nothing short of phenomenal. This is of course after you dial the heights in, etc. :)

To those asking about the stock Wide Range, I don't believe it's potted 'cos it squealed like porky pig whenever I'd kick on a fuzz or even just a TS9 :bonk

Once I return to the hacienda later on this evening I'll get some clips up as well.
 
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AD_

Member
Messages
429

Lespaulsignature 74

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,751
Please report back about the Lollar Regals, I am very interested in these pickups. At least they are fairly priced (IMHO) compared to the other winders who are doing repro Wide Range Hums!

Nice! I just got mine (in surf green) and am so READY to pimp it out. I have a Rutters bridge coming, a Lollar Regal for the neck, and probably a Suhr SSV+ in the bridge. Plus one of these:

http://shop.seeker.co.nz/51/51_chrome.aspx

Unfortunately, the guy quit making them, but it's a nice option.
 

mullytron

Member
Messages
1,261
Here's a shot of the finished pimp job:



I installed the Regal, but ended up keeping the F***** cover, just because it was so new and shiny. It measured a whopping 11.2kohms, so I had to dig thru the drawer to find a humbucker with cream or white bobbins (my choice) that could keep up. This is some kind of DiMarzio at 15.something kohms. I usually avoid high-output p'ups. but these sound great, together and individually.

I felt like the guitar screams for a 3way switch, so I routed and modded for a custom plate allowing for 1Vol/1Tone and a standard 3way blade switch. This is a '51 style control plate (the Pawn Shop required some pickguard modification as well, since it is not the same footprint), custom fabbed by a fellow in New Zealand, and he says he ain't making any more...

The real killer is the Rutters hardware, 2 knobs, a switchtip, and a bridge, a La Burrito with vintage-spaced mounting holes, not AmStd. Oh.my.God. That bridge is nuts, it just opens up the sound of the guitar, and makes it more of everything. Louder, clearer, better. Like a huge electric piano that distorts. I love it. My hat is way, way off to Marc, home run dude, your parts rule the school.

This guitar has an interesting sound, between the rosewood fingerboard and the added-top construction (not added-back, like a Thinline Tele), it has a very nice rounded and smooth-ish thing happening, but the string-thru bridge and loud-ass humbucker put out plenty of muscle. I think the Pawn Shop's are all awesome platforms for upgrading, and the MIJ quality is great.
 
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rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,445
Here's a shot of the finished pimp job:



I installed the Regal, but ended up keeping the F***** cover, just because it was so new and shiny. It measured a whopping 11.2kohms, so I had to dig thru the drawer to find a humbucker with cream or white bobbins (my choice) that could keep up. This is some kind of DiMarzio at 15.something kohms. I usually avoid high-output p'ups. but these sound great, together and individually.

I felt like the guitar screams for a 3way switch, so I routed and modded for a custom plate allowing for 1Vol/1Tone and a standard 3way blde switch. This is a '51 style control plate (the Pawn Shop required some pickguard modification as well, since it is not the same footprint), custom fabbed by a fellow in New Zealand, and he says he ain't making any more...

The real killer is the Rutters hardware, 2 knobs, a switchtip, and a bridge, a La Burrito with vintage-spaced mounting holes, not AmStd. Oh.my.God. That bridge is nuts, it just opens up the sound of the guitar, and makes it more of everything. Louder, clearer, better. Like a huge electric piano that distorts. I love it. My hat is way, way off to Marc, home run dude, your parts rule the school.

This guitar has an interesting sound, between the rosewood fingerboard and the added-top construction (not added-back, like a Thinline Tele), it has a very nice rounded and smooth-ish thing happening, but the string-thru bridge and loud-ass humbucker put out plenty of muscle. I think the Pawn Shop's are all awesome platforms for upgrading, and the MIJ quality is great.
That looks GREAT! Changes/upgrades are definitely in keeping with the spirit of the Pawn Shop line in the first place. :)
 




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