Turn my Charvel 3 into RUSH guitar?

Goldstrat

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1,167
I have a Charvel Model 3 that is pretty nice but I would like to get the old Rush sound from it. What pickups would you suggest to turn it into an Alex Lifeson type strat? It has 2 singles and a humbucker in the bridge. I love the old 2112 type sound from his white strat he played on Exit Stage Left. Did he use the old Bill Lawrence pickups?
 

tone4days

Member
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6,715
yes .. iirc, his early 80s 'sportscaster' strats were H-H models with bill lawrence 500 XLs ... i am unfamiliar with the model 3 - does it have a pickguard loaded with pickups? ... if so, i'd recommend a new pickguard loaded with the lawrence pickups and a 5 way p-type megaswitch (positions 2 and 4 are too cool)

if you are trying to stay with the H-S-S setup, call bill and becky up and ask which singles they recommend to go with the 500XL ...

another idea would be a seymour duncan jazz model in the bridge with a set of cool rails for the neck and middle .. will get you the same great clear tone that drives effects very well (as AL was doing in that period)

t4d
 

Gasp100

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Wow, I would NOT have guessed he played a strat in those early(er) years.
 

tone4days

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6,715
its funny to me to hear those years referred to as the early years ... i was a huge rush fan from about 79 to about 86 ... i considered that period to be the 'mid period' with all their albums up to and including permanent waves being the 'early stuff' when he was playing the 335 and LPs and the howard roberts ... once he went to the strats (moving pictures, grace under pressure, signals, power windows) it was very 80s and synth / digital drums heavy

i was so into them at that time that i modded my ibanez am-50 small body semihollow to have bill lawrence 500XLs, serial/ parallel switching for each pickup and a 4 way rotary selector to get in phase / out of phase combinations ... i still have those 1986 vintage pickups in that guitar and they sound even better with 20+ yrs of time on them

t4d
 

Goldstrat

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1,167
I like his Gibson tone alot also! But I already have that covered. That DVD Exit Stage Left is from the early 80's and he is playing his white strat with the black pickguard and it sounds great! Of course his Gibsons sound great too! I have the Charvel sitting around so I am debating on modding it or just starting from scratch and building a different strat. The neck on the Charvel is nice but has the pointy headstock and the pickguard is black so I could just get a new guard and pickups. I also was a huge fan back then and used to go see them all the time from around 78 to 85. I remember taping Exit Stage Left when I was stationed in Hawaii in the service around 83 or 84 from a show called Nightflight. I still have that tape but have since got the DVD.
 

tone4days

Member
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6,715
yeah, i remember driving up to radio city music hall in NYC with my best friend (a drummer) for the first show of a ~weeklong mini tour they did during the recording of signals ... mustve been about 83 or so ... they played about 5 tunes that ended up on that record ... was very cool ... we had 9th row seats right in front of alex ... he had 3 of those strat-like guitars .. the white one(my fav), a red one, and a black one ... very cool indeed

i cant remember what amps he was playing then .. i wanna say G-K, but i am not sure

t4d
 

Digitalman

Member
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2,253
I've made a replica of the Alex's white Strat from Moving Pictures. It's a Custom Shop '69 with a new PG assembly I dropped in. I did some research and when I found out that The Spirit of Radio (the first black Strat) and Limelight were both done on Strats with Gibson humbuckers in the bridge I had to get that sound myself. My Strat has a Gibson 57 Classic in the bridge, master volume / tone.


IMG_3695.jpg


The red Strat had the Bill Lawerence pickup in it and he eventually put one in the black one and white one as well. On the Signals and Grace Under Pressure tour he was using four Marshall combos, 4140 2x12 Club and Country.

http://www.musictoyz.com/articles/chopalex.php
 

_pete_

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,771
I also made a replica of Alex's white Strat.
It's pretty much the same spec as his was during the Grace Under Pressure era.
The bridge pickup is a 1970's era Lawrence L500 and the bridge is an early, no fine tuner Floyd Rose. I also added the Gibson style 3 way toggle as he did. Note the upside down jackplate too. I recently changed from a 22 to a 21 fret neck on it also.

DSCN2275.jpg

Hentor2-1.jpg

Hentor3.jpg


Here are some shots of Alex and the original:

cap248.jpg

cap254.jpg

graceunderpressure-7.jpg
 

tone4days

Member
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6,715
i bow down in admiration to digitalman and pete n
:D

very cool replicas .. pete, the attention to details on yours is MAJORly sick .. very cool indeed

cheers
t4d
 

_pete_

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,771
i bow down in admiration to digitalman and pete n
:D

very cool replicas .. pete, the attention to details on yours is MAJORly sick .. very cool indeed

cheers
t4d


Thanks!
Mine has a few differences. I found it stayed in tune better without the string trees on the headstock so I removed them. I also have a mini toggle that activates the middle pup ( the 3 way toggle switch is bridge/bridge-neck/neck) and I have a push/pull pot to split the bridge pup.
The body is a Warmoth swamp ash and the neck is MIM Fender.

I play in a Rush tribute band so I had to get the details correct.
 

wildstar

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
183
Wow! I've been lurking here for so long, but these replica guitars inspired me to finally post.

Nice work on those guitars! So cool, and such a great tribute to such a groundbreaking guitarist. You've got me thinking about finally creating replicas of some guitars that have inspired me...

Cheers
 

Goldstrat

Member
Messages
1,167
Wow! I've been lurking here for so long, but these replica guitars inspired me to finally post.

Nice work on those guitars! So cool, and such a great tribute to such a groundbreaking guitarist. You've got me thinking about finally creating replicas of some guitars that have inspired me...

Cheers

I agree! Nice guitars for sure.
 




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