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West Coast Blues Thread - Version 3.0

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Echo Are

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2,627
Like this? This was up on Ebay a few years back. I lost the auction by a few hundred in the last few minutes. I still think it's the coolest 50's "Goldtop" guitar I've seen.

Cool guitar. The look of it reminds of the late-'70s Pro Deluxe Les Paul, which are still relatively affordable(I think),and have a Tune-O-Matic bridge as well. I've had GAS for a Pro Deluxe for many years.
 

TwoFeets

Member
Messages
2,668
Oh yeah, it ranges from being an interesting project to being a nightmare. Refinishing a Fender is a piece of cake. Throw in some plastic binding on a body an neck and its a whole new ball game. I'm coming down the home stretch though.

Thanks for the photos Jetlag, especially the dark back. I'm staining the back now.

Valcotone, the guitar sounds great but the finish was just so thick. I couldn't believe that the lacquer would ever shrink to the point where you'll be able to see any wood grain on it like on an old guitar. Not to mention that fact that the thing was sheathed in a thick condom like apparatus referred to as lacquer. Can't be good for tone.

So I stripped it down. It was an iced tea burst, not a gold top. Everybody and their brother around here plays a gold top with P90's. Or almost everybody, which included musician extraordinaire Sean Costello. I wanted something a little different. The burst didn't do it though. I want a black one and can't afford to pay the Gibson custom shop $6,000.00 to make me one. And theirs would have a super thick finish. The finish was a 1/16" thick. I left the original finish on at the serial number so now that I've got it stripped and I'm staining it, its easy to see exactly how thick the original finish was. Go get a ruler or tape measure, look at the 1/16" marks and that's how thick it was.

I just thought it would be fun to refinish it to the color I wanted, and get a much thinner lacquer finish on it as well. That's about it.
Might you have gotten away with one of the black Edwards P90 LP Customs? Those tempt me from time to time.
 
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Might you have gotten away with one of the black Edwards P90 LP Customs? Those tempt me from time to time.
They must vary some, but I had one for a minute. No matter how much I crossed my fingers, closed my eyes, and wished real hard, it just wasn't ever anything like what I wanted. Decent fifties sized neck, supposedly all mahogany (t'ick black paint, so?), tolerable weight, the long tenon (like Ron Jeremy), looked cool, but it sounded kinda...well, Clapton (I know!). Everything sounded like the solo on Crossroads! I never gave it a chance like with other p.u.s, originals being some hot, cheap Dunkins. Would have liked to have tried one o' those "Alnico" p.u.s with the rectangular polepieces, but the gtr just didn't hold my interest enough to procede. Well, then this '64 SG Special came along and...
Others may have different outcome, and past performance is no guarantee of...(blah, blah)

 

Thin Slices

Member
Messages
381
Hi all,

I am having my ES350-T serviced by a guitar local tech that has a really good reputation. The guitar is equipped with Dave Stephens kaybars (sort of P-90 in humbucker size).

The tech called me today and said that it is not possible to do the out-of-phase mod without having a lot of noise. He said that to eliminate the noise he would have to open up the pickup and add another wire or something like that.

As far as I understood it has something to do with the number of wires (leads) from each of the pickups. That a third wire is needed to do the out-of-phase mod without overwhelming amounts of hum.

Can any of you guys guess and maybe explain me what this is all about?

Best regards from Copenhagen

Andreas A

(I changed my username due to a case of someone trying to steal my identity on www based on info from guitar fora etc)
 

nmontz

Member
Messages
837
I have the phase flip mod with the regular lead pups on my r6. No more hum than usual without that third lead. Since I did it this way though....if my strings hit the polepieces of the flipped phase pup, it grounds out the guitar with no sound. Which does sometimes happen if I'm a little heavy handed with my palm muting. No sound is quite a suprise when you least expect it!! The mod IS better with the extra lead.....but......the flip will work with a regular lead setup. I'm not sure why exactly why he wants to add the extra lead....as it will work both ways. The extra lead is probably the way you want it done though. It took me awhile when I wired my guitar up, I had a vague idea of how to do it, but I just soldered away by trial and error....couldn't get it to work each way I tried even though it looked correct. It ended up I needed to shield one of the braided leads with electrical tape as that was messing the wiring up when the two braided leads touched during the phase flip. The tech wants your leads for the phase switch to look like this....vs. the hot and braided ground lead of a standard p-90 pup.

http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/schematics.php?schematic=phase_switching_for_hb
 

nmontz

Member
Messages
837
On the subject of that cool looking blacktop wraptail. I remember seeing picks of a blacktop 55 TOM lp. I couldn't find a better pick online right now...but it's in this collection.

http://www.lespaulforum.com/wittrock/wittrock.html

Hey Dan, I can't make it to see you guys at Blues On Grand this weekend. I hope you have a great show! Maybe Jason or Tom can make it out?
 

valcotone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,836
Yeah, the phase switch mod can make things slightly noisy when it is engaged if you do it with regular 2-lead P90-style pickups. That's because when it is out-of-phase the + (hot) side of the pickup is the braided shield, baseplate, and polepieces... so there is more material to pick up noise vs. the in-phase when that stuff is helping to shield the pickup.

But like Noel I've had good luck with wiring it up that way anyway in most cases. I don't know how the K-Bars are constructed, so there may be other considerations there.
 

jumpnblues

Member
Messages
5,421
Ordered a set of Don Mare/Junior Watsons for my USACG early 50's style trem Strat. Can anyone familiar with them tell me what I can expect tone-wise?
Also, gonna' change out my USACG hardtail Strat pu's for a set of VanZandt True Vintages. It's running a VZ Blues in the bridge and VZ V+'s in the mid and neck and I actually like it a lot. Just thought I'd experiment a little. I actually like a thinner, brighter, but sweeter tone in the bridge position ala the Anson "Rack 'Em Up" bridge pu tone. Been using VZs for a long time in my Strats, but thought I'd like to try the Don Mares in one of 'em and different VZs in the other. Thanks for your comments.


Tom
 

fretshop

Member
Messages
2,010
Hi all,

I am having my ES350-T serviced by a guitar local tech that has a really good reputation. The guitar is equipped with Dave Stephens kaybars (sort of P-90 in humbucker size).

The tech called me today and said that it is not possible to do the out-of-phase mod without having a lot of noise. He said that to eliminate the noise he would have to open up the pickup and add another wire or something like that.

As far as I understood it has something to do with the number of wires (leads) from each of the pickups. That a third wire is needed to do the out-of-phase mod without overwhelming amounts of hum.

Can any of you guys guess and maybe explain me what this is all about?

Best regards from Copenhagen

Andreas A

(I changed my username due to a case of someone trying to steal my identity on www based on info from guitar fora etc)
Andreas, The third wire is usually a pickup cover, or base plate ground that allows you to wire IN SERIES Out of Phase with a single coil pickup.

With Humbuckers, You will need to have the pickup lead wire with the braided shielding removed and replaced with a four conductor lead wire in order to make things safe and quiet. Using the braided shielding on the output wire does work, but it can turn a pickup into a big antenna.

I have detailed instructions I can send you if you e-mail me.
 

monstermike

Member
Messages
1,377
Hey, George!

Thanks for the pictures - it was great to see them. How've you been?

For humbuckers, a two conductor plus shield wire works fine for phase switching, and you don't have to worry so much about which wire is which.
 

jimfog

Senior Member
Messages
9,478
Thanks, Jim! I try to illegally download myself wherever I can.

Ha!

Personally, I like UPLOADING my own music, and pretending that I'm someone else.

"Wow, dudes........you guys MUST check out this amazing guitarist....smokin!! And I hear he's handsome, brilliant and funny, as well!!!!"
 
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TwoFeets

Member
Messages
2,668
They must vary some, but I had one for a minute. No matter how much I crossed my fingers, closed my eyes, and wished real hard, it just wasn't ever anything like what I wanted. Decent fifties sized neck, supposedly all mahogany (t'ick black paint, so?), tolerable weight, the long tenon (like Ron Jeremy), looked cool, but it sounded kinda...well, Clapton (I know!). Everything sounded like the solo on Crossroads! I never gave it a chance like with other p.u.s, originals being some hot, cheap Dunkins. Would have liked to have tried one o' those "Alnico" p.u.s with the rectangular polepieces, but the gtr just didn't hold my interest enough to procede. Well, then this '64 SG Special came along and...
Others may have different outcome, and past performance is no guarantee of...(blah, blah)


Thanks Jon - that helps to dissuade the GAS, at least temporarily.
Is anyone making repros of those staple magnet pickups these days?
 
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8,095
Thanks Jon - that helps to dissuade the GAS, at least temporarily.
Is anyone making repros of those staple magnet pickups these days?
Well, there's this one company called, umm...oh yeah, gibson! C-more Dunkin, too. Bring your checkbook. Make that two checkbooks!
 

jumpnblues

Member
Messages
5,421
I played an old, all original, black, L5CES with a P-90 bridge pu and AlNiCo neck pu. The AlNiCo was very low powered and didn't have much punch at all...rather anemic sounding. Nothing like a P-90. Don't know if it was just tired or if that's the way they sound. I suspect it was a little of both. Beautiful guitar though.


Tom
 

glblues

Member
Messages
372
Ordered a set of Don Mare/Junior Watsons for my USACG early 50's style trem Strat. Can anyone familiar with them tell me what I can expect tone-wise?
Also, gonna' change out my USACG hardtail Strat pu's for a set of VanZandt True Vintages. It's running a VZ Blues in the bridge and VZ V+'s in the mid and neck and I actually like it a lot. Just thought I'd experiment a little. I actually like a thinner, brighter, but sweeter tone in the bridge position ala the Anson "Rack 'Em Up" bridge pu tone. Been using VZs for a long time in my Strats, but thought I'd like to try the Don Mares in one of 'em and different VZs in the other. Thanks for your comments.


Tom
the mares are more alive, vocal to my ears, especially in the trebles.
i replaced a set of lollar BFs in my hardtail strat and i was hearing more trebles and a thinner sound, in a good way. the frequencies from bass mids and trebles seem to balance out.
i tried using some other guy's settings at a blues jam where he had massive distortion thru it, doesnt sound that great, but clean to medium overdrive, its the bee's knees.

i think that the watsons are a little different. arent they meant to sound like the biggest sounding strat pickups ever? thats what i keep hearing when watson plays a strat
 
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