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Change Electronics on Historics or no? Upgrades for custom shops

#1 User is offline   justtryme 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:30 AM

To upgrade or not to upgrade on your custom shop guitars.
Chime in.

JTM
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#2 User is offline   deeman 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:23 AM

You're free to do what you like, but if I were spending that much for a guitar, it better not need new pickups or anything.

Hard no.
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#3 User is offline   justtryme 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:40 AM

View Postdeeman, on 28 February 2019 - 11:23 AM, said:

You're free to do what you like, but if I were spending that much for a guitar, it better not need new pickups or anything.

Hard no.



Oh this ones needs new pickups
burstbuckers are way too bright in this guitar
and it will sound better with a darker set that I have
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#4 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 01:22 PM

There are no rules here. If you can make it more what YOU want, do it and no looking back.

I had the first gen Burst Buckers in one of my LP Standards, I put a set of Duncans in there, a better fit for me. I'm considering going in there again, but this time, classic 57 and 57+. I like that set up.


My only advise, which is rather obvious; SAVE everything you swap out. if ever you need restore it back if you someday, aka decide to move on from it. I sold the burst buckers, and later, wished I had not. too late now!
/Ray
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#5 User is offline   arcticsg 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 01:28 PM

kidblast said:

1551381765[/url]' post='1980293']
There are no rules here. If you can make it more what YOU want, do it and no looking back.

I had the first gen Burst Buckers in one of my LP Standards, I put a set of Duncans in there, a better fit for me. I'm considering going in there again, but this time, classic 57 and 57+. I like that set up.


My only advise, which is rather obvious; SAVE everything you swap out. if ever you need restore it back if you someday, aka decide to move on from it. I sold the burst buckers, and later, wished I had not. too late now!



Good call!
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#6 User is online   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 01:44 PM

View Postjusttryme, on 28 February 2019 - 11:40 AM, said:

Oh this ones needs new pickups
burstbuckers are way too bright in this guitar
and it will sound better with a darker set that I have


Like kid said, and be careful soldering! Nothing worse than a hack job. Not saying you will do this as you may be very proficient with the iron and know exactly what you are doing, but again, nothing worse than a hack solder job and melted wire insulation in a nice guitar...
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#7 User is offline   rct 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 01:48 PM

How can a Historic, more accurately historically accurater than ever before, as they get every single year since they started doing them, not sound like a 58? The actual guitars that these are supposed to be so incredibly accurate reproductions of weren't too bright, at least, not the ones I played.

rct
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#8 User is offline   justtryme 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 01:59 PM

View Postrct, on 28 February 2019 - 01:48 PM, said:

How can a Historic, more accurately historically accurater than ever before, as they get every single year since they started doing them, not sound like a 58? The actual guitars that these are supposed to be so incredibly accurate reproductions of weren't too bright, at least, not the ones I played.

rct



This one is. clearly. I have played 3 real 59's.
I know what I want. Its not that. They have a really fizzy top end that does not sound like the originals in this particular guitar as well as another Historic I own.
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#9 User is online   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 02:12 PM


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#10 User is offline   Black Dog 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 02:13 PM

View Postkidblast, on 28 February 2019 - 01:22 PM, said:

There are no rules here. If you can make it more what YOU want, do it and no looking back.

I had the first gen Burst Buckers in one of my LP Standards, I put a set of Duncans in there, a better fit for me. I'm considering going in there again, but this time, classic 57 and 57+. I like that set up.


My only advise, which is rather obvious; SAVE everything you swap out. if ever you need restore it back if you someday, aka decide to move on from it. I sold the burst buckers, and later, wished I had not. too late now!


+1 on all that.
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#11 User is offline   JSW 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 06:00 PM

On a Historic? Hell no. It comes down to value. As soon as you make the change you loose monetary value. IMHO.
On a custom shop I might. As stated above, keep the old pickups and go carefully. You’ll alter the value but not as much as you would if it was Historic.

My two cents.

Jim
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#12 User is offline   Black Dog 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 07:20 PM

View PostJSW, on 28 February 2019 - 06:00 PM, said:

On a Historic? Hell no. It comes down to value. As soon as you make the change you loose monetary value. IMHO.
On a custom shop I might. As stated above, keep the old pickups and go carefully. You'll alter the value but not as much as you would if it was Historic.

My two cents.

Jim


I hear ya, but what is the value of the guitar if he doesn't like way the way it sounds?


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#13 User is offline   bigtim 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 07:30 PM

So what would happen if the OP does change it out for himself and keeps the original stuff in a box somewhere if the guitar will sound better after the alteration? It is his guitar and if he is planning on keeping it what difference does it make? I am thinking of putting an upgraded pre wired set of emerson pot harness in mine with different caps. I do not see the big deal if the OP is going to keep the guitar.
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#14 User is offline   Black Dog 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 08:09 PM

View Postbigtim, on 28 February 2019 - 07:30 PM, said:

I am thinking of putting an upgraded pre wired set of emerson pot harness in mine with different caps.


I have Emerson Pro pots in a couple of my guitars. There are good quality but I don't like the taper they use. I believe it is a 30/50 taper. That is 30% max output at 50% rotation. That's almost linear. I like a deeper taper. I think the Gibson historic's pots are a 10/50 taper. It doesn't matter as much for the bridge p/u for me because I keep that up pretty high, usually 7-10 range and the higher you crank it the less of a difference there is. But, for the neck p/u which is much more sensitive it really makes a difference. On my Emerson guitars I usually have the neck volume pot on 2-ish where for my Gibson pot guitars are around 4- ish for the same output.

Look at the different resistance tapers on the CTS site:

https://www.ctscorp....ploads/450G.pdf
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#15 User is offline   bigtim 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 08:47 PM

View PostBlack Dog, on 28 February 2019 - 08:09 PM, said:

I have Emerson Pro pots in a couple of my guitars. There are good quality but I don't like the taper they use. I believe it is a 30/50 taper. That is 30% max output at 50% rotation. That's almost linear. I like a deeper taper. I think the Gibson historic's pots are a 10/50 taper. It doesn't matter as much for the bridge p/u for me because I keep that up pretty high, usually 7-10 range and the higher you crank it the less of a difference there is. But, for the neck p/u which is much more sensitive it really makes a difference. On my Emerson guitars I usually have the neck volume pot on 2-ish where for my Gibson pot guitars are around 4- ish for the same output.

Look at the different resistance tapers on the CTS site:

https://www.ctscorp....ploads/450G.pdf


Thanks for sharing. But since you have said your not thrilled with the performance.....what alternative would you recommend? I am not very familiar and I would like a quick swap. I know how to solder the stuff in but prewired one seems really tempting.
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#16 User is offline   Black Dog 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:51 PM

View Postbigtim, on 28 February 2019 - 08:47 PM, said:

Thanks for sharing. But since you have said your not thrilled with the performance.....what alternative would you recommend? I am not very familiar and I would like a quick swap. I know how to solder the stuff in but prewired one seems really tempting.


Well, even with a "pre-wired" harness there's still a fair amount of soldering. It doesn't really save you much.

As for a recommendation, you'll have to look around. On the link to the PDF I posted it shows the tapers and also gives the code to read the pots. Not all pots have the codes though. The Gibson historics don't.



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#17 User is offline   arcticsg 

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 01:12 AM

Totally your call... if what you've got is not working then go for it.
....or buy another Guitar! That's usually my plan of attack! ;)
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#18 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 03:18 AM

Why not try using the tone controls on your guitar and amp? It's better to have some brightness on a guitar than non at all (I have played Les Paul's that were muddy on the neck pickup, if there is no brightness there at all your stuck with that!). The more variety of tone's you can call up the better.

Regarding effecting the value of your guitar, I have a friend who makes his living out of dealing high value & vintage guitars (nothing below Custom Shop) and he always checks the solder joints to see if they've been disturbed, so even if you restore the original electronics, to him it still detracts from the value.

Having said all that, it's your guitar.


Ian
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#19 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 04:10 AM

View PostBlack Dog, on 28 February 2019 - 07:20 PM, said:

...what is the value of the guitar if he doesn't like way the way it sounds?...

View PostIanHenry, on 01 March 2019 - 03:18 AM, said:

...Why not try using the tone controls on your guitar and amp?...

Both of the above.
I really couldn't possibly agree more with both points raised.

I'm sure the OP knows what he is doing and if he really cannot dial-in the guitar with the hardware he has to hand then by all means swap them out but if it's just a case of the p'ups being too bright then I would have thought judicious use of the volume and tone control(s) would be sufficient in the treble-taming stakes.

As far as what the original 'bursts sounded like? I won't post it yet again but I heartily recommend the April 2008 edition of ToneQuestReport to anyone curious enough to get an insight into the independent evaluation of six all-original '59s and how they sound. The evaluation was extremely thorough and well-conducted. The conclusion was that there is not one Absolute, Definitive tone. Les Pauls vary. They did so back then(*) and they still do today.
Here are just a couple of quotes from the text to give you a general idea;

"We all agreed that if we had heard (......) on a recording 'blind' we would incorrectly assume that we were listening to a semi-hollow body guitar...".
"...a thin, penetrating and incredibly powerful treble presence far more likely to be associated with a vintage Telecaster...".

So there you have it. A 1959 Les Paul sounds like an ES-335. Or, perhaps, an old Telecaster...

Pip.

(*) Without getting in to the interminable 'Do solid-body guitars improve with age?' argument

This post has been edited by pippy: 01 March 2019 - 04:14 AM

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#20 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 05:17 AM

View Postbigtim, on 28 February 2019 - 08:47 PM, said:

Thanks for sharing. But since you have said your not thrilled with the performance.....what alternative would you recommend? I am not very familiar and I would like a quick swap. I know how to solder the stuff in but prewired one seems really tempting.


Just another voice in the wilderness here; When I removed the BBs in my LP, and replaced them with Duncan's, the change in pickups, somehow changed how the stock volume pots behaved. I lost a lot of the response / control I was used to getting with the stock pickups. I replaced the pots w/Audio Taper CTS 500k and that restored the control I had before the pickup swap. Technically, the new pickups had everything to do with this but why, I just don't know.
/Ray
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