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User is offline May 24 2017 06:21 PM
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  1. In Topic:Replacement Tuner Reviews

    16 May 2017 - 09:37 AM

    I forgot to add prices, but the prices aren't that relevant anyway. There is no more than about $20 price difference among these tuners. Compared to what we spend for a Gibson, that's nothing!
  2. In Topic:Hardware for '61 Reissue SG

    09 May 2017 - 06:14 PM

    This is a follow up to my earlier review. I ended up going back to the zinc tailpiece for the SG, although I kept the steel studs and the ABR-1 bridge with brass saddles.

    The clean tone of the SG is much better with the aluminum tailpiece. That little change helps turn the guitar into something you could actually enjoy strumming, like an acoustic; and the bluesy overdrive tone is also much better.

    But the high gain tone is much better with the zinc tailpiece. I think you get more midrange and less treble with the zinc tailpiece. If you like that midrange bark on the bridge pickup, zinc is better.

    Also, I think the aluminum would go better with Burst Buckers than 57 Classics.

    In the end I bought the guitar to play metal, so I'm back to the zinc bridge.
  3. In Topic:Hardware for '61 Reissue SG

    09 May 2017 - 06:09 PM

    Works great for me. I made the same change on a 335 clone. Worked well there too.

    Check out Gibsons own $4,500 SG Historic. It comes with an aluminum stop bar tailpiece. The Historic Freddie King ES 345 (another $5k guitar) has one too.

    In fact, the SG standards now come with an aluminum tailpiece and an aluminum bridge!!!
  4. In Topic:Kluson Hardware Upgrades

    08 May 2017 - 06:16 PM

    I swapped all the hardware on my Gibson, and the improvement in tone is mind-blowing (comparable to swapping out the electronics on an import guitar).

    Before I did this the bridge pickup on my SG sounded great with a lot of distortion, and the neck pickup was good clean for a really smooth jazz tone. But that was about it.

    I changed the zinc tailpiece for an aluminum one, and the zinc studs for steel. Then I got Nashville to ABR-1 steel conversion posts and swapped them for my non-steel Gibson posts; and changed my all zinc Nashville bridge for a zinc ABR-1 bridge with brass saddles.

    I also swapped the tuners for Kluson Revolution tuners. I was really impressed with the Gotohs, but they had bushings instead of thread on collars, and the bushings didn't fit well (the holes are too large). Schaller also makes real nice Kluson style tuners, and the Schallers have threaded collars. But the casings and the post are not steel, and the plastic parts are more green than pearl.

    Then I discovered the Kluson Revolution tuners which drop right in and have thread on collars. Plus they are SEALED tuners, unlike all the others. They have replaceable buttons, and they look really cool.

    Anyway, the change in tone after replacing those parts is dramatic. Less midrange; no nasal sounds. Much less muddy and much clearer clean tone. More resonant acoustic tone. The high gain sounds are still there but the guitar is MUCH more versatile now.

    If you play heavy metal or jazz, I would not recommend the aluminum tailpiece. IMHO the clean tone is smoother and the high gain tone has more bark with the zinc tailpiece. But if play blues, like I do. Or if you are just a tone freak, like I am too. You have to at least give this a try. It's only about $150 or so of modifications (unlike a changeover to all steel, which is expensive), and all of them are easily reversible.

    I've known about the importance of good pickups and quality electronics for a long time. I've always paid attention to the woods and construction of the guitars I've owned. But I never took the time to experiment with different hardware until now. With Strats it's easy; steel sounds best for just about everything. But with Gibsons its more complicated.

    A lot of people are tuned in to the aluminum tailpieces Gibson uses on its high end guitars. I noticed just about all of those guitars also use ABR-1 bridges with brass saddles, and steel posts, so that's why I went this route.

    I also noticed the really pricey Les Pauls use Alnico III pickups, instead of the usual Alnico II classics (or Burstbuckers). Those should also produce a brighter, clearer tone. Next time I have time and money, I may try a set of those too....
  5. In Topic:Hardware for '61 Reissue SG

    05 May 2017 - 07:33 PM

    View PostGibSinCity, on 03 May 2017 - 05:22 PM, said:

    You don't have to swap-out the hardware if you know what you want.
    You can buy a Gibson with:

    Locking Grover kidney-button tuners.
    Chromed aluminum Tune-O-Matic and aluminum stop bar.

    You just have to buy the model that comes with these upgrades.


    That would be a good idea, if I had the money. My SG was over a grand, and that's about my budget. I made the hardware upgrades and it sounds incredible now....

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