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About cooltouch

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  1. I have a new Joe Pass Emperor II Pro and today I decided to measure the depth of the frets on this guitar with a depth micrometer. I was getting 0.065" everywhere I measured. This is a very tall fret dimension -- tallest I've ever seen, in fact. Playability wise, it makes using heavier strings easier because it's possible to get more of my finger under the string as I bend strings. I've enjoyed playing this guitar ever since I bought it a couple months ago, and now I think I have a better understanding why I've felt this way. I guess I prefer really tall frets. I have another guitar I'm very fond of, except it is about due to have its frets replaced. Before I bought it, it had had some rather severe fret work done to it, such that most of its frets are down to about 0.030," which is too low for me. So, I checked around at all the sources for fret wire that I know of, and the tallest wire I can find is 0.055." Hey, if I can't find any of this super tall Epiphone wire, I'll go with the 55 wire, but it would be cool if I could find some of the Epi stuff. So I'm just wondering -- anybody know where or how I can buy Epi fretwire?
  2. I have a kramer Focus 1000 that I'm curious about when it was made. It pretty much looks like an Eddie Van Halen special -- vaguely Strat style body, single slanted humbucker with a Floyd Rose system. It hs a New Jersey neck heel plate, but from what I understand, that doesn't mean it was made there. I'm guessing either Japan or Korea, but I dunno. Here's a pic of it. You'll note that I've done a bit of hotrodding to it. I added a P90 to the neck position, a selector switch, and a second volume pot. I also discovered that the stock humbucker had an extra wire, so I installed a microswitch and set it for coil tap and I forget what the other setting is. I don't use either much at all anyway. Kramer Focus 1000 circa 1986 by Michael McBroom, on Flickr
  3. I found out about Guitarfetish just a few days ago from a couple of members over at the Stratocaster forum. I need a new tremolo block for my SE Squier, and Guitarfetish was recommended. They appear to have good stuff at good prices. And their customer service was very prompt and very helpful. I will be ordering a replacement block from them soon. And I look forward to exploring their site further.
  4. Wmachine, that's a very pretty Traditional. I almost bought one at GC that was marked down to $2k when I was shopping around. It looked just like yours, and as I recall, it was a Trad Pro II. That same day, as I was driving home, mulling over whether I should spend the $2k (plus sales tax, of course) on that LP, on impulse, I decided to drop in at a pawn shop on my way home. In the past I've found and bought some cool stuff from that pawn shop, so I thought I'd just stop by and have a look around, since I had some cash burning a hole in my pocket, and all. Well, I walk into the shop and the first thing my eyes light on is a Les Paul hanging on the wall. So, I go over there and check it out, and the guitar looks brand new. The pawn shop owner tells me it comes with a case and the case has all the tags inside. So I'm deeply interested at this point, and I check out the tags, ascertaining that it's a Trad Pro II, same as I was just looking at over at GC just a few minutes before. At that point I'm thinking that something like destiny convinced me to stop in at that moment. So I asked the owner what his best out-the-door price was if I paid for it in Benjamins right then and there. He told me $1,100. I didn't even bargain with him. I just whipped out my envelope of cash and started counting out hundred dollar bills. It was destiny is what it was, and I saved more than $1,000! Yes, I would have rather had a cherry burst model, but for the money I saved, I can live with the burgundy finish (or whatever it's called) just fine.
  5. So in other words, a 1960 Slimtaper C profile is unique? It reminds me a lot of the profile on the 55 Epi Custom with P90s, but I dunno if that is indicative of any particular year of Les Paul neck profiles -- 1955 perhaps?
  6. As of a couple weeks ago, I added a Les Paul BFG with P90s to my Gibson arsenal. BFG stands for "barely finished guitar" and I can believe it -- it's pretty rough. But it's a great player and it has that great P90 sound.
  7. I selected the "Slim Tapered" profile, but the one I'm used to reading about -- and the one that I own the most of -- is a profile I've always known as the Slim 60s profile. So is that "Slim Tapered" or "60"? Or both? I own four Gibsons and another make, all 5 of which have what I've always understood as the Slim-60s profile. I own an Epiphone Joe Pass that has a semi-chunky neck profile. Supposedly it is a "1960s Slimtaper C" profile, but it is not at all like the Slim-60s profile I'm used to. It's a comfortable player, though, so no complaints. So which of the above profiles does a "1960s Slimtaper C" fit within, being that it's got a slim taper and it's a 1960s design?
  8. About my 2013 Traditional Pro II in the above post, I have some questions. I bought the guitar used, so I didn't get all the details one might when buying it new. For instance, I was told that the Pro II model was built specifically for Guitar Center. Is this true? My Trad Pro II has active circuitry, requiring a battery. 10 dB of boost is available by pulling out the neck pickup's tone control. Was this a typical feature of the Pro models? I'm assuming all Pro IIs have this feature. I've also read that the Trad Pro II was available with a 50s style neck and the Slim-60s profile. Mine has the Slim-60s profile, and I'm glad it does. I wonder how common the ones with the 50s style neck are? I've played other Pro IIs and all of the ones I've played had the slim profile.
  9. What I had planned to do was buy one of these beauties and do the same pickup swap that you guys did, but I kept balking over the price. And then I found out about the Gibson Limited Edition Les Paul BFG with P90s that was being clearance priced by Guitar Center and Musician's Friend. The BFG is an interesting looking guitar -- "rough" would be a good description. Not nearly as beautiful as the '55 Epi. But it's a Les Paul with P90s and it was priced such that it was very hard to resist. So I bought one. It's a great player -- has the Slim 60's neck profile and the P90s sound awesome. One interesting feature about the guitar is it has no fingerboard inlays. I really didn't care for the rather pale red look of the fingerboard, so I decided to use an old Luthier's trick for treating ebony fingerboards that aren't dark enough. I dyed my BFG's fingerboard black. Being a classical player from way back, I don't mind a fingerboard without inlays and the black fingerboard reminds me of a classical. Besides, it makes the guitar look much better with that black fingerboard. My next mod on my BFG will be to replace the neck PU with a Lollar Staple. That should transform the guitar from being a very good player to an excellent one, or so is my hope. Thanks for the inspiration, guys. Mine may not be the '55 Epi, but it will have been inspired by it, truly enough.
  10. cooltouch

    Les Paul BFG

    I aim to please. The slight reddish cast is an artifact of the camera. I even tried tweaking the white balance some, but it's still there.
  11. Nice to see your mods. My local Guitar Center has one of these beauties and I've played on it a lot. At first I didn't think I'd like the neck, cuz I like the Slim 60s profile, but actually I didn't mind it at all. It felt quite comfortable, in fact. I've thought long and hard about buying one of these but I haven't pulled the trigger yet. However, what I have planned for it is same as you've done and dump the neck P90 for a Lollar Staple. I found your report of its tonal qualities to be very illuminating. Sounds like just the ticket for that guitar.
  12. cooltouch

    Les Paul BFG

    Just a quick follow up. Rabs, I took your advice. I used a sharp knife and carefully scraped away the dye from the fret markers. Worked great!
  13. cooltouch

    Les Paul BFG

    01GT Eibach, good question. Because fret markers are non-porous, I could probably apply the dye and wipe it off without problems. But I think that what I'd do, just to be sure, would be to test it out on a portion of a fret marker or block, and see what happens. If it looks like it might be a problem removing the dye, then for sure, I'd mask off the fret markers or blocks with masking tape. Fancy shaped markers would be a real PITA though -- like those found on a PRS, for example -- so I hope I never have to do one of those fingerboards. Rabs, that's a good idea. Scraping with my fingernails didn't work all that well, but something like a knife edge might work better. I'll give that a try with the dots on my BFG before I resort to fingernail polish.
  14. cooltouch

    Les Paul BFG

    Well, I thought I'd add a little update to my dye project. Yesterday, I dyed the edges of the fingerboard. I did much as I described above. I masked off the fingerboard, then lightly sanded it with 320 grit sandpaper (couldn't find any 400, but 320 is plenty fine enough). I tried cutting out some tiny circles from sticker material, but failed miserably at it. They're just too tiny for scissors, and I didn't feel like messing with a X-acto blade for this. So I just went ahead and applied the dye, hoping for the best. So I used the applicator, from which I squeezed out excess, and it was really nothing more than a couple of swipes with the applicator and that was it. I let the fingerboard dry for about five minutes, then scrubbed down the edges with a paper towel, then peeled off the masking tape. Looked great, except that I couldn't see the side fretboard markers anymore. So I tried scratching away the dye from the little circles with my thumbnail. That actually worked pretty well. But they're no longer bright white like they used to be. And as a result, hard to pick up in dim lighting. I find this kinda annoying, so rather than try anything too aggressive with them, which might remove dye or fingerboard material, I think I'm gonna try an old classical guitarist's trick. Since almost no classicals have fingerboard side dots, but since many classical players like to have these dots, what we do is use a silver colored fingernail polish. Just one light dot of the stuff at each of the frets where a dot is desired. I don't have any at present. I bought some stuff some years back that I thought was silver but it has a magenta cast to it, and goes on looking pink. I've been putting up with the color, but I've decided I'll wait with this Les Paul until I can get some proper silver, or else figure out another way to brighten up the dots.
  15. cooltouch

    Les Paul BFG

    Bound? I wish. This is the first Gibson I've ever owned without a bound fingerboard. I've even fantasized about how I could go about installing binding on it. Whereabouts are you located? If in the US and not in California, you should be able to find the stuff. Mail order, if nothing else. If not, I'd recommend you go to a a shoe repair facility, or a leather crafts store, and ask what they use for leather dye.
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