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Everything posted by sbpark

  1. THat's what I was thinking, and in my search found that there aren't a bunch of places that sell them that are decent looking, or that actually fit around the sound hole correctly.
  2. Too much going on with that guitar. I can't stand abalone rosettes and trim on any acoustic guitar, especially a J45. For me, part of the beauty if a J45 is it's simplicity and how it's appointments are understand, while not being bland or boring at the same time. Classy and elegant. Just doesn't look right when they start overloading a J45 with bling or any kind.
  3. Been pondering the idea of making J45 pickguards. I've had a couple of the thick, rubberized pickguards that they are using on the current J45 Standards peel off, plus they are just really thick and don't look right aesthetically to my eye. I've contacted Gibson and had a replacement send to me, but it was the same thick, rubberized pickguard, and they wouldn't send me out the same pickguard they use on the Vintage models. I've been told that you can get replacement pickguard if you order it through an authorized Gibson dealer, but they are pretty expensive. I've made a couple pickguards for J45's in the past with pretty good results. Was thinking about making these in bulk if there were people out there interested in buying them. Heres a shot of the one I made for a TV I used to own, and have made a couple since that look even nicer.
  4. Here's a thread I posted just the other day detailing how I swapped out the Rotomatics on my J45 Standard for 3-on-a-plate Klusons with white buttons. http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/144148-j45-standard-tuner-conversion-done-super-easy/
  5. Now I'm considering calling the shop first thing tomorrow and telling them to install the K&K Trinity...help me out guys! Yes or no?!
  6. I thought about going with the Red Eye. Then I went down a rabbit hole and said to myself, for what the K&K Mini and a Red Eye costs, I could get the K&K Trinity System with the K&K blender/preamp, but with that preamp it's near impossible to adjust the EQ on the fly (because it's buried inside the box), so I'd be better off using my PZ Pre (has 2 inputs and works with dual channel systems), but that would be a PITA to lug to an open mic and wouldn't have the time or opportunity to dial it in, so...........that brought me back around to just going with the simple K&K Mini and K&K pre. But with that said, I'm kind of still second guessing myself and not just going big and getting the Trinity Pro system with the Trinity preamp/blender. I can just use the Mini portion by itself for the open mic stuff, and/or just plug a standard 1/4" cable into the Trinity since the Mini portion is wired to the tip, meaning I can use it with or without any preamp if I dont want to use the Trinity preamp/blender.
  7. I just dropped the guitar off at the shop about an hour ago and ended up just going with the regular old K&K Mini. I pondered every possible situation and went down a bunch of different rabbit holes so to speak, contemplating this and that, but in the end really just wanted to keep it simple for a pretty easy "plug & play" situation. The K&K mini with a clip-on K&K single channel preamp that offers a little EQ seems to be the way to go. I have a Radial PZ Pre for other situations, but for the open mic stuff I want to keep it simple. The shop I take my guitars to is a K&K dealer, so if you buy the pickup from them they install it for free. Not a bad deal for under $100. Yes, there are configurations that sound "better", but when taking into consideration the price of admission, flexibility and ease of use, seems like it's tough to beat a K&K mini.
  8. I don't necessarily think it changed the sound of the guitar, but it did make it noticeably lighter. Last night I also removed the thick, rubberized stock pickguard. It's been peeling off for a while now, so I figured what the heck, and removed it with some q-tips dipped in white gas and low heat from a hairdryer, and it practically fell off. Guitar looks great without it and I may keep it off. Even with removing the pickguard I can't confidently say that it changed the sound the guitar. On thing that did change the sound for the better was replacing the Tusq saddle with a bone saddle. Guitar sounds fuller, with higher highs and lower lows. Sounded a bit restricted/muted with the Tusq but honestly not bad, just different, maybe a little less dynamic and smoother. I'm sure it will improve even a little more after getting rid of the Element pickup. Just dropped the guitar off at the shop about an hour ago to get the UST removed and a K&K installed along with a new nut and saddle.
  9. The other thing I've been thinking, you can basically get the K&K Trinity Mini Pro system for what you can get a K&K mini and Red Eye preamp for.
  10. I'm now leaning toward the K&K Trinity Pro System that comes with the K&K Dual Channel Trinity pro preamp . I figure II can just use the SBT portion by itself if I do'nt want to mess with the mic, but if I want to ever blend a little mic in, all I have to do is turn a knob. I can also use just the mic itself to record demos and whatnot at home. If I am ever in a situation where I can spend time dialing in the sound I can use the K&K pre, then run each channel separate out into the PZ Pre for precise EQ'ing and be able to go XLR out to a board. I'll use the J45 with the K&K Trinity System for my solo/singer/sonwriter/open mic stuff and save the LR Baggs M1 I have for one of my other acoustics if I ever need to plug in a guitar with a loud band (but doubt that's going to happen).
  11. Thats a great, simple set up for sure, but although I've never used one, I've read those K&K pre's aren't that great.
  12. Yet again, here's another acoustic guitar pickup thread! Looking for a pickup that sounds natural but also will be fairly easy to show up to an open mic, plug in and go (pretty much what everyone wants, right?!) I'm trying to decide what pickup to install into my J45 Standard. I'm not a fan of any kind of UST, and have messed with them in various incarnations, tried Aura pre's with them and just never could like them. I have an old passive LR Baggs M1 (not the active M1A). It's the least natural sounding, but most versatile, and easy to install/uninstall, but sounds like an electric guitar to my ear, not an acoustic. I've had a K&K in a J45TV I used to own, and that pickup actually sounded great, but not the most flexible as far as its versatility (better suited for low volume, coffee shop stuff, duo situations, but wouldn't be my first choice for a loud band. Considering a K&K Trinity that combines both the K&K SBT and an internal mic. This may be a good option as it allows for a more natural acoustic sound live, but have to be careful with adding in too much mic and getting feedback, plus you're adding in a dual source to the equation, and almost always wouldn't have the luxury of dialing in the sound, EQ, etc. But, with that said, I could just plug a 1/4" into the guitar and JUST use the Pure Mini SBT portion sans mic for these situations plugged into a Red Eye for a pretty decent sounding, portable, easy to use set-up (that is, if the open mic lets you use your own preamp!) Other options would create my own dual source with the M1A and the K&K Pure Mini. Depending on the situation I could use both pickups (but would have to be able to blend them, and that ain't happening at an open mic), or could just have two separate mono cables in my case, one wired to use just the K&K, and the other to just use the M1A. The other wrench to throw into the gears here is I do already have a Radial PZ Pre, which is an AWESOME dual source preamp that I could use for situations where I'd have time to mess with the sound, EQ, dial in the two sources, etc., but for right now Im looking for something that would just work best for open mics. With whatever pickup system configuration I go with, I'm leaning toward pickup a Red Eye preamp to go along with it for an easier "plus and play" option. What are your thoughts, experiences and opinions/suggestions?
  13. If you like the way the guitar sounds, I wouldn't worry much about it not being a Gibson. Just make sure you are comfortable with whatever terms the other guy is proposing regarding an "approval period" and the like. Not saying there's anything wrong with what he's proposing, Im just saying make sure it's mutually agreed upon, and once you agree upon any particular terms, I'd put it in writing and have both parties sign a copy.
  14. The tuners and conversion bushings arrived in the mail yesterday, so I installed them after I got home from work. Here's a link to the thread talking about what I did to install the tuners: http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/144148-j45-standard-tuner-conversion-done-super-easy/ Next will be replacing the thick, rubberized stock pickguard that is lifting along all edges, get the new nut made, remove the UST and install a K&K and set her up! Before: After:
  15. Agreed, it looks much better with the 1-ply black truss rod cover. Gives it a more classic look for sure.
  16. Figured I'd start a new thread describing how I converted the Grover Rotomatic tuners on my J45 Standard to Kluson 3-on-s-plate vintage style tuners with white buttons. I apologize for not taking pics during the process, and the pics I did post in this thread were taken around 2am, and I'm tired and want to go to bed, but I did want to create this thread because I have been wanting to do this for years, but there seems to be limited or conflicting information out there on if it will work or not, what tuners fit, what bushings work, etc. Well folks, hopefully this thread clears things up and will help others who have been wondering the same thing!! First off, here are the conversion bushing I used. The are the 3/8" conversion bushings sold by StewMac: https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Tuner_Parts/3_8_Conversion_Tuner_Bushing.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=2018-09-gp&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlcDygZW_3QIVB5RpCh2zgQPwEAQYASABEgINzvD_BwE These are the tuners I used. They are Kluson 3-on-a plate vintage-style tuners I got from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006ZPAEU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Removing the Rotomatics is super easy, and pretty self-explanatory. Unscrew the bushing, remove one screw on the back of the tuner and the tuner pops out. Seems easy from here, but there are two obstacles getting in your way if you want to do the tuner swap right. First, the washers from the Rotomatics leave what others have described as "raccoon eyes" on the front of the headstock. The next thing is the conversion bushings are just the slightest bit oversized compared to the holes in headstock, which require a little reaming, but I'll get to that later. First let's talk about getting rid of those raccoon eyes! I was a little hesitant to tackle this project because I was afraid to work on the headstock, and didnt want to deal with wet sanding and finishing, possibly screwing up the headstock, burning through the finish, scratching the crap out of it and not being able to fix it, etc. Well, let me tell you, if this has been freaking you out as well and/or keeping you from tackling this project, fear not! This is RIDICULOUSLY easy. Here's what I did: I used a small 1" x 1" square of 1200 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Instead of using water I actually used Meguiars Scratch X 2.0. I use this stuff around the door handles of my car because those areas seem to get easily scratched, and this stuff is amazing for removing those scratches. I've also used it in the past with great success getting rid of light surface swirls and scratches on acoustic and electric guitars with both poly and modern "nitro" finishes. Given it was late at night and Home Depot was closed, I just used what I had at home because I'm impatient and figured what the heck. So using the small square of 1200 grit sandpaper and the Scratch X 2.0 in the place of water, I gently sanded going in small circles around each hole in the pegged. I was blown away how easily and quickly the raccoon eyes disappeared. I just sanded a bit, wiped the area clean to see the progress, applied another tiny dab of Scratch X 2.0 and repeated the process until the raccoon eyes were gone for each hole. A couple of mine were pretty deep with a very noticeable ridge/indentation left by the Rotomatic washers, but the sandpaper/Scratch X 2.0 combo worked flawlessly. This obviously left the area I was sanding very dull around each hole, but fear not. Here's where the magic happens! I took a clean, cotton washcloth and using the Scratch X 2.0 buffed the headstock, and after maybe 10 minutes of buffing and a couple applications of Scratch X 2.0 the headstock had a mirror shine, as nice as the day it left the factory, possibly better! Seriously, that's all you need; a tiny piece of 1200 grit wet/dry sandpaper and Scratch X 2.0 pictured below: Now that you've got the headstock all nice and shiny and got rid of those pesky raccoon eyes, now you have to install the bushings. I watched the video on StewMac that shows how these same bushings were installed on Rich Robinson's on Gibson 335 that had Rotomatics installed, so I knew these bushings would work. As I mentioned earlier, the conversion bushings are just slightly oversized. If you attempt to muscle them in you risk splitting the headstock, so the holes need to be enlarged just the SLIGHTEST bit. StewMac makes a really nice reamer fort this task, but it costs $63.16 plus shipping. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about spending money on the right tool for the right job, but thought there had to be an equally effective way to do the job for much less. Amazon actually sells reamers with the same dimensions as the StewMac tool for $15-$20, but reviews of those reamers were pretty poor. People were complaining that these reamers arrived dull, so I scrapped that idea. Instead I ended up using 4" half-round file. A rat tail file would work just as well. I just filed the holes a little, dropped in the bushing, filed a little more, and checked the fit again, and when there was just a little bit of the bushing exposed I used a pair of channel lock pliers and a folded over washcloth for cushioning and pressed in the bushing, repeating this for the remaining 5 bushings. From this point on you're home free and all you have to do is actually mount the tuners. Here's the finished product. Hope this helps those of you who've been wondering about this. Before: After:
  17. Any sound clips of the Sunrise on the maple AJ? Would love to hear how that pickup sounds in that guitar!
  18. I've made nuts and saddles for quite a few of my acoustic sin the past, including the slotted saddle for my AJ and have also made a pickguard for an older J45TV. I'm also capable of installing the tuners, reaming the existing holes for the conversion bushings, etc., but a little hesitant to do the finishing work on the headstock to get rid of the raccoon eyes. I also dont want to deal with installing a K&K, so I'm taking the guitar to a very reputable shop that AI've had work on a few of my other guitars that does amazing work. Currently, I also don't have the time or desire to do any of this stuff myself. I'd rather spend the free time I have playing and doing other things. Here's the nut and saddle I made for my AJ: Pickguard I made to the J45TV I no longer own:
  19. Worry less about the gear and more about the performance. Not saying this to keep you from using a different setup than you originally were going to use. I just say this because a LOT of people will get more caught up in worrying about and second guessing the gear and go down a very distracting rabbit hole that consumes all their time wondering about what pickups, gear, preamps, etc., to use and end up spending way less time practicing the actual songs and working on the parts they are a little rusty on. As far as the Tonedexter, I'd say no way, unless you already own one and have experience using it live. It's too complicated and you want something you can easily plug in and go with. I'd say for the first go at it, keep it super simple and stick to your original plan and focus more on the music.
  20. The guitar actually has a Bob Colosi bone saddle currently and sounds great, but I'm removing the current UST and have the action where I like it, or may even consider raising the action on the high side JUST as little. Removing the UST will lower the action even more, and I'd rather just replace the saddle than shim the existing one. As far as the nut, a couple of the nut slots are cut a bit low on the stock Tusq saddle. No desire to shim a Tusq nut, and I've Neve heard of anyone filling a Tusq nut slot and re-cutting it, so I'll just have a new one made of bone and do it right instead of replacing it with a new one made of Tusq. No sense in being cheap, shimming nuts and saddles, etc., just to save a couple bucks. If you[re going to do it, do it the right way.
  21. I agree, stark white buttons dont really look right, even on a brand new guitar. The Klusons I got look closer to an aged/cream color. Will pair better with the off-white binding and aged bridge pins I have coming.
  22. Oh, I could care less about the logo and how it wont be "accurate" looking with the white button tuners, etc. Only the true sticklers and snobs will turn their nose up at it or possibly make backhanded comments, etc. I'm not trying to turn this guitar into something it's not, more like attempting to personalize it aesthetically into something I enjoy looking at and to make it sound better when plugged in. The rubber pickguard bugs me more than the headstock logo. I'll for sure post pictures when it's all said and done. Just for reference, he's someone else's J45 Standard with the white button tuners and "modern" headstock logo in sort of a gold foil. Looks fine to me, and dont really think it will look horrible with the MOP. Here's one with an MOP logo:
  23. You are 100% correct, as all options on the StewMac website have a shaft diameter that's a little under 1/4". They will still work, you'll just have a little space around the opening the bushing. If you look at the photo below closely you can see a little gap on the G, B, & E tuners regarding the slightly narrower shaft diameter with the conversion bushings: I ended up going with these Klusons I picked up off of amazon. The are listed as having 1/4" tuner shafts, and the StewMac conversion bushings say that they specifically work with tuners with 1/4" shafts, so we'll see once they arrive! If they truly are 1/4" it may be a very tight fit with little wiggle room, and I may end up needing the 3-on-a-plate tuners with the slightly marrow shafts. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006ZPAEU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  24. After some deliberation I pulled the trigger and ordered some Kluson 3-on-a plate white button tuners and conversion bushings and will be swapping out the Rotomatics on my J45 Standard. This sent me down a rabbit hole of things to do to the guitar to get it where I'd like it, mostly for cosmetic reasons, but also to want to turn this thing into my open mic guitar, given none of my four current acoustics have pickups aside from this one, but I am not a fan of the UST. Here's what I'll be doing to the guitar: - Kluson 3-on-a-plate tuners with aged white buttons - StewMac 3/8" round conversion bushings - Sanding off the "raccoon eyes" left by the Rotomatic washers on the headstock. - All-black truss rod cover (no white border) - Removing the LR Baggs Element VTC and installing a K&K Mini - Bone nut and saddle - Replacing the stock, rubberized pickguard that refused to stick (this is the second one sent to me from Gibson because the original also peeled up) - Antique Acoustics Replica Gibson bridge pins (just don't like the look of the stock Tusq bridge pins) Yes, this is basically a case of diminishing returns, and I know this sounds like a lot of work to put into a regular old J45 Standard, and others will most likely be thinking, why not just sell the Standard and get a used True Vintage or Vintage model?! Well, I've been down that road already. This is my third J45 Standard, and have also had a TV and V model, and this Standard I have now seems to be the best of the bunch (I know it sounds nuts, but the particular Vintage model I received was pretty bad, and was a major disappointment), so I figured I'll just turn the one I have aesthetically into what I want, and while I'm at it, drop in a better sounding pickup.
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