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Putting my LP back to 1971


ksdaddy

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I went through this about 6 years ago with my Tele. Over a few decades I had changed pots because someone told me it was a good idea, I had also changed the back pickup to a Dimarzio, and added strap locks. One day I just went nuts and put it back as original as I could. I had kept the original pots and strap buttons so I put them back on. Side note on the lack of strap locks, I use the standard buttons with rubber washers and it works just fine.

 

Not sure WHY I was so compelled to put it back to Fullerton April 1977 state, but it hit me and wouldn't go away until I did it. I'm sure there's some deep rooted psych thing going on and I shan't deny.

 

In '97 I swapped an old Martin for a '71 LP and I've ranted and raved about it ever since. I stick by my rants because many LPs have gone through here before and since. It just fits is all. Not saying it's perfect, it's just my favorite.

 

When I got it, the only thing not original was the tuners, swapped out for Schallers. I didn't own it long before I noted the notes weren't clear and I blamed the worn out saddles. It was easier at that time to just get an import replacement. I guess it didn't matter to me. A couple years later I got rid of the original mini humbuckers and put in DiMarzios. No alteration, drop in. The guitar will blow up amps now. I'm not one to swap pickups just for the sake of a (real or imagined) "improvement"; rather there was something wrong with those originals... they had a weird sound almost like the polepieces were rattling loose and the sound was coming through the amp. Not pickup savvy so I can't say any more.

 

So for many years I've been fine with this 'altered' LP but now I'm feeling that same compulsion to put it back as new, at least to the degree of having original period correct parts.

 

This will not be cheap.

 

Original mini humbuckers are all over the place and I am pursuing a couple right now. The pots/switch are all original so no mess there. I did two minutes of research to find 1962-75 pretty much used the same ABR-1 bridge with a wire retainer and they're also out there. Not sure when they used the nylon saddles and on which models or WHY for that matter, but I don't think my LP ever had them. The bridge I took off had metal saddles.

 

As to tuners, well, I need to dig a little deeper to determine what is correct for 1971. It obviously had Klusons but some said "Gibson Deluxe" with the vertical grooves, and some had plain (non-grooved) backs with "Gibson" stamped on them. Need to research. THAT will be a slight challenge simply because of filling the Schaller holes, and that's just 50% attention to detail and 50% luck as to matching the color and making it as invisible as possible. I'll need conversion bushings too, but that's no biggie. Finding a set of 1971 Klusons that aren't worn to s___ will be a challenge.

 

Am I crazy?

 

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If you swap 500K ohm pots for 500K ohm pots you wont notice a difference. Perhaps the older pots may crackle a little when adjusted so give them a shot of contact cleaner.

 

Note about bridges and tail pieces. Some a chrome coated zinc alloy(Zamak) some are chrome coated aluminum alloy.

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I really can imagine that this could happen to myself. Crazy? No, not at all. I have to say I'm not related to them in any way, but I would check out some of the Tonepros products.

I have a 13 and a 14 model, both with Tonepros/Kluson tuners. They came stock with them and they work fantastic. You can choose from a great variety of colours and keystones. Had to change my bridge on my LPJ, swapped it for a Tonepros locking bridge and tailpiece set and it works better than the stock bridge. It has more range for intonation. Same here lots of colour options and saddle materials. Now I think I'm gonna do the same on my Traditional, think I'm gonna get a new bridge (the TP ABR1 version) with a aluminium tailpiece.

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As to tuners, (to me) more importantly is to figure out whether it would have had single-ring or double-ring Kluson keystones. The change came around sometime in the early 70's. It also seems to me that during that time it was a crap shoot as to whether the tuning machines were single-line "Kluson", or double-line "Kluson Deluxe" or "Gibson Deluxe".

 

As to the mini-hums, '71 would pretty much be right in the middle of the "logo embossed" pickup era. I have seen a few on e-bay, but they really ask a premium for them.

 

Anyway, I really like your project idea, keep us posted.

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That's one thing I can say for sure, is that the original pickups had no logo. Good thing for my wallet, as they are much more prevalent than logo ones.

 

I think my personal triage is pickups, then bridge, then tuners. Assuming some elves don't leave all three under my bed tonight.

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Well, I scored the pickups. Overkill actually. A little bit of adrenaline on ebay. I have been seeing pairs with asking prices of anywhere from 295 to 495 (ain't happening). Sometimes a single pickup will be priced at 199. A guy in California had three; two PAFs and a Pat #, in three separate auctions. I had set myself a 'sanity threshold' of $200 for a pair....in other words, $200 or less I would call it a good deal; over $200 I would question my sanity. WELL as it turned out I got the pair of PAFs for a total of $198.32.

 

Problem is, I also won the Pat # pickup! So that will get flipped on ebay immediately after it gets here.

 

$_57.JPG

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As to tuners, well, I need to dig a little deeper to determine what is correct for 1971. It obviously had Klusons but some said "Gibson Deluxe" with the vertical grooves, and some had plain (non-grooved) backs with "Gibson" stamped on them. Need to research...

I know it's hardly a scientific 'proof', ksd, but all the examples I've seen (from between c. '68 and '74) have been fitted with the first style you mention (i.e. double-ring and had the double-line GIBSON / DELUXE at the rear).

Even if some instruments were made with the plain / Gibson style casing IMO you would still be better-off tracking down the first type as these were far more 'representative' as far as the De Luxe is concerned. IMX, of course.

 

FWIW I think your plan is an excellent one and look forward to the updates.

 

[thumbup]

 

Pip.

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In the pics the strings look like blue and white candy cane twirls. Look close. Maybe that is a digital illusion.

 

Ah yes...for whatever reason, that's what happens when I resize a pic. Combination of a cheap camera and "MGI Photo Suite for Windows 95".

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So from my 39 seconds of research, THIS is what my Deluxe would have come with in '71. Look right? I have a feeling it wouldn't have had plastic tulip buttons but that's just a hunch more than anything else.

 

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Cool. I was kinda hoping I didn't have to chase some obscure style they only used for a month. At least the ones you guys pictured is fairly easy to find, it just comes down to the best deal.

 

They run about $55. I rarely see the double ring tuners on the old LPs. I always wondered if they broke easier.

 

After you finish you will need to update it with modern parts. You can't leave it oem. Gotta make it better.

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I have the double ring double line tuners on my project LP… I bought them on ebay a few tears ago. I ended up with two sets. The tuners are fine. They work great no problems, stay in tune and do their job. I think everyone changed them out because it was the thing to do back in the day. I personally like the look of them. I'll see if I can find what I paid for them and if you are interested in my spare set we'll see if we can agree on a price….

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Well..... It was "made better" with Cadillac Schallers and Dimarzios that sound like Godzilla wrestling a live chainsaw. I'd like to see it historically correct now.

 

I was giving you the biz. It is always interesting how folks personalize guitars. They take OEM and modify it or they take modified examples and restore them to OEM.

I have a 1957 Harmony H65 Blonde archtop I am slowly returning to original configuration at the moment. This guitar went through 60 years of every type fashion change. It was built in the jazz age and heavily modded in the Beatle era. Then it went through the 70s Rock phase and finally the Metal era. This guitar was truly mistreated as the times changed and finally it was just plain cannibalized and abandoned. It's a long road back.

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I put the PAF minis in last night and I'm very happy with them. I was a little leery of going from hot pickups back to stock but I also had the epiphany that mega hot pickups can also mask much of the tone...if that makes any sense. Right away I noticed there were subtleties in the tone of this guitar that I didn't know were there; all I've heard is LOUD for 18 years. Now I'm hearing TONE.

 

I did run into a huge amount of grief in mounting them, and it all centered around the fact that the PAF mounting screws were (possibly) #6-40 or #6-48. The patent number pickups that were in this guitar (and also the DiMarzios) were (likely) #4-40 or close. These screws thread into a strip of aluminum flat stock that is screwed into the pickup cavity. I was able to drill the threaded holes in the aluminum out just a little in the hopes the #6 screws would scratch their own thread. I was able to do that with the bridge pickup just fine. For whatever reason, the front screws snapped right off at the heads. I ended up tapping them for #6-32 and using new stainless pan head screws. It was the best I could do and doesn't show other than the adjustment screws for the front pickup are a tiny bit larger.

 

The tune-o-matic is next.

 

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