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tweed2

sorrento mod

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Well, I've been threatening to do this for about a year now. Sold my Zephyr Blues Deluxe and had some money to "reinvest". Found a really nice set of old DeArmond gold foils about 6 months ago and was getting ready to install them in my strat. But, as I was doing research on what the best value pots to use for these pickups, I kept reading that while they sound great in just about anything, they especially shine in hollowbodies. My first guitar was a Harmony Rocket. And while I loved the pickups, and playing with feedback, the rest of the guitar was just so-so.

 

So, I got to thinking. What about building a modern-day Rocket equivalent? Hollowbody, gold foils, trap tailpiece, single cutaway? I had a lot of fun modding my 62 Reissue Sheraton, how about a RI Sorrento as a starting point? Found a great deal on a "Refurbished one" (no stamp or replacement tag), with Seymour Duncans, and original case, for $399! And, I get over $100 for the SD pickups, when I pull and sell them. I don't think I could bring myself to ripping out a perfectly good set of Gibson mini-hums, which is why I focus on the refurbished ones, they usually have the SDs.

 

All the usual Tweed mods. New black pickguard, black knobs (cupcake, as an homage to the Rocket),black switch tip, McCartney mod locking strap pins, phenolic nut. Finally, I found some exact copies of the stock pickup rings and spent some time reworking them for the gold foils, which are slightly narrower, and 1/4" longer. No easy way to install these so that they are adjustable for height, so I gave that my best guess, thinking they could always be shimmed, to raise or sanded down on the back, to lower. When done, the balance and strength was actually pretty good.

 

This guitar is a hoot to play. All the best parts of the Rocket, but with the build quality of the Reissue 62s. The gold foils have a salacious growl and grind to them. The feedback potential is present, but very controllable. Running it through my Supro 1688tn (my first amp, still have it), brings back the good memories of the old Rocket. Through my Valco 510, it can get down right obscene. Still have a few minor adjustments, but I'm very happy with the results, both looks and sound. Still deciding on a Bigsby.......

 

sorrento%20011_zpsisr3dr05.jpg

sorrento%20020_zps8zkukghh.jpg

sorrento%20009_zpsb5rcbsru.jpg

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Lookin' sharp Tweed.

Thank you, sir! These Refurbed Reissues are great platforms for modding. Can't beat the prices, just have to take your time and do a little hunting.

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Say Tweed, That's a Gibson Vibrola on that Sheraton? How does it play?

 

I like my Sorrento reissue a lot. It allows me to get a similar sound to my old Gibby ES125 Thinline without fearing it getting damaged. Ultimately I'll get around to putting a couple of dogears in her to complete the sound.

 

I've thinking about a Zephyr for a couple of years. I'm just waiting for the perfect deal to come down the pike. Any specific reason you sold yours?

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Say Tweed, That's a Gibson Vibrola on that Sheraton? How does it play?

 

I like my Sorrento reissue a lot. It allows me to get a similar sound to my old Gibby ES125 Thinline without fearing it getting damaged. Ultimately I'll get around to putting a couple of dogears in her to complete the sound.

 

I've thinking about a Zephyr for a couple of years. I'm just waiting for the perfect deal to come down the pike. Any specific reason you sold yours?

Not a Gibson vibrola, but a no-name one off of ebay. I thought it would look better than a Bigsby, and I'm more used to them. The pickups are custom made Firebird (not just mini-hums without poles) and I love it. Neil Young, on the neck pickup, with the vibrato, from the vibrola, nails it through an old Deluxe. Once again, a heavily discounted 62 Reissue was the starting point.

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Not a Gibson vibrola, but a no-name one off of ebay. I thought it would look better than a Bigsby, and I'm more used to them. The pickups are custom made Firebird (not just mini-hums without poles) and I love it. Neil Young, on the neck pickup, with the vibrato, from the vibrola, nails it through an old Deluxe. Once again, a heavily discounted 62 Reissue was the starting point.

 

Very cool, I would love to try it out.

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I bought my ZBD, for a buddy to play on. He played at my daughters wedding, and it made more sense to buy the guitar, than pay for him to bring his, from NY (at least that's how I presented it to the wife, :rolleyes:). I kept it here for him to use when he comes back to town ("so you see, honey, it's for him, not me...." [thumbup] ). He recently bought a guitar from Archtops.com, here in Seattle, and keeps that at his parents house to play, and somebody offered me way more than I had into it, so I sold it. It seemed like the thing to do. I just didn't play it enough to justify keeping it. There's a nice one up on eBay, right now. It'll be interesting to see what it ends up going for.

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Well, I've been threatening to do this for about a year now. Sold my Zephyr Blues Deluxe and had some money to "reinvest". Found a really nice set of old DeArmond gold foils about 6 months ago and was getting ready to install them in my strat. But, as I was doing research on what the best value pots to use for these pickups, I kept reading that while they sound great in just about anything, they especially shine in hollowbodies. My first guitar was a Harmony Rocket. And while I loved the pickups, and playing with feedback, the rest of the guitar was just so-so.

 

So, I got to thinking. What about building a modern-day Rocket equivalent? Hollowbody, gold foils, trap tailpiece, single cutaway? I had a lot of fun modding my 62 Reissue Sheraton, how about a RI Sorrento as a starting point? Found a great deal on a "Refurbished one" (no stamp or replacement tag), with Seymour Duncans, and original case, for $399! And, I get over $100 for the SD pickups, when I pull and sell them. I don't think I could bring myself to ripping out a perfectly good set of Gibson mini-hums, which is why I focus on the refurbished ones, they usually have the SDs.

 

All the usual Tweed mods. New black pickguard, black knobs (cupcake, as an homage to the Rocket),black switch tip, McCartney mod locking strap pins, phenolic nut. Finally, I found some exact copies of the stock pickup rings and spent some time reworking them for the gold foils, which are slightly narrower, and 1/4" longer. No easy way to install these so that they are adjustable for height, so I gave that my best guess, thinking they could always be shimmed, to raise or sanded down on the back, to lower. When done, the balance and strength was actually pretty good.

 

This guitar is a hoot to play. All the best parts of the Rocket, but with the build quality of the Reissue 62s. The gold foils have a salacious growl and grind to them. The feedback potential is present, but very controllable. Running it through my Supro 1688tn (my first amp, still have it), brings back the good memories of the old Rocket. Through my Valco 510, it can get down right obscene. Still have a few minor adjustments, but I'm very happy with the results, both looks and sound. Still deciding on a Bigsby.......

 

sorrento%20011_zpsisr3dr05.jpg

sorrento%20020_zps8zkukghh.jpg

sorrento%20009_zpsb5rcbsru.jpg

Beautiful Sorrento and conversion, tweed.

Those gold foils look like they are standard equipment, something I've noticed on your other mod threads. I consider the overall look and vibe that you preserve to be a credit to your ability to see the larger picture when choosing those parts!

I'm guessing that it does sound as good as it looks. (I've played the original gold foils on my '62 Silvertone back in '62-'64) Maybe a sound sample? [thumbup]

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Thanks for the kind words. The DeArmond Rowes were very popular pickups, back in the day. I'm continually blown away by the prices they're fetching nowadays. I'll see if I can cobble together a way to record some samples, and post them, in the next week or two.

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Beautiful! I love the Epiphone arch tops, too!

 

I foolishly sold my old Supro amp 25 years ago and I still miss it. Nothing like them.

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As far as a Bigsby, I put a B60 on my Sorrento. Some might prefer more string break angle over the bridge. But it works great for me. And no drilling into the top was done. So I can put it back to stock easily.

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As far as a Bigsby, I put a B60 on my Sorrento. Some might prefer more string break angle over the bridge. But it works great for me. And no drilling into the top was done. So I can put it back to stock easily.

Yes, that's what I'm considering, a B6 or B60, that seems to be the consesus. I'm just not sure that's the way I need to go, since I have the Sheraton, with a vibrola. Still, I think that it might be pretty cool. Do you use yours enough to justify the expense and change? And, does the extra mass at the tail add any sustain?

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Brian Setzer is one of my guitar heroes. So I play a few rockabilly tunes. And I like tremolos in general. All to say, I don't need to justify it since I'd have tremolos on all my guitars if I could. All my Epi's have trems. In ddition to the Sorrento... LP Std with factory Bigsby, LP Special SC and Black Beauty with Bigsby's via Vibramate adapters.

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Sorry, missed the question about the sustain. Not sure if the Bigsby adds any. Hollow-bodies don't seem to have a lot any way. I know it does not sound worse for it.

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