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Gibson Firebird- swapping out 495T and 495r on a budget - rail mini humbucker pickup conversion


Vinnie1971
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I got a 2009 Firebird V.

I love everything about this guitar except the pickups. The Bill Lawrence designed and made under license in Korea OBL pickups in my old Epiphone Firebird are better in terms of sounding like a vintage Firebird.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate these pickups, after lowering they sound alright. But if you wanted a 50s strat and you got a Lone Star  Strat then it’s not going to sound very 50s. I love my Lone Star Strat by the way...

On the the Firebird pickups. I managed to find Firebird themed pickups on amazon that are wound to 7.8k and 7.9k. No that’s not 1963 vintage DCR but it’s close enough and is certainly going to get me closer than the 495s. They’re beautifully made, nice fibre bobbins, not overly wax potted and have nickel base plates and vintage braided single conductor hook up leads. They were cheap. £18 each approximately 20 bucks USD.

Down side: under the Firebird cover they’re just twin rail minihumbuckers with a fat ceramic bar magnet between the rails.

No problemo. I pulled the magnets and rails out. Temporarily I’ve put in ceramic Firebird magnets to work out phase and I’ll use the rails as the magnetic conductor plates once my alnico 2 Firebird pickups arrive as they are the right size to bridge the bottoms of the magnets.


the first picture shows the twin rail mini humbucker, the second where I’ve removed the rails and bar magnet and temporarily placed the Ceramic Firebird magnets so I know  which way round to put the alnico 2 ones in. The rails are just the right size to use as the steel magnetic field conductor plates to go across the bottom of the magnets 

 

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Edited by Vinnie1971
Added better pictures
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