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Opinions on my Spirit


pohatu771

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As you may know, I bought a 1983 Gibson Spirit about a month ago that has been modified quite a bit. I'm at the point where I can start working on it, but I'm conflicted about what to do with it..

 

DSC00045.jpg

 

That's the condition I bought it in. I've currently removed all of the hardware and stripped the spray-paint off.

 

My original intention was to convert it into a Les Paul Special. The costs, as far as I can tell, would come to about $100, plus whatever a custom-made pickguard and control cavity cover would cost me.

 

In the end, it would look quite a bit like this:

gbslpspdcvofcnh1.jpg

 

 

More recently, though, I'm wondering if I should restore it back to factory condition...

It would cost me about the same, plus the cost of a set of humbuckers. I could install the P-90s it has in my Casino, sell them, or keep them for a future project. This option, I think will be a more difficult project, because I have to plug more holes.

 

It originally would have looked like this:

 

gibsonspirit3.jpg

Though mine isn't bound and doesn't have a quilted top.

 

Either way, the refinish will be a solid colour.

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The wood doesn't look too bad, but it was originally a black guitar, so it's not a highly-figured example. It is also a bit stained from the original black finish, and a bit of the yellow still. I'm going to see what I can remove with sanding and chemicals, but my plan has been to refinish in Cherry. Originally, it was going to be Vintage Amber, but I don't think enough black will come off to make it look decent.

 

The pickups aren't spaced for a factory-made pickguard, so I'll have to have one made for me specifically. If you look at vintage Les Paul Specials, though, they aren't terribly consistent. I also have to have a cavity cover made, because it's your normal Les Paul shape, with an extra pot added at the bottom. I imagine those will be the most expensive parts...

 

This is what I have for parts, from Stew-Mac:

 

4095 Nickel 3L/3R vintage tuners - $48.18

3883 Clear sanding sealer - $9.99

3882 Clear gloss - $8.88 (3)

5881 Cherry Red - $13.65

4387 Gibson style nickel pickguard screw - $0.37 (10)

 

The tuners are your average 50s Les Paul Junior/Special design, but I'm thinking I may buy some Gibson Deluxe tuners because I have a $50 gift card at Guitar Center...that would reduce my cost to about $20.

 

DSC00471.jpg

That's my quick mock-up. I'll adjust for the round corners.

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That's my quick mock-up. I'll adjust for the round corners.

Hmmm... having nursed an Epi Junior DC through a similar project' date=' I'd stay away from that little strip of material between the neck and the pickup. Perhaps, from an æsthetic standpoint, it'd be better to adjust the curve so as to cut the guard off parallel with the top edge of the neck pickup. It won't look quite like the LP Special but you're kind of screwed in that regard anyway since the neck is inset so far. All I'm saying is too many angles and strips will look goofy.

 

[img']http://www.marantatech.com/Graphix/pohatu.jpg[/img]

 

Or perhaps something similar to the single-cut Special, with less material between the pickups:

 

1958%20gibson%20les%20paul%20special%20tv%20yellow%20b1.JPG

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I actually prefer the single-cut pickguard, but I was also going to use it to cover up the patch work I have to do... humbuckers re-routed for P-90s leave a bit of a space. I'm going to fill the extra space with spruce (because I have it... if I can find a scrap of mahogany, I'll use that) and I'm not sure how it will blend under the finish. With the larger pickguard, I'm covering two spaces between the pickups, and the extra bit covers the one between the neck and the neck pickup.

 

I'll get out my paper and make a few more.

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I actually prefer the single-cut pickguard' date=' but I was also going to use it to cover up the patch work I have to do... humbuckers re-routed for P-90s leave a bit of a space. I'm going to fill the extra space with spruce (because I have it... if I can find a scrap of mahogany, I'll use that) and I'm not sure how it will blend under the finish. With the larger pickguard, I'm covering two spaces between the pickups, and the extra bit covers the one between the neck and the neck pickup.

 

I'll get out my paper and make a few more.[/quote']

Ahhhhhhhhhhh... yes, I see what you're getting at.

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With a little work on the angle or slope between the PU's it will be very similar to the original, I too would stay away from the strip in front of the neck pu . I personally am a fan of the TV yellow with the black trim, it gives it a cool retro look.

 

 

mgm

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