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SG Classic owner inquiring about pickup swap


Howlin Mad Mac

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Hi, I own a very nice 2006 Gibson SG Classic which I love though I've often thought I'd like to swap out its P-90 pickups & replace them with Mini Humbuckers but I've always been reluctant. This may be a low end model but it's still a USA Gibson with gloss nitro cherry finish, great wood, great craftsmanship, 1st rate electronics, etc. and though just a player's model, it's one that may one day be highly prized, so I don"t want to do anything to it that couldn't be undone leaving little if any trace. So while the Mini's were created to put a humbucker in a P-90 cavity can they be swapped easily requiring no modifications to the guitar body itself? Also would any modifications to the pickguard be necessary? I'm not as worried about the pickguard as I'd just have a new one made with the necessary modifications retaining the original along with the pickups in the event I ever decide to change it back.

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Hi, I own a very nice 2006 Gibson SG Classic which I love though I've often thought I'd like to swap out its P-90 pickups & replace them with Mini Humbuckers but I've always been reluctant. This may be a low end model but it's still a USA Gibson with gloss nitro cherry finish, great wood, great craftsmanship, 1st rate electronics, etc. and though just a player's model, it's one that may one day be highly prized, so I don"t want to do anything to it that couldn't be undone leaving little if any trace. So while the Mini's were created to put a humbucker in a P-90 cavity can they be swapped easily requiring no modifications to the guitar body itself? Also would any modifications to the pickguard be necessary? I'm not as worried about the pickguard as I'd just have a new one made with the necessary modifications retaining the original along with the pickups in the event I ever decide to change it back.

 

 

They fit exactly. You will just have to drill two holes in the bottom of the pickup cavity.Be careful. Measure the depth. The minis are a good choice if you play with mostly clean settings. I think that they would look pretty cool too. If you are looking to solo with some drive I think that you may find them a bit shrill sounding particularly around fret 10-12 on the E and B and depending on the guitar possibly anything on a plain string above fret 15 or so. Minis are great clean pickups, but personally I have never had any luck using them in a rock/blues setting. If dirt is what you are after you may fare better with boutique P-90s ie: Lollar, Fralin, etc. To my ear Gibson P-90s sound fine. Is there something you are not getting out of them or are you just in the mood for a change?BTW I have a classic on order. It should be here in a day or two. Can't wait.

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Mini-humbucks are smaller than P-90's. The reason they fit perfectly into an LP is because in an LP they have an "extra" ring that was made to adapt the mini to a p-90 route. The ring was made originally in the first ones by using a P-90 cover and cutting the center out to fit a mini.

 

You could mount them the same way, but ultimately it may look a little goofy. I think the new pick gaurd is a great idea. Also, you could use Firebird mini's or regular mini's. Just be sure you have the right size, as they start to vary a bit.

 

Pretty much, all standard mini's are the same size with the exception of some Firebird mini's. A real Firebird mini is a little smaller, and they are different in that they have a different type of construction, and there are 2 types. The other thing is that most aftermarket makers make them like regular mini humbuckers, and I am not sure how Gibson is making them as of now.

 

If you replace the gaurd, you can mount them right to the gaurd without having to put any holes in the guitar, but depending on how deep the routes are in your SG, you MAY have to route a little out if it isn't deep enough to fit the tabs for the mounting screws of the mini's. If you want to mount them with the rings (which you may want to just to get them in faster to try them out) and you do not have to deepen part of the routes, it is just to shall holes like SG jones says, same as the P-90 just in different spots.

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I have a 2011 Classic, as you said great guitar as is. I did swap out the P90's for some mini's and also tried some other P90 sized humbuckers.

 

GF has a bunch of P90 sized humbuckers for a great price

http://store.guitarfetish.com/Mini-Humbuckers_c_126.html

 

I like the FAT min's with the Alinco V mags with the black rings also put these in my double cut LP special, I have the 59's in my LP 50's tribute so it's more like a deluxe now.

 

http://store.guitarfetish.com/NEW-Soapbar-180-Humbuckers--Fits-P90-Soapbar-Guitars_c_276.html

 

Other PU manufactures also make some

 

My Classic was a pain to swap pickups. I swap tone & vol pots and 3way to0 as they used a board and as you didn't want to mod or change it. The P90's on mine use a mounting plate which I was able to reuse for the mini's or you can mount them right to the body, be carefull not to drill or srew to deep into the body so they go thru.

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I wouldn't do it!!

 

Personal experience:

 

Last year, I stuffed a pair of the 'mini's in my 2005 Firebird V - hoping to achieve my old LP Deluxe tones from back in the 70's.

The hair on my back stood up so high, I had to go to the local beauty salon and have the girls shave my back. It was just plain too bright .. unlike me, who blew the $200 bucks to try them.

 

So, keep in mind, the 'bird and the SG are fairly lightweight mahogany bodies ... my 2 cents worth.

This experiment made me really enjoy the stock ceramics I put back in place. I have Gibson P-90s & P-94s in my Strats, Telecasters and Epiphone electrics. With the right amps, you can't go wrong!

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