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Fender Texas Specials in a 1961 Gibson SG Reissue


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Hey everyone how are you doing? My name is Jake and I was just wondering if anyone knows, from experience, if it is at all possible to somehow put Texas Special pickups into a 1961 Gibson SG reissue. My reasons are my own. If you really want to know why I would do such a thing I'll tell you but I really don't want to waste anyone's time here, I would just like to know if this can be done and how to go about doing it. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Are you sure you have the right guitar? The "61" type has the small pickgaurd, as opposed to the larger pickgaurd that covers the pickups. So, basically, the humbuckers would be mounted with rings like a typical Les Paul style.


The current SG standard has a pickgard the covers the pickups like a Strat, so in theory, you could make a 3 single coil arrangement by modifying the guitar.


Not really sure what you are trying to achieve, so it is kinda hard to to know what the answer you want is. You could of corse find a way to rig 2 single coil pups into the humbucker spaces, and you could do it half-assed or you could modify it at some expense.

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Yes sir, you are correct. The 61' that I am referring to has a small pick guard. Basically, I want to know what kind of wiring configuration I would need to maintain the current configuration of the SG volume/tone controls/three-way switch. I plan on using only two of the Texas specials that come in a set, the neck pickup (in the neck position) and the middle position pickup in the bridge position of the guitar. I would like to somehow buy some blank covers and drill holes out to match the pole positions on the Texas Specials. I love the way my SG plays but I with it had that Texas Special bite and the only way that I can come up with to achieve this is to find a way to put Texas Specials in an SG. I know this sounds a bit unorthodox, I don't think I've ever heard of it being done myself.


So, to re-cap here, I would like to achieve this configuration:


1. One neck position Texas Special in the neck position of the guitar


2. One middle position Texas Special in the bridge position of the guitar


3. I would like to maintain the 2 volume/2 tone knob configuration of the SG as well as the three-way switch.


If you have anymore questions I would be happy to answer, thank you for your time and help.

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To get the pups in the spaces and not have them look out of place, I do not really know from experience having not done it. (more on that below).


From an electronics issue, the standard SG wiring should work the same, as the tone controls for the neck and middle pup are working in parallel with the volume. You would have to change the pots to 250k. You could go so far as to eliminate one control and wire it exactly the same, but I don't see how it would make a difference in the end result as far as tone.


I think the main reason that you don't see a lot of single coils in humbucker slots is because there is not much reason for it. A fender pup in an SG is going to sound and react very differently than it does in a Fender. A lot of the "spank" and "twang" that a Strat has is a result of the wood and the bridge.


I have a lot of experience with a lot of Strat pups, and the Texas Specials are the ones that have the least amount of bite. They are warmer and mellower than a "standard" Strat pup. They would even have less bite in an SG than a strat. If anything, they help those with a strat achieve a warmer sound by bringing a spanky sounding guitar closer to a humbucker guitar in some amps. So, to put it bluntly, Texas Specials are going to be about as far away from a Strat sound as you can get in a guitar like an SG.


I am not what you would call an expert on the sounds of different humbuckers, but I do have some and have played some enough to know that there are some that work well to achieve a level of brightness and clarity in Gibsons that would get closer to the qualities of a Strat that are better options than an actual Strat pup. That is the main reason you won't find many SG's modded to have a Strat pup.


I don't mean to disagree with your reasons or discourage you from experimenting. If you wanted to put a Texas special in to try it out, I think a couple long screws with long springs will get it mounted, And rolling back the volume on the 500k pot to estimate where 250k might be will give a pretty accurate idea what it would sound like.

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Ok, that is some very useful information stein. So what about the two resistors in the SG? Since I would be changing out the pots would I then need to change out the resistors as well to 2 .22 uf?

Not really. But if you are changing it anyway, .22 may be closer to what you are trying for.


Fender used .47 at one point and changed to .22 for a brighter tone, or rather more useable range of the treble control. It could go either way: .47 is a more vintage "correct" value, but Texas Special pups are not vintage correct either, and they would most likely come in guitars with a .22.


I would seriously try them first, just to get an idea. THEN decide how you want to tweak the circuit. If you like them at all, you might find you like them better by tweaking the circuit.

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One of these...




And maybe something like these...



"Humbucker Sized Single Coils. Retains the same construction as a true strat & tele single coil but has the same dimensions as a standard humbucker pickup. Fits standard humbucker routes and rings with out any modifications. The pickups are constructed with Alnico 5 rod magnets, vulcanized fiber top and bottom, and come with steel braided input wire. The pickup has flat magnets (non staggered) which provides a better string balance & nice and clear bell tone."


Comes In Nickel & Gold Covers


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