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Kong

Getting a blue Les Paul Standard

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I'm picking up a Blue Les Paul Standard Plus Top tomorrow. I'm stoked, I've been gassing for a Blue Flame-top Les for a long time. Currently it has EMGs in it, but I do plan on changing it up. I'm going with all black hardware including a black solid brass bridge and tailpiece. Black knobs, black grovers, switch, straplocks, and covers for the controls and switch. I'm going to install GFS Mean 90 pickups, with new pots and Orange Drop caps. I've read some good stuff about the Mean90s and I already have a an Epi Les Paul Custom Silverburst with the Seymour Duncan Hotrodded Humbucker set in it. I like shooting for something different tonally. I was contemplating trying some paper in oil caps, but from what I've been reading they really don't make a difference and don't justify the expense.

 

Where would be a good place to get the black plastic covers for the back of the guitar?

 

When it's done I'll compare the Mean90s to my Gibson '57 Junior Historic and maybe post some sound clips. I'll post pics when I get it tomorrow and then after the mods.

 

I kind of want to dress it up like the old Les Paul Classics - like in the pic below:

 

LpclasicQMT-BH.jpg

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Brad! Is there room for two blue Les Paul guys on this forum?

Oh, well......I guess so......if there has to be........ [wink]

 

....besides there are several members around here that have a trans-blue flame standard also. Jim/Midiman has one almost identical to mine.

 

 

And he is "blacking out" his LP.

So.......congratulations on getting what you wanted.

Don't forget to post pics. :)

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Willy you could always use a magic marker to black em out.[scared]

 

Very nice color you picked Kong. I think you will like playing that a lot.eusa_clap.gif

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Kong,

 

Congrats!

 

Mine's not completely blacked out. Let's just say "highlighted".

 

bluelpnew.jpg

 

Willy

I knew I was forgetting one of the blue-flamers around here.

You have one of the nicest flames I've ever seen on a guitar Willy.

I love the look of the bridge too.

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Picked it up this a.m. and I love it. Thanks for the welcome to the blue flame club. I agree that Willy's is stunning.

 

I'll be ordering the parts next week. For now it is very nice. I did a quick polish and a string change.

 

Here are the before pics (sorry if I went overboard on the pics but [love] ):

 

IMAG0652.jpg

IMAG0653.jpg

IMAG0656.jpg

IMAG0649.jpg

IMAG0647.jpg

IMAG0646.jpg

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NICE! [thumbup]

How do those pickups sound?

Make sure you post pics when you get the new stuff on. [biggrin]

 

I thought I'd post a pic of mine too. Hope you don't mind.

023-1.jpg

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NICE! [thumbup]

How do those pickups sound?

Make sure you post pics when you get the new stuff on. [biggrin]

 

I thought I'd post a pic of mine too. Hope you don't mind.

023-1.jpg

 

That looks sweet, Brad, digging the chrome knobs. I let you know how the pickups sound when I get a chance to play it. I'm working today [crying] so I only had enought time to polish her and get new strings on.

 

I'll definitely post pics when I install the mods. There are straplocks installed.

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I had a funny realization with this guitar last night. When I bought it I just assumed that the pickups were EMG 81/85 actives. The ad just mentioned upgraded pickups, not the model. So I was surprised when I took off the control plate that there was no battery and connector. I really need to work on my powers of observation, the pickups are passives and either H3 or H4 model or some combination of those based on pictures on the EMG website. If I had been more observant, I would have noticed that the pickups say EMG HZ on the covers, and the active set just says EMG. I'm just glad I figured it out because I was going to sell the pickups on Craigslist and already had an ad up. Would have been pretty embarrassing [unsure] trying to explain myself out of that one had a buyer shown up.

 

Anyway I did get to play it some last night and I think it sounds pretty awesome, so those pickups will very likely be staying in there. Did a quick setup, intonation was waaaay off, but got that squared away, had to reverse the saddle on the G. The guy I bought it from gave me a couple sets of Ernie Ball .009 hybrid strings, so I put a set of those on it, they feel pretty good to me. I left the action a little high and it is feels pretty good with the slinky strings.

 

I think the guitar sounds fantastic and the pickups sound much better to me than the stock Epi pickups that came in my Silverburst Custom. The wiring harness looks stock including the caps, but as they say, "if it ain't broke..." I'm going to play it for a while. I'm also starting to second guess my plans to black it out. I think the bridge I wanted to try would require changing the anchors and I really don't want to mess with that. Maybe just a new set of knobs and I'll be good to go for a while. I'm not crazy about the white pickup rings with the black EMGs but I'm going to see if it grows on me.

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Kong,

 

If you do decide to replace them, keep in mind:

Gibson pickup mounting rings are not the same size as Epiphone.

In fact, everything on the guitar is metric.

 

Remove the pickups, rings and all. Check the holes in the guitar to make sure of your current rings.

As the pups have been changed already you can not be sure those are the original rings. New holes may have already been drilled.

If not, they are likely the original rings.

 

Take careful measurements when ordering new.

Also, take note that the bottoms are curved...not flat.

 

I think the bridge I wanted to try would require changing the anchors and I really don't want to mess with that.

What kind were you looking at? There should be plenty of direct replacements in black out there.

(take it from someone who has rebuilt or replaced most every part on every guitar I own)

 

Willy

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Kong,

 

If you do decide to replace them, keep in mind:

Gibson pickup mounting rings are not the same size as Epiphone.

In fact, everything on the guitar is metric.

 

Remove the pickups, rings and all. Check the holes in the guitar to make sure of your current rings.

As the pups have been changed already you can not be sure those are the original rings. New holes may have already been drilled.

If not, they are likely the original rings.

 

Take careful measurements when ordering new.

Also, take note that the bottoms are curved...not flat.

 

 

What kind were you looking at? There should be plenty of direct replacements in black out there.

(take it from someone who has rebuilt or replaced most every part on every guitar I own)

 

Willy

 

Good advice there. I pulled the pickups today because curiosity was getting the better of me. They are both EMG H3. The rings look original - no extra holes in the guitar. I actually had some chrome colored plastic rings which were the correct size and curved. I swapped them in. I had to file the rings slightly to accommodate the EMGs but they fit the guitar fine. I think they look better than the white. Going to get a black toggle surround and black knobs and see if that does it for me.

 

The bridge and tailpiece I was looking at is this unit from GFS.

 

http://www.guitarfetish.com/SOLID-BRASS-Black-locking-Tuneomatic-bridge-locking-Saddles_p_4220.html

http://www.guitarfetish.com/SOLID-BRASS-CURVED-Nickel-Locking-Stop-Tailpeice_p_4224.html

 

I'm aware there are direct fit replacements available but these units appealed to me. I was not sure about the tailpiece and I i'm not sure about the thread size on the bridge posts.

 

The OEM chrome unit looks fine to me for now. I think the black knobs and toggle surround with the chrome rings will pull it all together.

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Below are more pics of the Blue Les with the chrome pickup rings, black knobs and toggle-surround. I'm thinking it may still look a little too blah for my taste. I'll probably just black it out per my original plan. Black bridge/tailpiece, grovers, p/u rings, and black screws in the truss-rod cover.

 

Also not falling in love with the tone, I think these pickups are a bit blah as well. The EMG H3s are rated at 13.65K ohms.

 

I think adding the Mean90s from GFS will give this guitar a lot more character. The current wiring looks like a mess so I'd completely rewire it with new pots, switch and jack and orange drop caps. When I had thought of this project, I was really dreaming of a unique sounding and looking guitar. I don't think I'm there yet, but a few new parts and some soldering, and I'll get there.

 

IMAG0667.jpg

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IMAG0668.jpg

IMAG0664.jpg

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I think adding the Mean90s from GFS will give this guitar a lot more character. The current wiring looks like a mess so I'd completely rewire it with new pots, switch and jack and orange drop caps.

Lookin' sharp!

Sounds like a worthwhile project.

 

I've got Mean 90's in one guitar. I put GFS Vintage 59s in my Standard. I'm thinking of changing the bridge pup in mine to a hum size P-90.

I like the 59s. They sound very similar to the stock Classic 57s but much more defined and articulate.

I'm guessing the more rounded sound of the P-90 in the neck along with the traditional PAF might make for an interesting mix.

 

Good luck on your choices.

 

I also agree on the wiring. Many will say it doesn't make much difference.

I changed mine before I changed the pups. I could here a difference. (Maybe the conductivity?)

I went with Russian PIO caps and 50's wiring.

 

If nothing else, it can certainly change the utility with which your controls work. (Depending on the taper of the pots you use.)

 

Before:

 

100_3098.jpg

 

After:

 

100_1014.jpg

 

Are you going with 50's wiring or modern? Dependent or independent?

Also, a good idea on changing out the jack and toggle switch. I went with Switchcraft. A bit more expensive but...

I've got a 35 yr. old L.P with Switchcraft. I play it almost every day and used to gig with it. Still works like new!

 

Talk later,

 

Willy

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I knew I was forgetting one of the blue-flamers around here.

You have one of the nicest flames I've ever seen on a guitar Willy.

I love the look of the bridge too.

 

 

I think i just fell in love with this guitar.[drool]

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Okay round 3. I installed GFS Mean 90s in the Blue Beast today. I also put on a black bridge and tailpiece. Like a dummy I forgot to order black grovers but that can wait.

 

These pickups are exactly what I was looking for. It totally woke this guitar up. The H3's were just soooo blahhhh. The Mean90s give the guitar tons of character and vintage tone. The bridge pickup can scream which I like. The guitar sounds awesome with both p/u's selected and they are humbucking in that position as they are rwrp. The Neck pickup is just creamy delight. I think this is going to become my favorite guitar. I know it makes no sense, but I actually feel the tone of this guitar is even improving my playing.

 

I'll try and get some sound clips up when I get some time. but I'm totally stoked and a more than satisfied customer.

 

P.S. My wife is a saint. We had a plumbing mis-hap on Friday and it took out my living room ceiling, which is a drag as we are only in a 1 bedroom condo, and the living room is where my 15 month-old plays. So I have the ceiling down, the carpet ripped up and 4 fans and a giant dehumidifier going. What better time to completely rewire a guitar. She thinks I'm nuts. Working on the guitar for about 4 hours in this mess. Anyway I've got my hands pretty full here and soundclips may be a while.

 

I'll also take some decent pics in the daylight tomorrow. Here's a teaser:

 

1355024606.jpg

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Nice guitar. I have to admit I didn't read everything, only bits a pieces, but I did look at the pics.

 

A cheap easy fix for the cream plastic on the back is spray paint. I did that to one of my guitars. Yes the paint will eventually start to wear off, so paint it again. Chances are you will be the only one to see it. If you ever put the pg back on, you may want to pick up a black one rather than painting the cream one black.

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