Jack and switch positions

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Madras, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Madras

    Madras New Member

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    My Epiphone ET-276 is a great guitar. I have been playing it for about 15 years and it's a wonderful thing. I have no idea what pickups are in it, but they seem like they might be single coils disguised as humbuckers. They sound crisp and authoritative, and very responsive. I am inclined to move those pickups into my 2016 SG Standard, but what's really on my mind is moving the pickup selector switch to a more accessible position, one that's akin to the Epiphone's. And the jack, which, on the SG, butts up against the knobs. Has anyone done this? And why are these important features placed where they are, instead of in the numerous other possible positions? I don't see any reason why I should have to navigate past the cable when dialing the tone knobs on the fly. Seems like an unnecessary burden. Obviously, the controls are bundled close in order to minimize the routing of the body, but there's a price to be paid in accessibility.
     

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  2. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried using a right angled jack on the SG? That might solve your issue with the cable, and it's good for 'safety' too, as the SG's body is a bit vulnerable to damage if a regular jack gets a hard knock - there's not a lot of wood before the body edge, and it can get cracked. But I must admit I've never had an issue with the cable getting in the way. I had one SG with the input on the body side, and to me that's the ideal location, but the regular SG body is a bit thin for that.

    Control layout really goes back to earlier Gibson electrics - personally I like having a single volume in easy reach of the pinky, but preferences for controls are a personal thing. I'd rather not have the pickup selector any location where it could get knocked when strumming - but other people want it exactly there for easy access... :) If the 2016 is your first SG you might find you just get used to working with the controls where they are; I'd be tempted to keep at it for a bit longer before trying to make any major mods.
     
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  3. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    My Epiphone LP Special 1 and my PRS SE Soapbar are 1½" thick, the same as my SG and both have a side jack with room to spare. And yes, a 90° end jack on your cable will help greatly in freeing the neck tone knob area.
     
  4. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming you're talking about moving things on the ET-276 and not the SG.

    Depending on the routing underneath you could simply drill a new hole in the pickguard and move the switch where it's better for you. If you're not worried too much about looks then just shield the old hole from underneath and use a bit of electrical tape on top.

    For the jack you might be able to shift the position of the two bottom knobs (tone?) and move the jack to the last hole in the line. Might clear up your knobs a bit.

    Good luck

    EDIT Just re-read your post and realized your talking about moving things on the SG, sorry.
     
  5. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Your 2016 SG standard is a valuable guitar. if you install Epiphone pickups in it, you'll destroy
    its value, I would not do that. Your SG Standard is equipped with some of the best pickups in the world. If you hate it enough to consider the mods you mention, my suggestion would be to sell
    it, and use the money to buy two Epiphone SGs... You could get one with Epi hum buckers (which are fine pickups themselves) and one with Epi P-90s. Used Epiphones make great mod platforms
    so you could do anything to them without feeling you had drawn a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

    You'd get more for your Gibson if you sold it unmodified.

    About the placement of the knobs and jack... this is a classic design that's been in constant
    production since 1961. It's considered ideal by many of us on this site, and by tens of thousands
    of happy SG users worldwide. If you really want the sound of the Gibson Humbuckers but can't
    deal with the placement of the controls, sell the SG and get a Les Paul.

    But I think that if so many of us relate so well to the controls on our SGs, you can too.
    It all depends on whether you want to or not. You have to decide that. Your SG Standard (as designed) is one of the world's finest guitars. That's the simple truth. But they aren't for everyone. If you make up your mind that you are going to master your SG, I believe it won't
    take you long. IMHO the Gibson SG is the world's most comfortable guitar to play.

    About the jack and the plug: You must NEVER never never use a straight plug in an SG.
    There is enough leverage in one of those to actually break your SG right through where the
    jack is mounted. SGs are built lighter than most other instruments, and it's your job to protect
    yours. You must get a 90 degree cable, and run it through where the strap attaches to the rear
    of the body before you plug it into the guitar. This protects your SG from breaking force if you
    and your lead singer are both jumping up and down, but alternately like pistons. If you leap in
    the air just as your lead singer is coming down and she stomps on your cable with her motor huckle boots just as you jump in the air... well snap, crackle and pop. Don't do that.
    Use a 90 degree plug end, and then you might understand why I claim the SG is easy and
    comfortable to play. *grins
     
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  6. Scootermuppet

    Scootermuppet Well-Known Member

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    ^^^ +1 for 90 degree cables :D
     
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  7. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    HA HA HA Colonel, this sounds like a personal experience.

    As for moving the Epi pups to the Gibson Madras, I don't think it'll destroy your SG, but you might move them right back in a short time. No harm done trying it though, it is all reversible. And if you do like it better, keep the Gibson pups to reinstall, if you ever want to sell the SG.
     
  8. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    If you want to make your SG look like crap go for it. Or maybe a new SG Custom Special.

    [​IMG]
    It's already got the Norlin cavity and cover. Should be easy move the switch and you don't have to screw up a great guitar.
     
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  9. sg jones

    sg jones Member

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  10. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Always use right-angle plug on SG and Flying V.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
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  11. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    Go for it. Move those pickups if you want to. Will affect resale value? Yes.

    However did you buy the guitar for resale value or did you buy it to play it? If you think swapping the pickups or adjusting the controls to something you believe works best with you playing style, do it.

    Use whatever cable you want. Cables with straight jacks are more common than ones with right angles. Yes, breaks can happen on any guitar, but the most common break in a SG is on the headstock.

    It is your guitar, your sound and your playing style.
     
  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    There you go.
    I am not the least worried about resale value. When I buy a guitar, it's to play it. If I want something to look at, I will hang a painting on the wall. If I want to invest, I'll buy land.
     
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  13. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Yes, but others may have to look at it, too. Some sight crimes should be prosecutable.:naughty:
     
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  14. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Oh for sure, I could prosecute a dozen right now. But that Bentley (?) looks good to me, see ?
     
  15. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    The only guitar I could not tolerate the switch placement was on the one below.
    A custom plate was fabricated to move the volume control.
    The modification was easily reversible and problem was solved.

    [​IMG]


    Instrument cables with straight plug on one end and right angle plug on the other
    are just as common as ones with straight plugs on both ends.
    I don't see why one would use a straight plug on SG or Flying V when there are other options.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
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  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    goodness only knows what fowl purpose you'd have for it. Duck hunting from the Bentley? I'm ill, now.:rofl:
     
  17. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I didn't like the toggle position on my PRS, moved it to the volume hole. Yes, I had to widen the hole, but this is how I like it, so ...

    Pointers.jpg
     
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  18. sg jones

    sg jones Member

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    I don't like the volume close to the bridge...I always hit it.
     
  19. Madras

    Madras New Member

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    Your words are true, and I'm right there with you. I don't really want to gut my guitar; I just kinda wondered if anyone else felt the same way.

    Switching out pickups would be a reversible experiment, whereas routing the body to relocate the controls is serious business that shall remain in the realm of the hypothetical.

    I have been threading a 90° cable between the body and the strap for ages, so that's already done. I'm pretty sure I saw a picture of Joe Perry or some other shirtless demigod with that setup when I was about 16, and followed suit. Then I figured out why it's done.

    I don't necessarily think that 50 plus years of consistency is proof of correctness (I'm 44 and haven't yet shed some of my long-standing and baffling traditions). If Gibson can regularly tweak the details of their products year after year, to wildly varying levels of acclaim, I wonder about a switch move, just for a single model year. Some suggest that a forward-located pickup switch is easily accidentally knocked into, but if you turn that baby 45 degrees... it's got some protection and I love the location.

    Anyway, I was just throwing some haymakers with little behind them to see what people thought, because I know there are a lot of passionate and knowledgeable folks on this site. Mainly, I just like to mention that Epiphone. I don't see many of them around and I'm particularly attached to mine. Along with my $1.00 1997 Saturn, which I have driven 45,000 miles and counting, that $299 ET-276 is one of the great values ever.

    I'd rebuild the hell out of my 2016 SG Standard if I had good reason. But as it stands, I agree with you sir: it's the best guitar around. I do not intend to ever sell mine, and so resale value is a moot concept. I sit around and look at it with just as much pleasure as I get when I play it. And if I am going through an adjustment period as I acquaint myself with this instrument, I consider that an opportunity to learn something. The main thing I have learned so far is that when you have wanted to own and play a high-quality guitar for many years and then you finally pull the trigger...

    Yeah.
     
  20. Dave_Death

    Dave_Death Well-Known Member

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    I moved the toggle on my Explorer because the Explorer placement is highly impractical, but I basically moved it to the SG position.

    I have the following suggestions which do not involve modifying your guitar:

    1. Use an angled cable jack as everyone has been saying

    2. Learn to operate your selector switch with your pinky (that's how I do it)

    My second suggestion is easier if your hand generally floats around the bridge area. This is probably more natural for metal players, because with palm-muting etc our hands tend to be in the right place. But if you are finding that the cable is getting in the way of you adjusting tone knobs I think it's safe to assume that you are not doing some kind of pop strumming up near the neck joint and your hand tends to be further back toward the bridge. I also use my middle and ring finger to roll volume or tone controls up and down. It is just a matter of adjusting. I find that using my pinky is good. I just hook it up and flick it down.

    [​IMG]

    Note also how the right-angled jack and the cable passed between the body and the strap cleans up that whole area and makes the cable safe and tidy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017

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