So I found a '70 SG Standard, but I can't stand the T-Tops!

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by ThatDamnSG, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Scootermuppet

    Scootermuppet Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmm, maybe check the pickup wire on the 'weak' one, could be a bad connection or frayed cable maybe?

    Or possibly a dodgy pot...?
     
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  2. ThatDamnSG

    ThatDamnSG New Member

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    I did. Had a setup and some fret dressing done on it, and while it was there my, tech who is very familiar with these era Gibsons, said everything checked out ok, it just seems to be particularly puny sounding on the bridge. Pots are good, solder joints and wiring is good. The only thing we really couldn't see/check was if there was an issue with the magnets themselves. The pickup has no ass at all to it.
     
  3. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    That pic is wrong about the dates though. T-Tops came about in the late '60s, I believe around 1967/68.
     
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  4. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    I know you know about adjusting the height to find the sweet spots for both pups......... right? Lower the neck one some and raise the bridge one,,,,,, Or maybe it is too close and magnetic pull is dampening the strings? If this is the case, lower it and see if more vibrations make more sound.

    Or like scooter said, a dodgy pot............ SG's like 500K pots too,,,,,,,,, check the value of the pots out too n report back post pics of the cavity and guitar asap
     
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  5. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    The pups are probably over 45 years old. The bridge pup might have inadvertently been slightly demagnetized. Maybe naturally thru age or periodically in close contact with speaker magnets, or other magnetic sources. The magnets can be recharged using other magnets, but on a humbucker I'm not sure if this can be done without sliding out the magnet from the rest of the pup. Another option is to replace the original bar magnet with a new and properly charged equivalent alnico bar magnet. A few good sources for replacement mags... Here's a decent one:
    http://addiction-fx.com/gallery1.htm

    Also, the pup might have been damaged from a sharp drop or knock. It can be repaired, but that all depends on how much you want to put into it. I'm sure originality could be a factor.
     
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  6. gary glaesemann

    gary glaesemann New Member

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    Thanks for the clarification on the T tops. I just looked at the pickups on my '71 Les Paul (Deluxe with Factory installed Humbuckers) and it has t tops. They sound killer in the LP, I actually put in some Duncans back in the early 90's when my band was playing a lot and ended up putting the t tops back in because the Duncans seemed muddy comparatively. High output has never equaled better tone AFAIC. If that's what's in my '70 SG, great! I actually think they sound even better than the pickups in my Les Paul. In fact, the only pickup I think may sound slightly better is the p90 in my '63 SG Junior.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
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  7. ThatDamnSG

    ThatDamnSG New Member

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    Sorry guys, late replying...been a hectic week for me.

    Thanks, I actually did experiment with the pickup heights a bit, and it actually helped a little. I think the bridge was too close to the strings. It could be psychosomatic, but I think lowering the bridge p'up gave it a little more sustain, where before it was pretty plinky sounding. It's still very weak sounding in comparison to the neck though. There's a very obvious imbalance in the output between the two, with the neck being noticeably stronger. I know that with T-Tops the bridge usually is slightly lower in resistance than the bridge, generally, but with these two the difference in output volume is glaringly noticeable.

    I'm suspecting this is the case. I know T-Tops are lower output pickups, but there is definitely something not right with this bridge pickup. The guitar is pretty much player grade, but I'd still like to keep it as original as possible. There's a few reputable winders that make T-Top clones, Manlius, etc. I may see if I can send it off to one of them to have it checked out. I'm good with soldering and swapping pickups, but I'm not sure I'm confident with messing with getting the cover off and swapping magnets.
     
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  8. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    IMO, that's a great idea and should be worth it... :yesway:
     
  9. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    I can vouch for Brandonwound, I have their T-Top in my Samick (avatar) and it sounds identical to the '69 SG I played at Guitar Center the other day.
     
  10. Jimmi

    Jimmi New Member

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    I may have a solution for you. In some late pat#s and t-tops (both of which use the same winding wire), I have found that swapping the short A5 magnet for a vintage long magnet (A2 or A4) has increased the clarity and improved the sound overall. You could do this without taking the pickups out (although covers have to be removed).
     

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