A couple of mods to my SG-61 - Sacrilege?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Mike McLenison, May 30, 2010.

  1. Mike McLenison

    Mike McLenison Member

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    My SG-61 was bought new in 2003... -I found that adding Alumitone pups and the Stetsbar was a grand transformation for tone and creativity. The Alumitones beat the 57's and every boutique pup I've owned with a wider frequency response without sacrificing the warmth and power. The Stetsbar has a sense of mechanical "rightness" without the typical vibrato quirks (I was a machinist for many years). It does the subtle-Bigsby and extreme-whammy exceeding well while holding intonation. No body drilling or chopping needed. The additional Stetsbar weight offsets the typical SG neck-heaviness. Pickup surrounds are custom-machined ebony.

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  2. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

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    Very nicely done Mike! O0
     
  3. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the post - I've been curious about BOTH items, the Stetsbar and the alumitones.
    A bit odd looking but it sure sounds like a cool combination and a very cool mod.
     
  4. Mike McLenison

    Mike McLenison Member

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    Yeah, it was hard for me to break the traditional "look" of this legendary model, but I wanted pups that would give me more sparkle when needed and the Stetsbar expands my arsenal of creative choices. I don't dive bomb, but just use it as a sweetener. The Alumitones weigh 1/2 lb lighter than a typical pair of humbuckers, so more body weight is welcome. I'm thinking about making a control cavity cover out of 1/16" stainless for my next mod.
     
  5. ESSER

    ESSER Active Member

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    Cool Mike.

    Just had a search about the Alumitones. Are they really as good as it says in this vid?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI8sMJVjHrY


    Has the humbucker been toppled from its throne after all these years???


    I love the idea and the construction of humbuckers, the windings and poles etc.. great stuff... but then this flimsy looking new pickup with apparently nothing to it comes along and kicks its as$ tonally in every respect?


    Educate me!! ;D
     
  6. Mayfly

    Mayfly Member

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    I've been thinking about the Stetsbar as well, lured by the promise of it being a 100% reversible mod if I should ever want the guitar back in stock condition. My only doubt is the question of whether it has any negative affect on sustain. What are your experiences on this?

    Definitely not sacrilege. Guitars are to be played how you like them.
     
  7. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    I like it, do you have any shots of the whole guitar? I've been thinking about a Stetsbar, but I would have to alter my batwing pickguard, and Im not ready for that yet
     
  8. Mike McLenison

    Mike McLenison Member

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    I think the Alumitones would be a boutique pickup makers nightmare (if they become more well known) because they sound sooooooo good at a fraction of the cost. Harmonics leap out effortlessly too. The Stetsbar does lessen sustain probably because I have it set up to bend up or down. This "floating" would naturally negate sustain when compared to a fixed tailpiece. I haven't found it to be a bad thing. It probably still sustains as long as a Strat. Also, it's amazing that I rarely have to tweak the tuning, it's that good. With my Strat, I can't even look at my whammy bar without it needing to be re-tuned.
     
  9. Tenafly Viper

    Tenafly Viper Member

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    That's funny I want to hear good things from the Alumitones, but I have heard a clip yet that made me think they are even as good as regular humbuckers.
     
  10. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    that is a very unusual looking SG. I'd be curious to hear a clip of it if you happen to get any up on youtube. I'd like to hear what they whammy bar setup sounded like in action.
     
  11. Mike McLenison

    Mike McLenison Member

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    I replaced my 57's with Wagner Crossroads then I tried the Alumitones and they are staying. The Stetsbar is perfect for what I use it for, more extreme than a Bigsby, and I have no need or desire to dive-bomb. Tone is subjective and even a "clip" can be misleading.
     
  12. Zeppelin Rules

    Zeppelin Rules Active Member

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    Looks very unique!
     

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