First SG, new to electrics

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by StonedLlama, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. StonedLlama

    StonedLlama New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Mateo
    Hey guys,

    First post on here, hoping to get some good feedback and advice regarding my 1972 SG II build. I have done enough research to know this is not an expensive guitar, so I am not trying to stay completely true to original. With that said, I will probably be putting a larger pick guard on it, as I don't have the original and it looks weak anyways. I will also probably upgrade the bridge for tone and tuning reasons. The only parts I am missing are a top nut, which I will replace with bone, and one pickup. This is primarily where I am in need of advice. I have one original black case, epoxy filled, gray wired mini humbucker. It has only about an inch of wire lead remaining, so it will need to be tested, and the wires extended before use. I like the look of the all black casing, and would have no problems dropping $100 on another original to match, if the sound quality will not suffer greatly. (I read that the first SG mini humbuckers may not have been the greatest, but I am not really picky).

    What I would like to know is how to tell if the pickup I have is a neck or bridge pickup, perhaps by resistance measurement? I would also like to know if there are other vintage or modern replica mini humbuckers that I should buy a set of, to save myself the trouble and additional cost.

    *I know that pickup sound preference is very dependent on the person, but since this is my first electric build, I am not entirely sure what I want. I prefer the crisp sound of clean playback, over distorted or muddy sounds, but would like to play a wide range of music.

    I appreciate any feedback you all can provide. I will also need some guidance putting this whole thing back together, in the wiring sense. Thank you in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    11,732
    Likes Received:
    9,861
    Location:
    -
    Greetings. Not my specialty, but I believe mini-hum are the same output and size in both positions. Relic61 would be more knowledgeable about this era, perhaps.
    While they are low-output pickups, I think they respond very well with pedals.
    Biddlin ;>)/
     
  3. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9,958
    Likes Received:
    3,776
    Location:
    California
    Welcome.

    I think the stock mini's will work for you. Welcome, and enjoy playing electrics!
     
  4. StonedLlama

    StonedLlama New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Mateo
    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    I jumped on a vintage 1970's mini humbucker that exactly matches my existing one. Here is a link to it, if anyone is interested, or can provide more information about this particular version of pickup: Vintage Gibson Mini Humbucker Pickup SG II SG III SB 300 SB 350 SB 400 SB 450 XX | eBay

    I should probably get a pair of black covers for these as well..

    Any bridge recommendations for an aftermarket bridge on a budget build? I would prefer black if there is an option. :-)
     
  5. StonedLlama

    StonedLlama New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Mateo
    On to my next ventures...

    I need a top nut blank, and I have been recommended bone, but like the look of graphite. Can anyone provide feedback about graphite top nuts, and their tonal reliability?

    I am also looking for a replacement bridge, and have no idea where to start. I am not staying true to original, and like the look of black hardware. Any recommendations on replacement bridges would be appreciated.

    Many thanks!
     
  6. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    11,732
    Likes Received:
    9,861
    Location:
    -
    I use Graph Tech TUSQ self lubricating nuts on my Vibrola equipped guitars. I think they work well. The material is easily sanded and filed for a custom fit.
    Biddlin ;>)/
     
  7. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    3,197
    Likes Received:
    3,075
    Location:
    Kelowna B.C.
    I would recommend the Tone Pros AVT II. It worked really well on my SG III and I think they sell it in black. As far as these pickups go they are very weak but when you drive them they sound very big. I found mine very thin and chimey on a clean setting but they really growled and the neck pickup had some real throat when it was driven with my distortion pedal.
    Man I miss Sunny! What a great lead, slide and funk tone out of her.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,926
    Likes Received:
    7,965
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    +1 on TonePros bridges...
    STEWMAC.COM : Electric guitar, Tune-o-matic bridges

    I use the Tuna-Matic kind on my guitars, and they are pricey but once they're on properly and you've paid off your Visa bill you'll not regret getting one. The last one I bought was from Musician's Friend, I wanted a black one and they have it.

    And here's a lead on various nut materials and pre shaped & slotted ones.
    STEWMAC.COM : String nuts

    Making a nut is a job for a pro who's got the right tools. The depth of the nut slots is critical. I don't mind paying a pro luthier to do something like this correctly, because it's worth the money in aggravation I don't have to go through. If you want to learn how to do it, StewMac also sells videos on that subject, and I'll highly recommend Dan Erlewine's books as well: "How to make your Electric Guitar Play Great" alongside the
    "Guitar Player Repair Guide."

    If you're trying to do a guitar project and you haven't read these books, you're kind of like the blind man groping around in the dark alley. Anyway, good luck on your project.
    Don't forget to show us pictures of your progress. We never get tired of those.

    I took the easy way of getting to the place you're trying to find. I just ordered it when Gibson marked it way down. Heres a few photos of my SG Special '70s Tribute... it isn't supposed to be a replica, but a 'Tribute' which invokes the virtues of 70s SGs while correcting the flaws of the originals.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. StonedLlama

    StonedLlama New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Mateo
    Thanks for the input, everyone.

    I will try to take some progress photos tonight, to give you all a better idea of where I am starting.

    After a bit of further research, it sounds like I may be fine starting with my existing bridge and upgrade to something better down the road if needed. I have no qualms tuning my guitar before every use, or losing a bit of sustain, as I am a total novice on the guitar and would hardly notice at this point.

    The top nut I am leaning towards would be this Graph Tech one, admittedly for style reasons: STEWMAC.COM : Black TUSQ XL Nuts

    I'll round up my parts, shoot some photos and see if anyone else can spot anything else I will be missing when I finally get around to having this beauty assembled.

    Cheers
     
  10. StonedLlama

    StonedLlama New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Mateo
    Parts Pictures

    Here are a few photos of my SG II body and parts collection.

    There are miscellaneous screws and washers in the baggy, along with what looks like the bottom strap bolt.

    Let me know if you can spot anything missing aside from the top nut, and pick guard. I am also aware that I don't have pickup rings. Not sure what height to order, maybe best to size that after I install the pickups?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. StonedLlama

    StonedLlama New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Mateo
    I am getting the final pieces together now for my build and had one final question for the gurus on here.

    The gibson electric top nut replacements on All Parts are 1 11/16" but my guitar fret board is measuring 1 9/16" at the narrowest part. Is this the correct top nut for my SGII?
     
  12. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    11,732
    Likes Received:
    9,861
    Location:
    -
    The nut should be 1 9/16 ". You will most likely need to make one from a bone blank.
     

Share This Page