Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by GibsonKramer, Nov 14, 2014.
Congratulations nice guitar!
Well, my impatience kind of bit me in the butt.
Been busy picking up those little bling accessories. Got my black and silver top hats in and on today. PickGuardian should be here this week (hopefully). I really don't think I'm going to swap out the 'pups. Which leads me to being bit in the butt...
I decided to replace the crap corian nut it came with. While I loved my SGJ and its rapidly becoming my favorite guitar, the nut sucked. I liked where the action sat, but there were hardly any cuts in, both low and high E because of the way it was arched (???). Bought a Tusq nut, popped the old one out, which broke in half. So I had to guesstimate the height, which leads me to getting frustrated... etc. Did not come out how I wanted, as I sanded just a little too low. Thought about popping it back out, doing some fill. But, after talking to my regular guitar tech, he said he'd fix and clean it up, for $20. I could have left it alone, but it just bugged me, that the action wasn't as nice as I wanted it. So I just left it with him. Should have it back tomorrow.
Though, for the time I was playing it with the new nut... you could definitely hear a difference. The Tusq gave it a noticeable amount of bottom end and crunch... and I think really gives the 'pups a different growl, that wasn't there before. Which was my original reason for wanting to replace them... they just didn't have the oomph my LP does. Hard to believe, just the nut can make that much difference, but after hearing... I'm a believer.
Bonus points, replacing the ugly black corian nut, with a nice white Tusq nut, really does add a nice touch to the overall look. Pics posted, when I get everything back and/or put on.
I replaced the black corian nut on my 70's Tribute with a Tusq-XL white one too and had the same experience as you, both in being delighted with the final results and the issue with the corian nut being epoxied in by Gibson. That thing was glued in solid and it was just impossible to get it out without demolition. It was in six chunks and a bunch of chips before the battle was over. Made it unnecessarily difficult not to harm the finish around it during the struggle to get it out as well. And that wasn't me removing it either; it was a very good pro tech type person. I just looked on in horror.
If the good Col. doesn't take those Black tulips off of ya,I will. NICE AXE!
Luckily the only thing that suffered damage was the nut. Plus, it came out real clean. It was my impatience and enthusiasm with the sanding paper that only ruined the nut. So, I'm out a few bucks, but wiping my brow "whew!"
Trust me on this one... you guys won't ever get me to part with 'em. I keep all the original hardware. Plus, with the demand for them... they might end up being worth more than the guitar.
I swapped out the ugly black plastic strap pins, for the ones off my Les Paul (swapped out for Schallers)... you don't want those to, do you?
Corian's not bad nut material. If you ask around at kitchen fabrication places, you might be able to get a sink cutout for free and have a lifetime supply of nut blanks. Tusq is better, IMHO, but you can make a very respectable nut out of corian.
The PLEK does cut the nut slots too shallow, but that's probably intentional so the end user can customize it. IIRC many guitars come like that.
The ideal nut should be arched-ish to maintain a consistent distance between the bottom of the string and the fretboard's radius. The shoulders on either side of the string slot should only be as high as half of the string thickness, though as long as there's no binding going on they can be as tall as you want.
Guitar tech did a great job on the nut. He did a real nice job, arching it and cutting the slots to fit the setup. Action is exactly where I wanted it. Was so excited to see it and play it a bit, I actually left my wallet at the store, luckily both of us noticed within minutes and it was safe, for my return. Again, I think the white nut really adds a nice visual touch also.
She's coming along beautifully and this was just an excuse to post MORE pictures (everyone loves pics!). I'll have the final batch when I get my PG this week. It shipped out yesterday. Suspect it should be here Friday/Saturday.
For those not following along, this new batch of pics includes (besides the Tusq nut) Gibson Gear silver/black top hats and the vintage selector tip to go with the Grover kidney tuners and Gibson Gear blank truss cover.
And the final piece came yesterday! Wasn't as painful drilling holes, as I thought it would be. If I ever decide to take it off, I know I can cover them pretty well.
There's the slightest of gaps between PG and 'pups... but I set that sucker at least 5 times before I drilled and checked after every hole. It really doesn't bother me. Just something I noticed. I suppose if it did, I'd just pull it off. Fill the holes and do it again. Though, I think the way its set... it appears to be balanced with the horns, which is my preference.
I'll try to get some better pics, of the full update later... but here's these for now.
Few more pics...
Wow, great mods. I picked this s/h SGJ on Friday and I'm going to do exactly the same mods! Yours looks fantastic. I'm thinking of taking the covers off the pickups and maybe adding chrome ones. Congrats on your guitar.
As far as I know, they sealed the pickups, so you can't just pull the black plastic off and pop chrome ones in there. Have to go out and spend a couple hundred, buying new 'pups.
Well you can remove them but takes a bit of work:
Ancient Gibson Secret... Huh? LPJ Covered Pups Revealed - MyLesPaul.com
Basically, you remove the glue, remove the backplate, add it to a base plate (50 and 52mm - really cheap)and then add a cover or don't. Worth a read that thread if like me you don't go for the emg look.
A few things to consider, particularly the pickup underneath is two slugs rather than a slug and a pole piece coil but the people who have done it describe the process as very easy
Those are great photos... thanks for posting. I can tell by the loving way
you photograph your new SG that she's made herself a special place in your
heart, or in your pickup truck or something. Mine too... I'm still head over
teakettle for her. Play that guitar a lot. I know you have other fine instruments
but SGs are a whole 'nother world. Lotta guys just don't know this. We don't
try very hard to clue them in.
I really like the black pickup covers, just like I really like the black tuners.
I can't figure out why some players object to the look and others want to
snap the parts up once they're loose. To me they make the guitar quite
unique. Also, Gibson's not using them any more, so they only made these
for a year or maybe two.
I like black pickup covers enough that I bought my own from AllParts or
maybe M/F and installed them on two guitars. Mine don't look like EMGs
because they have holes for the pole pieces.
Now all I need's a set or two of the Black Keystone tuners
and I'll be stylin' ... I don't really need to swap tuners, but
the black ones really appeal to me. Plus, they are made by Tone Pros
so they're likely the best in the world IMHO. The ones on my
2012 SG Special are an excellent set for sure. But ordinary green *sob
Yesterday I walked into GC and one of my dream guitars was hanging on the wall. A used one, that had only shown up two days earlier. A 2002 Gibson Explorer.
When I was in my teens, one of the guitars I had, was an Ibanez Destroyer (this was early 80s). I loved that guitar. Only reason I traded it, was I wanted a whammy bar. Unfortunately, I traded it for a POS Ibanez with a whammy that knocked the guitar out of tune every time you used it. My Destroyer was already gone. I was stuck... ugh.
Fast forward to walking in and here's a Explorer for $699. Seemed too good to be true. I played it for about 15 - 20 minutes, on a crappy amp (I won't ever buy that Line 6 Bogner - yuck). Today I took in my THR-10X... and I really liked it. They offered to do me a deal they're not really supposed to, putting it on layaway and holding it past the release date to pay off. It was SO tempting.
I could also trade my SGJ in and I'm thinking the THR... I'd pay around $250 for the guitar after that (remember... I bought the SGJ from the same store for $299). I spent another hour, at least. I looked for major repairs. Nothing. I asked about HSC... it comes with one. Its a clean, nice playing guitar.
I ended up walking out of there, having not gone through with it. I thought about it and I figured it out. When I bought my LP, I knew right away... it was the right guitar. When I bought the SGJ, I was there to buy a LPJ... but after playing the SGJ, I just knew I was going to buy that guitar ($299, are you kidding? LOL!).
My SGJ doesn't play like any other of my electrics, or any I've ever owned. I'd like different 'pups for a bit more mid-range growl, bottom end thump, than the kind of the just bottom-heavy I get now. The Explorer kind of played a little like my LP, feel-wise. THe SGJ with that wide/flat neck, when my hand gets tired from playing and I want to keep going, I can grab the SGJ. The, I want to just bang on a guitar, power chords and have the guitar say, "do it harder!!!"... that's the SGJ.
I've chronicled the changes I've made on the SGJ... as I wanted something looking more like a classic SG, than a what most consider a "knock-off" (I know better... I just prefer the look of the classics). I liked a lot of elements of the '61 and the PG really helped cement that. However, I did one thing... for stupid reasons.
I've never really like the Gibson/Kluson tuners. I prefer Grovers. Especially on Les Pauls. But, I put those tulip Grovers on my SGJ and it just never sat right with me. Made the headstock look heavy and there actually is a noticeable weight difference. Head dive is bad enough, actually adding to it? Even the guys that joke... it makes a difference. I wasn't going back to those obnoxious black ones... so I bought a pair of Pearloid Gibson tuners, so I can also use the tulips on my LP (and replace the ugly kidney beans).
So, one more mod I think. Chrome 'pups and I'll be done. But, If it doesn't happen... I think I will have ended up with the sweetest looking SGJ, I've seen... and a damn fine player. That's why I don't have an Explorer right now, because this guitar is so sweet.
As it came home, originally.
To this... <drumroll please>
Full list of upgrades: Gibson Deluxe Pearloid tuners, Tusq nut, , Gibson BWB plain truss rod cover, PickGuardian '61 repro BWB PG, Gibson vintage creme switch selector. Gibson mirrored Top Hats
Sorry Purists, but this is one badass axe.
Got my Jockomo sticker! They're OK. Just a cosmetic deal. They go on well and look pretty convincing until you're really down looking at it.
Me too, ordered some last week.
Me too, getting one from Hell's Guitars.
Me too, changed them on my SG - much nicer looking now.
What pups does she come with, 490s? Maybe just whack on some chrome covers and see how she sounds. I've added chrome covers to my SG.
Nice geetar at a great price. Good stuff, GK.
If you're thinking of replacing the p'ups I'll suggest these:
My experience has been great. I bought an Epiphone Wilshire a few years back
and have modded the thing till there's nothing Chinese left of it but the wood and the frets.
I replaced the p'ups on the Epi with a pair of Gibson 490s from one of Kevy Nova's
SGs... he was very fair and gave me a great price on them. IMHO the 490s sound better
on an Epiphone than they did on the original Gibson. I've done that swap before too.
But I struggled to enjoy the bridge 490T. I like the neck 490 very well, and it's still
on the Wilshire. But I finally decided I wanted something with more balls than the sound
I was getting, so I bought one of these Golden Age overwound pickups and installed it.
I'm delighted with the tone and the presence of it... it's overwound to 12 Ohms! So I
recommend these because they are about half the price of my other favorite:
Gibson '57 Classic and Classic + ...IMHO Gibson's best. Everything about these p'ups
is the top... great low growl, tough mids and jangly highs with no ice pick. Gibson SG and
the '57s is a match made in Kalamazoo... they are made for each other. An SG fitted with
'57s gives up nothing to a Les Paul IMHO, except about three or four pounds dead weight.
These are very high priced, but if you watch the sales, you'll see them marked down occasionally. Which is what I did... playing my 490s, biding my time.
I paid like $100 each for mine, and to me they are worth every penny. I modded my
favorite SG Special faded with them and every time I set that guitar down after playing it,
it's with the expression: "What a great guitar." That's priceless IMHO.
Anyway, good luck with your 'J'. It's so unique with those black p'up covers, to me it
seems like a shame to rip it apart. But it's your guitar, and you should make it what you
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