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NGD, 07 BFG, and some questions

andy k

New member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
358
It's not another WTF thread,
I was looking for something reasonably cheap to experiment with some pickups I have accumulated, and I also like the idea of a P90 neck sound- so I managed to score a clean-if that's possible - 07 BFG,
And I must say, despite all the negative reviews I have read while waiting for the parcel to arrive,I am very pleasantly surprised, and probably quite lucky.
I admit, I wouldn't have paid the original list price, and would have to be seriously impressed with the quality to pay for a new Gibson, they are stupidly expensive over here now.
I've already got some good stuff from 07 , a Larry Corsa PG , which I didn't want to mess with, and a flamy R9, which I daren't go near with a soldering iron, and also a 2010 junior SC, which is what got me into the P90 thing in the first place.
Anyhoo-- the BFG hasn't been played much-for a 7 year old guitar, the finish and the condition of the fretboard tell me that - but it has been modified slightly, and someone decided to install EMG pickups in it.
I didn't even know they did an EMG p 90, and it sounds awesome, although it overpowers the bridge pickup-which had a piece of black plastic stuck on top, ( it's a black BFG)-the black plastic just popped off to reveal another EMG, although it is a White one.
I thought they might be cheap branded pickups, but when I looked inside the control cavity, they are both wired to a nine volt battery, which I replaced with a new one.
I'm not going to know for sure which EMG they are until I do a string change and good dissection of it, but they do sound good-especially the neck, and I was originally going to try putting an EVH Frankenstein in the bridge position-to kind of suit the punk attitude of the BFG, but I might just leave the White EMG in and spray it black for now.
Has anyone here ever tried mixing active and passive pickups-and how would that even work?
I would try and post some pics, but you all know what these piece of shit guitars look like, but I'm really pleased with the one I got here- acoustically it sounds really hollow and woody--which I guess it is, it still has the wooden knobs on it and even has an extra one cos it's been wired traditionally ,
I'm dying to find out what a Frankenstein pickup sounds like in a les Paul, and the current EMG is a bit overpowered by the neck , so I'll have to do a bit more investigation, just wondered if anyone else has mixed active and passive.
Cheers guys-sorry for rambling, back to playing for a while
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,294
EMG makes a whole range of pickups. Some are quite good, and I like the powerful, full fidelity tone of some of their active/low impedance sound. I dont think of them as cheap at all.

The EMG Select are a cheaper hi impedance range and not as highly regarded.

The BMG Les Paul is kinda neat, IMO, I bet your black one looks like an alligator!!! All of the ones I played, felt great and sounded just fine. I think they are cool enough.

Post some pics if you can.
 

andy k

New member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
358
Thanks Al,
I spent a little time just having a little clean up, and swapping the wooden knobs for some spare black sped knobs I had hanging around, most of the pots are pretty stiff, except for the bridge pickup, which is quite loose compared to the other 3,
I'm loving the feel and acoustic sound of this thing, it's still got most of it's original finish, and only feels a bit rough around parts of the side edges, I don't think it has been played much in anger.
One weird thing to me, is the neck is set so deep into the body that the heel is almost flush with the back, and the last 3 side dots are almost buried below the top? I guess they had to take a bit too much off the tenon when they joined the neck to the body, but it's not a big deal to me-almost like an easier access next joint.
I used a bit of Gibson pump polish all over, cos it felt a bit funky and dry, so now it at least smells good.
Both pickups are labelled EMG only, but I don't know exactly which ones they are until I change the strings, the neck sounds great, but the bridge is quite a bit quieter-so I'm not getting a good balance in mid position, and I think my plans of putting a Frankenstein in the bridge might have opened a can of worms, apparently not impossible-but different values on the pots by a factor of 10 between active and passive pickups, I'll have to play it as is through some of my other rigs before I decide where I go.
I'll get some pics up sometime soon.
Cheers guys
Andy k
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,294
Andy, if those are the premium active EMG pickups they would need a battery for the preamp AND special pots. They will not perform well with stock value pot's. I'd bet that one looser pot is the correct one. 25K?
You will also want to disconnect the string ground.


You might want to check on the EMG site.
 
Last edited:

andy k

New member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
358
Thanks Al,
Still haven't changed the strings, but I did loosen them off a bit to have a look at the bridge pickup, it was set quite low -seemed like the threads were stripped so I couldnt adjust it higher, and the White was bugging me-so- when I pulled it out I found it's an 81 , and there were no threaded inserts-just nuts which were spinning.
I stuck a piece of black gaffa tape over it to at least make it look black and got it to the right height, it has a 3pin connector on the back , and I think it went back on the same way.
Poked it back in the cavity and screwed it down tight.
Tuned it back up, had to adjust intonation a bit, and right now the balance between the two pickups is much better, very metallica on some of my pod presets.
I'm guessing the neck pickup is a p90 sized 85, as I think that's the way these things are usually paired, but I'm just going to leave it now , until I break a string and have to put on a new set-at that point I think I might give the top a bit of a refin,not sanding, just put some fresh stain on it and maybe a couple of coats of Danish oil, which I have had good results with.
It builds up and takes out a bit of the roughness ( I'm talking about grain that hasn't soaked up finish) , which is really the only thing wrong with this guitar-I'm loving it so far.
I plan to take some pics when I get to that point-and will do a before and after on this thread.
Cheers guys
Andy k
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,294
Well worse case you got a real cool "reptilian" topped Lester that plays great. I love having a cool platform to indulge my inner Dr. Frankenstein.

I think having the P90 neck rout is very cool, and gives you something unique to play with. Love to know how it comes out. Another forum bro, (I'm so sorry I forgot exactly who.), posted his BFG and it came out very cool. :dude:
 

andy k

New member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
358
Just a minor update,
I'm finding myself playing this thing a lot, I mean it's on a stand and easy to grab, don't have to plug it in to get into it, my other good stuff is in cases piled up so I have to make an effort, but I bought a cheap vox soundbox amp-so I don't have to warm up any valves or anything, and set up on a clean sound, this BFG sounds pretty good.
It's not a clean sound cos I did a bit of research and have experimented with an 18 volt mod for the EMG pickups, and I'm still not 100:/: , but I do like them-they work pretty well with my recording software but I think 18 volt might be too much.
Really I'm just a bit pissed that I might have to get something else to try my pickups out on-these post 06 les Pauls just seem to have too much going on with the weight relief, and the BFG is just wood and air-my Corsa is the same- there was something going on when Gibson decided to lose the thick finishes.
I still haven't changed the original strings, and I still haven't decided whether to mess with the finish when I do, maybe it has been modded enough, and I do like the idea of an original finish BFG, See how I feel when I break some strings I guess.
It helps me play more, so it's a good thing
Cheers
Andy k
 

straightblues

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
954
Love my BFG. I played it at a show over the weekend. It has been out of my rotation for a few months now. It is a great guitar. I have a Throback in the bridge and special P90 pickups wound by Don Mare in the neck. I went with traditional wiring and knobs. I had the frets leveled and crowned and it plays great. Always get lots of comments whenever I play it. Fun guitar that I don't ever worry about. I am play with a lot of freedom on it.
 
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