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Vintage SG Special/P90 Questions

27sauce

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Jul 9, 2007
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4,415
Hey guys, I've been gigging my '62 Special for the last few years and and trying to improve upon a couple of things with out making any major modifications.
The guitar is a little on the dark side.

Raising the pickup:

Will I get better results(clearer, louder) shimming the pickup with the pole pieces flush, or keeping the pickup where it is and jacking up the pole pieces?

The bridge:

The guitar sounds better when it is not properly intonated!!
When I have the intonation at an acceptable place, the wraptail is making most of its contact with the adjustment/set screws. This causes a lean in the bridge, and as a result the strings(especially the G) are not ringing out as true as when there is no lean. But its in tune...

Any suggestions would help, I'm using this guitar a lot more lately, and I want to get the most out of it. My damn '59 Junior has set the bar pretty high!!!
 

Bruce R

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Mar 2, 2007
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950
Out of curiosity, are you using the original wrapround tailpiece? This would be the plain aluminum, non lightning-bolt or compensated style, right? You could try getting one of the newer, but heavier compensated reproduction tailpieces. It would most likely have different tonal characteristics, as well as intonating a bit better.
 

27sauce

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Jul 9, 2007
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Out of curiosity, are you using the original wrapround tailpiece? This would be the plain aluminum, non lightning-bolt or compensated style, right? You could try getting one of the newer, but heavier compensated reproduction tailpieces. It would most likely have different tonal characteristics, as well as intonating a bit better.

Its the original compensated TP.

The Vibrola is currently bypassed.

DSC05392.jpg
 

Bruce R

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Mar 2, 2007
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Nice guitar. A '62? Since that's the original tailpiece designed for a wound G string I would try buying one of the recent lightweight, compensated wraprounds, like the Faber or Callaham. By-pass the vibrola unit and you'll definitely get some more life and better sustain out of her.
 

27sauce

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You've posted that picture countless times, and every time you do I find myself staring at it. That is one BEAUTIFUL SG Special :)

Thanks Kevin, a mere drop in your beautiful collection!

I love it, its probably my best playing guitar, it just feels right. Soundwise, it just leaves me wanting a little more.
 

tooold

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Jul 31, 2006
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2,070
Nice guitar. A '62? Since that's the original tailpiece designed for a wound G string I would try buying one of the recent lightweight, compensated wraprounds, like the Faber or Callaham. By-pass the vibrola unit and you'll definitely get some more life and better sustain out of her.

Don't think Callaham makes a lightning-bolt bridge. Wish he did!
 

27sauce

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Jul 9, 2007
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4,415
+1 on using a modern intonated tailpiece and storing the vintage one. Here's a thread with pics of my firebird (4th post), one w/ badass, one with a modern comp (unfortunately, chrome..). But it plays and sustains great.

http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=179318&highlight=firebird

Also: I find that shimming up a P-90 gives me much more of the sound I want than raising the pup screws.

Cool, I've got both. Which do you prefer? Is the modern comp the same width/size as a vintage?

I just shimmed the pickup, and yes, its more in the ballpark.

Thanks!
 

27sauce

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Jul 9, 2007
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Yeah, the modern one fits nice and snug.
Thank you!

I threw on the one I had. Works great! It fits on the posts much better than the original Too bad its chrome. I did have to remove the vibrola plate to adjust the intonation, it feels better without it so I left it off. See how long that lasts...
I used it for most of the night Wednesday, but not at all last night. I think it will see a lot more action in the future.
418098_375196222499766_107760542576670_1432292_1898754137_n.jpg
 

MapleFlame

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Jul 3, 2005
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14,029
I would try different Tailpieces until you have the right feel and intonation. Awesome guitar. I love my Pelham Blue restoration guitar.
 

tooold

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Jul 31, 2006
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2,070
My junior had a vibrola, the previous owner removed it and put three screws in the holes. Looks fine, and I've never missed it, even though I love Bigsby/trems/whammies in general - the ones on the lightning bar bridges just never seem to work that well because of the lack of tension across them. Enjoy!
 

zombiwoof

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Feb 22, 2003
Messages
3,565
Generally, to make a pickup brighter, you lower the pickup and raise the polepieces, to make it fatter sounding, raise the pickup closer to the strings and lower the polepieces.

Al
 

lanman

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Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
1,480
You've posted that picture countless times, and every time you do I find myself staring at it. That is one BEAUTIFUL SG Special :)

I am with you Kevin. What a Beauty!

I swear, if you stare at this photo of my old '65 long enough you'll see Jesus:

TonysWedding080-3.jpg
 
Last edited:

Pip

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Feb 26, 2011
Messages
1,529
I am with you Kevin. What a Beauty!

I swear, if you stare at this photo of my old '65 long enough you'll see Jesus:

TonysWedding080-3.jpg

:3zone:3zone :3zone Yup just seen him omg what a beauty
 
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