[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

The road less traveled (was Re: Hardware shopping for Les Paul)

I agree with Bill here... I am a compulsive tinkerer and have modified nearly every bit of gear in my studio (and built much from scratch)... Last week I happened upon a really nice original Fender Strat.. I played 15 Strats that day and this one really has something special. It's a 1979. In 1979 I built my first "strat" from parts and went through every possible pickup combination, etc.. I still have it, and it's a real frankenstein guitar. At the time I built it I spent $792 on the parts alone. (a small fortune for a kid). I'm certain that this guitar is not worth ANY money to anyone but me (It's a great guitar, but.. well...). I see this "new" 1979 as a chance to explore the "road less traveled" (by me at least): To have a completely original stock factory built guitar with all of it's warts intact. I did need to disassemble the guitar in order to remove 32 years of WAX from the finish (I swear I'll never never never use wax on a guitar again!!!) and restored it to it's original 1979 splendor. It now presents it self to me as a Zen Koan or a mystery.. when I play it I find myself exploring the idiosyncrasies of this instrument... and a funny thing is happening... I am hearing MYSELF emerge from the instrument, rather than the instrument...

Maybe I'll post some photos of it on the FB page..


Microphonic pickups can be caused by a couple of things most likely a lack of wax potting or the potting has drifted over time with heat and gravity, also loose covers and or lack potting between the cover and pickups can cause that too. i actually like pickups that have some micro phonics, as they pickup more of the wood tone and are actually very controllable with medium overdrive, but will squeal like little piggies with heavy distortion . Its possible to have pickups half potted for the best of both worlds. oxidation over time will make switches noisy. and it sounds like everything is maybe not particularly well grounded. A good repair guy could cure all of those issues, re-potting the pickups cleaning and or re-soldering switches and pots. again. regarding Gibson in the 70's the spiral downward in quality had as much to do with how the bodies and necks were put together, four piece bodies became 6 piece bodies, 1 piece necks became 5 piece necks (if you count the headstock wings.), all things that were well in effect when your guitar was made, regardless these guitars will go up in value and already have, and the more components you remove the less stock it is and less valuable if you choose to part with it someday. keep your components, Don't let a repair guy talk you out of them for a discount on his work or new components, he will turn around and sell them for a profit, or use them for a restoration project on a guitar that some else modified the value out of. vintage parts are vintage parts, even if they are from 1976.