Les Paul GT 53 conversion

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by Tobiase, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Tobiase

    Tobiase Junior Member

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    I have a question.

    I'm now the proud owner of a Les Paul all gold GT from 53. Looks stunning. The previous owner put an abr and stoptail in it. Shaved it down. So it is playable but action super high and loose tension on the string. I want to rout it for HB n lower teh action to make it rel playable. There are different ways.

    I can go all the way with neck reset Hb routing and then probably a refin.

    I also saw the Tensionbar for '52 Les Paul conversion without neck reset. It is a much cheaper solution and I don't have to do the neck reset or refin.

    What would you guys recconmend. And does the tensionbar really work?

    Thanks
     
    VictorB likes this.
  2. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    FWIW I wouldn't refin a Vintage Guitar, you'll lose that Vintage vibe.

    Can you please post pics. :)

    May I suggest you talk to Dan at MojoAxe & look at his '52 / '53 option: -

    http://www.mojoaxe.com/

    [​IMG]

    He is "Danelectro" on MLPF & he's cool. :thumb:

    Also, I'd keep using the P90's...........they're awesome PU's IMHO.

    :cheers2:
     
  3. hamerfan

    hamerfan Senior Member

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    What Rag said, this world is covered with to much butchered vintage guitars already.
    Let my tell you that i was on the same way, buying an old guitar and mess with it. What i do now is taking my trusty R8 to a makeover and get a R5 Mod type guitar out of it with humbucker on the bridge and p90 on the neck.
     
  4. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

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    If it is easy to bring it back to its orig. condition then do it. The mojoaxe option is killer in every way. For sure i would never refin an orig. finish especially a goldtop! There is nothing better than a natural aged 50s goldtop. I would do a paf conversion only in case of a restoration. So if the guitar is abused or destroyed. Otherwise you would actually destroy one more orig. 50s P90 gt which is very sad.
     
  5. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    If the neck reset can be done without refinishing, I would do that and call it a day. If the MojoAxe trapeze can be easily fitted where the newer ABR-1 was installed, then you might do that without even resetting the neck as others have said. I love the all gold look!
     
  6. lewis_grey

    lewis_grey Senior Member

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    Put a Mojoaxe on it then enjoy it for what it is! Pics would help though.

    I'll let you in on a little secret...50's P90's are probably the best sounding pickups ever made :cool:
     
  7. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Yeah, see Dan at Mojoaxe.
     
  8. Ph03n1x

    Ph03n1x Senior Member

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    I would go a step further and get one of those Ilitch noise cancelling backplates. Alot of people hate P90s because of the noise. If you can fix that without much tone loss, you might find yourself bonding more with the original pickups.
     
  9. Tobiase

    Tobiase Junior Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'll try to put up some pictures.

    Tomorrow I'll take a look at the tension bar. And I will dig up some info on the mojoaxe.

    If the tension bar works I can leave the abr. Here is the info about the tension bar.

    Here it is, a re-designed tailpiece for converted '52 to '56 Les Paul's without neck reset. This tension bar is the final great improvement to your converted LP, but works outstandingly well on every Les Paul. Because of the tighter fit to the studs, tighter fit of the strings, solid aluminum and much higher tension on the ABR bridge. I have converted many '52 Les Paul's here at Woodstock.
    This conversions are a big improvement to this L.P's, so much more playability
    But it was not satisfying. It don't feels and sounds like my original '57 Les Paul.
    The reason was the one degree, later L.P's have three degree neck pitch in
    combination with the low string tension over the shaved ABR-1 bridge.If I could
    increase this tension by letting the strings making a sharper pitch from the bridge to the tailpiece it would be better. I looked over the original tailpiece to
    modify it, but decided to redesign a new one. so I make the prototype by hand from solid aluminum. The result is amazing. It feels like my '57 L.P. and it sounds almost the same. You got a little bit more string tension, more response and the same feel as the guitars of the second halve of the '50's. Connected to a amp it sounds much better with lots of sustain, harmonic overtones and much better definition just like the holy grails. This is a precision part to realize maximum pressure to the ABR-1. It fits so much tighter to the studs as the original tailpiece. Its not die cast but made of solid aluminum, precision tooled by CNC and finished by hand. Weight is 41 gram, and fits to all standard studs of 8 mm. You have to try this out, you gonna love this, I'm a Les Paul connoisseur as you are, that's why I know.
     
  10. Bill Hicklin

    Bill Hicklin Senior Member

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    I'd swap the ABR back out for a Mojoaxe trapeze and leave it alone. If you rout it for humbuckers and give it a refin, you no longer have a '53, just another burst replica built out of the ruins of a '53.

    Agree with Lewis, original P-90s are killer
     
  11. Cookie-boy

    Cookie-boy Senior Member

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    What Bill said! :thumb:
     
  12. jeggz

    jeggz Senior Member

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    Mojoaxe.
     
  13. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    50s P90s are wonderful pickups. Don't route for humbuckers.

    Get the Mojoaxe bridge on the original trap, if you have it. If not, you can get a reissue trap. You shouldn't have to reset the neck. I'm a firm believer in keeping that old glue joint.

    My '53 came with the original trap cut shorter and an ABR-1. I restored it using a reissue trap and Mojoaxe bridge.

    [​IMG]
     

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