Progress photos of my Reissue undergoing repairs/upgrades

Discussion in 'Historics & Reissues' started by alnico59, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. DanD

    DanD Senior Member

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    I've noticed this on the two I did the MF mod on. :hmm:

    Hopefully we'll get a tone report when all is said and done.
     
  2. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    Work on the electronics has begun. Below vintage style braid and new switchcraft selector next to the stock wiring. All hand wired in the shop.

    I've seen some say replacing the stock skinny wiring with larger gauge makes no difference at all. However, IME it's opens up the tone of the guitar. Heard it with my R8. Plus why buy expensive PAF replicas and then not upgrade the other inexpensive lackluster components?

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    Aged tip as I could no longer live with the glaring white stock tip anymore.

    [​IMG]

    All wired up with NOS Russian PIO caps and CTS 500k pots along with a fresh coat of shielding paint. Man I wish I could solder like that!

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. L96A1

    L96A1 Senior Member

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    Practice with a few pots and you can nail the soldering. You need to learn to make it flow.:cheers2:
     
  5. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    Here's a before and after of the control cavity. The "greenie" caps were at the time just something I did to get by until now.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Oxblood Addict V.I.P. Member

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    Looking good Ray!
     
  7. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    Thanks Fred.
    The waiting is the hardest part! Even if it is completed this week a decision was made not to send it back until the holiday shipping madness wears off. A buddy of mine just had a set of pickups get rerouted to Chicago instead of Connecticut! Delayed things over two weeks. But at least they weren't completely lost!
     
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  8. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    It looks like it will be worth it...
     
  9. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    Now the fun part, pickups!

    Ok, the original plan was to have him wind and install his hand wound PAF's. He has a new wind with a different wire (smoother tone) that I was very interested to try. However through him I was able to source a very early set of Jim Wagner (formerly WCR) Fillmore's in double cream. Again these are an early hand wound set which I have always been interested to try. My guy, reading my mind, had no problem winding and sending me his set for future use and installing the Fillmore's. I'm already running his pickups in two of my other guitars and thought the Fillmore's could mix things up a little. He even replaced the stock leads on the Fillmore's with vintage braid. Cool.

    Here are his winds pre-assembled and completed. I specified the mismatched coils.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And here are the Fillmore's. I found out I'm not a double cream guy so covered it is.
    [​IMG]

    Here are both sets I'm receiving.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    Installation of the new aged Creamtone ABR-1 bridge and light weight aluminum tailpiece.

    As long as I owned this guitar it had that dreaded problem of the strings hitting the back of the bridge. No matter how I set it up, at best, I was only able to get a few of the strings not to touch. I chalked it up to a high neck set and said oh well. I did have it top wrapped for a while. But honestly I'm not a total fan of that set up.

    Well, as the picture below shows, with the new bridge it is set up perfect. Tech said the neck set is not really high at all. He contributed the past problems to the saddles being cut too deep. He said the guitar is playing perfect with the right amount of tension. Action set where I like which is fairly low.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    The bridge / tailpiece setup looks good. And you have some interesting pickups there too. As belated Christmas presents to the self go, this is shaping up pretty nicely :)
     
  12. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    The guitar is now completed and will ship next Sunday. I am very excited on how this project came out. I trust from my tech when he says the guitar is playing night and day better than before. Sounds like a win win for me.

    This was less of a cosmetic upgrade and more about improving playability. Below is the guitar before and after. I will update this thread with my tone report once I get the guitar here.

    Before
    [​IMG]

    After
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. guidothepimmp

    guidothepimmp Senior Member

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    excellent.. cool thread.. great guitar
     
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  14. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    Thanks! Pickups are an older set of Wagner Fillmores when he wound them by hand. I read love/hate reviews on them with the dislikes mostly claiming they do not sound like true PAF's. Actually that's ok because I wanted something different this time around. From the sound samples I did hear they sound good.
     
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  15. FKO

    FKO Senior Member

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    The neck looks pretty flat and slim in the second picture. For a moment I though it was a R0 neck or you had it shaved.
     
  16. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    It's a weird neck. The feel doesn't really match the actual measurements. It has a roundness to it so it basically feels bigger than it actually is. But yeah it's not big by Historic standards. It's very comfortable especially riffing up and down the neck.
     
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  17. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    :)

    There you go...

    It's going to be miles better than it was.
     
  18. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    Also I'll post more photos when I get it. For some reason the red is coming through brighter than it actually is.
     
  19. Sct13

    Sct13 Gold Supporter Premium Member

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    The red is the camera's chip being sensitive to Hydrogen (or the red side of the spectrum) not much you can do for it except maybe take the photo in Fluorescent light, which has a lot of green, that will offset the red...

    I have done plenty of this photography ....and Gibson's Red is especially sensitive to this
     
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  20. alnico59

    alnico59 Senior Member

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    The guitar arrived back to me yesterday and I was able to put 4 hours of play time on it since.

    I played it against my '14 R8 with the Big Mike's Custom A5 set and my '10 Traditional Plus with the same set but with an over wound bridge pickup due to the non vintage pickup spacing. I plugged into my modified (a few tweaks and a few diodes removed) Marshall JCM 900 50 watt head running KT77's through a JCM 800 4x12 cab with a mix of greenbacks on top and the original UK GT75's below. I also played it through my little Blackstar HT1R.

    I thought the '59 RI matched up better with the Traditional as they are both are wound with 9.5 gauge strings and are closer in design (no long tenon) and weight. So my comparison is between those two guitars and their respected pickups. Both guitars have non wire ABR-1's, light weight aluminum TP's and have been rewired from the switch to the control cavity with vintage braid. They both have the same NOS Russian PIO .022 caps and are wired 50's. The '59 RI has Dimarzio vintage low torque 500k pots while the Traditional has CTS 500k pots. The '59 RI weighs 9 lbs 4 oz. The Traditional weighs 9 lbs 9 oz. The only real difference on paper would be the RI having the maple flame mod.

    Through the Marshall I was able to hear the differences between the two guitars more clearly. My Luthier was correct, these Fillmores in this guitar are a perfect fit. The balance (I like to switch between the neck and bridge pickups a lot!) has a nice smooth, natural transition. The middle position has that hollow tone. The slightly added midrange is a welcoming addition. Yeah, they don't have that Tele on steroids thing going on but I already have that with the other two guitars. However, the clarity is definitely there, especially in the neck position. I already know they are never, ever coming out!

    A direct comparison to the BM set would be...the Fillmores have a tad less clarity and slightly less presence but more mids as mentioned. Also slightly warmer and more organic.

    The BM set really hits you with their stinging treble which behaves more like a true PAF so they have less bite than the Fillmores. I think the PAF guys know what I'm saying here. To my ears and my right hand bite and treble are not the same thing. For me T-Tops bite and PAF's sting. I think the BM set is a little louder too. Again, Tele on roids here!

    Honestly I like how both sound and don't feel they are worlds apart in how they respond to my playing. They both inspire me to the point I don't want to put the guitars down. Now I have to try that Darkburst set. The thing is I'm not disturbing any of my other guitars. I always wanted an SG so maybe...

    As far as the other repairs and mods I had done...the guitar stays in tune now and the strings do not hit the back of the bridge. Just having those two irritating issues corrected made the whole project worth while. The taller frets were a must for me. The playability improved drastically especially when doing bends up high. Bottom line is the final product was well above my expectations and I'm extremely happy with the outcome. Yeah it's a keeper now. Thanks for reading.
     
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