- Apr 1, 2012
- Reaction score
I used to mod my guitars a lot back in the 1980's. I had a 1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom "Vintage White" which had a twisted neck but not enough that the guitar couldn't be played. The original owner changed the Kluson Waffle Back Tuning Machines for Grovers. Believe it or not I had my Luthier "shave" the back of the neck down to the bare wood and treat it with a hand rubbed oil to prevent rotting. I did that out of necessity. The paint on the back of the neck would get kind of sticky playing for like 3 hours straight. I kept a bottle of Gibson guitar polish and polish cloth next to my amp so I could wipe it down between songs. The shaved neck made playing so much easier. BTW, I have noticed over the last 20 years or so that a lot of professional guitarists do this exact same mod to the back of the neck. I replaced the ABR-1 Bridge and the Aluminum Tail piece with "brand new" 'genuine" Gibson ABR-1 Bridge and a "genuine" Gibson "Zinc" Tailpiece which I thought would give the guitar more sustain. I swapped out the "T-Top's" for an EMG 81 in the bridge position and an EMG 85 in the neck position. Back in those days I found the EMG 81 at my local music store but I had to search all the other music stores in my area to find the EMG 85. This was due to being a very young guitar player in an all original heavy metal band. The EMG's really made that guitar smoking hot. The other guitarist and I played through Marshall Full Stacks to give you some idea of my rig at that time. I only used an "Arion" Stage Tuner Pedal and a Jim Dunlop GCB-95 Cry Baby Wah Wah Pedal straight into the front of my Marshall. That was how simple my rig was. Maturely, I did have the sense to bag and tag all the original parts. The only damage was to the Neck Pickup's Tone Control or Potentiometer. When I removed the "Witch Hat Tone Knob" the post came out with it. I was kind of heart broken over that. Sometime in the 1990's I started being much more selective about adding mods. Now I only "UPGRADE" if I deem a part or pickup inferior. I also like to keep my axes 100% factory if everything works and sounds great. Instead of swapping pickup's I have been sending them to Lindy for a re-wind. I mean the pickup's may not have the tone I'm hoping for but the ingredient's are already there. A good re-wind and wax potting is something I am willing to do. The one thing I like to do with my Gibson Les Paul's and SG's is swap out the Nashville "Tune-O-Mattic" Bridge for a "genuine" Gibson ABR-1 Bridge using conversion posts I buy from Philadelphia Luthier Tool & Supply, Co.. I just like the ABR-1 Bridge much better. I can't say that in a "blind" playing test I would notice the difference in tone however I just believe the ABR-1's are a better bridge. I have my eye on two Gibson SG's right now. The first is a 2018 Gibson SG Standard T Ebony with the 61N & 61T Humbuckers which sound pretty good. The other is a 2018 Gibson "Gary Clark Jr." SG Standard with an ABR-1 Bridge, Aluminum Tailpiece, and (3) Gibson P90's. These Gibson's are "On Clearance" at my local guitar shop. The Black SG is listed at $1,099.00 with HSC. The "Gary Clark Jr." SG is listed at $1,199.00 with HSC. I'm trying to decide which one I want? I bring this up because which ever one I choose will be left 100% factory stock.