Les paul modifications

Lakem14

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Why so many people want to change pickups, pots and other eletronics in a Les Paul? Don´t you like the sound when you play the guitar in the musicstore?
I´m new in this forum and I have now my first Gibson Les Paul. It´s a "simple" tribute but I loved the sound and feel so much...so "she" went home with me! Why change something that I love? Over more than 30 years I played many more expensive les pauls, but this one "talks" to me:
- "Take me home!"
 

Christosterone

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Some people just ain't happy unless they're spending money.
to be fair, some of us like to make it exactly what we dream of…
I always wanted a silver studio with 3 pups…Gibson never made one afaik so I got a brand new husk from stratosphere, routed a 3rd pup and love it…
then I wanted a flamed out cobalt blue standard HP neck with 3 pups…same process…

i would route a 3rd pup on every guitar I own if I was faster at wood working…but I am very slow lol

-chris

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cybermgk

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Why so many people want to change pickups, pots and other eletronics in a Les Paul? Don´t you like the sound when you play the guitar in the musicstore?
I´m new in this forum and I have now my first Gibson Les Paul. It´s a "simple" tribute but I loved the sound and feel so much...so "she" went home with me! Why change something that I love? Over more than 30 years I played many more expensive les pauls, but this one "talks" to me:
- "Take me home!"
As to pickups:
Different reasons.

Some have multiple Les Pauls, and they want them to be unique in tone, as well as looks.

Some have Multiple Les Pauls, and want them ALL to sound the same, or close to it, to 'their' tone.

Some, like to get the best tone out of a particular guitar, and feel the stock pickups don't provide that.

Others, may not like what Gibson is now putting in that particular model, and put what they prefer.

Some do not want their Les Paul to sound very close to 1000s of others, so try to make their Traditional sound unique.

As to Pots.
Not all quality pots are the same. Different makers, particularly when it comes to Audio Taper/Logarithmic pots, do not have the same taper. This makes the POT control the guitar differently.

Some makers turn easier than others, are smoother, faster, etc.

Gibson still uses 300K pots in some LP lines. Some prefer 500K.

Epiphone, on so many, use Asian Alpha pots, which are serviceable pots, but usually have bad tapers.

On Caps:
THis is just one giant can of worms. Suffice it to say, some swear by, fully believe that Capacitors made a particular way give superior tone. This is often not what is stock.
 

Davey Rock

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Why so many people want to change pickups, pots and other eletronics in a Les Paul? Don´t you like the sound when you play the guitar in the musicstore?
I´m new in this forum and I have now my first Gibson Les Paul. It´s a "simple" tribute but I loved the sound and feel so much...so "she" went home with me! Why change something that I love? Over more than 30 years I played many more expensive les pauls, but this one "talks" to me:
- "Take me home!"
Personally for me, I’d go as far as changing every little detail on that guitar all except replace the wood itself. It’s not really about why would I do it, it’s more about, why would I buy a guitar if I’m not 100% happy with it. Therefore I simply change everything to what I like and then boom I’m happy. I do however, understand the pure joy of owning a very valuable stock and original guitar with no repairs or scratches, and I plan to own a guitar to keep original someday, but I just haven’t met the lucky gal that blows smoke ring around my heart just yet. I’ll know when I see her, just haven’t saw the right one hangin on the wall yet.
 

smk506

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And some people find a guitar that "feels" perfect, but just doesn't "sound" right. So they make some minor modifications to the electronics. Not every Les Paul "sings" to every person that plays it..
That and tastes change. I bought my Tokai with a pair of Seymour Duncan’s in it and liked them well enough, but when I went through a high output phase they got yanked in favor of a bill Lawrence blade set.

Now my tastes have changed again and I’m thinking very strongly about trying some rail hammer pickups in there.

Conversely I have several guitars that aside from maybe a few cosmetic changes are still bone stock, it all just depends.
 

Leee

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… but this one "talks" to me:
- "Take me home!"
Wait until a guitar climbs on top of you, reaches down between your legs and squeezes your crotch, sticks her tongue in your ear, and then whispers “Take me someplace. Right now. I don’t care where…”
 

Leee

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Some guitars I bought because I liked the way they played but I knew they were going to get new pickups.
Others were great when I bought them but time revealed that I wanted something a little different in the tone.

Controls are simple.
If they don’t work like I want them to, they’re gone.
 

Overture

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Gibson doesn't make a pickup I like, so that = new pickups, full stop. For the most part no guitar that I'm interested in looks/style wise comes stock with a pickup that I would keep.

I only change pots if they aren't 500k, otherwise I'd leave em. The only other stuff I tinker with is plastics/hardware if I wanted a different color and it wasn't available stock...or in the case of the reissues I can't stand the tall pickup rings so I swap em for the USA spec ones.
 

dspelman

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A bit over ten years ago I was playing a gig where the bandleader demanded a specific setup on a *Gibson* Les Paul.

I ended up with a pair of guitars that had smooth neck heels, jumbo frets, Fernandes Sustainer, Floyd Rose trem, different pickups, different pot setup, sweepable active mids boosts, kill switches, etc.

Looks like standard LPs from the audience. Not so much when you get squinty up close.
 

TXOldRedRocker

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I love Les Paul's. I have 10 electric guitars. 7 are LP's. I have a variety of finishes. I want to have a bunch of Les Paul's that all look different. Of course, they have to be a finish I really want. I still have several finishes I don't yet own. Will someday.

I'm in the camp of I want all my guitars to sound different. Tuned, subtly, for different tones I chase.

I'm also in the camp where I don't think some current Gibson stock pickups are as good as some other builders. Not a fan of the 61's and Burstbuckers, though several of my guitars came with them. My #1 is a Triburst that had 61's. I put Fralin Pure PAF's in it. Completely different sound. Incredibly sounding, if I may say so, IMHO. But just as beautiful as the day I bought it.

For me, it's like finding a beautiful car, a Corvette, Camaro, Mustang, etc., with a wimpy engine. Drop a new engine in that beautiful car and it becomes the dream car you always wanted. Rinse and repeat.

Also, I have one guitar that I am configuring to be extremely special. Once complete, it will have taken more than a year. Sorry, but I'm not revealing what that is.

BTW, happy for your purchase of your LP. Congrats! Check back with us in 6 months to a year and let us know if you've been bitten with the bug, have more than one, and if you've customized your original, or any additional you've added to your collection.
:cheers2:
 

ARandall

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Generally speaking the tone you get in the few minutes you spend playing it in the music store is generally not what you get at home. Its also well know that the honeymoon period numbs you to a lot of the more annoying parts of the tone that maybe you simply can't dial out.
So even the best guitar in the store will soon develop a few annoying tonal traits that you wish you could remove.
 

Leee

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The ONLY original parts in this 1993 Ebony LP Standard are the pickups, toggle, and bridge.

I sold it to a buddy of mine over 20 years ago.
His kid played it in a band and broke the headstock. I bought it back dirt cheap and decided to make a player out of it.
RS control kit, locking Rotomatics, and black plastics.
It looked pretty cool.
Just black and chrome.
I decided to leave the original 490/498 pickup combo in it, because I have several Les Pauls to choose from and I thought maybe it was a good idea to leave it as is.
Just because it sounds different.
I will tell you though, I do not like the pickups.
We’ll see if they stay.
Three years ago, I decided to throw the paint scheme on it.
 
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Leee

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I committed a sin against a Les Paul Custom.
Nickel hardware.
Because I don’t like gold hardware.

It’s a 2003.
All components are still as it came from the factory.
‘57 Classics.
Cosmetics were the only change I made, aside from locking Rotomatics.

EDIT: I just remembered that is the Faber TOM bridge setup. Very cool, high-quality hardware.

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