NGD - Custom Shop Non Reverse Firebird with 3 P-90's!

mdubya

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TV White. I have been hunting for the right one of these for quite a while. My Custom Shop NR with full size humbuckers started the madness. I thought I wanted Firebird mini humbuckers (and I still do :shock: ) but I also want P-90's which, with these particular models, seem to be even more rare. And some of the demos with the P-90's are just stunning tone wise, particularly the demos done by Troy from Wildwood (embedded).

This guitar could have been sold "as new." As a matter of fact, is it cleaner than some of the "new" guitars I have bought.








 

mdubya

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Here is my guitar (with my feeble playing).

http://instagr.am/p/B1sEThwHUbv/
http://instagr.am/p/B1sKP5BHuqx/

And my initial dilemma. I have a Strat and an Ibby Fireman 100, both with 3 pickup single coils. And I have no problem with the 3 pickups. On this guitar, the P-90 routes are very shallow, meaning, the middle pickup cannot be lowered out of the way nor can any of the pickups be adjusted for height to dial in my preferred tones. :eek2:

I haven't even had the guitar 24 hours and I am posting this thread from my desk at work with the guitar sitting at home. I have already learned to pick in between the pickups (workable but not perfect/ideal) and, of course, I can dial down the volume knobs to tame the P-90's which are pretty much right up against the strings (way too close for my P-90 preference, I like some room to breath on almost all of my pickups, particularly hot A5 P-90's).

So, I am open to solutions. The guitar is stunning and looks and plays and feels like a million bucks. I would call it a keeper right out of the box. But that doesn't mean I want to go right into routing pickup cavities without some very careful consideration of my options first.

In the meantime, I can live with picking between the pickups and dialing back the volumes. In my IG clips, volumes are on about 6 and lower.

I immediately started calling this one the white whale, due to it wanting to fight me on this pickup route issue.

I never name my guitars. Dunno if this is a good sign or a bad sign.
 

bossaddict

@david.beason on IG
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I used to have a 2003 with the Firebird pickups. These are so nice.

Congrats!
 

mdubya

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I used to have a 2003 with the Firebird pickups. These are so nice.

Congrats!
Thank you!

I was particularly interested in your feedback, David. :thumb:

Were the Firebird minis height adjustable?

Did you ever pull the pick guard and look at the routes?

Your 2003 is the one that got away, for me.
 

bossaddict

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Thank you!

I was particularly interested in your feedback, David. :thumb:

Were the Firebird minis height adjustable?

Did you ever pull the pick guard and look at the routes?

Your 2003 is the one that got away, for me.
I had to go back to my old thread to look. :)

They had the typical height adjustment screws for pickguard-mounted pickups with springs, etc (see below), similar to what a Strat would have. For you P-90s, they are anchored into the wood, typically with some foam or something underneath. Is the foam pretty much maxed out in terms of its compressibility? If so, maybe you could replace it with something smaller or even nothing at all if you need that much room.

 

mdubya

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I had to go back to my old thread to look. :)

They had the typical height adjustment screws for pickguard-mounted pickups with springs, etc (see below), similar to what a Strat would have. For you P-90s, they are anchored into the wood, typically with some foam or something underneath. Is the foam pretty much maxed out in terms of its compressibility? If so, maybe you could replace it with something smaller or even nothing at all if you need that much room.

They are hard mounted to the body, no springs, no foam, no shims. I could shim them up, but they would be touching the strings (the bridge particularly, but the neck is pretty close, too).
 

bossaddict

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They are hard mounted to the body, no springs, no foam, no shims. I could shim them up, but they would be touching the strings (the bridge particularly, but the neck is pretty close, too).
I'll take a look at mine with P-90s when I get home to see if there's anything I can recommend that I'm not thinking of currently.
 

bossaddict

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mdubya

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One other thought...

Are the fillister screws the only thing impacting the bottom of the routes? If so, maybe buy some replacement screws from Philly Luthier (or wherever) and cut/grind them shorter (or maybe they sell shorter ones) and then just store your originals in the case.

Sort of thinking out loud...

https://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/pickup-making-parts/humbucker-p90-fillister-pole-screws-nickel-plated-qty-6/

Good thought, and that is exactly why I asked!

I will double check this evening. I really thought the baseplate was bottomed out on the routes, but I will confirm that.

Even being able to lower the pickup with the screws raised a little bit would be a big plus at this point.
 

mdubya

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I have been googling Firebird pickup routes and I certainly don't think I will be destroying any kind of historical accuracy if I did route. And to be clear, I won't be doing the work, it would be a very well respected luthier.
 

matthew bear

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I had to go back to my old thread to look. :)

They had the typical height adjustment screws for pickguard-mounted pickups with springs, etc (see below), similar to what a Strat would have. For you P-90s, they are anchored into the wood, typically with some foam or something underneath. Is the foam pretty much maxed out in terms of its compressibility? If so, maybe you could replace it with something smaller or even nothing at all if you need that much room.

Oh man, that guitar... I still kick myself for letting that slide!

but I do love the new guitar as well Mdubya! The IG clips sound great to me, as I love P90's
 

tolm

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Nice! I just picked up my second one having foolishly let my first go a few years back. Thankfully I lucked out as the new one has a nicer (IMO) grain pattern but sounds and feels just as good. My 335 hasn’t been getting much playtime at gigs since ...

 

mdubya

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Nice! I just picked up my second one having foolishly let my first go a few years back. Thankfully I lucked out as the new one has a nicer (IMO) grain pattern but sounds and feels just as good. My 335 hasn’t been getting much playtime at gigs since ...


That is pretty much my world these days, @tolm. ES's and Firebirds.

This sparkling burgundy version has been haunting me, too.



I can only imagine what it would be like when the gold starts to wear through. :shock: :drool:
 

mdubya

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That's a question that should never need to be asked, let alone answered. Awesome tone.

Glad to see a fellow Alice Cooper fan.
Something about a white 3 pickup Gibson brings out the ACB. The P-90's make it possible to be Buxton AND Bruce. :dude:
 

DarrellV

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BTW, congrats on your NGD!

I missed this one. Sorry about that.
 

mdubya

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BTW, congrats on your NGD!

I missed this one. Sorry about that.
Right on, Darrell! :thumb:

The other post is in a more popular sub forum and got a lot more attention.

Thanks for all of your thoughts and suggestions and insight in that thread.
 

bossaddict

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Right on, Darrell! :thumb:

The other post is in a more popular sub forum and got a lot more attention.

Thanks for all of your thoughts and suggestions and insight in that thread.
Also, this thread was originally in Other Guitars, but has now been moved to its proper home. :)
 


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