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Author Topic: Putting Larrivee pickups in a Gibson (*grin*) **NEW PICS ADDED**  (Read 4062 times)
Mikeymac
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« on: May 08, 2012, 04:57:58 AM »

I've been looking for an SG for awhile - my son has one, and it's a lot more practical than a Les Paul - lots cheaper and lighter. My local mom 'n' pop took in a lefty on trade recently, and I got an incredible deal on it - because the previous owner wanted EMG's in it, so they took it to Guitar Center to have someone put them in.

Guess what they did? In order to make room for the battery and small "active" board that goes with the pups, they left out one volume and tone pot, but THEY GLUED THE KNOBS TO THE TOP OF THE GUITAR!!!

  ohmy mad

MORONS!!! Who would do this to an American made guitar? Oh, yeah, someone at Guitar Center!

So, I'd been working some other trades and was going to get a new SG Standard (the store ordered one for me when this lefty popped up as a trade-in). Fortunately, it was taking awhile for the new SG to get in. When it was all said and done, I traded in a Peavey Delta Blues and $250 + tax for this 2009 SG Standard!

Pics below to show the damage...but once the knobs are back on the pots, it really won't show. The rest of the guitar is close to mint, and the woman who owned it certainly didn't play it much because it has absolutely no fretwear at all, and it's not even set-up properly yet (even though Gibson was supposedly Plek'ing the SG in '09 - what a joke). The strings are way too high in the nut slots - notes go sharp on the first few frets because of this, and action is off as well.

Anyway, I'm going to replace the EMG's with a set of Larrivee humbuckers and pots/caps. Should turn this thing into a real tone machine!

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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 12:15:06 PM »

I love SGs, although don't own one.  This one looks beautiful - is that a mahogany body?  Looking at the photo of the knobs I'm not sure whether to laugh or get sick to my stomach, but it sounds like it's in good hands and you know what you need to do!  Would love to see the 'after' photos.
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2012, 01:42:52 PM »

Yes, mahogany body with very nice, straight grain. There is a seam right down the center of the body (two piece), but you can just barely detect it on the end of the guitar by the strap button, and on the back ... if you're looking for it.
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 04:03:01 PM »

That is horrible.  The folks at GC just don't give a F.  I and several other of my friends have had horrible experiences with them.  That's such a shame :(

I never found a fit with an SG but they are really cool and unique sounding guitars... super trebly for a HB guitar!

Good luck!
Phil
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2012, 04:43:24 PM »

At least they used white glue and not stupid glue.On top of that you should be able to sell the EMG's and recoup some of the cash outlay.
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 05:44:37 PM »

At least they used white glue and not stupid glue.On top of that you should be able to sell the EMG's and recoup some of the cash outlay.

I was wondering when you'd chime in, unclrob.

Yep, I plan to sell the EMG's (hopefully for around $100) to make this an even better deal.

My pickups from Larrivee should be on their way in a day or two...
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2012, 09:13:16 PM »

Larrivee pickups, pots and capacitors arrived today  dropped off the guitar to my tech, who said he'll have it ready to rock on Monday at 3:00 p.m. ...

I had him wire it for '50's Gibson wiring.  Should be interesting.

And yes, I could have done this myself, and would have enjoyed doing it, but I'm so busy right now with work and "honey-do" lists, I'd be rushing and squeezing it in somewhere, and I would NOT enjoy that.

Full report on Monday...
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2012, 10:31:42 PM »


Full report on Monday...

Looking forward, as am seriously considering doing same to my LP
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2012, 11:53:27 PM »


Guess what they did? In order to make room for the battery and small "active" board that goes with the pups, they left out one volume and tone pot, but THEY GLUED THE KNOBS TO THE TOP OF THE GUITAR!!!

  ohmy mad



O.M.G. That has to be the most ignorant thing I have seen to date.

I'm guessing it will sound like an SG shaped Larrivee when you're finished with it.
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2012, 03:48:29 AM »

Mr_LV19E I could tell you some really good stories but I'm afraid that someone who works for GC might read them and even though I don't really care I'm not in the mood to be sue'd by them.They don' like me as it is.

I'll lay odd's that it will come close to sounding like an RS2 with humbuckers.
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2012, 05:11:53 AM »

I'll lay odd's that it will come close to sounding like an RS2 with humbuckers.

^^^THIS^^^

An RS2 with 24.75" scale length with humbuckers...
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2012, 10:07:30 AM »

So whats going to happen to that set of EMG's???

 
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2012, 02:27:10 PM »

Rev you might have a buyer for those EMG's......
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2012, 03:12:14 PM »

So whats going to happen to that set of EMG's???

 

They're for sale ... I'll PM you.
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2012, 07:42:07 AM »

Just one more reason not to give a cent of my money to GC. Only a moron would think of something like that.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2012, 03:17:54 PM »

I'll be picking up the SG this afternoon...this is going to be fun! 

(Oh, and I'll post some "after" photos asap...)
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2012, 10:05:04 PM »

So I picked up the SG w/Larrivee's humbuckers (and pots and caps) installed this afternoon. What a difference! These pickups are so dynamic; lots of range, no mud. I haven't played through my amps yet - just through an Orange Tiny Terror and a Vox AC15C1 in the store when I picked it up. I look forward to some time through my own amps - it's amazing how much better everything sounds through your own gear, tweaked they way you like it.

But here are a few pics after "corrective surgery" ... you can't even see the mucked up finish under the pots (and we even put the old knobs with the glue in 'em back on, just as a sort of reminder of how this poor thing was treated before I got it):
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2012, 02:05:58 AM »

 nice guitar LOOKS GREAT.Can't wait to hear what you tink after playing it thru your stuff.Congrats to you tech too nice job with the rescue...
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2012, 05:00:14 PM »

Here you go, unclrob...

This SG just became a very, very good guitar...wow.

These Larrivee pickups are just excellent - no matter what guitar you put 'em in! They are transparent, nice highs, lots of character. I think my favorite word for them is that they're "honest." They transmit the info that you input between pick and fingers through the strings to the amp.

Larrivee pups are vintage output, unpotted, Alnico V magnets, vintage wire and braided/shielded connection wires... just excellent construction. Give 'em too much gain, and they will squeal! But that's not a problem for me, I don't ever play THAT loud or with that much gain. But it means they drive nicely and maintain some definition and nice highs. Great for blues and rock and clean styles like jazz.

When I picked up the guitar yesterday, I took it in the amp room and plugged it in...huh, what's this? He wired the controls left-handed, but I had provided him right-handed pots. So the tone controls were basically on-off switches...not good.

Walk back into the repair shop, and the tech, James, changed around the wires while we visited. It's my fault - I assumed he knew I wanted this thing wired "righty" and he assumed I wanted it wired lefty...sad thing is, we've been down this road before on a wiring job! Deja vu all over again!

(I'm just used to right-handed pots and wiring - and even though Gibson sometimes wires their lefties "left-handed," they use right-handed volume and control knobs - dumb! Larrivee purchases left-handed knobs on their lefty guitars. Good job, Larrivee!)

After he rewired it, all was good. I had him use Gibson '50's style wiring; it tends to keep some of the highs when you turn the volume down, without having to add a resistor or capacitor across the volume pots. Nice and clean, and it works great.

I took the guitar home, and had to lower the action at the bridge some, it's now about perfect...much easier to play, even with that fat neck. (I had previously lowered the nut slots.)

As I said, these pickups sound great in this guitar - it has even more highs and clarity than my Larrivee RS-4 with the same pickups in it. I'm also amazed that the SG has this much clarity, since the SG has 24.75" scale neck; the RS-4 is 25.5" scale. It does NOT have that Les Paul thickness or low end muddiness you sometimes get with hog and the shorter scale length.

The only thing I'm still getting used to is Gibson's "railroad tie" frets - they're like square bars running across the fingerboard, and they feel like jumbos, even though it says med. jumbo on their website. I'm used to more rounded frets that you can slide up and down with ease. I've noticed this on lots of other Gibsons, and I don't really get it (and they supposedly Plek these, too).

Anyway, I'm very happy with the way this turned out, and once I got it home, and plugged it into my own set-up, I knew these pickups (and pots and caps) were the right choice! Larrivee wins again!

 nice guitar
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2012, 06:13:40 PM »

Awesome!  I'd like to put some Lari pups in all of my 7 strings.

SGs, to me, were always brighter and cut harder than LPs.  I was kinda surprised when I first tried one... I figured the hog would have kept much more low end.  Still baffles me, but that's the SG sound that well all know n love!

Phil
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