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Last years Christmas present revisited (FINISHED!)

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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Last year for Christmas my kids got me this in black. It was a deal from Musicians Friend and cost $99. Origional price was $299 so quite the deal. The neck plays great and I love the feel. Sounds good too. So whats my issue you ask? Note the hardware. This black chrome stuff is cool but is a graphite color and on the black guitar it looks faceless and empty. The tuners look to be Grovers in the pic but looks can be decieving. I have a couple made in China guitars with these Grover clones that are smooth and flawless. I have a BC Rich MIC with them that are not so good. These are not that good. They have the spots where you turn them a little and nothing happens then they decide to start tuning again.

So, I decide to buy new tuners. Can't get them in this color. (Least not for what I want to use and or pay) I decide a face lift is in order. I want to chrome it out. I ordered some GF Rotomatic clones with the stair step keys as opposed to kidney shaped. I ordered creme pickup rings and a creme poker chip for the togle switch. I ordered a new switch in chrome as well with vintage creme cap. NextI will need to replace the bridge (the intonation adjusted very dodgey as well) and stopbar in chrome. I will want a chrome jack plate as well. The downer is I have black strap locks on it but they were borrowed from another guitar so I would just return them to the origional guitar and buy chrome. I'm not sure about the knobs. They are the black chrome but high quality all metal with an allen screw. I will see how they look. I was thinking gold top hats for the LP look but these knobs are better.

All said and done I will have a little over $100 in the facelift but it will look and function much better. Well, the look part is why I put this here and not in repair and maintenance. I want to know what you think! (as well as the fact I am comfortable doing this and have the know how so not really a repair and maintenance issue)

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@blue-jay)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

Hi TR.

I like the whole idea of the chromes and creaminess. I read in detail. I trick out my guitars too, and can validate your effort.

I'm glad you like cream plastic pickup rings especially, because I think that a few guitars with chrome pickup rings look cheap or just unnatural? The aged poker chip and switch tip are a must! You are sure to find an excellent variety of tuners in chrome. Try to match the screw holes if possible, and bear in mind that this unit might have smaller bushings for smaller peg or capstan holes. Drilling to a larger size is a pain, and can break thick lacquer or paint. The black jack socket isn't bad as the sunburst is black on the side anyway, oh wait, your whole guitar is black, so the contrast is the best thing to do, go bling go!

Chrome dome, as in 1953 & up Tele knobs are really nice, IMO, and are a bit nicer than LP top hats or some speed knobs, but I like the flat "big pill" - type speed knobs. But hey, you know the knobs with mother of pearl? Yeah mop tops! Go with M-O-P!

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@s1120)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849
 

OK, s maybe im not the one to ask becouse I hate black hardwere [ or gold ] on a guitar. So that being said, I think it will look great!!!

As for the knobs... I wouldnt go for the tophats... I dont think they would go. i would eather stick with that you have, or co chrome.

Paul B


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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

Thanks for the input guys! I didn't order any knobs cause I'm gonna try the ones I have first. I might even have some chrome tele style knobs around here.

Bluejay, I ordered the modern tuners that fit the 10mm holes. I didn't measure but the current ones have screw in bushings with the nut on top and all of those I have seen have been the large holes. The push in bushings tend to be the 9 mm smaller holes and no nut.

These are the ones I ordered.

These are the rings,staggered height and flat bottoms as my guitar is not an archtop.

Gonna slap this baby on there.

And this.

And this.

Small post, no bushing and 74 mm spacing.

This said 84 mm spacing but I think it's a typo. GF has a few of those I have found. Every stop bar I own (and thats alot) are 82 mm spacing both asain and US. Their other other option says it fits Gibson USA guitars so I figure this is the one although as I said, same spacing anyhow. I plan to leave the current bushings in place if I can if it looks OK. Removing them can cause chipping (ask Roy about that) and if you do remove them you really need to score around them with an exacto knife first. I don't want to do that. The one on the bridge will definitely not show as the new parts will totally cover it. The stop bar bushings will show a little but the guitar is black so I think it will look OK if I leave them. I plan to do pics. The first parts arrive on Tuesday.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@s1120)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849
 

Those tuners are nice. Are they from GFS??

Paul B


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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

Yep! Less than $30.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@s1120)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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Yep! Less than $30.
Cool!!! That place is awesome!! I used there tuners on two projects ( resonator and lap steel) and the bridge on the LP.

Paul B


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(@blue-jay)
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Joined: 12 years ago
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Excellent stuff! Yeah, the tuners are the knock out! That would be the GFS version of Grover Imperials, and I love them, like Gretsch White/Black/Green Falcon! Exclamation point!

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
Topic starter  

Believe it or not all that stuff cost $75 at GF. Not high end but I wouldn't buy top end parts to put on such an inexpensive guitar. It is my experience though that the GF stuff will be an upgrade to the factory parts. Oddly enough I like the pickups, in case anyone wonders why I'm not changing those. They are bright and hot and by the allen key adjustable pole pieces all around I believe them to be Dimarzio Super Distortion clones. This would explain why I like them. The neck feels great and the guitar is fairly light. No rattles or buzzing with my usual low action so I said go for it. Lets just hope my measurements are correct and all the parts fit. As I said, first batch of parts due Tuesday afternoon, the next I expect will be Wednesday as I ordered them a day later.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

Removing them can cause chipping (ask Roy about that) and if you do remove them you really need to score around them with an exacto knife first.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

I do have to admit that when I saw this picture and started to read the thread, I was thinking gold. It'll look great either way, I'm sure.

I wish my most recent replacement-replacement had gold accent. I really dug that about the Riviera. that was a different shade of cherry/burgandy, though. It did fit that one better than it would have this one.

Back to yours. I saw something recently with that shade of burst but with the gold trim and it caught my eye. That's probably why the thought hit me quickly.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

kids got me this in black.
I like the burst with gold too, but......... One of my "real" Les Pauls has gold. I have a few others with gold and you can see the difference as the Gibson is plated with a lot higher karat gold. It looks darker. I like the classic "heavy metal black and silver" with this one. If I did do the gold I definitely would have kept the black rings and did the knobs in gold though. Gold covered pickups would have been a must too.

I found one in black ... here is what I'm dealing with.

Oh! I tightened up the screws on the stock tuners and they do perform better but still not the best. I can't wait for those new ones.

Here are the so so tuners I am replacing.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@blue-jay)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

Nice pics! Glad you found them and posted.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@s1120)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849
 

Kinda a cool looking guitar... I think I would pop a set of Mean90's in it, and go for the LPJr vibe... but thats me. :D

Paul B


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(@trguitar)
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Topic starter  

Got the parts and completed phase one. The rest of the stuff will be here tomorrow afternoon. What do you think? I'm liking it. It's looking like my Les Paul Special! The tuners are a BIG upgrade. They are Wilkinson made in Korea and look very similar to Grovers which are coincidentally made ... well .... Much smoother and cooler looking IMO. The rest is cosmetic and as I said, I like the pickups alot so they will stay.

Yeah, I know these old ones look like Grovers from the front but looks can be decieving. They don't work like em either!

Oh! Were there any problems so far? Yes. The ring for the bridge pickup was taller, but not any taller than the pickup was before so the string clearance is unchanged and the pickup is actually more secure. I did need to find a pair of longer screws for the back of the ring and they are not countersunk like the others so they do stick up just a tad. Doesn't bother me though.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@s1120)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849
 

WOW that changes the whole look of the guitar!!!!!! I realy like those tuners. they make it realy pop. The old ones look just like what was on my Regal Resonator. Ya, they were junk!! Mine got swapped for the GFS keystone tuners. As for that bridge HB ring? Can you sand it down a little to make it a little lower?

And last... A iron board as a guitar workbench... Thats a freaken AWESOME idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be stealing that thank you. :D

Paul B


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