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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member Axel's Avatar
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    The Peter Green mod once again.

    Excuse me, I know this has been discussed a trillion times but there tend to be different oppinions on HOW to do the Peter Green mod.

    According to Jol Danzig, Peter Greens guitar was "magnetically" out of phase. I'm no electrician and that in combination with me just being a hobby english-speaker I can't quite sum up the equation.

    All I know is that Peter Greens old Les Paul had the neck pickup flipped the other way around. Now this is easy to do and reversable in 15 seconds. But I assume there is some soldering involved?

    If I just have to take the pickup out and turn it with the adjustable pole-pieces towards the bridge I might try it, it will only require a screwdriver, but me getting into soldering? Ain't gonna happen, hehe. I'm no handy man (not in that way atleast).

    Can anyone shed some light on this? (And I've searched the forum but everyone are too good english speakers, I can't catch up the basics...)
    I play a Trini Lopez Reissue through a Fender Blues Jr. Sunburst.

    Quote Originally Posted by camohoyt View Post
    I'm sure only Axel knows if they have wax potting. He knows stuff that Gibson don't even know about there own guitars. Like an angel from Les Paul Heaven!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member dwagar's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    The PG mod has the magnet reversed (polarity), not just the pickup in backwards.
    - Don

    Originally Posted by reswot
    A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

  3. #3

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Hi Axel,

    There are two ways to do this but unfortunately both of them require soldering.

    1. Remove the pickup cover and manually flip the magnet.
    2. Open the control cavity and solder the lead for the pickup on the opposite polarity of the pot. (much simpler and easily reversible).

    Remember, only works when both pickups are selected

    Hope this helps.
    "..You gotta go on man, otherwise, those kids will be finished, they'll have nothing to live for...that's Rock 'n Roll." - Pete Townshend

  4. #4

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    OK, here's what you do (this is not for the squeamish, if you don't know how a pickup is constructed or can't afford to replace this pickup, don't do this):

    Take out the pickup. If it's got a cover on it, you have to take it off.

    Loosen the 4 small screws on the back that fasten the bobbins (the black plastic parts) to the base plate.

    Don't take them all the way out. Just loosen a little.

    Take a small flat bladed screwdriver and lift up the black tape on the sides of the pickup just enough to see in. Stick your screwdriver in on the wire side (don't pinch a wire!!!!) to push the base plate magnet out the other side. You'll probably have to loosen the screws a little bit more and maybe pry up the bobbins a little to get it out; this is the "not for the squeamish" part.

    Once the magnet's out, hold it in your hand, even mark it if you want. Flip it "around" not "over". In other words, the same side that was "up" and "down" should still be "up" and "down", but the treble side of the magnet and the bass side of the magnet should now be reversed.

    Slide the magnet back in and re-assemble your pickup and cover if necessary. When you're done, in order to be aesthetically correct, put the pup back in with the adjustable poles on the wrong side. (This is really window dressing and doesn't make much of a difference, sonically.)

    Now this is a little bit risky and can be pretty effectively be done a different way. You can get a very similar tone just by reversing the leads of the pickup in the control cavity. Or you can do what I did and do it with a DPDT push/push or push/pull switch to reverse the phase of one pickup.
    Note that this only affects your tone when both pickups are on, not individually. This way you can still get the "normal" sound, but also the PG/JP out of phase tone.

    If want to do the switch thing, search for my posts, I think I may have already posted a drawing of the switch layout. If not, post back here and I'll get it to you.
    If you can't get the tone you want from a Fender or a Gibson, you don't need it!!!!

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Axel's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Okay, thanks guys for explaining! You're very helpful!
    I play a Trini Lopez Reissue through a Fender Blues Jr. Sunburst.

    Quote Originally Posted by camohoyt View Post
    I'm sure only Axel knows if they have wax potting. He knows stuff that Gibson don't even know about there own guitars. Like an angel from Les Paul Heaven!

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    If you have a typical humbucker with a single lead that is shielded, wiring it out of phase is not a good idea. It'll put the signal to one pickup's grround and the pickup's ground to the guitar's signal path.
    Unless you want to rewire the pickup with separate conductors, put it out of phase magnetically.

  7. #7

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Don - what's "not good" about it?
    If you can't get the tone you want from a Fender or a Gibson, you don't need it!!!!

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    If the pickup has a single conductor and he swaps the conductor to ground and the shield to the pot tab he'll need to insulate the shield so that it won't contact any other grounded items in the guitar (the other pickup's base, it's shielded lead, other shielded wires, the back of the other pots, etc) or it might short and cut out.

    If the pickup has 4 conductors and a ground he can swap the conductors.

  9. #9

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Yes this is true. I glossed over this and didn't insulate the shield and it cut out on me. I got some heat shrink tubing and ran it all the way up the braid to keep the two off each other. If you use a switch, it'll only cut out when the switch is on. When in "normal" mode of the switch the ground is ground and it doesn't matter if they touch. The shrink tubing is an easy solution.
    If you can't get the tone you want from a Fender or a Gibson, you don't need it!!!!

  10. #10

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    So much for the story that Green took the pickup out for some reason (cleaning?) and accidentally put it back in backwards.

    Or is that the same thing? Actually, why wouldn't it be?


    lou

  11. #11

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky Blue Lou View Post
    So much for the story that Green took the pickup out for some reason (cleaning?) and accidentally put it back in backwards.

    Or is that the same thing? Actually, why wouldn't it be?


    lou
    That's what I was thinking.

    If you take the magnet out, turn it around, and then turn the pickup around as well, it seems you are basically where you started.
    "So I let the poison go, 'cause baby I always know it'll be there for me"

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member dwagar's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    no, it's the magnet compared to the pickup wire coils, it's not just a magnet sitting there by itself.

    I did install the pickup backwards in my Custom (it has a PG modded Voodoo 59 in the neck), for looks. I don't think I could hear any difference by turning it, but Seymour Duncan notes somewhere on his site that he can.
    - Don

    Originally Posted by reswot
    A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

  13. #13

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Guys guys guys, turning the pickup around is decorative only. I'm sure that there's some physics major or electronics guy that'll correct me and say that it matters which pole is in which position with respect to the string theory etc. Changing the magnet around changes the magnetic polarity of the pickup.

    Think of it this way, a pickup is just a loop of wire around some magnets. The current runs in one side and out the other. So in a normal pickup, the "in" is on the north side (just for illustration, I'm not sure which is which) and the "out" is on the south. To one pickup by itself, it doesn't matter which way is which. But when you swap the magnet, the ins and outs get reversed. When you've got both pups on, they're what's called "out of phase" with each other. Picture two sine curves, one for each pup. Out of phase means that when pup's curve is up, the other one is down and they cancel each other out (no sound) at each individual frequency. The only sound that comes through is the "leftover" frequencies, i.e. frequencies which aren't duplicated from one pup to the next. This explains the unique sound.

    Now let's remember what we did. We basically changed the direction of the pup around so that the "in" was on the south side, and the "out" on the north. Is there another way to do this? Sure kids, of course there is! You can just reverse the polarity in the control cavity. Swap the ground braid with the hot side and effectively, you've done the same thing.

    However, don't miss the conversation between me and Don above. Once you do this, the braid is now the "hot" and is not insulated from shorting out on anything else it touches. So you'll have to get some 1/8" heat shrink tubing (even electrical tape will work, but it'll be messy and slow) and run it up the full length of the braid. If you don't when the "hot" braid touches the other braid, it'll short to ground and you'll get no sound.

    Moving the pickup around in the guitar doesn't have anything to do with any of this. It's pure window dressing for most intents and purposes.
    If you can't get the tone you want from a Fender or a Gibson, you don't need it!!!!

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member sidekick's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky Blue Lou View Post
    So much for the story that Green took the pickup out for some reason (cleaning?) and accidentally put it back in backwards.......lou
    lou.... That was what Peter Green said, but we know now that it was not the complete story. Peter once covered his guitar with black contact (fablon). Pics of it like that are when the newly-formed Fleetwood Mac played at the Windsor Jazz Festival in summer 1967 with Bob Brunning on bass. The pics show the pickup screws already reversed. Perhaps when he was re-assembling the guitar, he simply installed it the wrong way around.

    Prior to that, it was reported that when playing with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, at one stage his guitar had the neck pickup missing and appparently 'The Supernatural' was recorded with it like that. We can only assume that some work then was being done on the pickup.... and my reasonable guess is that it was around then that the magnet was flipped.


  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    I've got the Duncan Seth Lover that I installed in the neck position in my Gary Moore Signature Les Paul backwards simply because the original came that way. I wanted to retain the look.

    There is no tonal difference that I can hear.

    It amazes me how much confusion and misinformation surrounds this and putting the magnets out of phase (along with the "out of phase" like tones created by using 2 of a Strat's pickups at once).

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member Biggles58's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    I wonder if the magnet was reversed when the guiar left the factory?

  17. #17
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by dwagar View Post
    no, it's the magnet compared to the pickup wire coils, it's not just a magnet sitting there by itself.

    I did install the pickup backwards in my Custom (it has a PG modded Voodoo 59 in the neck), for looks. I don't think I could hear any difference by turning it, but Seymour Duncan notes somewhere on his site that he can.
    My experience is the same as Mr. Wagar's. The reversed pickup looks better, but I didn't note much difference either. By the way, the mod must be done by reversing the magnet. If it is done electronically, the result is a rather obnoxious trebly and nasal sound, not at all as pleasing as the hollow P. Green tone. Also, if I remember correctly, the volume control balance between the two pickups is not nearly as useful in the electronicly out of phase configuration. The beauty of the P. Green is that the sound is there only when both volumes are equal, otherwise the guitar sounds like a regular LP.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member phil47uk's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Don't even attempt it Axel !

    See what buggering around with all that magnetic field stuff can do to your brain, let alone sending your belly into a career of it's own.
    Be warned young Viking..

    'Long tenons......Short tenons. When the drummer comes in, what the fuck does it matter'.

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member sidekick's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggles58 View Post
    I wonder if the magnet was reversed when the guiar left the factory?
    Probably not, although there have been instances, (as I understand)....In fact, I had a 1960 PAF 335 that had the 'Peter Green sound' and that was reckoned 'factory original').... As mentioned in my earlier post, the chances are that the magnet was flipped around the time the neck pickup was seen missing from the guitar. My guess is as follows.... In the Mayall Bluesbreaker's days, (when Peter was in the band) there are not any songs that immediately spring to mind with the 'out of phase' pickup sound..... Given that Peter, (back then) was particularly into the BB King sound, which BB got via the 345/355 varitone.....Maybe Peter was looking for ways to get that sound, hence the removal of the pickup.... Probably, sometime in the latter Bluesbreaker's period, after 'A Hard Road', but prior to the formation of the original Fleetwood Mac in '67.

    I suppose it will always be conjecture, but whether the neck pickup was 'modified' by accident or intent, given that Peter Green has only said he turned the pickup around by accident, (not that that would have created 'the sound') such suggests the magnet was flipped by a tech/repairman.

    BTW/Alternatively.... It has been suggested that when Eric Clapton took the covers off his Les Paul, (as noted in a 1967 'Beat Magazine' - saying the 'improvement soundwise was unbelievable' ) that Peter may have considered likewise, but maybe damaged the pickup wiring removing the cover.... Who can say? Probably no-one, except whoever did, (if such was the case) carry out any remedial work or subsequent 'modification'..... Only then would perhaps the matter be finally laid to rest.....


  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member Axel's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by phil47uk View Post
    Don't even attempt it Axel !

    See what buggering around with all that magnetic field stuff can do to your brain, let alone sending your belly into a career of it's own.
    Be warned young Viking..

    What you're saying is the man to the right stood very close to Peter Greens guitar during the late '60s?
    I play a Trini Lopez Reissue through a Fender Blues Jr. Sunburst.

    Quote Originally Posted by camohoyt View Post
    I'm sure only Axel knows if they have wax potting. He knows stuff that Gibson don't even know about there own guitars. Like an angel from Les Paul Heaven!

  21. #21

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    I used this as a guide when I flipped the magnet in my LP copy.

    http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/barmagswap.htm

  22. #22
    All Access/Backstage Pass NHMorgan's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatnecks View Post
    Once the magnet's out, hold it in your hand, even mark it if you want. Flip it "around" not "over". In other words, the same side that was "up" and "down" should still be "up" and "down", but the treble side of the magnet and the bass side of the magnet should now be reversed.
    I think this is wrong. You do need to flip it, not rotate it. The side of the magnet that was facing the back of the guitar should now be facing the strings.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member tele00's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by cibai View Post
    I think this is wrong. You do need to flip it, not rotate it. The side of the magnet that was facing the back of the guitar should now be facing the strings.
    Yup ......I always flip it like a pancake ...( roll it not spin it ) so that the bottom becomes the top and the ends remain where they were ...and it works perfectly.....
    " to either cut down on beer ,or the kids new gear....its a big decision in a town called malice .. "

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by cibai View Post
    I think this is wrong. You do need to flip it, not rotate it. The side of the magnet that was facing the back of the guitar should now be facing the strings.
    It's not wrong. You just need to do one or the other, not both. The idea is to put the long edge of the magnet that was on the screw side to the slug side. It doesn't matter how you do it as long as you don't get confused.
    I flipped mine on it's long axis like you (then flipped it back when I didn't like it!). I think there's less chance of confusion that way.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member tele00's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    It's not wrong. You just need to do one or the other, not both. The idea is to put the long edge of the magnet that was on the screw side to the slug side. It doesn't matter how you do it as long as you don't get confused.
    I flipped mine on it's long axis like you (then flipped it back when I didn't like it!). I think there's less chance of confusion that way.

    Yeah Don ...I guess either way yields the same result....
    " to either cut down on beer ,or the kids new gear....its a big decision in a town called malice .. "

  26. #26
    All Access/Backstage Pass Sterling1's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    There's guy named Deaf Eddie that has a very interesting web site devoted to guitar mods. He has diagrams and easy to follow explanations. I don't have him bookmarked on this pc, but you could google him. I'ts worth reading. Good Luck!

  27. #27
    Les Paul Froum Member
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    The point is no matter if you spin it or twist it or flip it. the polarity is the opposing short sides and not the length of the magnet. It is not the bass end vs the treble end, it is the neck side vs the bridge side, regardless of how the pickup is mounted in the guitar.

  28. #28

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axel View Post
    Okay, thanks guys for explaining! You're very helpful!
    The explanations were all correct. I just wanted to add, I have WCR pick ups with the neck magnet reversed, pick up flipped and I love the out of phase sound. Its well worth it. It adds a completely different sound to your LP.

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member Axel's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by codeorama View Post
    The explanations were all correct. I just wanted to add, I have WCR pick ups with the neck magnet reversed, pick up flipped and I love the out of phase sound. Its well worth it. It adds a completely different sound to your LP.
    Yeah, my thought too... and I never use the middle position like it is now.
    I play a Trini Lopez Reissue through a Fender Blues Jr. Sunburst.

    Quote Originally Posted by camohoyt View Post
    I'm sure only Axel knows if they have wax potting. He knows stuff that Gibson don't even know about there own guitars. Like an angel from Les Paul Heaven!

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by drjimmy View Post


    2. Open the control cavity and solder the lead for the pickup on the opposite polarity of the pot. (much simpler and easily reversible).

    Remember, only works when both pickups are selected

    Hope this helps.
    This is definitely the easier way. You'll be able to see if you like the sound, or not real quick. Personally, I find the out-of-phase thing gets boring after a while.

  31. #31

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axel View Post
    Yeah, my thought too... and I never use the middle position like it is now.
    I didn't either. That's why I tried it, nothing to lose.
    Glad I did. I play in a coverband and it really adds a cool dimension to solos in comparison to the sounds you are used to hearing from a Les Paul...

  32. #32

    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Pete's LP


  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member thin sissy's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axel View Post
    Yeah, my thought too... and I never use the middle position like it is now.
    I rarely use it either, neck only sounds better clean on my amps anyway. Are you going to try it?
    This is a song from the new album, it's a deep meaningful song this one... No, it's not whiskey in the fucking jar... Philip Lynott

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member Axel's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by thin sissy View Post
    I rarely use it either, neck only sounds better clean on my amps anyway. Are you going to try it?
    I'm thinking of it! Must get my pulse down first... ;)
    I play a Trini Lopez Reissue through a Fender Blues Jr. Sunburst.

    Quote Originally Posted by camohoyt View Post
    I'm sure only Axel knows if they have wax potting. He knows stuff that Gibson don't even know about there own guitars. Like an angel from Les Paul Heaven!

  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member thin sissy's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Ok, a little scary to do perhaps

    If you do it, let us know how you like it!
    This is a song from the new album, it's a deep meaningful song this one... No, it's not whiskey in the fucking jar... Philip Lynott

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member abalonevintage's Avatar
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    Peter Green mod once again.

    Thought I would put a nice Hi-Rez photo of the Peter Green Les Paul in this thread for reference.

    Peter Green Les Paul

    Peter Green Les Paul

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member Emerald's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Dr. Vintage has an excellent option to obtain the PG Greeny between pickups tone:
    http://www.doctorvintage.com/drv1_pickups.html
    For those who like to experiment with the Out Of Phase sound option, I recommend that you take advantage of the option of a multi-conductor lead on one pickup. I don't recommend the popular 'magnet flip'. The orientation of the magnets is crucial to the sound of each pickup. Flipping the magnet will alter the tone of the pickup by itself. Having a multi-conductor lead allows you to accomplish Out Of Phase tones with a simple wire connection change at the volume pot, leaving the individual pickup in its original configuration to give you its best tone when used by itself. It also allows you to return the middle-position wiring to normal without having to remove the pickup from the guitar again to reorient the magnet. This option is available at no extra charge.
    Rick knows his stuff and this allows the pickup/neck to remain stock...




    Emerald

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emerald View Post
    I don't recommend the popular 'magnet flip'. The orientation of the magnets is crucial to the sound of each pickup. Flipping the magnet will alter the tone of the pickup by itself.
    Now that's something I'd like to see some evidence for. I've flipped magnets in Burstbuckers, 490R/498Ts, BKP Mules and 57 Classics and I've never seen or heard a change to the individual pickups.

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member Ad_02Std's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    Yeah, I performed the magnet flip on my Standard's old SD '59 neck pickup about three years ago, and only flipped it back to regular a few months back. I know my guitar and these pickups very well and didn't notice any change in the individual tone of that pickup.

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member Hamerfan's Avatar
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    Re: The Peter Green mod once again.

    What the hell .... it now has chrome Schaller tuners. Thats a major drawback...

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