The Fender Forum
NEW! LPF Facebook Page
NEW! LPF Instagram Page
Merchandise & Donations
NEW! Burst Serial Log Home Page
LPF Homesite
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1

    2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    I finally finished what I'm calling my 'out with the new, in with the old' process on my 2015 Les Paul I've owned for just over 2 years.

    I bought it because I loved the idea of having a Goldtop and the price was heavily discounted new (from around £1,800 to £1,000). I loved the chunky feel of the neck, it played great (the adjustable nut really helped) and generally looked fantastic. I didn't like the robot tuners or the boost switch, but my biggest gripe was the pickups were so hot they were pretty much unuseable alongside any other guitar, no matter how I adjusted them. I liked the coil-splitting but didn't really need it as I have other guitars for those tones.

    I've done this work in a few phases, I just thought I'd share as the topic of modifying 2014 & 2015 models often comes up and most of the threads are old and lacking photos. Just to clarify, I'm an absolute amateur guitar modifier so don't expect luthier quality work or advice and expect some random photos in my kitchen where I did the work. I'm reliant on advice, trial and error and YouTube!


    1. Removing Robot Tuners.

    I bought some locking Gotoh tuners that looked like Kluson ones but the locking mechanism is subtle and based on tightening the string post, not a wheel behind. They are much more stable than the robot tuners were, significantly lighter and I think look much better.

    The process was relatively easy - I drilled the holes for the screws to line up the tuners (probably the hardest bit) and slightly widened the peg holes too with a drill bit. I also had to buy some conversion posts for the tuners to sit snugly.






    2. New pickups & wiring

    I ordered some mini-humbuckers from The Creamery here in the UK. We spent some time defining the specs and in the end I went with alnico 5 magnets, vintage braided wire (no coil tapping) and I sourced some nickel covers as opposed to chrome. For the wiring I copied what I did to my Les Paul Standard a couple of months ago because I loved the result. This was 4 x CTS 500k vintage taper pots, braided wire, 0.022uf caps and reused the existing switch and jack.

    Obviously to replace the mini switch with a pot I had to widen the hole with a tapered reamer which was nerve-wraping but not that difficult. The wiring broadly worked using the same cardboard template I'd make with the standard - I've seen some discussions about exactly where the hole is located but the ground wire has enough flex in it to fit.

    Finally I also changed to reflector knobs just because I prefered the look.

    Before:




    With the wiring removed:


    Widening the hole:



    An empty shell:




    The end result:



    Yes, I know the neck pickup is mounted backwards. I stupidly followed the cable position rather than the screws! I'm going to flip it and compare the sounds.
    Last edited by metropolis; 02-25-19 at 05:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    321

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    Nice work and nice looking guitar. I recently acquired a 1976 Deluxe and am enjoying the mini-humbuckers, not everyone's cup of tea I know but I am liking them!

    Quote Originally Posted by metropolis View Post
    0.22uf caps
    I assume you mean 0.022uF caps? Doubt it would sound very good with 0.22uF

  3. #3

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    Correct, good spot, thank you!

    You're right, I can see why they're not everyone's cup of tea but they're something different and in the right application they sound perfect and I'm really enjoying them. In some situations they work better than my Standard with PAF replicas. This whole exercise was me trying to get closer to your Deluxe than the one they made in 2015!

    Funnily enough I spent some time tonight recording 4 guitars back to back to find the best one to cover Tom Sawyer by Rush with. The guitar that worked the best was the Deluxe. It just needed the brightness those pickups could bring without losing the bottom and middle by using single coils. For context I'd compared it to a Parker Fly (with Dimarzios) which is very bright, a modified Yamaha with a Dimarzio Tone Zone and a Hagstrom Viking semi-hollow (sort of ES335 copy).

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member ArthurS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    153

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    I like the changes you've made! I have the same guitar and have considered similar mods, but have so far only removed the G-Force (replaced it with Hipshot tuners). Where did you find the nickel mini humbucker covers?

  5. #5

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurS View Post
    I like the changes you've made! I have the same guitar and have considered similar mods, but have so far only removed the G-Force (replaced it with Hipshot tuners). Where did you find the nickel mini humbucker covers?
    The guy who made the pickups normally offered nickel as an option but was out of stock. Because I was impatient I ordered the covers myself and sent them to him. Not sure if you're in the UK but I got them from here: https://www.axesrus.co.uk/Mini-Humbu...p/mlpc-015.htm

    I had a good session playing my Standard (with Monty's PAFs) and the Deluxe yesterday. Of course the Deluxe is a lot brighter with less bottom, but if you tame the bridge with the tone control they're not a million miles apart. The neck mini hum is particularly sweet and reminds me of my strat. I play in a band with a second guitarist who also has an LP Standard and I think the Deluxe might actually work really well together.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Fish Fingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    57

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    Spooky! I have a 2015 Deluxe and I have done an almost identical transformation!
    Alnico 2 Creamery mini humbuckers, vintage wiring, Hipshot open gear locking tuners, plus a couple of other mods you may wish to consider.
    I have hurled the Gibson titanium/window putty nut through the window and now have a zero fret nut from Zeroglide.
    The bridge is a Callaham ABR with conversion studs and the tailpiece is an ABM brass thingy.
    As a result I am suffering from the delusion that I am either Marc Bolan or Mick Ronson……….raunch raunch raunch…..
    Or Neil Young on a very bad hair day.
    I'm not as skilled as yourself; I have the manual dexterity of a small walrus wearing boxing gloves so I got a grown up to do the work for me.
    The next (reversible) mod I'm considering is the Dusenberg trem system so I can really ruin some of Mr Young's fine solos.

  7. #7

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    Not so spooky - your thread was the inspiration for me to do the work, and where I first heard of Creamery pickups. I wouldn't call it skill I have, I just love a bit of DIY on all fronts even if I make the odd cock up!

    Thanks for the extra tips. I'll look into the nut you mentioned. I love the adjustment but think the titanium one now looks odd when the parts around it are still brass. I fitted a Faber ABR conversion to my Standard which I really like, and it already had a different tail piece so may do the same on this one in time.

    This is definitely a biting classic rock guitar now

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Fish Fingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    57

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    Blush....I've never been an inspiration before..........but that's just the wife talking............
    For my next trick, I'm thinking about the treble bleed mod.
    Only thinking, mind you. I have a treble bleed on one of my Gordon Smith cricket bat guitars and it works really well.
    By cricket bat, I'm not refering to it's shape just the way it looks like it has been naturally beaten up over 25 years.
    If you get a chance try a Coloursound Powerdriver/Overdriver clone pedal with your Deluxe.
    More fun than I thought possible especially if you can throw a bit of really loud amplifier fun into the mix.

  9. #9

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    I did 50s wiring (didn't mean to, I was on autopilot after doing my Standard) so no need for a treble bleed! Here's another coincidence though, I'm also in Surrey

    I don't think I've got anything like the Colorsound in my collection of pedals. I have to confess I've been playing a Kemper recently. Digital is probably a banned topic around here but it's really really good and my amps are gathering dust.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Fish Fingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    57

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    Us Surrey Delta types do get around eh?
    I'm using the Coloursound clones(!) to put the boot into a Swart AST Pro.
    I'm a sad old git, but the digital emulation stuff I have tried mostly didn't bite my buscuit.
    Having said that I have a Line 6 TT that is not half bad. The wife likes it so it must be good.
    Mind you she says the biggest problem with my guitars is the knob on the back.................

    ps, don't be put off by some of the Youtube demos of Coloursound Overdriver/Powerdriver clones, they are
    cabable of very subtle boost and overdrive flavours. Most of the dems go for the hairy chest and testosterone sounds.

  11. #11

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Fingers View Post
    Mind you she says the biggest problem with my guitars is the knob on the back.................


    I'll give the pedal demos a listen. The amp you have sounds great. I'm a tube purist (mainly Mesa Boogie but also Fender and Laney) and have owned plenty of Line6 stuff but the Kemper is something else. It takes pedals well so at least I get to keep all of those.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Fish Fingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    57

    Re: 2015 Les Paul Deluxe transformation

    Sorry about the delay in reply!
    I'm an old luddite on technology, I find all the menu button twiddly stuff a bit too much of a learning curve.
    The wife thinks I'm a technology retarded halfwit.
    The other reason is that it took me so long to find the noises I was looking for I forgot why I had picked up the guitar in the first place.
    Besides, all that valve and speaker swapping stuff gives me a feeling of deluded competency.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Scroll Down And Click On All Of Our Sponsors' Logos For Their Websites!






i