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  1. #1

    Gibson Les Paul Custom upgrade questions

    Been lurking on this website for about 4 years and finally joined the club. I purchased a new Gibson les Paul 59 reissue in May and love it. Recently I bought a new Gibson Les Paul Custom. I want to change out the pickups, harness and hardware for nickel. Do you guys have any recommendations on products you have tried.

    Faber or Tonepros bridges and tails? (is a custom small post)

    wiring harness and controls?

    Looking forward to becoming a part of this community. Thanks, Stan


    nIMG_1101.jpgIMG_1099.jpg

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Niloy63's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    20

    Re: Gibson Les Paul Custom upgrade questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBluesmann View Post
    Been lurking on this website for about 4 years and finally joined the club. I purchased a new Gibson les Paul 59 reissue in May and love it. Recently I bought a new Gibson Les Paul Custom. I want to change out the pickups, harness and hardware for nickel. Do you guys have any recommendations on products you have tried.

    Faber or Tonepros bridges and tails? (is a custom small post)

    wiring harness and controls?

    Looking forward to becoming a part of this community. Thanks, Stan


    nIMG_1101.jpgIMG_1099.jpg
    Congrats and HNGD!!! She's a looker and a half!!

    This is going to be a lengthy post, but I'm gonna type it all out because someone did this for me almost 10 years ago and helped me out tremendously when I was looking to upgrade my guitar. But I was modding just a Les Paul Studio Swirl, not a Les Paul Custom. So keep that in mind. At the end of the day, it's your guitar, so you do whatever you want that'll make you happy with it!

    Pickups: For the most part, I'm a Seymour Duncan player, especially for humbuckers. Rio Grande pickups (from my home city of Houston), Dimarzio, Motor City Pickups, and a whole lot more are also great reliable brands as well. Deciding which one comes down to what amp/effects you use and of couthe kind of tone you're going for. For Les Pauls, I'm a huge proponent of the Duncan Custom SH-5 (https://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup/duncan-custom) in the bridge (with a magnet swap of the stock ceramic mag with an Alnico 8 mag, if you're feeling especially adventurous) and a Duncan Pearly Gates SH-PG1n (https://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup...=5d785099dcf7d) in the neck. I personally use a Custom8/PG set in my #1 player. Love it. It's a very well rounded set of p'ups, especially if you get a coil splitting wiring harness (next paragraph).

    Wiring Harness: I had an amazing experience with MartinSixStringCustom (MSSC), but he retired and gave his "formula," if you will, to Electric City Pickups (http://www.electriccitypickups.com/i...ory&path=64_67). If I needed another wiring harness, that's where I'd go. To give you another option, while I haven't used his products, I've had a few friends use and say nothing but great things about Jonesy Blues (http://www.jonesyblues.com/). If I remember correctly (this was 8-9 years ago), I went with 2x CTS 550K audio taper vol pots and 2x CTS 550K audio taper push/pull tone pots with a .022 bridge pickup cap and a .015 neck pickup cap. Couldn't be happier with this setup.

    Bridge/tailpiece/studs: On one of my LPs, I wanted to swap out the stock bridge, but I didn't want to do any modifications to the body (i.e., enlarge holes). Both TonePros and Faber offer locking bridge/tailpiece combos that don't require any mods. If you want to go the extra mile that some people do to increase the resonance even more than just locking everything down, Faber offers those. So the first question to ask is, "Are you willing to modify the guitar by slightly expanding the insert holes?" [Highly recommend using a luthier for this unless you know what you're doing] If the answer is yes, go with Faber. If the answer is no, you can go either way with a locking mechanism. I personally went with the TonePros locking ABR-1 bridge that uses the stock Nashville inserts (NVR2) so you don't have to mod anything, got the Aluminum Locking Tailpiece (T1ZS), and got the TonePros TP steel studs (VCS1). I am happy to say that I've noticed a legitimate difference in the resonance of the guitar. I personally prefer the ABR1 bridge over the Nashville because you can drop and lock the Tailpiece down to the body (which I believe gives more sustain). The Nashville bridge, even though it gives you a wider intonation range, the thickness of it will cause the strings to touch the back of the bridge if you drop the tailpiece down, making you raise the tailpiece (unless you top wrap, which I don't). As for Faber's bridges that require mods, by anchoring the bridge directly onto the body I can see how that would give me even more resonance. But again, I personally wouldn't want to mod a nice Custom like that, and I would recommend against it.

    4 other things I did to the guitar: GraphTech TUSQ XL nut (better tuning stability, even on the bastard G string), Locking tuners (I have Gotohs, but if I did it all over again, I'd get the locking Kluson Revolution tuners with the metal tulip knobs), Schaller Strap Locks, and finally I sanded the neck down with really fine paper REALLY slowly to try and mimic a satin-like yet (which made playability 100 times better).
    Last edited by Niloy63; 09-11-19 at 07:51 PM. Reason: q
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." -Mahatma Gandhi
    My music: Mytochon - Soundcloud Page

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Shakedown Street
    Posts
    2,414

    Re: Gibson Les Paul Custom upgrade questions

    Try Throbak www.throbak.com Throbak MXV-SLE-101 Plus pickups , I have 8 sets of these for my 8 Les Paul's !

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    9

    Re: Gibson Les Paul Custom upgrade questions

    Quote Originally Posted by El Gringo View Post
    Try Throbak www.throbak.com Throbak MXV-SLE-101 Plus pickups , I have 8 sets of these for my 8 Les Paul's !
    +1

    I have these on one of my Custom and they sounds very balanced with a great note/harmonics separation. They may sounds a bit cold for some, but I like them for that exact reason. Plenty of room for tone shaping with pedals and amp settings. Only cons; they are expensive...

    1987 Gibson Les Paul Lite - 1988 Heritage STAT - 1989 Gibson Explorer - 2011 JTV59 - 2014 Gibson LPC - 2015 Fender Telecaster B60 - 2016 Gibson Custom Light - 2016 Epiphone Ltd. LPC 55

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