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  1. #1
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    Duane Allman "HOT LANTA" Story

    The "HOT LANTA" STORY
    I just got off the telephone with Kurt Linhof.
    I wanted to clear up a few details and get Kurt's approval to make this post.
    I received more info than I asked for! Thanks Kurt.

    Kenny Cordray and band just happen to be playing in Kurt's town.
    They were staying at Kurt's house. What timing!

    I first met Kurt in the mid 70s. He had quite a reputation for having
    primo vintage gear and a wealth of knowledge. He was a good friend
    of Billy Gibbons. His affiliation with ZZ Top is well known.
    Check out page 175 in Tom Wheeler's book "American Guitars".
    Note the photo credit on the guitar. Another amazing guitar found by Kurt.
    Kurt I remember that guitar... there is another great story.

    Kenny ... I have known well since I cant remember.. but it was back
    there somewhere in the 70s. The last time I talked to Kenny about the Duane
    Tobacco Burst was in 2000. Kenny wrote ZZ Top's hit "Francine".
    Kenny I had to say it. Kenny is a killer guitar player... great guy ! ! ! ! !

    Meeting Duane - Lining Up The Buy.
    ZZ Top was opening for the Allman Brothers. Billy introduced Kurt to
    Duane as," If anybody can find you a guitar this man can!"
    Well.... and he did find Duane a guitar! And what a guitar.
    Duane was looking for a TobaccoBurst. Duane's terms were,
    "I'll pay you the cost of the guitar plus half...plus half of that!... plus half of that! !
    ...plus half of that ! ! !" it became a running joke.
    The rest of the Allmans gave Kurt a shopping list of gear they were looking for.


    The Sale Of "HOT LANTA".
    The guitar was bought from a friend of Chris Cross's by Kurt.
    Kurt traded a refin 54 strat #04XX plus some cash.
    The headstock had already been repaired.
    Kenny Cordray was after that guitar too. Kenny verifies all the above.
    So Kenny has played and is familiar with the guitar before Duane owned it.
    Kurt had the guitar for a couple months before delivery.
    During this time he switched the PickUps. The Rhythm PickUp
    was switched to the Bridge position. And the Bridge to Rhythm.
    This was common practice among the early Burst connoisseurs.
    As the Les Paul was designed originally as a solid body jazz guitar.
    The higher wound PickUp was put by Gibson in the neck position to have an
    even warmer tone. The other slightly lower wound PickUp produced a brighter tone.
    As the style of music changed to Blues or Rock through bigger amps
    the guitars were more balanced by switching the PickUp positions.
    "Hot Lanta" PickUps - Bridge 8.7k and Neck 8.3k.
    Kurt said he has only come across one PAF that was hotter than "Hot Lanta's"
    That PAF was 8.99k. And Kurt has bought and sold lots of guitars.

    Delivering The Goods
    Kurt drove from San Antonio to New York - The Fillmore East Closing Shows.
    The cargo included a "concentric" jazz bass for Berry, three tweed bassmans
    and of course "Hot Lanta" for Duane.
    When Duane received the guitar J. Geils Band was on the bill.
    Duane tried out the TobaccoBurst against the CherryBurst. There was no comparison.
    Duane was floored and "In Love". They also compared it to Geil's Cherry Burst.
    Again no comparison. Jay lost affection for his own Burst and tried to sell it to Kurt.
    He wanted one like Duane's new prize - "Hot Lanta"
    Kurt has photographs from this joyous occasion one of which was posted on this forum
    for a short period of time - Duane with both the CherryBurst and the TobaccoBurst.
    Other photos hung in his mid 70s shop on W Gray and Montrose - Houston.

    Kurt attended the Closing Fillmore Shows. He caught the Allman's performances
    sitting on the stage leaning against the side of Greg's Hammond organ. Not a bad seat!
    He continued on the road with the Allmans through August staying in Barry's and Duane's room.
    Duane hired Kurt as his roadie. If someone brought me a guitar like that they would be my
    best friend too! While Kurt was with the Allmans he turned twenty-one.

  2. #2
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    I was present when Edwin met Linhof at the Arlington Guitar Show in Dallas.
    This is after Edwin took "Hot Lanta" apart as he said, "screw by screw".
    They discussed the sale of the guitar and the details... including PickUps and harness.
    Prior to Edwin meeting Kurt I went over the details of "Hot Lanta" with Edwin.
    Edwin stated the PickUps were Bridge 8.7k and Neck 8.3k.
    Kurt didnt have any proper electrical tape to cover the splice (different lengths of PU braided wire)
    when he switched the pickUps - so he used some kind of funky tape to cover the mend.
    As Kurt was telling this part of the story I saw Edwin's eyes light up and he grinned,
    "That tape is still there!" And they both laughed! They confirmed the color.
    So it appears "Hot Lanta" is today as Duane played her at the Closing Fillmore Shows-
    with the exception of the frets pounded in the back.

    According to Kurt - Duane played straight into the Marshalls. No stomp box.
    "Billy plugged straight in too... just about everybody did then..."
    Kurt is unaware of any modifications to the amps, "Nobody was doing that stuff at the time..."

    Kurt left the Music scene for personal reasons in the late 70s but through his career
    was affiliated with many well known artist. Kurt is a legend in vintage guitar scene.
    FYI - Kurt first met Tony Dukes ( another legend ) around 1975 in Houston.

    Thanks again Kurt for sharing your memories. Write that book! !
    Kurt has some very cool stories regarding ZZ Top, ultra rare guitars and Hendrix.
    And thanks Edwin Wilson, Tom Murphy and the folks at Gibson for making Great Guitars again.
    Edwin we missed you at the last show. Hope the move went ok.
    Thanks to all the people over the years for putting up with my questions regarding the guitar.
    I hope this clears up the "Hot Lanta" Mystery.

    Thanks Duane and the Allman Brothers for the inspiration and the wonderful music.

    - MrBeano

  3. #3
    fantom1
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    Awesome story! Thanks for the research and sharing it with us all!:dude

  4. #4
    Wow. that guy really should write a book. Or maybe you should write it for him Mr Beano either way I'd buy it.

  5. #5
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    Beano,
    A good friend of mine is also friends with Kurt, and he has told me that story on several occasions when I have asked about the origins of Hot 'Lanta.
    I had the chance to buy Kurt's personal '63 Strat a couple of months ago, through his and my mutual friend. Wish now I'd have done so!

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    One more small note I missed -
    During the Closing Fillmore Shows and the month of August
    Kurt wore Duane's BackStage Pass.

    Kurt also mentioed he wasnt sure who owned what guitar among the Allmans.
    They seemed to share... the SG Duane played slide on and Dickey used
    previously may have been Greg's...????

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Beano,that was a great story,I felt like I was right there.Throughtout the years these stories have taken on folklore status;but your account definitely has a credence of authenticity.
    Last edited by davebc; 06-11-03 at 07:38 PM.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member fender69's Avatar
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    Yeah, I had a few email conversations with Kurt Linhoff some months back when he was letting go of an Epiphone Sheraton (sorry Kurt, couldn't afford the thing...ended finding another one, although your's was probably better). I had no idea who he was until he emailed back answering a few questions concerning the aborted purchase. When I found out who was dealing with I freaked as I hadn't heard that name in about 20 years. Asked him about the "Hot 'Lanta" story which was in the Duane issue of GP many years ago (still have the issue) Anyway, here's what he wrote me -

    "So somebody else has a copy of that rag. I've got it somewhere, seems like Billy Gibbons and Tony Dukes and others wrote themselves into the story.I'll have to dig it out, they are all so full of it....Steve Stone from Vintage Guitar might do the real story one of these days...

    "I've been hiding for 25 years, but have been dabbling and got discovered. Went to the Arlington show last week and everybody knew who I was, I didn't know anybody. Interesting. The Gibson Historic guys even looked me up,since they are going to do a Duane darkburst reissue soon. It was all pretty exciting and very flattering, and I guess I'm back in the vintage
    business. "

    If Kurt reads this, sorry but just I just had to put this up for all us DA freaks. In addition, if Kurt is reading this, Kurt... I will get you the information about Hugh the master fretman very soon as he's getting his shop together.

    Kurt Linhoff - a gentleman & a scholar.

    Jeez.... why doesn't SOMEBODY write a book about all the famous guitars out there?!!?!!?

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    I'll bet that even then he knew this sale would have a huge musical legacy.
    Last edited by davebc; 06-11-03 at 07:46 PM.

  10. #10
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    Kurt Welcome Back.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member CharlieS's Avatar
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    Mr. Beano, thanks for doing some more much-needed homework on this.

  12. #12
    A great read! Thanks for taking the time.

  13. #13
    great post mr.beano! since i was there during the conversation with edwin, i remember a few more interesting things edwin said about duane's burst. he stated that he counted no less than three breaks in the neck and that he was told that berry did the fret job on the back of the guitar. mr.beano please correct me on this if i'm incorrect.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Thanks for the support "needmoblues"
    I left out several details due to time and space. Kurt's description was actually
    much more colorful regarding the events. Plus I had to save something for his book!

  15. #15
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    To Fender69

    Take it easy on Billy Gibbons, Chris "Cross" Gepert and Tony Dukes.
    They were all very good friends back in the day.
    Billy and Chris both had a role in getting that guitar in Duane's hands.

    I was unaware of Dukes taking any credit. I know Tony from the Dallas scene.
    Last night (on the deleted posts) was the first I had heard of that.

    I was a kid in Houston when Duane died. The rumors around the Guitar scene
    were the Allmans asked Billy to join. Like I said a rumor.

    NOW I DON'T WANT TO START BAD INFO.

    The above posts were not to discredit Billy, Chris or Tony by any means.
    Just to set the story straight.

  16. #16
    I do not want to start an argument, or even elaborate on this, but I would like to say that I still disagree with this story, and that's the final word on it from me.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by MrBeano
    I was present when Edwin met Linhof at the Arlington Guitar Show in Dallas.
    This is after Edwin took "Hot Lanta" apart as he said, "screw by screw".
    They discussed the sale of the guitar and the details... including PickUps and harness.
    Prior to Edwin meeting Kurt I went over the details of "Hot Lanta" with Edwin.
    Edwin stated the PickUps were Bridge 8.7k and Neck 8.3k.
    Kurt didnt have any proper electrical tape to cover the splice (different lengths of PU braided wire)
    when he switched the pickUps - so he used some kind of funky tape to cover the mend.
    As Kurt was telling this part of the story I saw Edwin's eyes light up and he grinned,
    "That tape is still there!" And they both laughed! They confirmed the color.
    So it appears "Hot Lanta" is today as Duane played her at the Closing Fillmore Shows-
    with the exception of the frets pounded in the back.

    According to Kurt - Duane played straight into the Marshalls. No stomp box.
    "Billy plugged straight in too... just about everybody did then..."
    Kurt is unaware of any modifications to the amps, "Nobody was doing that stuff at the time..."

    Kurt left the Music scene for personal reasons in the late 70s but through his career
    was affiliated with many well known artist. Kurt is a legend in vintage guitar scene.
    FYI - Kurt first met Tony Dukes ( another legend ) around 1975 in Houston.

    Thanks again Kurt for sharing your memories. Write that book! !
    Kurt has some very cool stories regarding ZZ Top, ultra rare guitars and Hendrix.
    And thanks Edwin Wilson, Tom Murphy and the folks at Gibson for making Great Guitars again.
    Edwin we missed you at the last show. Hope the move went ok.
    Thanks to all the people over the years for putting up with my questions regarding the guitar.
    I hope this clears up the "Hot Lanta" Mystery.

    Thanks Duane and the Allman Brothers for the inspiration and the wonderful music.

    - MrBeano
    Thanx for the Story.
    Last edited by c_wester; 04-12-16 at 08:23 AM.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member GuitarG's Avatar
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    MrBeano
    Thanks for the incredible story. While Twiggs had the guitar he was in my area a lot, he was managing a band that I knew, and I got to see it and hear a lot of great stories about the purchase. I had heard the story about A/Bing it with J Geils' guitar. Thanks again for a wonderful post. You made my morning.
    SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC

  19. #19
    Great information, thanks!

  20. #20
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    Thanks Beano! :dude

    I *KNEW* the pickups were 8.3 and 8.7, but I didn't know that they were reversed.
    The mods to Duane's amps were simple mods, but quite effective in changing his tone from a typical Marshall tone, to what we hear on the live CD's.
    I've spoke to the owner of Duane's amp on a ba-billion different occasions (to pick his brain on the mods) and he feels the amp is now, as it was back when Duane used it.
    He is also a high end, old timer when it comes to hangin' with the great one's of the past and he has photos, letters and canceled checks to prove that his stories are no BS.

    Thanks again Beano...............you've made my day!

    :dude

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member GastonG's Avatar
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    HotLanta...

    Thanks Mr. Beano for this great info on Duane's Les Paul.
    The Les Paul Forum is truly a HotLand... post like this one shows that this place here, rocks like nowhere else.

    Gaston

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member Les45's Avatar
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    Great story MrBeano. Thanks for sharing with the Forum, and the many Duane fans here. I hope Kurt will write that book...or maybe you could ghost-write it for him.
    Growing old is mandatory...growing up is optional!

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member fender69's Avatar
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    MrBeano,
    I'm not trying to cast asparagus on anyone's character or stir up any bad blood. This is just what I heard, and you know the story better than anyone else, except perhaps for Mr. Linhoff. This quote is from the Oct 81 GP "Duane" issue in the interview with the Rev. (I think that is what is meant by "that rag".

    "Later on I happened to run into [guitar dealers] Tony Dukes and Kurt Linhoff, who knew we were traveling with the Allman Brothers. I said "Duane is reall interested in a vintage Les Paul - why don't you ring him up?" Tony & Kurt called him up and said they had a '58 tobacco sunburst - it was absolutely gorgeous, with wide fingery stripes. It came from San Antonio and, believe it or not, belonged to Chris Cross, who recorded 'Ride Like the Wind'."

    That's it, word for word, and now I'll probably get sued for copyright infringement. Anyway, who knows...perhaps this is where the quest all began. Hopefully Kurt/you will publish a book setting out the unvarnished truth. You can sign me up for the first copy. No offense intended as I am a mere ant on the face of the world known as Les Pauldom.

    Sorry if I offended,
    Yours truly - the ant.

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Stumbler's Avatar
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    What a great post - thanks Mr. Beano

    You had some great insight on a Clapton thread a while back, and now this.

    I might try switching the neck and bridge pickups in my '69 LPC and see how it goes.

    If you have any other stories - post on!

    Stumbler

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member Tonesnob's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post Mr. B.
    ~Gregory

  26. #26
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    To fender69 -
    fender69-
    I am not offended - Just trying to keep peace among the players.
    I am only the messenger. I don't want to get caught in the crossfire.
    Those guys carry some big guns.
    I cant even imagine how many guitar deals went down between Billy, Tony, and Kurt.
    That is a very scary thought... some heavy horse tradin' ! ! ! ! ! !

    When I asked Kurt if Tony Dukes had anything to do with the deal?
    Kurt said," Interesting... (pause) I haven't heard that. Definitely not, I didn't meet Dukes until
    around 1975 in Houston."

    Tony probably has found and sold more Burst than anybody on the planet? ? ? ? ?
    I know that is debatable. But he definitely doesn't need the claim for his reputation.
    I can't speak on his behalf.

    1981 was prime Burst dealin days - When they still cost less than a house or a Mercedes.
    More than likely it was Billy just giving Dukes a good business plug in an interview.
    Or Billy just trying to recollect off the top of his head at the moment. I don't know.
    I don't want to go there. ...... D U C K ! ....damn that was close.... whewwwww.

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member fender69's Avatar
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    MrBeano,

    Yep, I hear ya!

  28. #28
    Mr Beano-

    Great post! This is why I read the forum every day.

    By the way, I just bought a '58 Tweed Bassman from Kurt a couple months ago-he's a really cool guy & great to deal with.

    :dude

  29. #29

    Professor Linhoff

    Kurt called me Wednesday afternoon to ask me to see a band that Kenny Cordray was playing in that very night. During the conversation I said "you gotta post on the LPF and set this Duane thing right" as I had asked him about Duane's 'Burst sometime ago. He said someone had just called him about that very thing. Then I read this thread before I met Kurt downtown (last night) to see the band that Kenny was playing in. Sidenote- let me tell you, they did some Allman Bros. and it was great! Anyway, I told Kurt about the thread and he was pleased and said maybe I (he) should post. I'll do some arm twisting and see if I can get him to. I'll see him on Sunday when the band finishes their tour here in Denver. Kurt has some great stories and some GREAT (and I mean really great) pics. And, he is the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet.

    Regards,

    53

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    53Goldtop-
    You just made my day. Thanks!
    Your post made my effort worth while.

  31. #31

    MrBeano

    You just made my day saying that I made your day!

    All the best,

    53

  32. #32
    SouthernShred
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    Cool posts guys...thanks!

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member davware's Avatar
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    Re: Duane Allman "HOT LANTA" Story

    MrBeano, you mentioned photos of both of Duane's guitar side by side. Your post reads " Duane with both the CherryBurst and the TobaccoBurst. Other photos hung in his mid 70s shop on W Gray and Montrose"

    Do you happen to know if Duane had already set the guitar up when the photo was taken? I am curious because I notice the bridge adjustments are different than the CherryBurst. I am just trying to figure out what his settings on the Darkburst were..

    Very interesting post and thanks for sharing.

    Dave

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member sgtJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Duane Allman "HOT LANTA" Story

    Thanks for the story.

    Back in 1976 I was in Kurt's shop, Specialty Guitar on W. Gray in Houston. It was in November and ZZ TOP was scheduled to do several shows at the Summit. While I was there talking about guitars to Kurt, who was extremely congenial to an 18 year old stranger who was full of questions about guitars, he showed me a beat up Futura and told me the story behind it. While we were inspecting it Billy Gibbons walked in and we conversed about the guitar for a few minutes. This is the guitar in Tom Wheelers book, but the photo shows it as it was restored.

    I talked to Tony Dukes at Parker Music numerous times and have seen him at shows. Great guys. Hope Kurt does get around to writing a book soon.

    To you Kurt, thanks again for making an 18 year old guitar freak real happy. Hope all is well with you and I'd love to talk sometime. Email me anytime.

    Joe Tammaro

  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member plaintop's Avatar
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    Re: Duane Allman "HOT LANTA" Story

    Kurt Linhof says this, nobody said a word. I said it based on my findings...its considered bunk. :roll Must be a who you are thing. :toobad

    "As the Les Paul was designed originally as a solid body jazz guitar.
    The higher wound PickUp was put by Gibson in the neck position to have an
    even warmer tone. The other slightly lower wound PickUp produced a brighter tone.
    As the style of music changed to Blues or Rock through bigger amps
    the guitars were more balanced by switching the PickUp positions.
    "Hot Lanta" PickUps - Bridge 8.7k and Neck 8.3k.
    Kurt said he has only come across one PAF that was hotter than "Hot Lanta's"
    That PAF was 8.99k. And Kurt has bought and sold lots of guitars."

  36. #36
    All Access/Backstage Pass lpnv59's Avatar
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    Re: Duane Allman "HOT LANTA" Story

    .
    Last edited by lpnv59; 11-04-05 at 02:39 AM.
    "It's a Marshall bubby. It gets loud." Ace Frehley

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Duane Allman "HOT LANTA" Story

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBeano
    .......... The Rhythm PickUp was switched to the Bridge position. And the Bridge to Rhythm.
    This was common practice among the early Burst connoisseurs.
    As the Les Paul was designed originally as a solid body jazz guitar.
    The higher wound PickUp was put by Gibson in the neck position to have an
    even warmer tone. The other slightly lower wound PickUp produced a brighter tone.
    Cool story. I don't doubt it, except for the above quote. In my experience that was not common practice by Gibson, and of all the many original untouched Bursts and Goldtops I've checked, there was no clear pattern of such a thing existing at all. The same for ANY humbucking Gibson from 57-60, there is no overabundance of guitars with hotter neck PUPs. Some are, some ain't, but not by design, but by happenstance.

    Of course as we all learned more, and if it was noticable we would switch a weaker pickup with a stronger one as described, but to say it was a common practice by Gibson to place pickups by resistance readings, I dissagree with.

    I picked alot of brains in Kalamazoo when I was there with Seymor Duncan and I asked about this very thing. I got a look of disbelief followed by laughter, "Hell no, Al! We measured each coil when it was wound, that's how we knew it was done, and put 'em together and slapped them into the guitars."

    I also think there is alot of evidence that the Les Paul was not designed as a Jazz Guitar, but to compete with Fender as a bright solidbody guitar.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member plaintop's Avatar
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    Re: Duane Allman "HOT LANTA" Story

    Thanks lpnv59 (In the corner crying:()....but doesn't anyone think it's odd that more guitars have a "hotter" and "weaker" pickup combination? If there weren't any order to the configuration.... We'd see more guitars with the same reading pickups. Who can explain that one away?

  39. #39
    All Access/Backstage Pass lpnv59's Avatar
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    Re: Duane Allman "HOT LANTA" Story

    .
    Last edited by lpnv59; 11-04-05 at 02:39 AM.
    "It's a Marshall bubby. It gets loud." Ace Frehley

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Duane Allman "HOT LANTA" Story

    Quote Originally Posted by plaintop59
    Thanks lpnv59 (In the corner crying:()....but doesn't anyone think it's odd that more guitars have a "hotter" and "weaker" pickup combination? If there weren't any order to the configuration.... We'd see more guitars with the same reading pickups. Who can explain that one away?

    Why would you say that????????

    If they were randomly chosen, as well as assembled,(remember the only reason the coils are so often missmatched is this very randomness), then it is reasonable to expect random results. How could there be more "Equal" resistance pickups used if there wasn't a majority of pickups with equal readings.

    Also given this quirk, what makes you believe that equal readings of resistance make an equal pickup??? One may have balanced coils, more or less, of 4K and the other could be missmatched, more likely, with unbalanced coils of 3k and 5K?

    Gibson certainly didn't sort them. They were pickups, they worked, they were slapped in to whatever position they were needed to fill and the leads trimmed accordingly.

    There is no evidence to back your claim. The very "odd" thing that you describe is what disproves your theroy. It is only odd because it dosen't match your theroy.


    If you think about it, you'll see.
    The older I get, the better I was.

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