Today, we have another one of the many awesome guitar projects here in Austin, TX. The owner of this guitar wanted to do some electronic upgrades to his main ax; an American Fender Telecaster. He didn’t like the output of his current neck pickup and always liked the idea of adding a humbucker in the neck position, just not with the idea of routing out so much material from the guitar’s body and pick guard.
Fortunately, the bright minds at Seymour Duncan provide almost every option under the sun for guitar pickups and after spending a few minutes talking about preferences and styles the owner liked to play, we decided to install the Li’l Screamin’ Demon.
This pickups is actually designed to fit a Stratocaster and though not by much, don’t fit the routing in the body or pick guard “as-is.”
No problem. With my handy little Dremel, the pickup route was opened ever so slightly to accommodate the new addition. After some free-handed filing to the pick guard, the pickup was mounted ready for action.
Lastly, the guitar was wired with a on/off kill switch to be able to achieve the Tom Morello signal cut effect.
Yep… just another day at the office.
This is my kind of project. I often have customers ask me what upgrades are the best bang for their buck to make a guitar they’re owned for years, new and exciting. Can you guess what my two recommendations are?
Bone, is a much more dense material than any stock plastic nut and yields a brighter sound, longer sustain and overall, nicer feel when picking strings.
Similar to the stock nut, stock pickups are anything but glamorous. They tend to sound… mass-produced, converter-belt manufactured and slightly dull. But this isn’t the kind of thing you notice until you’ve seen and listened to a higher quality pickup. Depending on what sound you’re after out of your guitar, several factors play into what voicing you need in a pickup. This ranges from the amount of copper winding inside the pickup to the type of magnet utilized. (Alnico II, Alnico V and Ceramic are the choices).
It was decided to install a set of Gibson ’57 Classic Humbuckers. After that, a piece of Canadian moose bone was carved and filed down and placed on the headstock. Lastly, a set of D’Addario XL’s were slapped on and this Epiphone Les Paul was transformed from good, to great.