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Unread 09-13-2017, 10:20 PM   #1
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NGD - Epi SG

Not too shabby. Was trying to sell my old GoPro stuff on LetGo and some guy offered me this on trade. He did have a mid-80s model gold-top LP (also Epi) that I would have taken over this, but it was in super rough shape and needed more work than it was worth. But, knowing these Epi SGs are pretty great to upgrade, that's what I plan to do with this: upgrade nut, pickups, and wiring configuration. As for now, some eye candy for your viewing pleasure.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 11:11 PM   #2
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nice
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Unread 09-14-2017, 03:48 AM   #3
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Congrats, nice axe. I like the SG's. What pups are you thinking of?
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Unread 09-16-2017, 08:47 AM   #4
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Just ordered in a Seymour Duncan set. SH-1N '59 for the neck, and a TB-4 JB for the bridge. Need to find high quality switchable pots for coil tapping, and figure out how to wire a tone circuit bypass switch. Also need to find a black tusq nut. It already has Grover tuners so I don't think I'll need to replace those. I'm pretty stoked to mod this guitar. But as I've never done this before, does anyone have any advice / warnings?
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Unread 09-17-2017, 05:22 AM   #5
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Put some wet towels around the pocket when soldering, tin your wires with solder prior to making connections, remember when you take the strings off, the tailblock of the bridge can/will fall off so watch it doesn't scratch the body. Finally, with the nut, take the truss rod cover off before removing the old one. Be sure to get the new one to fit as squarely as you can in slot. I use the old one as a template and try to sand down the bottom of the new one prior to installing to get the height right--that way there should be virtually no slot filing to do once the new nut is in place.

As for anything else, always get the soldering iron to heat the contact point then add solder to that.

Nice choice of pups. Good luck!
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Unread 09-17-2017, 06:00 PM   #6
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Hey nice guitar! Enjoy the honeymoon stage and have fun doing all the upgrades. Are you planning on bringing the axe to church?
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Unread 09-19-2017, 08:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mathminnick31 View Post
Put some wet towels around the pocket when soldering, tin your wires with solder prior to making connections, remember when you take the strings off, the tailblock of the bridge can/will fall off so watch it doesn't scratch the body. Finally, with the nut, take the truss rod cover off before removing the old one. Be sure to get the new one to fit as squarely as you can in slot. I use the old one as a template and try to sand down the bottom of the new one prior to installing to get the height right--that way there should be virtually no slot filing to do once the new nut is in place.

As for anything else, always get the soldering iron to heat the contact point then add solder to that.

Nice choice of pups. Good luck!
I didn't think about the wet towel. That's a great idea. The nut is the only part that makes me nervous; soldering wires is easy. Getting a nut right is another story. I'm debating having the nut done professionally, though it's already on the way along with the 500k DPDT volume pots and the 500k no-load tone pots.

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Hey nice guitar! Enjoy the honeymoon stage and have fun doing all the upgrades. Are you planning on bringing the axe to church?
Who knows, maybe someday?
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Unread 09-28-2017, 10:23 AM   #8
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Wired in new pickups and pots! This was my first go at something like this so of course it didn't turn out perfectly but with only three issues to fix, I'm pretty happy with it.

The SH-1N '59 neck pickup sounds absolutely gorgeous. 10/10, would recommend.
The TB4-JB bridge pickup, well, I don't know yet because, well, you'll just have to read.


So I ordered two 500K DPDT push/pull CTS pots for volumes when I bought the pickups. I thought both pickups would have 4-wire conductors; I was wrong. I also ordered two no-load 500K CTS tone pots. Since the stock wiring for the guitar involved a 2-vol, 2-tone pot configuration, my plan was to continue that configuration. I settled for a 2-vol, 1-tone configuration. This was in part because I realized I prefer the tones of the pickups to be kept uniform and also in part because I was lazy and ran out of wiring and didn't want to mess with the second tone pot. Also because I could use the extra hole to do something like a kill button for some nifty live effects.

I don't think the tone pots are actually no-load because when I turn it all the way up it doesn't sound like it's bypassing the tone circuit like it should. However this could be because I took the capacitor off the stock tone pot and soldered it to the new tone pot (just because all the schematics I read showed a capacitor).

The TB4-JB bridge pickup is super low output and I can't tell if the push/pull is actually working because of this. It could just be so quiet because it's so far away from the strings, but I really don't hear any difference in tonality when I pull up on the knob shaft. I need to take the pick guard back off and trim the mounting springs down so I can raise the pickup higher (they're already compressed to the max and it's just way too low). I'm also planning to order more mounting screws and springs (or just buy them at the hardware store if I can find the right ones), drill some new holes in the mounting ring and pick guard, and try to mount the pickup with 4 screws instead of 2 so I can tilt it to more closely match the angle of the strings for a more even tone spread.

Speaking of mounting screws, has anyone noticed how obnoxiously long the OEM Seymour Duncan mounting screws are? I had to cut mine down to make them fit inside the pickups cavity.

I've noticed that the CTS DPDT pot is really two separate modules in one unit; the DPDT module doesn't affect the volume potentiometer itself. So once I figure out how to get the DPDT working for the TB4-JB I'm thinking about actually just wiring both pickups to the one volume pot to consolidate the original 2-vol 2-tone configuration down to a 1-vol 1-tone configuration with the push/pull on the volume pot also splitting the bridge pickup. The only question lingering in my mind concerning this is: what would I do with two extra holes in the guitar body? Even if I used one of them to install a kill button, what would I do with the other empty hole? I am open to suggestions regarding this. Also, would running two humbuckers through one 500k volume pot be a tone bottleneck? What would happen if I bypassed the tone pot altogether?

Anyway, this was my first time doing any wiring with a guitar and I definitely dove in head-first to a full-rewire project. I figured with all the schematics and documentation and community forums available online, this shouldn't be a very daunting project (which it still doesn't feel daunting, just time consuming).

I haven't bothered starting on the nut yet.
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Unread 10-02-2017, 06:12 PM   #9
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Readjusted pickup heights and tested through amp at practice: Everything is working! However, I don't have everything grounded properly and I'm getting some hum. That shouldn't be difficult to remedy. Now to sum the two volume pots down to one and see if that works!
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