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Rick Andrews and other experts answers guitar repair questions
For almost one year, guitar luther Rick Andrews answered your guitar repair questions. After recieving over 500 questions
we put together the most popular questions and answers. Today, we are involving other great guitar
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Hello my name is Andrew I am currently playing an Epiphone Dot ES355. I have done a
little bit of custom work on it so far ie: Graphite nut, Gibson deluxe machine heads,
new wiring, new bridge.
I am thinking about changing my pickups but have no clue what I should look into!!
I generally play in the middle position switching between the neck and middle for solo's
or riffs. I play rock with a bit of pop in the british style. I would like to get a semi
accoustic sound when playing clean and still get a thick warm sound when using distortion
or over drive. I was told to look into an open faced set of humbuckers or P-90 pickups or
even a combination or the two! I would like to get as much feedback and suggestions from
experts like yourself as possible before going ahead with the work.
Thank-you for your time.
Now this one is right down my alley. My top priority in guitars is to accomplish the best possible
sound and tone combinations and best playing actions of course all to make the player the best he can be.
One thing we should be careful about in your situation is getting too much with the hollow body and
creating inner acoustic feedback that gets out of control. I do understand and appreciate what you are
trying to accomplish. You might want to consider putting an inside mounted transducer type pickup.
You place it under the bridge on the inside of the guitar. That can add a really nice acoustic tone
and can be controled by adding a simple tone and volume pot. You may not want to add other knobs to
the guitar though. Most people are led to believe that you have to have a battery to drive the tone
and volume control of these transducer pickups but that is so they can sell you a preamp system with it.
Another market thing. You do not need it. A transducer pickup can be operated by simple line voltage
ac just like the wound pickups volume and tone controls with no battery power and no preamp system.
The volume and tone control pots wired directly with the transducer pickup gives you all the EQ you need.
Actually I like the sound better than the battery operated pre amps. You could make a small mounting bar
for sub-mimiature volume and tone pots and let them come though the F hole if you do not want to drill
more holes in the guitar. It depends on if the guitar is a collectors guitar with a lot of value or not.
If not then it would be feasible to add the holes and controls.
Another option is drill through the side rails at the top. You will add a fanytastic acoustical tone
and can mix the tones with the wound pickups. Another route to go would be to replace the neck pickup
with something else but you still will get the most acoustic tone from the inside transducer.
My favorite is the McIntyre biscuit inside mount trasducer pickup. I think you can find him on the NET.
These are the best I have found. I am installing 2 of these in a $15,000 jazz archtop guitar I am almost
finished with now. They are the best and deliver the best tones for acoustic / electric.
McIntyre keeps coming out with better and better pickups through the years. I am placing one under
each bridge foot inside the guitar and running them out a stereo jack for dual chanels. That will
be awesome and even more so when mixed in with the electric pickups. This can also be done using 2 amps.
Lots of great possibilities here. This particular client for this jazz guitar is also having me design
and build a floor unit which will be my Tone Buster circuitry but adding in these acoustic pickups with
total foot control of the entire guitar. There are no controls on the guitar at all. He will have the
most tonal possibilities and controls than any guitar or combination with floor controls I've ever seen.
He has tried to capture every possibility between the acoustic and electric combination.
It's been quite a challenge but it will be well worth it to him. He will soon be putting out a
CD with this system. The entire thing will be on my web site in the near future, I'd say by spring.
It will be under the One of a kind collector guitars. I threw that in because it may give you some
good ideas for your situation when you see it and read the operation specs. Your idea of replacing
a pickup with something of a more acoustical tone can work but it may not deliver the overdrive
you want for your screaming distortion sounds. It is hard to find both in one. I like the idea of
getting the best of both worlds here and then mixing them to my preference.
I hope this will help you in your achieving what you want. Let me know if I can help you.
Rick Andrews, Andrews Guitars
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