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Old CGS Forum > Upgrades & Parts

SG Rebuild

posted Dec 31, 2013 04:08:15 by VinceRadice
My SG arrived yesterday,I unpacked it, took a few Photos, and tore it apart. The first thing I noticed was that the Bridge saddle grooves were too wide for the thinner strings, and typically the frets were all over the place. I removed all of the internals except the selector switch and the jack socket. I haven't replaced ay of the nuts on any of my chibsons yet (working towards that soon). When I tried to fit the neck and middle pups I noticed the holes were a bit tight and the pups wouldn't sit level with the strings, Ive had this problem before, and I fixed it by milling/routing the pup holes, I support the body on an angle so the pups have room to tilt and very carefully start taking out mahogany. Incidentally, when you rout the body in this way, you can easily see the construction and materials used on your guitar. Once that was done, I fitted the neck (SD '59) and middle (SD '59 Custom/Hybrid) pups and routed the wires. I fitted new Pots (Gotoh, Japanese made) and started soldering. I tried to order most of the parts in advance but the mail system in Australia tends to collapse around Xmas, especially here in the West. Ive been waiting over a month for a bridge to arrive, Oh Well. I replaced the truss rod cover with a Vertical 'custom' design, Which looks great on the very tidy headstock. I dressed the frets, Which took about 2 hours, and now Im waiting for the Bridge (TonePros) and Planet Waves Autotrim Tuners to arrive. While I was writing this the tailpiece and bridge pup (SD JB) arrived and were fitted. A pet peeve of mine is when the scratchplate/Cavity cover screw holes aren't countersunk properly, and you have to be careful when rectifying this that you don't go too far, as I have in the past. So its just the bridge, the tuners, and eventually the nut needed to finish off a really sexy looking 24 fret SG. The Neck and Middle Pups were originally fitted to my 59 LP, but were not really what I wanted. I replaced them with a SD JB/Jazz combo from an Epiphone Sheraton 2 which I am now selling to finance my growing Chinese guitar habit.

Thanks for listening

[Last edited Dec 31, 2013 07:53:29]
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12 replies
MichaelWamback said Dec 31, 2013 06:05:34
This is going to make a good looking guitar. They seem to have done a nice job on the headstock diamond and logo.

I love the Planet Waves auto-trim tuners. I have them on 3 of my guitars. You get so spoiled when changing strings, and they really don't add all that much weight as compared to the Grovers that were on it. Just a really great product - especially on a black guitar like this.

The one thing I hate is the plastic poker chip. There are some nice custom ones floating around that would look great on this guitar. Personally, if it were mine, I'd be tempted by this one from Ebay:
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
VinceRadice said Dec 31, 2013 07:22:06
I may remove the switch ring altogether, to keep it clean. oops I gotta remember to downsize the pics before I upload them! I fitted a spare bridge to it and tried it out through my practice amp. It rocks, still lots of tweaking to do, but the Fret levelling job (My First) isn't bad at all. I can run very low action without too much buzz. You may notice Ive moved the strap button from near the neck joint to the top horn, they just hang better. I can't tell you how happy I am with this axe. To think you can buy a Guitar as good as this for less than $300 including freight is almost unbelievable. Even the case is really nice.
[Last edited Dec 31, 2013 08:14:59]
VinceRadice said Dec 31, 2013 11:08:00
Eagle eyed readers would have noticed that I hooked up the tone pot backwards. that has now been rectified. I need to disassemble the guitar and shield the cavities, Once you experience a properly shielded axe its hard to go back.
VinceRadice said Jan 03, 2014 03:46:15
WOO HOO! Here It Is! All the Parts Arrived today, This is a great axe, The Ebony fretboard is flat, the frets are level The new bridge and tailpiece fitted and worked well. I did have to cut the notches in the bridge saddles a bit deeper, as the fatter strings were jumping out of the factory notches. The 3 New pups add a lot to the sound, If Im playing with the bridge pup on, I can turn up the Middle pup and add a load of bottom end to the sound. Ive only tried it through my practice amp (Peavey Envoy 110). Rehearsal tonight so I can CRANK IT!

sjcrowe6 said Jan 03, 2014 05:30:17
WOW ! Great looking guitar and I bet it plays as smooth as butter! I'm really jealous of your drill press. Sure beats trying to route with hand tools and wood chisels. What tools did you use to do your fret leveling?
VinceRadice said Jan 03, 2014 06:04:40
Its a Mill/Drill, expensive but very handy. I wouldn't try routing without it. To level the frets I actually used a large sharpening stone, and a three cornered file, and finished them with 240grit emery tape, I was lucky the board was so straight, I didn't have to take much off. I really like the ebony fretboard.
MichaelWamback said Jan 03, 2014 15:20:33
Really nice looking guitar - very classy!
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
VinceRadice said Jan 03, 2014 15:40:12
I had it cranked at rehearsal tonight, through my JCM900 100w, It was roaring like a lion.
Rob said Jan 03, 2014 17:49:13
Awesome job and congrats!
"Be the person your dog thinks you are!"
VinceRadice said Jan 04, 2014 01:27:30
3 pickups give you lots of flexibility, I usually use the bridge pup, and only use the Neck pup for a few solos. on this SG i fitted a bridge pup in the middle position as well.(from what I can gather gibson 3 pup models run 1 bridge and 2 neck pups) So when I was playing using the bridge pup I could turn up the middle pup and add more power and bottom to the sound. I would like to say that the middle pup is a little hard to get used to. it sits right where you strum. when playing you have to adjust your style a bit. after playing with no middle pup for 30 years, it takes some adjustment. but its not an insurmountable problem. for the extra power, its worth it. I run very high output pups so the individual pups stand out, if you were running lower output pups i don't think it would work as well, but you'll never know unless you try different pup combinations. Dan, the other guitarist in the Heavy Metal band I play with, owns a 2 month old Gibson USA '61 reissue SG. I let him test drive my Chibson and he wouldn't give it back to me, all he did was quiz me about Chinese guitars all night.
[Last edited Jan 04, 2014 01:45:39]
VinceRadice said Jan 07, 2014 06:01:57
While adjusting the intonation on this Guitar I was able to adjust it very accurately by setting it at the 12th fret and at the 24th fret.
VinceRadice said Jan 13, 2014 12:23:15
OEMGUITARSTORE are now selling this guitar as i ordered it, at last Ive got a signature model!
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