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Old CGS Forum > Upgrades & Parts

Ordered my first Chibson, Need parts advice

posted Feb 02, 2014 01:51:01 by MattJessome
Hey everybody! Ive been reading this forum for a few weeks now and Ive finally decided to make my first Chibson purchase! (Ill make a post in the other forum showing the pictures and stuff) Basically its a R9 Les Paul from GM (fingers crossed the quality is good)
I would like to start ordering everything I plan on replacing while I wait for the guitar to get here so im just wondering if there is certain tuners/pots etc that fits or doesnt fit on these chibsons? I dont mind making holes a little bigger if nessesary but making holes smaller isnt something Im looking to get into lol. Im looking at a set of Grover Klusion style tuners to replace the ugly green tuners, and as far as electronics go I am completely new to rewiring so I have no idea what is good or bad
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10 replies
SteveTebble said Feb 02, 2014 03:39:50
Congratulations on finally taking the plunge Matt!

I recently bought my first - same as you, from the same seller! Firstly, it's not really an R9, it's a Standard. So you'll need the plain truss rod cover, the amber switch top, the knob pointers and the cream plastic jack plate. Like you, I bought all those parts while waiting for the guitar itself to arrive.

On mine, I will change the pickups and mounting rings (Vanson), bridge (Gotoh), nut (Vanson), Pickguard (Guitar Heaven) and capacitors (Sprague). A lot of people replace the entire electronics, but to my mind the selector switch is fine and the pots are full-size ones which seem to work OK. Caps are those funny little green 'chiclets' so will be replaced with Orange Drops, .022 microfarad. I also intend to do a thorough fret job before it all goes back together again.

Tuners on mine seem to be a problem, as the ones I bought (Wilkinson copies of Klusons) don't fit! The head seems to be slightly thicker than a genuine Gibson. I have a 335 to compare with, and although the difference is small, perhaps 2-2.5mm, it's enough to ensure the new ones don't protrude far enough, so I've left the originals on for now.

Here's a photo of mine; when I took this, the only parts I'd changed were the switch top and the truss rod cover.

P.S. Nearly forgot to mention, I also changed the knobs as I thought they were too dark (fortunately I had a spare set lying around which were just right), and bought a 500k log pot with pull/push DPDT switch to use for phase switching - this will replace the bridge pickup tone control.
[Last edited Feb 02, 2014 03:58:04]
God give me patience ... but I want it NOW!!
MattJessome said Feb 02, 2014 03:57:31
Very nice Steve, Thanks for the info!
If the switch and the pots work fine when I get the guitar then I wont be in a hurry to change them, I'll probably do some other things first like a new nut, truss rod cover, possably tuners and some new pups! But eventually I will probably change everything out and make it the best it can be for the money ;)
Were you happy overall with the guitar when you received it? I know people are saying GM has been slipping lately but from the feedback on Ali and by the looks of yours he's also putting out some nice stuff
SteveTebble said Feb 02, 2014 04:06:09
Well I was a bit disappointed with the pickups as I'd specifically asked if they were wax potted and been told that they were. Then when the guitar arrived I found them to be really microphonic. When I mentioned this to GM they offered me a partial refund, which I refused - it was only $10! They then offered to send me another set of pickups, wax potted this time, but these have yet to arrive. I'll keep you posted on that. I was planning on changing them anyway; I've bought a set of Vanson '59 alnico V's. Only £32.65 including postage, direct from the manufacturers. I'm looking at buying a Custom next, so I'll probably go a bit more upmarket for that - currently considering IronGear Blues Engine for the neck, and Dirty Torque for the bridge. These are £72 for the set.
[Last edited Feb 02, 2014 04:06:55]
God give me patience ... but I want it NOW!!
vambo73 said Feb 02, 2014 04:30:45
Make a list of the parts you want to change,spend the time while you are waiting to look at prices and suppliers and WAIT FOR IT TO ARRIVE before ordering anything.Stop reading to much in this forum about what you need to change or whether the frets need levelling.JUST WAIT JUST WAIT
[Last edited Feb 02, 2014 04:34:25]
MattJessome said Feb 02, 2014 04:37:17
yeah I'm not expecting much from the pickups, I didn't bother to ask for them to be wax potted, Mostly because I plan on swapping them out for some Duncans anyway, either Slash's or the new Jimmy Page Whole Lotta Humbuckers. I did however ask if it was possible for him to pick out a guitar that he thought was the better quality then the rest, and with level frets, and he said he would. Whether he actually did that or not I guess I will never know, But when he sent me the pictures for my approval before it shipped, he did say that it was the better quality of 3 I had to choose from. I guess I'll find out his idea of quality when I receive it ;)
SteveTebble said Feb 02, 2014 04:58:57
My experience of GM was a bit like that, in that he sent me photos of two guitars that he had in stock and asked which I preferred. They both looked fine so I asked him to send the one he thought was lighter, as I don't like a lot of burst.

He even sent me an additional photo AFTER he'd sent it, and looking at the pattern of the flame I can see it is indeed the one I now have.
God give me patience ... but I want it NOW!!
vambo73 said Feb 02, 2014 05:52:39
In fact buy a set of strings you are planning to use and set your guitar up to your requirements,and play it.The point is regardless of planned upgrades,it should arrive in a playable condition.Then you can evaluate the good and bad points as each one is different.If it arrives damaged or in a unplayable condition then you won't have wasted time and effort ordering parts,or parts that don't fit.
[Last edited Feb 02, 2014 06:01:39]
MichaelWamback said Feb 02, 2014 09:08:15
Nuts on these guitars are usually terrible. Plastic nuts that are cut really deep. Pick up a Tusq nut for about $10 and swap that out ASAP. Your guitar will tune up and stay in tune much better - plus more sustain.

The bridges are usually pretty crappy. Gotoh/Tonepros makes notched bridges with metric bushings that don't cost a fortune and are really good quality. Should be a drop on replacement.
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 Feb 02, 2014 14:28:12
I'm a big fan of TonePros stuff, on my last LP I fitted tonepros kluson tuners with nickel tulip buttons, and nickel plated bridge/tailpiece set (metric) also by TonePros, there is a lot of cheap garbage on eBay, you won't regret spending the extra $. I also recommend tusq nuts. There is so much choice when it comes to pups that it can become confusing, Most of my axes have a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge with 500k pots, and they sound huge and fat.
VinceRadice said Feb 02, 2014 14:30:18
If you want to see the tuners on my LP check out my upgrade thread '59 LP improvements'
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