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Index > General Discussion > Alvin Lee Message & Discussion Board > Re: Alvins single coil pick up....
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Re: Alvins single coil pick up....

Hello Ct Topes
Becouse i owe a Gibson Es 335 tc cherry 1966 and did not wanted to distroy it , dit i last year (2004 ) buy a Tokai Es 335 cherry. I remouved the Tuners and replaced them with grover tuners, replaced the stoptail piece with the Tp6 fine tuners stoptail, replaced the Tokai humbucker picups with origional 1969 Gibson Paf 57 humbucker picups,remouved the covers, and placed a origional Fender customshop texas stratt midlle pickup between the neck and the bridge pickup. I aslo added the extra volume potmeter to it .the fender picup +(plus) is soldert to the potmeter in, and out and soldert to the middle position of the tgroggle pickup swich. The -(earth) wire solders to the (earth ) of the jack input.
This way you can blend in the fender sinle coil sound in whatever position your troggle pickup swich is.
The Fender pickup is always on (just screw the volume up if you want to blend in the special Fender sound. So you have the typical fender hollow texas sound ,esspecially when you have to pickupswitch in the bridge position .
So you have the special gibson sound and when you screw up the extra pot for the fender pickup an fenderish gibson sound. I have 3 fenders ( 51 nocater,hott rodded stratocaster,72 custom telecaster. But after i build the tokai with the origional Gibsonhumbuckers and the extrafender single coil pickup this is the guitar i use the most .
This year i was lucky to be able to buy the Gibson Alvin Lee signature big red guitar Es 335 guitar( one out of 50 nr#16 with the replica stickers), with the by the Gibson Customshop added semour duncan single coil pickup ,after Alvin Lee wirering specifications. But i changed this pickup with a bought Fender customshop texas special stratt middle pickup. The Seymour duncan single coil added by Gibson ,sounded after playing on the guitar for 5-6 month not enough fenderblend for me . But that is just a matter of tast ofcourse. But in short.
You cannot get that special Fender blendsound with using coil taps on one or both humbuckers. You HAVE! to add an extra fender or Semour duncan single coil to get that result. It is easer for you ( Es 333)to add the extra volumepotmeter becouse you can open the the potmeter cover from the backside of the guitar. And please add a Es 335 pickguard . The Es 333 looks so naked without it.
Good luck.
Love and Peace and keep on rockin.

Re: Alvins single coil pick up....

Thanks for the info. Do you guys run into any problems with any electronic “buzzing” with the Strat PU? I have a Strat that buzzes to the point where I don’t play out with it. Especially if I’m playing it through my Ampeg SJ12-t. I get it on my Fender DeVille but not as much. On my old 335 someone had put coil taps on both pick ups and there doesn’t seem to be a problem with noise….Also how much would you estimate that the cost on having someone do something like that would be.

Re: Re: Alvins single coil pick up....

I had mine done at Tims Guitar Shoppe in Baton rouge La,after Alvin desribed the Hassell with the pots etc,Pick up and Labor and he did a great job 350.00 if you like I can email pictures so you can see results

Re: Re: Alvins single coil pick up....

There are some stratt pickups wich have a naturly buzz.
But the middle Taxas Special from the Custom shop do not have that problem ,it is studio quiet. Generally when you have a buzz problem ( earth problem),solder an extra - (earth ) to the potmeter and one to the earth of the jack input. The same you can do if you have a amp with much buzz ,solder an extra earth wire to the frame of the amp. The fender Deville is a very sensative and powerfull "bulb" amp. an if you stand very close to it it start buzzing . But it is a great amp. I use an extention trace elliot cabinet on it. Becouse the devill has that extra extention cabinet output jack.
The most difficult job with the extra pickup for me was ,making the hole in the guitar for it. Take your time do not hurry and watch out that you do not rest the hot soderbolt on the guitar while working soldering the pickup .I almost made that mistake.
It took me the whole sunday afternoon. But the result was an amazing sounding guitar.

Re: Re: Re: Alvins single coil pick up....

One of my former bandmates had a strat he played through an old Fender amp that buzzed like the devil. He tried different set-ups and pickups which took care of the buzz, but didn't sound as "meaty" as the tone of the original amp and pickups. Eventually, he went back to the original pickups and either turned downn the volume when not playing or put up with the buzz.

Besides, the buzz made for funny between-song patter about his guitar "drinking again" or "geting buzzed".

By the way, we opened for Buddy Guy one time and while Scott Holt (he was Buddy's second guitarist at the time) was playing Buddy's strat during sound check it "buzzed" like crazy. Buddy's road manager was having a heart attack because nothing seemed to make the buzz problem any better and he was sure Buddy would be ticked off.

Buddy came on to do his set - the strat buzzed something awful when he wasn't playing (he simply turned the volume down or off) - Buddy played his @ss off and didn't give a d@mn. Sounded great, too!

Re: Alvins single coil pick up....

Buzz problems must be taken seriously. Like Pieter says, it usually relates to bad shielding or missing earth (ground), the later something that even can be fatal on a wet stage if the amp is un-grounded. There's been some bad accidents caused by that on wet outdoors stages over the years, so regard the buzz as a warning signal for something that could lead to real "death metal"..

Re: Re: Alvins single coil pick up....

yup! I was doing a show in cleveland Mississippi afew yrs back,and broke a string in the middle of a song,My lead was coming so another guitar player handed me his guitar and I handed him mine at the same time we both grabed each insturment and got the beans knocked outta us!!!

Re: Re: Re: Alvins single coil pick up....

Heard about wireless.

Re: Alvins single coil pick up....

Wireless was invented by our bassist, who fell off the stage during a concert in the early 70's. Okay, so it didn't make any sound at the time (he did, though), but the concept was there.

BTW, speaking of pickups. I once saw a really cool Fender strat in a shop, where the middle pickup had been mounted on two steel bars and a lever could be used to move it freely between the two outer pickups, which were adjusted down a bit so the movable mid-pickup controlled the sound better.

The cool thing was that this could be done while playing, so one could shift the sound seamlessly for example in the middle of a chord or a long note. It was a professional job done to it and it was way too expensive for me to buy at the time, but I have been thinking of doing something similar myself, some day..