New Slinkys March 2020
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: My Own Personal Ultimate AL

  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    My Own Personal Ultimate AL

    **Long ramble coming… you’ve been warned…

    So the factory stock AL-HH is a fabulous instrument. No question about it. The GC / MF specials with coil splits offer even more versatility and awesomeness on top of that.

    Out of all the guitars we own and have played, the AL chassis has become my very favorite due to the neck shape, balance and ergonomics. That’s why I’ve collected and personalized so many of them. And as fabulous as the HH models are, I still had 2 little niggles with them. I don’t like how the volume pot turns to mud so fast, and the overall tone of the buckers always seemed to be missing a little... something. Keep in mind, this is just my personal taste and playing style I’m talking about.
    I bought this gorgeous used Turquoise Pearl AL a few years ago. It had been played quite a bit and the controls were pretty worn out, but still worked OK. This guitar has a certain mojo about it and became one of my favorites. I named him Turkish (“ya like dags?”).
    I purchased new controls from EBMM awhile back to rebuild it someday. It came stock with a vintage white pearl pick guard and was a great looking guitar!

    Mrs. Bebop has collected a number of used Epi Les Pauls over the years, and we’ve modified a few of them to resemble famous signature guitars. For the last one we did, it needed white pick ups, and I found a very good deal on a set of SD Pearly Gates pups, along with some fancy wiring. When it was all done, I was shocked at how good it sounded! I’ve had a PG in the bridge of one of my LP’s for awhile, but it never impressed me as much as I had hoped. Now this little Epi sounds way better than it has any right to! So that got me to thinking, and I ordered another set for Turkish.
    I finally got time a while back to replace all his guts… new super switch, PP tone pot, new output jack, the white PG pups, and a linear volume pot. *I’ve used linear volume pots a number of times before, and they work better for my needs… smoother response and less treble loss.
    Got him all done and set up, plugged in and started testing & playing, and was floored! The new tones and voicings are way above and beyond what I was hoping for… freekin’ amazing to my ears!!! These pups sound so good to me in the normal 5-way positions, I –almost- don’t even need the coil splits anymore. The splits are still nice for even more possibilities though. Since it worked out so well, I went ahead and ordered a bright white pearl pick guard and pearl buttons to complete the package.
    I’m not saying that there are any shortcomings in the stock set up, and I know it’s perfect for a lot of people. I’m just sharing my little adventure here, and how thrilled I am with the results!

    Balls are Best!!

  2. #2

    User Info Menu

    Nothing wrong in experimenting new pickups. Glad you enjoy the mod.
    EVH Hardtail Red 1995
    Axis Sport SSS Trem Transparent Purple 1998
    Axis Sport MM90 Trem Transparent Orange 1999
    Axis SS Hardtail Piezo Honeyburst 2007
    Albert Lee MM90 Hardtail Dargie Delight 2007
    Bongo 4HH Stealth 2007
    BFR 25th Anniversary Venetian Red burst 2009

  3. #3

    User Info Menu

    Hey that's great. I like to personalize my guitars as well Never stop tinkering.

  4. #4

    User Info Menu

    You can add a treble bleed to your volume pot to fix the range and response. I use a 470pf in parallel w/ a 220K resistor on all my guitars and it gives me a smooth taper all the way to zero.

  5. #5

    User Info Menu

    Yay for mods! Awesome story!
    EVH - Blue Quilt
    1995 - Luke I - Pearl Blue
    2009 - 25th Anniversary
    2011 - Luke II - True Gold BFR
    2012 - Axis Tribute - Trans Pink
    2016 - Cutlass - Vintage Sunburst
    2017 - St. Vincent - Stealth Black

    Take a break from playin' guitar and read a webcomic: nemu*nemu!

  6. #6

    User Info Menu

    +1 on the treble bleed. Invaluable imo.
    JP6 Pearl Redburst D.O.B. 04/06/09
    Axis Translucent Gold D.O.B. 03/17/08
    Axis Super Sport HH Candy Red D.O.B. 06/11/07
    Axis Super Sport HH Trans Blue D.O.B. 02/04/13
    Axis Super Sport HH Blue Pearl D.O.B. 10/16/01
    Silhouette Special HSS Carbon Blue Pearl D.O.B. 07/26/07
    Silhouette Special HSS Black D.O.B. 03/05/14
    Luke Bhodi Blue D.O.B. 00/00/98

    Check out our Band
    Or on Facebook The Stoneberries

  7. #7

    User Info Menu

    Tried plenty of treble bleed setups also, with varying results. For me, the linear pots are simpler and more consistent.
    The rest of your setup (cables, amps, effects, gain, volume...) all come into play as well. I'm still trying to learn & play a bit of everything, and generally a lot of quiet & clean stuff. If I was rocking medium/high gain all the time, it's not nearly as noticeable.
    Balls are Best!!

  8. #8

    User Info Menu

    Great guitars - great stuff - well done you !
    Black Cherry Burst Albert Lee , SSS,Trem & Piezo 2005
    Black LE Albert Lee MM90,Trem 2006 with solid 9k gold knobs;Mesa F50 Combo; Original (owned from new)Marshall 25/50 Silver Jubilee signed by Jim;AER 60 ;WEM Clubman 5W;Musicman RP 65 112;Musicman RD 50 112:
    Fender Jaguar Modern - P90's

  9. #9

    User Info Menu

    thanks Spud!
    Hope you and your dream car are doing well...
    Balls are Best!!

  10. #10

    User Info Menu

    Cars, motorcycles, guitars... they’re all made for modding - make them YOURS!

    Curator of The Morseum

    Top dollar paid for "First 50" Morses!

  11. #11

    User Info Menu

    Very nice!

    2019 Albert Lee - BFR - Electric Shimmer
    2019 Axis SS semi hollow - DuBaldo Blue - rosewood neck
    2019 StingRay fretless - BFR - Sierra Vintage Burst
    2018 Axis SS - BFR - Buckeye Burl
    2017 StingRay 5 - 30th Ann
    2013 Luke III - PDN - emerald green sparkle
    - rosewood neck
    2012 Morse - BFR - Dark Lord
    2010 Axis SS - red flame - rosewood neck
    2009 Axis - pink quilt
    2006 StingRay fretless - 30th Ann
    2000 Axis SS - Lavender Pearl
    1996 StingRay - 20th Ann
    1995 Albert Lee - Jim Messina’s

  12. #12

    User Info Menu

    How would you describe the tonal difference to the stock setup?
    Cheers, Michael

  13. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mischi_miyagi View Post
    How would you describe the tonal difference to the stock setup?
    Cheers, Michael
    ugh... I stink at tone descriptions.... however...
    I read a comment somewhere awhile back to the effect of " In general, DiMarzio pickups tend to have a more modern sound, and SD pickups tend to have a more vintage sound"
    My limited experience agrees with that statement. To my ears, the stock AL buckers are a bit more compressed and 'thicker' sounding, which along with the all mahogany body + rosewood neck, pushes the lower mids up and seems just a bit on the dark side. And this is perfect for a lot of people and a lot of styles!
    Of course the rest of the signal chain + amp choice effects the end result as well.
    Now, I love to rock! But I'm also working on a lot of cleaner stuff and enjoy a bit of jangle in there as well.
    The PG pups give me this in spades, cleaner & brighter than the stock pups, along with a fabulous 'classic rock' crunch.
    In the stock config, I could only add a bit of that clean jangle at the amp or with pedals, but now it's real easy to drop the tone down when I want.
    Again, it's all personal preference.... YMMV...
    Balls are Best!!

  14. #14

    User Info Menu

    Ha - work gets in the way. Only 11 months of that left to go then I sail into the sunset.

    I hope to raise it from it's slumbers in the next couple of weeks - fingers crossed.

    Still have my Al's and I'm seeing him play in Cardiff in March. Tickets all bought !!!
    Black Cherry Burst Albert Lee , SSS,Trem & Piezo 2005
    Black LE Albert Lee MM90,Trem 2006 with solid 9k gold knobs;Mesa F50 Combo; Original (owned from new)Marshall 25/50 Silver Jubilee signed by Jim;AER 60 ;WEM Clubman 5W;Musicman RP 65 112;Musicman RD 50 112:
    Fender Jaguar Modern - P90's

  15. #15

    User Info Menu

    Cool. I dig the mods you did!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Ernie Ball Forums