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Thread: Sterling Valentine pickup swap question, possible to just swap?

  1. #1

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    Sterling Valentine pickup swap question, possible to just swap?

    Hi all!
    First post here, new owner of a Sterling Valentine, not the expensive MM Ernie Ball one.

    Now, I've found that most people have small gripes against that the guitar hasn't got a single coil in the neck position, but frankly, wouldn't it be very easy to swap these out with each other? The single coil bridge pickup is in the exact dimensioned shell as the neck humbucker and I wonder if one could just swap places with these to have single coil in neck position? And HB in bridge position.

    I wonder if there's anyone that has done this on their Sterling Valentines?

    Also if it's possible to just turn on the bridge single coil to get a "reverse slant" staggered pole pieces, or if something seriously happens with phase reversal, or whenever in pararell/serial mode, or any "in between" setting when both pickups are used.

    FWIW, I think it's the main trait of the Sterling Valentine. The high end one, it isn't needed, since you have split/tap hb in neck anyway.
    Last edited by Mats Eriksson; 03-22-2021 at 09:48 AM.

  2. #2

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    Seems that one has to get a pic here before someone replies. Here's the wear on the pickguard after having it for one week, 1-2 hrs a day playing, with a regular plastic/nylon pick...neither soft or hard...medium

    Sterling Valentine pickup swap question, possible to just swap?-sbv-pickguard-wear-002-jpg

    This was a first. Have had other guitars, both posh and budget, where this isn't showing up in 10 years time even.

  3. #3

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    I've gotta admit thought the neck was splittable on the sterling one. Shouldn't be a problem to rewire it and move the bridge pickup, but if it were me, I'd just buy a splittable pickup for the neck.
    The stuff about phase reversal is beyond me I'm afraid, and the pick guard wear... new one on me too. Actually looks cool to me tho
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  4. #4

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    If I were to hazard a guess about the pick guard, I'd say they used a cream or white pickguard, and just printed the tortoise shell pattern on it, or it's a very thin sticker, and you just wore the pattern.

    There's a reason the Sterling line costs significantly less than the EBMM line, and it's not just because it's made in Indonesia. I have a couple of Sterling Axis, and it's readily apparent how they get to their price point. When I received my most recent Axis (the new flame maple neptune blue), the frets felt gritty, like sandpaper. On closer inspection, it was obvious that they had run a sanding beam over the frets to level them, but then didn't bother to polish further - you could see the tooling marks. Several hours with my set of fret erasers and a polish cloth and they're loads better (but not quite up to the quality of the stainless frets on my EBMM Axis).

    That, and on both my my Sterling Axis, the tremolo - it's certainly serviceable, but the arm has way too much slop until it's almost completely screwed in. A little pipe tape fixed that somewhat. Also, the tuning machines leave much to be desired - I may swap them for a set of ratios.

    All that said, the neck feels great, and the pickups are nice and hot. They didn't cut corners where it really mattered.
    2018 EBMM Axis BFR in Steel Blue
    2020 SbMM Axis in White
    2021 SbMM Axis in Neptune Blue
    ...and some other, lesser, non-MM guitars.

  5. #5

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    Thank you for reply. But I've encountered a lof other Indonesian/South Korean/south Asian guitars with pickguards, that after ten years (black ones) just shows a surface scratching without changing colors. You can only detect it when you hold it up against the light and see surface "pencil marks" so to speak. Never ever encountered a wear down to the bottom on any other pickguard after one week, regardless how shoddy Chinese copy I had.

    This got me thinking actually, while I have to change out pickguard soon then, if it chews that much in one week, I've eroded my way down to the top body wood, within 1 year, I would rather turn to Ilitch hum cancelling systems and ask them to build one with their humcancelling system built in, since one can't buy any silent circuits from EBMM at all, as a 3rd party or optional electronic circuit to put into any guitar. So I get rid of the hum from the SC pickup... although it's around 11K I think it's solvable.

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