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The Blonde needs strings
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Unclenny
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#1
2nd February 2008
Old 2nd February 2008
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The Blonde needs strings

I'm in the mood for a change...and I think I've been spending WAY too much time with the SG.

So I uncased the Blonde today.



Thing is I've been in such a string rut (D'addario 10's...forever) with this guit and I think I need something new to break out.

I use GHS 11's on the SG with a wound G (.021).

I use my fingers and I like to pop the strings a bit.

I'm going out tomorrow and coming home with something different.

Talk to me...........
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#2
3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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flat wounds
Unclenny
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3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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Yeah....I thought about flats. I like a little string noise though.

Those cleartones look good..... except not sure about coated strings.

Time to pull the trigger on this decision. Probably try the GHS 11's, which of course means setting it all up from the 10's.

I'm sure that about two hours from now I'll have the dad gum Floyd Rose off and I'll be wishing I had left well enough alone.
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3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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I'd avoid flatwounds on a strat, myself.

I like them on jazzmasters, but not on strats.
Could try 1/2 rounds though.
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3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Yeah....I thought about flats. I like a little string noise though.

Those cleartones look good..... except not sure about coated strings.

Time to pull the trigger on this decision. Probably try the GHS 11's, which of course means setting it all up from the 10's.

I'm sure that about two hours from now I'll have the dad gum Floyd Rose off and I'll be wishing I had left well enough alone.
the combo of floyd rose + a locking nut has killed more tone than i can think of.....those things are the devil.

i still remember popping a string on one of those evil contraptions 10 years back with no back up guitar.
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Thats what im talking about ! Keem`em comming!!!
#7
3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eligit View Post
the combo of floyd rose + a locking nut has killed more tone than i can think of.....those things are the devil.

i still remember popping a string on one of those evil contraptions 10 years back with no back up guitar.
I've only owned one floyd equipped guitar, which was a pointy ibanez with a too flat neck.
I can't stand them either- I know some people can do amazing things with them from a sonic perspective but I could never get on with them.

The only guitars I use regularly with trems are my PRS custom 24, a 79 strat and a PRS/Strat hybrid with PRS trem unit.
The PRS trem is great- very musical, smooth and accurate.
Unclenny
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3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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In actually like the Floyd. It came to me that way as a custom build that I got second and it has become a part of the way I play that guitar.......the lower tuning screws are worn down to brass from my palm resting there. Can't say how the tone would be different having had no other experience.

All that said, the Floyd is now resting on the bench next to the guitar while I take the opportunity to give her a good cleaning before slipping on the 11's.

Hmmmm......... maybe this would be a good time to change the Floyd out for a Bigsby.

Now THERE is a picture. I could probably go to jail for something like that.
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3rd February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
In actually like the Floyd. It came to me that way as a custom build that I got second and it has become a part of the way I play that guitar.......the lower tuning screws are worn down to brass from my palm resting there. Can't say how the tone would be different having had no other experience.

All that said, the Floyd is now resting on the bench next to the guitar while I take the opportunity to give her a good cleaning before slipping on the 11's.

Hmmmm......... maybe this would be a good time to change the Floyd out for a Bigsby.

Now THERE is a picture. I could probably go to jail for something like that.
:-)

I have no real prejudice against floyds- a lot of roots/blues/country players simply loathe them due to there association with all things pointy and spandex- but I think that is unfair- kinds of like hating diamonds because of hiphop culture.

A Floyd would look out of place on a tele though. :-)
A Bigsby is the only trem that works for me on a tele.
#10
4th February 2008
Old 4th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
In actually like the Floyd. It came to me that way as a custom build that I got second and it has become a part of the way I play that guitar.......the lower tuning screws are worn down to brass from my palm resting there. Can't say how the tone would be different having had no other experience.

All that said, the Floyd is now resting on the bench next to the guitar while I take the opportunity to give her a good cleaning before slipping on the 11's.

Hmmmm......... maybe this would be a good time to change the Floyd out for a Bigsby.

Now THERE is a picture. I could probably go to jail for something like that.
a bigsby won't stay in tune as well as a floyd....but if you replace the locking nut with a normal one and sub a bigsby it should improve matters.

the thing is that one of the big plusses of a bigsby is not having to cut out so much of the body wood.

since the body is already cut out for the floyd....the benefits would be less.

that said....you would score mucho "cool points" having a strat with a bigsby.

but then i might start bitching about that back humbucker ehe

maybe a coil split for the bridge pup?

this is my preferred trem set up:

http://www.zacharyguitars.com/150304_11.JPG

and

http://www.zacharyguitars.com/150304_10.JPG

set up fully floating....but still retains huge tone and stays in tune remarkably well. it is the most sensitive trem i have played. two springs and i can touch the bar to the body with the strings flopping with two fingers easily.
#11
4th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
:-)

I have no real prejudice against floyds- a lot of roots/blues/country players simply loathe them due to there association with all things pointy and spandex- but I think that is unfair- kinds of like hating diamonds because of hiphop culture.

A Floyd would look out of place on a tele though. :-)
A Bigsby is the only trem that works for me on a tele.
i always hated floyds. associations notwithstanding....that locking nut is a turn off (i even cut myself on one once)....as is the whole machinery of the bridge. i cannot prove it....but i think clamping the string at both ends hurts the resonance and tone of the instrument.
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4th February 2008
Old 4th February 2008
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I agree with the theoretical tone issues with the Floyd. Not sure about the locking nut thing but a hole right through the guitar body MUST have negative implications for tone.

By the way, that Zachary trem looks kind of Floyd-like. No locking nut?

OK........This could get interesting.

With everything re-assembled I'm really struggling with intonation of the lower strings. If you look at the picture you'll see that the lower tuner is adjusted to the max from earlier intonation struggles.

So....I took it back apart and, lo and behold.... the stud on that side is loose. I mean seriously loose.....problematical.

Anyway...I'm down in the studio this morning at 3:00 AM.....sleep is for the weak, right? I'm looking at the Blonde, all in parts and I'm thinking about all these excellent posts and I hear a voice coming from somewhere, maybe the monitors...who knows.

It says...."CUSTOMIZE, SON".

OK...........

Here is the tentative plan....and if somebody wants to talk me out of it I'd appreciate it.......

Pull off the Floyd and destroy it.

Fill the body voids.

Slap on a Bigsby ( I LOVE the Bigsby on my SG!).

Pull of the humbucker (It IS somewhat less than musical).

Slap on a......P-90 (soapbar?) in its place.

I may be in need of a good ol' fashioned reality check here.
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4th February 2008
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the z trem is wikinson style (not like a floyd at all, closer to a strat but with two posts instead of the usual screws in the bridge)...but it is set up in a very particular way.....custom springs, etc. NOOOO locking nut. he uses this special secret material to make the nut to reduce friction....works fantastically well for tuning (it is not graphite)

it is funny you mention "filling the void". one of my students just bought a beat up old LP (that i picked out for them) that some crazy person had put a kahler trem in, routing the hell out of the body. but then a repair guy took out the kahler and "filled the void" with wood again....and put on a regular LP bridge.

the funny part is that the guitar sounds and plays very well now. better than average LP.

so what you are talking about is possible i guess. you could restore all the missing wood, replace the nut....and at least theoretically put a bigsby on there. the thing i am wondering is.....does a bigsby even FIT on a strat? just considering the pick guard and the slope of the top....etc.

also....not sure exactly what the shape of the missing wood is when you remove a floyd....how easy would it actually be to restore something like that? could be a nightmare.

i totally support the idea of replacing the humbucker with a p-90. that alone would improve things.
#14
4th February 2008
Old 4th February 2008
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Try some new strings, set it up and get the intonation dead on and LEAVE IT ALONE!

That's a beautiful guitar and any mods will only de-value it.

If the SG and the Strat aren't getting the tones you want, try something
like the Anderson Cobra Special or Collings 290 with P-90's.

Or how about one o' deez :-)

P-90 and HB


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#15
4th February 2008
Old 4th February 2008
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^^

i'm pretty much sure if you have a flawed (see above) install of a floyd and a HB in the bridge you are not too worried about resale value. it is pretty much a devalued guitar as it is. the only real downside of doing some remodelling is if you don't know what you are doing....and end up destroying the guitar.

sidenote: i have always thought that having all that clamping of the strings on a floyd before the trem block really hurt the tone....routing notwithstanding.
Unclenny
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4th February 2008
Old 4th February 2008
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Yeah....don't know that this guitar has much resale value. It's a one-off from a local luthier/guit tech who built it for himself and sold it down the line to me. I could never sell it.

It really plays well...nice wide koa neck and all (that slim taper neck on the SG does get a little old after a while). I guess it would be foolish to start messin' with it.

I think the Floyd installation was good......it's just that I've been beating on that end of the trem for a few years. I took it back apart and cranked down on the stud. The whole trem is a shade cock-eyed now but I got the intonation right.

Still.........a nice cream P90 instead of the humbucker......might slip right in and end up looking even better than what Dr. Bob envisioned.

That Duesenberg is SHARP!!

When I grow up I wanna play in the Super Bowl......halftime only of course.
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4th February 2008
Old 4th February 2008
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If you fixed the intonation, then good, don't mess with success!

Check the neck to see if the winter temp changes and dryness might call for a minor
1/4-1/2 turn.

If she's straight, leave it alone.

To get a rough idea of what P-90's are about try one of the PRS Soapbar SE's

They aren't bad for the price, around $400.00

Then imagine a really well built guitar like the Anderson or Collings or Duesenberg
or Suhr set up with American made P-90's
#18
4th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
To get a rough idea of what P-90's are about try one of the PRS Soapbar SE's

They aren't bad for the price, around $400.00
Plenty of people are buying the SE's and then dropping Lollar or Harmonic Designs P90's in them.
Unclenny
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#19
4th February 2008
Old 4th February 2008
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I'm OK now.

I won't be touching the Blonde......strung her back up and she plays like she should.

I'll wait for that LP Jr. to come into my life to get my P90 fix.

Thanks, guys.
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4th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
I'm OK now.

I won't be touching the Blonde......strung her back up and she plays like she should.

I'll wait for that LP Jr. to come into my life to get my P90 fix.

Thanks, guys.
all that drama for nothing.....ah well....
Unclenny
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#21
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Hey....it was close. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

And besides....there's always presidential politics and Britney Spears for drama, right?
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