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Bill Lawrence 70s-Era L-90XL Pickup_Project

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Random1643, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Random1643

    Random1643 TDPRI Member

    70
    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    I saw the one you posted on Reverb, Jake, after I bought mine elsewhere. IMO that's a fair asking price.
     
    Jakeboy likes this.

  2. Random1643

    Random1643 TDPRI Member

    70
    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    My guitar tech got back to me. He's up for the project. He suggests "building from the ground up" via Warmoth or similar. That looks expensive but then he's not climbing over obstacles in whatever playable beater I might pick up. Interested in all ya'lls' thoughts about that.

    Still drawn to tracking down or piecing together a semi-hollow of some kind. Still like a maple neck/fretboard. My local shop moves a lot of used electrics. I'll ask them to keep an eye out.
     

  3. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2014
    Sherman Oaks, Ca
    I still think that $400 Gibson would be great. Not a beater, and cheaper than a complete new Warmoth guitar.
     
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  4. Random1643

    Random1643 TDPRI Member

    70
    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    Yah, the Gibson stays on my list along with other guitar options.

    To your question, Derek, about the number of wires. It appears to have just 2 wires - one red and one blue - and then an additional thinner silver-colored wire that looks like maybe a ground. I am totally out of my element here. I stripped off about a 1/16th" of plastic covering, but it still looks like 2 main wires. Along the side of the plastic it reads Belden followed by some symbols I mostly can't make out - I can make out the number 4 followed by the Ohm symbol. I'm going to shoot an email to Becky Lawrence; see what she says.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
    LowThudd likes this.

  5. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    If it has two and not more, there’s basically only one way to wire it. If you went with current production, you’d have more options.
     
    Random1643 likes this.

  6. jamieorc

    jamieorc Tele-Meister

    427
    Apr 22, 2011
    Virginia
    With a 1 pickup guitar, maybe use a 5-way super switch. You could have some options with regular tone (maybe a couple of caps like .022 and .01) and a Q-filter (even a couple options on that) and then something else.
     
    Random1643 likes this.

  7. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2014
    Sherman Oaks, Ca
    Or a Varitone rotary switch. Could still include a Q filter instead of one cap.
     
    Random1643 likes this.

  8. Random1643

    Random1643 TDPRI Member

    70
    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    Good point, Derek. Altho my obsession is with the 70s-era pickups I played acoupla years ago. This is a consequence, I guess.

    Reminds me of an idea from earlier in the thread. kiwi blue said a "..better option is just to buy a new L90 for the neck and get a normal 2 x HB guitar like a Les Paul or SG and drop them in with standard two pickup wiring. The modern L90 should be pretty similar and easy to match with the old pickup." That's a thought.

    I'll keep stacking all y'all's ideas for pickups, wiring, 1- and 2-pickup guitars, etc.
     
    Derek Kiernan and LowThudd like this.

  9. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    The current L90s have the benefit of not only more wires, but greater inductance options. I wouldn't hesitate on using a 2.8H in the neck with an older 6H bridge. As mentioned, you can also use a Q-filter. If you have two tones, you can wire them up to have different effects with the same Q-filter, using a resistor on one and capacitor + resistor on the other, to lower the inductance of the neck position while retaining the lowend as you dial back for the bridge position.
     

  10. LowThudd

    LowThudd Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2014
    Sherman Oaks, Ca
    You might ask Becky if they could rewire the pickup with four wires for a fee.
     
    Random1643 likes this.

  11. Random1643

    Random1643 TDPRI Member

    70
    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    That, Mssr. Thudd, is an interesting idea. Based on all yall's input am giving serious consideration to buying a new 2.8 Henry L90 for the neck pickup. I will run this by Becky.
     

  12. Random1643

    Random1643 TDPRI Member

    70
    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    My local music/guitar shop recommended a local guy who may be able upgrade the 1977 2-wire pickup to a 4-wire pickup. Am checking with him.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018

  13. Jakeboy

    Jakeboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sedalia, MO
    The 70s L90s Sound glorious just as they are. The sound of 70s rock.

    Thant said, interestingly enough, when I bought several sets of current production L90s several years ago before Bill passed, Becky told me that Bill said the vintage L90s are no better than his current ones.

    I love them all.
     
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  14. Random1643

    Random1643 TDPRI Member

    70
    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    I could believe that, Jake. And, depending on how this project pieces together, I could wind up with one each installed in the guitar.
     

  15. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Meister

    416
    May 28, 2008
    netherlands
    are the L90 not seald, think you can not converse them to 4(5 wire)
     

  16. Random1643

    Random1643 TDPRI Member

    70
    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    I dropped the L-90XL off with the local guy this morning (Saturday). I'll let him figure out any sealed, convertible to 4 wires, etc. questions. Should hear back on Monday.
     

  17. Random1643

    Random1643 TDPRI Member

    70
    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    Heard back from Becky Lawrence out there on the Left Coast. According to Becky, "..the L-90XL is filled with resin so I can't modify the internal wiring." I'll go with her take.

    Talking to the local guy was a bit confusing, like we were talking about some abstract concept about some mystical idea-of-a-pickup that might exist somewhere in the universe but we're not sure where vs. just adding 2 wires to an actual 2-wire pickup sitting right in front of him. On a table. In his shop. Weird.

    For now I'll focus on finding a viable 1- or 2-pickup guitar. For me this involves looking at, playing a bunch of instruments. I already have a list of possible guitars started. Am open to ideas with these criteria kinda bouncing around in my brain:
    • 1- or 2-pickup
    • Must be able to easily handle PAF-sized pickups. Is the guitar physically easy enough to work with, modify wiring, etc?
    • Something like a Tele Thinline Type w/ maple neck and fretboard is just attractive; (ebony ok, but likely pricier) – natural body would be nice but price more important.
    • Semi-hollow or chambered. Avoid center block? Isn’t that what gets my G5620T-CB up to 9 lbs.? So, light weight. Maybe shoot for 6-7 lbs complete.
    • Hollow body I think I'm just inviting live sound issues.
    • Best source is something I buy used or cheap new at local shop and can play hands-on.
    • Would love to pay in the $300-$500 range for entire guitar.
    • The Warmoth, Stew-Mac, etc route just looks expensive.
     

  18. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    If you did want an ebony look on ex rosewood, I just worked on a project using India ink (specifically Speedball Super Black) on the body to get a really great open grain but very black look, but it obviously needs something overtop to keep the ink sealed in. Don't know if that is a direction you want to go but it's pretty easy.


    If you're not committed to the hollow/semi-hollow direction and just want a humbucker guitar to experiment with, there's a lot of Les Paul Jrs that were made as single humbucker. Gibson used to have them available at a better price, but seemed to have increased it substantially and made them available with two humbuckers and a traditional bridge/stop piece setup. I don't understand why. The Epiphones are currently being listed at an exceptionally low price ($139) if you're interested in that direction: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Epiphone/Les-Paul-Junior-Special-Electric-Guitar.gc


    There's also all the Ibanez and Epiphone options if you're trying to stay within that price range for a semi hollow. I don't think it's worth looking for a "single pickup" model as your search would become increasingly esoteric and raise in price if you're trying to hit that range in the market.



    My only real general advice is it's always cheaper and easier to do it right than to do it twice. If you're uncomfortable doing wiring on a semi hollow or hollow body and will get someone else to do it, keep that in mind as a cost -- it's way less convenient than a solid body.
     
    Random1643 likes this.

  19. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

    I'm echoing Derek here but Epiphone LP Juniors are a steal.
     
    Random1643 likes this.

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