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Epiphone Black Beauty 3, Middle P90?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by StolenBlackMesa, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. StolenBlackMesa

    StolenBlackMesa TDPRI Member

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    Just acquired an Epi Black Beauty, 3 pickup and am trying to find a better option for the middle position. Debating doing the 3Vol/1Tone mod and changing the middle position to the standard bridge+neck.

    Should I keep the Humbucker or convert to P90? Am I gonna run into pot issues or anything by doing that? Any kind of input in any category would help me out cause the ideas in its infancy at the moment.
     
  2. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Leave the humbuckers in it. Wire the 3-way pickup selector as a two-pup (bridge/both/neck) and do the three-volumes mod, wiring the middle pup straight to the output with the "jazz bass" wiring (pup hot goes to the middle lug on the pot). That way you can add the middle pup in any amount to the neck, bridge, and both combos. Uses existing parts.

    Phase two: p/p on the middle pup for phase reverse.

    Phase three: p/p coils shunts...
     
  3. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    The 3 vol/1 tone is the most versatile control system, similar to the ES5. If you really want to go straight life, get the middle pickup out of phase.
     
  4. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    +1 on what Deaf Eddie said!!
    I'd start with his phase 1 -- see how you like that before proceeding into P/P territory.
     
  5. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I had a epi 61 LP with that wiring, I like it ok. Honestly I found that the Gibson 3 pickup guitars don't really give you much more than a Gibson 2HB guitar with v/v/t/t maybe even less, and whacking the pick on the middle pickup can be kind of a distraction as well, but they sure do look great. Once you get the hang of the 3v you realize they have their own thing going. The certainly don't have the tonal diversity of a strat though.
     
  6. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Interesting suggestion from @Deaf Eddie -
    I'm wondering how to (or whether to) rewire a 3xP90 partscaster to be like a 3xP90 Gibson Switchmaster or LP custom.
    I want to see if the middle P90 is as much fun as it is on the avatar.
    Peace - Deeve
     
  7. StolenBlackMesa

    StolenBlackMesa TDPRI Member

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    So y’all think I should keep all 3 Buckers instead of throwing a P90 in the middle?

    And if I’m sure it won’t be hard to find a 3Vol/1Tone Wiring Diagram right?
     
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  8. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Well... I DO have a little experience with 3-pup LP customs...

    upload_2020-12-3_16-0-30.png

    I've owned this one since the mid seventies, and it was my trusty "BarWars" guitar through that stage of my life. It actually started out as a regular 2-pup Custom, and I added the third pickup.

    I went farther on this one than you probably want to go...

    The three mini-toggles near the v/t pots are individual coil shunts for each pickup - it could be easily done with two or three p/p. Contrary to what people who DON'T have one of these will tell you, if you coil shunt the pickups, it does a fabulous Strat #2 and #4 throws quack. In fact, I've listened to recordings done back then and puzzled over what Strat I had used - because I didn't have a Strat at that time!

    The mini-toggle next to the pickup selector, which is a regular bridge/both/neck deal, is an on/off/on for the middle pickup. UP, in phase; MIDDLE, off; DOWN out of phase.

    All the above COULD be accomplished with no new holes, using p/p...

    I wired mine up with a single master volume and tone, used the other two holes for a coils-parallel on the bridge pup (didn't use it much) and a kill switch (good for breaks, if nothing else).

    The Kahler was added in a fit of boredom in the 1980's...
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
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  9. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Just for giggles, the solo in the middle of this tune was me on THAT guitar, bridge and middle coil-shunt. The ripping stuff at the end was Mike Thomas...

    Feels Like I'm In Love Again
     
  10. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    man that was one seriously sustained note at the end of your solo.
     
  11. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    "... one seriously sustained note at the end of your solo"

    Oh yeah! I used the incredible sustain that guitar and amp combo would give me on stage quite regularly, in a few tunes every night. That guitar could just sing. Fun stuff.

    The pickups at that time were Gibson T-top humbuckers that I opened up, and wired in my own coil shunt leads (it has a Seymour Duncan Alnico 2 four conductor in the bridge now).

    I'll reveal the amp setup if you promise not to laugh. it was a workhorse amp for me for, probably, ten years or so. I remember that coming out of the studio after that session, it got rolled end over end down half a flight of stairs - and kept on working without a hitch for another several years, for as long as I owned it. After I quit gigging, I traded it to a keyboard player. It may still be playing, out there somewhere.

    Have you guessed what it was? I bet NOT!

    Sunn Solos II, using the "drive" channel (with the foot-switchable "X20" gain, as I recall) with an Electro Harmonix LPB-1 plugged into the front end. It was loaded with a pair of Altecs 417s at the time. A few other players who liked the band teased me, calling it "the lazer" when I would sustain a note like that on stage.

    And now back to the regular thread... Three-pup Les Paul Customs!

    Here's a pic of that guitar as it was when I did that solo, and the amp behind me...
    Please DON'T ask about the bunny costume...

    T-Bunny.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
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  12. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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  13. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Ah, the Freeway 6-way! I wondered when that was gonna come up. I bought one, but never installed it. What combos did you decide to set it up with?
     
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