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"mapleflame" mod... on an Epiphone LP

 
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ubertar
cryogenically thawing


Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 3660
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:12 pm    Post subject: "mapleflame" mod... on an Epiphone LP Reply with quote

I read about this LP mod online and decided to try it. It's very simple... just replace the bridge screws with longer ones; the holes are already deeper than the screws; just add the new ones and screw them in deeper. What most people say is it clears up the mud and murk and gives the tone more "sparkle" without sacrificing thickness or fullness of tone. Those are the results I got. It's not subtle.

What I found when I took the bridge off is that on my Epi, the screws are not 6-32 like on a Gibson ABR-1 bridge. Turns out they're M8. Not only that, they have narrower posts on top for the bridge to fit on. So it's not just a matter of cutting the head off a machine screw like in the original mod, but grinding around the top to make it narrower, for the bridge to fit on the posts. So it's a fair amount of work. Which possibly biases my judgment as to the results, since I've invested some time and effort into it. But as I said, it's not subtle. The ugly sub-bottom end I was getting from the stock pickups is gone, and it still sounds full and rich, with nice, clear but not harsh high-end.

I also added a single coil I wound in an old (60s? 70s?) Japanese case, in-between the stock humbuckers. I put in an on/off switch for that and one for the humbuckers so I can choose any combination of the three. The single is flat style; it fits under the strings without routing, so other than holes for the two mounting screws I didn't have to cut into the guitar. It has a steel plate underneath, so between that and the flat style wound hot, it has a DeArmond-ish kind of sound.

I'll add pics if people are interested. It would be a lot easier to do this mod on a Gibson, but it probably benefits the Epiphone more. The other changes I made to this guitar (a while back) are replacing the plastic nut with bone, and replacing the tuners. I really like how it sounds now. I've always liked how it plays... just really comfortable. It's a Chinese-made Epi LP Special II. Got it for 10 or 15 bucks.
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Jim Williams
tinnitus


Joined: 03 Jun 2006
Posts: 1129
Location: beautiful Carlsbad, CA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: "mapleflame" mod... on an Epiphone LP Reply with quote

Mine has threaded inserts for the bridge like the modern versions. It's much more solid than the American vintage single post screwed into the wood top. It also comes with grover tuners. It's a desert burst "Custom 'sweat' shop" limited edition.

A Burstbucker 1 and '57 in the bridge gives it that olde time sound I grew up with. Rather that cut up the guitar, I added stuff that fits the stock holes.

Each pickup was wired with 4 conductor wiing. I used a 6 way 4 deck rotary switch for each pickup. That offers all the possible coil combinations, series, parallel, single coils and two out of phase positions. 444 total pickup combinations keeps you entertained for hours. It does all the Fender tones very well.

A master tone pot was used on a push-pull switch to switch it in/out. I used one of my guitar preamps with a Burrbrown OPA1641 opamp set to a 5 meg ohm input impedance. The output pot is a 10k Bourns conductive plastic, very smooth with no tone changes when turned down. It will drive headphones and a 1000 foot guitar cable, if needed.

The 5 meg input impedance offers a clarity not heard with Gibson pickups. Just switching in the 500k tone pot set on '10' filters all that top end detail out to make it sound like a stock Gibson Les Paul.
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Snarl 12/8
ghost haunting audio students


Joined: 20 Dec 2008
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Location: Right Cheer

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:43 pm    Post subject: Re: "mapleflame" mod... on an Epiphone LP Reply with quote

Jim, do you have a diagram for all that? Or pictures?
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Jim Williams
tinnitus


Joined: 03 Jun 2006
Posts: 1129
Location: beautiful Carlsbad, CA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: Re: "mapleflame" mod... on an Epiphone LP Reply with quote

Google the Gibson L6-S wiring diagram. That shows how to wire the 6 position switch. I applied that to each humbucker to get those single coil sounds. This site doesn't allow posting schematics as attachments.

Push-pull tone pots are made by Bourns. The preamp is made here, contact me at Audio Upgrades for details.
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ubertar
cryogenically thawing


Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 3660
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:53 pm    Post subject: Re: "mapleflame" mod... on an Epiphone LP Reply with quote

Here's where I saw the mod:
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/the-mapleflame-mod.949170/

I made a little demo of how it sounds:
http://www.ubertar.com/mapleflame.mp3

There's no "before" to compare to, so it's of limited use, I guess. There are four sections; first the single coil, then both humbuckers together, then the same thing through a different amp that distorts more easily. Other than the amp distortion, it's totally dry/clean. SM57, close-miked.
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