Upgrading my LP classic

ClintN667

Well-known member
I bought my Gibson LP classic last year around may or so. only did 2 "mods" to it. Put Grover locking tuners that were direct swap to the factory ones. No additional drilling and they work like a charm.. I also installed a string Butler that helped with the tuning BIG time.


View attachment 95564
Hmm I haven't thought about a string butler.
 

Bash_Man

Active member
Hmm I haven't thought about a string butler.
I like it my self.. compared to how the guitar held tuning when I first bought it, i can tell you I can jam for about 3 1/2 - 4 hours without an issue.. and I am bending and hitting the strings hard.

I even have it on my Gibson Flying V.. worked like a charm on there as well.. and looks nice too. I put an aftermarket Gibson Logo on it. haha
PXL_20210930_204326818.PORTRAIT~2.jpg
 

LPMojoGL

Well-known member
I like it my self.. compared to how the guitar held tuning when I first bought it, i can tell you I can jam for about 3 1/2 - 4 hours without an issue.. and I am bending and hitting the strings hard.

I even have it on my Gibson Flying V.. worked like a charm on there as well.. and looks nice too. I put an aftermarket Gibson Logo on it. haha
View attachment 95624
Nice v!
 

GlideOn

Member
Ah, the modern Gibson Les Paul...yes, there are a few questionable choices and design flaws but otherwise an extremely well built instrument with that iconic muscle car tone.

I'll second what DistortED says about the Faber bridge hardware. It helps unlock some extra clarity and sustain with a combination of steel and aluminum materials. Your whole instrument may resonate more and feel more "alive."

String Butler actually works and helps fix a 60 year old design flaw by keeping the strings uniform across the nut (like Fender, PRS). It will keep in tune much better. $40 and at the very least they are compatable with any stock aftermarket tuners with hex nuts. You may not even need locking tuners really, just lubricate the stock TUSQ nut they put on the 2021 models.

The stock Burstbucker 1 and 2 pickups are actually quite good, the problem is that Gibson has a bad habit of using 300k pots where 500k pots should really be the norm. Using 500k can increase clarity further and eliminate any muddy tones to be had.

Treble Bleeds on the volume pots - go-to values can be 500pf with 200k resistor in series. These make the pickups far more versatile and actually usable at lower volumes on guitar when you don't need full-on distortion all the time.

Then you can finally adjust your amps' treble and mid setting back down to earth and enjoy some proper tones.

If you are still not satisfied with the Burstbuckers after these changes, the last thing to consider would be magnet swaps - try Roughcast Alnico 5 or "Unoriented" UOA5 Alnico 5 - these add depth and 3D tone to the stock polished A5 or A2 magnets (depending on the year Gibson used either in their Burstbuckers).

You will then at least now have the best foundation to hear the full potential of any pickup swap. Consider virtually anything in the boutique aftermarket, it's all subjective.
 
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Dino 939

Well-known member
I'd install a WCR Ironman with an A5 magnet
for the treble pickup &
a Seymour Duncan Black Winter for the
bass pickup.
Pots/ Caps: BareKnuckle 550 K pots &
.15, .022 BK paper in oil capacitors.
Faber bridge/tailpiece/studs
-( For me ), Callaham bridge/tailpiece/studs.
But the Callaham is pricey.
For mega-high ass gain, you won't hear the investment.
But if you use the pick & fingers and....,
VOLUME CONTROLS & POTS! ..-HaHa!!
I think Callaham stuff looks so bad to the bone and they make all their own stuff from their own f'n hands & machinery.

-Play the living shit out of it-
Endgame.
 
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GlideOn

Member
I'd install a WCR Ironman with an A5 magnet
for the treble pickup &
a Seymour Duncan Black Winter for the
bass pickup.
Pots/ Caps: BareKnuckle 550 K pots &
.15, .022 BK paper in oil capacitors.
Faber bridge/tailpiece/studs
-( For me ), Callaham bridge/tailpiece/studs.
But the Callaham is pricey.
For mega-high ass gain, you won't hear the investment.
But if you use the pick & fingers and....,
VOLUME CONTROLS & POTS! ..-HaHa!!
I think Callaham stuff looks so bad to the bone and they make all their own stuff from their own f'n hands & machinery.

-Play the living shit out of it-
Endgame.
Good luck getting WCR pickups new or used sometime this century.

I had a WCR Godwood in the bridge of my Les Paul for 2 years and it was great but it wasn't the best I've ever had.

Been extremely happy with wax-potted Duncan Antiquity UOA5. With the potting and magnet swap it elevates an already legedary pickup to new heights. Nothing can quite touch it for all-around versatility, clarity, depth, tightness and that unmistakable PAF attitude.

It can do metal no problem.
 
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Subsonic73

New member
Hey guys, I'm swapping out the tuners on my Gibson LP classic(ebony) and was wondering what are some worthwhile upgrades? A friend said he swapped his bridge out for an ABM 2504 but I'm not sold on that one.

I also want to look at some new pickups. I like the bridge pickup ok but I think I could really use something a bit hotter. I play stuff from classic rock to death metal so preferably something that can accommodate a range(I don't do cleans much at all so no worries there). The neck pickup I could definitely use an upgrade. I like the Sentient pickup a lot and the black winter neck is ok but not sure past those.

Also I've read some forums where people mentioned replacing the pots and switches? Is that something that is worth it or just nit picking?
Honestly for what you describe, I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to try the Black Winter set in that LP. I have one set up with the BW's and I'm using it for basically the same purposes (i.e. playing everything from classic rock and heavy blues rock to death and doom metal). I was skeptical at first that the BW's would be versatile enough to cover all that ground tone-wise, but they've been great so far. I've used the Sentient neck p.u. in the past as well with a Nazgul in the bridge......I tend to prefer the sound of the Black Winter over the Nazgul, but I agree that the Sentient is excellent. So even throwing the BW in the bridge with the Sentient in the neck would be a potentially winning combo I think.

I also installed Grover locking tuners on there and they're perfect, and an easy install. So much less issues with tuning instability now. I'm considering a string butler as well, that's probably next on my agenda.
 

romanianreaper

Well-known member
My 2013 Gibson Les Paul Classic was a guitar I traded, thinking it was a Standard. I wasn't paying attention and should have noticed the greenish inlays. Years later, it has grown on me and I have covered it wirh a few stickers, got Motor City 2nd Degree Blackbelts in it and am planning on upgrading the tuners soon.
 

GlideOn

Member
Yeah whenever I ordered from him I’d get mine within a week to week and a half max

What's up with this? They have very fast turnaround times.
Is that so? If that's true he's the only boutique pick-up maker I've heard of post-pandemic era that is operating as if all is normal in the world.

If so, by all means go for it. I would go for something other than the Godwood as it was congested with high-gain application but the lower wind Darkburst/Icebucker or thicker wire Fillmore may fare better.

There's no doubt that the WCR has a dedicated cult following, I've just never gotten the hype myself.
 

thegame

Well-known member
Is that so? If that's true he's the only boutique pick-up maker I've heard of post-pandemic era that is operating as if all is normal in the world.

If so, by all means go for it. I would go for something other than the Godwood as it was congested with high-gain application but the lower wind Darkburst/Icebucker or thicker wire Fillmore may fare better.

There's no doubt that the WCR has a dedicated cult following, I've just never gotten the hype myself.
Are you confusing Jim from WCR with Wade from MotorCity pickups perhaps? MotorCity is notorious for pre pandemic delays (could it be worse now?) and spotty customer service.
 

GlideOn

Member
Are you confusing Jim from WCR with Wade from MotorCity pickups perhaps? MotorCity is notorious for pre pandemic delays (could it be worse now?) and spotty customer service.
I am not, no.

But logic would say that both have similar issues and that "a week or two turn-around" no longer applies in today's extreme high-demand consumer market
 

DistortED

Active member
Bash_Man and GlideOn I wanted to thank you both for mentioning the String Butler. My classic was purchased from a gentleman who had Bad Mojo Makeovers do their deluxe finish. I did all the Creamtone Parts, SD Custom Shop Super V / Bare Knuckle Mule neck pups, Faber Bridge / Stoptail piece Parts, Grover Milk Bottles, Tusq XL Nut and 920D Pre-wire Kit. This String Butler was the icing on the cake. Ended up getting one and man this thing works great. My Classic is complete now, thank you Guys.

thumbnail.jpeg
 

Bash_Man

Active member
Bash_Man and GlideOn I wanted to thank you both for mentioning the String Butler. My classic was purchased from a gentleman who had Bad Mojo Makeovers do their deluxe finish. I did all the Creamtone Parts, SD Custom Shop Super V / Bare Knuckle Mule neck pups, Faber Bridge / Stoptail piece Parts, Grover Milk Bottles, Tusq XL Nut and 920D Pre-wire Kit. This String Butler was the icing on the cake. Ended up getting one and man this thing works great. My Classic is complete now, thank you Guys.

View attachment 96653
Beautiful.. how do you find the tuning stability on the guitar after the string butler?
 

Bash_Man

Active member
Superb, man I'm just hitting the strings hard and the tuning is still spot on. Thanks again Bro for the heads up.
Awesome.. glad to hear and no problem. To be honest, after I installed mine on my LP Classic, it made the guitar even more fun to play. Enjoy playing your improved LP Classic. Cheers
 
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