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  1. #1

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    Inspired by "icr" who turned a Sebring JS20 into a credible L5ces clone, I have decided to turn my own Sebring JS20 into a Gibson ES-350 clone!

    The main issue is pickups. I've wanted an archtop guitar with single-coil pickups, so I'd like to put single-coil on this one, in keeping with the original ES-350.

    My big issue is I really, really like the aesthetics and authentic look of the dog-eared P90. I know, however, that it's not a drop-in replacement.

    Anyone here have experience and insight on replacing set-in humbuckers with dog-eared P90s?

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  3. #2

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    Jason Lollar offers oversized P90 shims that cover up the humbucker rout nicely. Write to him: https://www.lollarguitars.com/blog/tag/p-90-shims/
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 06-10-2016 at 08:34 AM.

  4. #3

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    Dogears may look more "original" but humbucker shaped P90s dropped into the existing PU ring is much easier to height adjust. With P90s you'll need to shim the PU. With the humbucker mount, adjustments can be done in a few seconds with a screwdriver. It's the same reason I prefer Biltofts HCC PUs in humbucker mount to the more classical CC PU mount - they adjust very easily and can easily be replaced with other PU types without any surgery if I should later want that. Check out the Lollar link in Jabberwockys post above. It describes various problems one may run into when mounting dogear P90s.
    Last edited by oldane; 06-10-2016 at 08:55 AM.

  5. #4

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    As Jabbs said, the Lollars are what you need. Just make sure when you screw the dog ears into the spacer the screw does not crack the top. Pre drill pilot holes first. Make sure the screws are not too long as that may cause the top to crack also. You may need to do some creative adjustments with a heat gun etc. if theres a deep carve to the top . I did this with an old Kay archtop and the spacer was flat and I couldnt get it to bend no matter what i did. I went to the local hobby shop and bought a block of balsa wood for $3 and taped a piece of sand paper to the top and sanded the balsa until it had the correct carve, about 4 min. was all it took. Then with a razor knife I cut the outline of the spacer after tracing it on the wood. Cut the inside of the spacer first as the balsa is quite fragile, then cut the outside shape. sand it smooth ,spray paint it black or cream and pre drill a pilot hole, you can use a tooth pick to make the hole. The balsa is strong enough to mount the p90 to without any problems. If you want to strenghten the balsa , just get a tube of THIN INSTANT CURE super glue from the hobby shop and drip it on the balsa it will soak in and become hard as stone. Screw the screws into the balsa and then back them out before dripping the glue this way the screw holes will be tough as nails and wont strip if you have to remove them a couple of times . If you do the super glue thing get Great Planes brand or I believe its Mercury brand thats also really good too. Let it dry good before painting and the glue has an odor to it so outside might be best. Good luck. Bob

  6. #5

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    Lollar makes a "short" dog ear for guitars with string clearance issues.

  7. #6

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    This is how I did it in my ES-125 that had a humbucker installed:



    But the ES-125 does not have a lot of height under the strings in that position, otherwise I would have used a shim. If your Sebring does, you can go for Jabberwocky's solutions with the shims. If that is too high with a normal tall P90-cover, you can try the lower P90 cover.

    You will need the oversized P90 shim:



    Low vs tall P90-cover:

    Last edited by Little Jay; 06-10-2016 at 11:00 AM.

  8. #7

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    Oversize P90 shims also available from Allparts. I know what the OP means, nothing looks as cool as a P90, - unless its a staple P90!

  9. #8

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    Some useful information from a previous discussion,

    https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/guita...-question.html

  10. #9

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    I like the "humbucker-sized P-90" option; different people make them:

    H90 - Porter Pickups

    ThroBak Pro-90 Humbucker Sized P90 Pickups - Best in Class

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    I like the "humbucker-sized P-90" option; different people make them:

    H90 - Porter Pickups

    ThroBak Pro-90 Humbucker Sized P90 Pickups - Best in Class
    It's the quickest and most hassle-free way for sure, but I can sympathize with the TS that he prefers the look of the dog ear P90s!


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  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    It's the quickest and most hassle-free way for sure, but I can sympathize with the TS that he prefers the look of the dog ear P90s!


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    Seriously, this isn't about merely getting single-coil sound; without the severe surgery needed to put a "real" CC pickup in this guitar, I want to create as close to a classic ES350 clone as I can, given I have the husk of this Sebring to work with. So I get it that the humbucker sized P90's are easy... but I want the dog-ear look!

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Seriously, this isn't about merely getting single-coil sound; without the severe surgery needed to put a "real" CC pickup in this guitar, I want to create as close to a classic ES350 clone as I can, given I have the husk of this Sebring to work with. So I get it that the humbucker sized P90's are easy... but I want the dog-ear look!
    Hope you will be more successful than I was when I routed the top of my Emperor Regent with first a Gibson classic 57 then a VV Humbucker Charlie Christian in my quest for a cheap Tal Tone...
    I don't regret doing it though, I still got a great sounding instrument much better than the boomy acoustic flat top tone it originally had.
    However it was still lacking the lower mid thunk associated with laminated Gibson and when I got my '90s Tal (with its 57 humbucker) I immediately recognized what the Regent was lacking. Yes it is not a laminate from the '50 with a CC pup but magically it is far closer to Tal's tone from the mid '50 go figure.
    Most of the Asian laminated spruce top copies have heard tend to be on the brighter side and are more thudding than thunking and I don't think pickup and electronic will change that much.
    The construction, the type of wood (maple versus spruce) thickness of the laminate play a higher role than it appears.
    Still it might be a worthy experiment and you will certainly have fun doing it.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinlander
    Hope you will be more successful than I was when I routed the top of my Emperor Regent with first a Gibson classic 57 then a VV Humbucker Charlie Christian in my quest for a cheap Tal Tone...
    I don't regret doing it though, I still got a great sounding instrument much better than the boomy acoustic flat top tone it originally had.
    However it was still lacking the lower mid thunk associated with laminated Gibson and when I got my '90s Tal (with its 57 humbucker) I immediately recognized what the Regent was lacking. Yes it is not a laminate from the '50 with a CC pup but magically it is far closer to Tal's tone from the mid '50 go figure.
    Most of the Asian laminated spruce top copies have heard tend to be on the brighter side and are more thudding than thunking and I don't think pickup and electronic will change that much.
    The construction, the type of wood (maple versus spruce) thickness of the laminate play a higher role than it appears.
    Still it might be a worthy experiment and you will certainly have fun doing it.
    This one has a laminated maple top, so maybe it won't be as bright.

    I'm aiming more for Barney Kessel than Tal, but really, I just want a full-sized archtop with single-coils, and had this Sebring to play with. Going with GuitarFetish Dream90's for now, to keep the investment at a minimum while I am experimenting. This guitar won't ever be a "serious" player for me, but more of a fun project.

  15. #14

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    ls-gfs dream 90's is basically a strat pickup in a humucker shell...the mean 90 is the p90 inspired one...as much as humbucker sized p90's can be


    cheers

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    ls-gfs dream 90's is basically a strat pickup in a humucker shell...the mean 90 is the p90 inspired one...as much as humbucker sized p90's can be


    cheers
    Oops. I mis-spoke there.

    What I have ordered is a pair of their dog-ear P90 type pickups. And I'm NOT going with humbucker sizing, as I said in the OP. I want the look as well as the sound of the dog-ear P90s.

  17. #16

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    It is possible to put a dogear in a humbucker guitar, but You need a bit of acrobatics putting it there. As is described. The balsa trick is great, I'll have to try it some day!

    Hb-sized p90's don't look like a real p90 – and even the Throbacks did not sound much like p90s. Maybe great but not there. Even appraised p90 maker and winding guru Jason Lollar can't do that.

    But there is also dogear sized p90's that don't sound like p90's! I have tried some of the cheaper ones and the result was not delightful.

    In fact one of the best ones are Gibson p90's which are not expensive at all.

    It is good to listen to Your guitar first too. I put a Lollar 50's Wind p90 dogear in my ES175 '59 VOS but it was too bright for that a-bit-in-the-brighter-side-of a guitar. And hated that buzz during the gig. Put the Classic 57 back FAST!

  18. #17

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    Update!

    I saw you pick of the conversion process in another thread, it should be here too

    I am really curious how you like the P90s, I was quite ashtonished of the clarity and how articulate P90s are compared to humbuckers. That affects your playing too! They are unforgiving! But in a good way.
    Last edited by Little Jay; 06-23-2016 at 05:41 AM.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Update!

    I saw you pick of the conversion process in another thread, they should be here too

    I am really curious how you like the P90s, I was quite ashtonished of the clarity and how articulate P90s are compared to humbuckers. That affects your playing too! They are unforgiving! But in a good way.
    You are right, the key word is "unforgiving"! And with the P90 in my ES175 VOS I realised that forgiving has a very important role in my playing style!

    Humbucker has a bit soft compression in the touch. I realised that I missed it with P90.

    Maybe I should have had a regular Lollar P90 instead of brighter 50's Wind P90. I love the smoky sound from Your ES125 in some of Your clips.

    But the "unforgiving" -factor plus the very annoying ground buzz in the first gig with the new pu were the reason why I changed back to a humbucker. Stock Classic 57 is very good for me with .013 strings and my contemporary go-to amp Tweed Deluxe clone.

    Maybe someday when I decide to have a second hollowbody I'll go to ES125 route.