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  1. #1

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    Dear Jazzers,

    I've committed a new video featuring my guitars equipped with Charlie Christian Pick Ups.




    Hope you'll enjoy the sound.

    All guitars but the Slaman DS-250 are equipped with Tomastick-Infled strings (all Swing 12-50, except the 175 CC which as Bebop 12-50). The Slaman DS-250 is mounted with Martin Monel strings. Amp is a
    Fender Deluxe Reissue '65. The sound was recorded with a Shure SM57 placed in front of the amp speaker.

    Have a nice and sunny (hopefully) Sunday.
    Last edited by Fred Archtop; 09-15-2019 at 10:20 AM.
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Wonderful guitars, playing and sound. Thanks for the video!
    Have I found it yet? I said that but I didn’t knew it. Did I knew that I had found it yet? No, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Nevermind. Ok.

    -Pataphysical monologue based on Cartesian theory

  4. #3

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    The backing tracks you use are wonderful, do you have a resource for those?

  5. #4

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    Awesome video. I particularly like the 80 175 and the black l50? Thanks for posting!!!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagelove View Post
    Awesome video. I particularly like the 80 175 and the black l50? Thanks for posting!!!
    Those appealed to me the most soundwise as well!

    They have some nice upper high clarity without sounding sharp.
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  7. #6

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    Are all of these ACTUAL/Vintage CC pickups? Or are they those nearly-identical UK versions, or other modern "copies" like Lollar, etc?

  8. #7

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    Thanks all for your comments and appraisals. Some folks here know that I am mad about CC PU, and I always take the occasion to put them forward. I agree with you that the L50 and ES-175 CC are in a different category, sound-wise, than the others. To me, they are more adapted to a "modern post-bop style" and, indeed, I use them in this type of musical situation. But maybe this is just me...Now I must say that my ES-150 is my "trip to a desert island" guitar, if ever I could find an amp on this island.

    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    Are all of these ACTUAL/Vintage CC pickups? Or are they those nearly-identical UK versions, or other modern "copies" like Lollar, etc?
    That's a mix of them. The ES-150 has an original (i.e. 1938) CC PU. The ES-175 CC has the PU that Gibson reissued for a brief period (1978-1980). It's conception is very different from the original, also tone-wise. The DS 250 and Gibson L50 were born in Daniel Slaman's guitar workshop. They are equipped with an ES-250 version (i.e. individual but non adjustable pole pieces). The ES-300 and L5C are equipped with Pete Biltoft special PU that I ordered to him. I once had a Lollar on my ES-300. Very good mic' but closer to a P90 as compared to the one from P. Biltoft. Therefore I switched for Pete's version.

    Cheers.
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

  9. #8

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    Gorgeous tone and great socks !

  10. #9

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    Great guitars, great playing and cool socks!
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  11. #10

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    Geeze Vinny, great minds think alike. We posted that at the same time....
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  12. #11

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    They all sound Wonderful to my ears! I had Peter Biltoft of Vintage Vibe Pickups make me a CC Humbucking floater that replaced my Kent Armstrong 12 piece floater. I love the sound of these pickups !

  13. #12

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    Do CC and P90 pickups have 60hz hum in France like in the USA ?
    I know the electric is different on your side of the pond.
    Always loved the CC and P90 tone better than a humbucker but not the hum that comes with it in the USA with our AC electricity.
    Sweet tone all axes Fred.

  14. #13

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    That's why I had Peter Biltoft of Vintage Vibe Pickups make a double Charlie Christian Humbucking pickup for my archtop. And it was a direct custom replacement for around $175.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k View Post
    Do CC and P90 pickups have 60hz hum in France like in the USA ?
    I know the electric is different on your side of the pond.
    Always loved the CC and P90 tone better than a humbucker but not the hum that comes with it in the USA with our AC electricity.
    Sweet tone all axes Fred.
    No, we have 50hz hum! ;-)


    But it hardly bothers me when I play my 1950 ES-125. But you need to stand a few feet away from your amp or change the guitar’s angle to the amp sometimes and then it goes away. I hardly ever come across a venue that doesn’t have properly grounded electrics anymore, that probably helps as well.

    Dimmers in lights and lamps are much worse, if you are on the same outlet as those.
    Last edited by Little Jay; 09-16-2019 at 05:01 AM.
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    No, we have 50hz hum! ;-)


    But it hardly bothers me when I play my 1950 ES-125. But you need to stand a few feet away from your amp or change the guitar’s angle to the amp sometimes and then it goes away. I hardly ever come across a venue that doesn’t have properly grounded electrics anymore, that probably helps as well.

    Dimmers in lights and lamps are much worse, if you are on the same outlet as those.
    Same experience for me. I've experienced a problem when giggin' just once over the last 2 or 3 years. No hassle with thess single coil PUs.
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by geogio View Post
    The backing tracks you use are wonderful, do you have a resource for those?
    I am using mostly Aebersold backing tracks that I have acquired over the years. I often make EQ corrections in my DAW, since lots of them are unbalanced between upright bass and drums. Quite frequently I remove the piano track, keeping just the bass+drums left channel that I will use as a mono track. Finaly, I mix the all thing with my guitar track and I wrap up everything by doing some gentle mastering. Here, I kept the piano track as it is part of the gimmick of the tune.

    Best regards.
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57 View Post
    That's why I had Peter Biltoft of Vintage Vibe Pickups make a double Charlie Christian Humbucking pickup for my archtop. And it was a direct custom replacement for around $175.
    could you post a picture of it please ?

  19. #18

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    I have to agree with Fred. The ES150 is sublime. Next comes the L50 and ES175.

    Well done.

  20. #19

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    Fred have you ever tried the CC Pickup with the screw poles (like on Metheny’s Slaman)? It’s a unique sound in the CC family of tones. I think the blade is a big part of the pickups sound, the pole CC is like a CC with a bit of P90 bite. A little more treble and a touch more dynamic.

    You should buy another guitar, this time with the poles.

  21. #20

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    Hmm? I am not sure that I have ever played a more dynamic pickup than the Charlie Christian bar pickup. In terms of dynamic range--the difference between the softest and loudest sounds picked up--the CC amplifies strings without compression that I can detect better than any other pickup I have ever experienced.

    Nothing else has even come close, FWIW.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    I have to agree with Fred. The ES150 is sublime. Next comes the L50 and ES175.

    Well done.
    I have a pretty serviceable L50 that I so would love to have a P90 or CC pickup in, but it's parallel braced and I fear I'd ruin the guitar if I tried it. A CC in the L50 is one of my little dreams!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    Hmm? I am not sure that I have ever played a more dynamic pickup than the Charlie Christian bar pickup. In terms of dynamic range--the difference between the softest and loudest sounds picked up--the CC amplifies strings without compression that I can detect better than any other pickup I have ever experienced.

    Nothing else has even come close, FWIW.
    Dude you would like the pole piece CC by CC Pickups. I have a standard CC and a pole piece one. Trust me on this. It sounds pretty cool into my 6g2, which I think you can appreciate too.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I have a pretty serviceable L50 that I so would love to have a P90 or CC pickup in, but it's parallel braced and I fear I'd ruin the guitar if I tried it. A CC in the L50 is one of my little dreams!
    Do it. I did mine a year ago and it’s fine. A friend of mine has had his for a few years now with no issues. And if you do it, get the CC from CC Pickups. It’s the only no-compromise authentic cc pickup. No offense to fans of lollar and biltoft but those aren’t cc’s; they’re blade p90s.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Fred have you ever tried the CC Pickup with the screw poles (like on Metheny’s Slaman)? It’s a unique sound in the CC family of tones. I think the blade is a big part of the pickups sound, the pole CC is like a CC with a bit of P90 bite. A little more treble and a touch more dynamic.
    The Slaman/ES-250 and L50/turned ES-150 both have an "ajusted pole pieces" PU from CC PU UK. It's ajusted to #12-54 gauge, but not ajustable/screwable as in the Slaman's Metheny model. I must say it sounds really great but my original ES-150 from 1938 has this very unique sound that you only have with prewar CC/ES-150s. Even my L50/turned ES-150 sounds pretty different. I will paraphrase Mr. Greentone, for me, nothing comes close enough to the real prewar ES-150. It's a matter of taste but I think you can easily hear the uniqueness of this sound in my video.

    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    You should buy another guitar, this time with the poles.
    Great! Could you write down a letter where you will explain this to my wife?
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Do it. I did mine a year ago and it’s fine. A friend of mine has had his for a few years now with no issues. And if you do it, get the CC from CC Pickups. It’s the only no-compromise authentic cc pickup. No offense to fans of lollar and biltoft but those aren’t cc’s; they’re blade p90s.
    Parallel braced L50? Did you have to cut the braces?
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Parallel braced L50? Did you have to cut the braces?
    lol I think you asked me this last year. Answer is yes. We survived.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Archtop View Post
    The Slaman/ES-250 and L50/turned ES-150 both have an "ajusted pole pieces" PU from CC PU UK. It's ajusted to #12-54 gauge, but not ajustable/screwable as in the Slaman's Metheny model. I must say it sounds really great but my original ES-150 from 1938 has this very unique sound that you only have with prewar CC/ES-150s. Even my L50/turned ES-150 sounds pretty different. I will paraphrase Mr. Greentone, for me, nothing comes close enough to the real prewar ES-150. It's a matter of taste but I think you can easily hear the uniqueness of this sound in my video.


    Great! Could you write down a letter where you will explain this to my wife?

    I agree, the blade is essential to the authentic tone, I was merely saying that the pole piece version has something unique and is a nice new variation. I think the blade version has the real midrange voice that characterizes the cc sound. The pole piece (at least with the screws) sounds more modern, less midrange and clearer. It could be a function of the guitars they’re in (the blade is in an L50 and the pole is in a Slaman Sister) but to me the pole one does have more dynamic range, which gives these pickups the stringiness we all like. I’m not asserting that one is better than the other, but for my uses I like the pole a bit more. To revise what I said about p90, I actually think this pickup sounds halfway between a CC and a dynasonic. I’ve never played the “adjusted blade” version. Too bad we’re so distant, would love to compare and jam on some tunes.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    lol I think you asked me this last year. Answer is yes. We survived.
    Old age. It's hard on the memory! The only CC pickup I'm interested in is the one made in the UK, which is the one I think you mentioned. If I'm going to hack into a vintage guitar I'm not putting a "almost exactly..." pickup in it. I want the closest to the real thing I can find. I don't recall what you did with the bracing--did you reinforce it? Just leave it cut? (Forgive the encroaching of senility on my recollections).
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  30. #29
    Playing and tone no matter what you were using is so good, I'm typeless.


    Midnight Blues

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Dude you would like the pole piece CC by CC Pickups. I have a standard CC and a pole piece one. Trust me on this. It sounds pretty cool into my 6g2, which I think you can appreciate too.
    I bet I would. AND, I really love the 6g2 amp. The brown Tolex Princeton Amp from the early-60s is just awesome.

  32. #31

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    Funny enough, I forget which is which. But they both sound good, so I don't care. The Slaman's playability and acoustic tone are superior to the Gibson, so I play that one more.

    Some archtops with CC PU-img_2087-jpg
    Last edited by omphalopsychos; 09-18-2019 at 12:59 PM.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Old age. It's hard on the memory! The only CC pickup I'm interested in is the one made in the UK, which is the one I think you mentioned. If I'm going to hack into a vintage guitar I'm not putting a "almost exactly..." pickup in it. I want the closest to the real thing I can find. I don't recall what you did with the bracing--did you reinforce it? Just leave it cut? (Forgive the encroaching of senility on my recollections).

    Yep, just cut the braces with no reinforcement. The top hasn't moved an inch.

    I think you should go for it. After working on all those Jimmy Ramey solos you’ve earned having his early tone.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    Yep, just cut the braces with no reinforcement. The top hasn't moved an inch.

    I think you should go for it. After working on all those Jimmy Ramey solos you’ve earned having his early tone.
    Man you totally read my mind. Early Raney and Rene Thomas channeling Raney... what a great sound! It would be a hoot to play those Raney solos (and I have kept them ALL up to date!) through the CC loaded L50.

    Might have to order the pickup and then start staring at the guitar and pickup to build up the courage to do it.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  35. #34

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  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post


    Funny enough, I forget which is which. But they both sound good, so I don't care. The Slaman's playability and acoustic tone are superior to the Gibson, so I play that one more.

    Some archtops with CC PU-img_2087-jpg

    So, Heaven DOES exist!

  37. #36

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    Lawson,

    Your playing was just made for an ES-150. Heck, they WERE L-50s with a CC attached.

    Big thumbs up, here.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    Lawson,

    Your playing was just made for an ES-150. Heck, they WERE L-50s with a CC attached.

    Big thumbs up, here.
    Well it looks like I need to start saving my shekels for one of those hard core UK made CC pickups.

    Am I wrong that, basically, this involves, using an accurately drawn template, CAREFULLY cutting a hole in the top, drilling 3 holes, slipping the pickup through the hole, aligning the 3 holes, and fastening the 3 adjustment screws, as well as wiring the pots and output jack? I actually think with a razor hand saw I can do the pickup opening. I've done pots and jacks before, so that would not be especially challenging. I just get scared thinking about that really big old pickup unit and its physical mounting.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  39. #38

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    The braces are more for tone than for strength. Cutting them near the neck won't weaken the top enough to be a problem. I have an Epiphone (laminate, not solid) archtop that has no braces at all. It was built in 1953, and AFAICT nothing has changed, except for the wood getting harder over the decades. Not a great acoustic tone, but it's pretty loud. Braces would probably help the tone, but lower the volume. It's fine as it is.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Well it looks like I need to start saving my shekels for one of those hard core UK made CC pickups.

    Am I wrong that, basically, this involves, using an accurately drawn template, CAREFULLY cutting a hole in the top, drilling 3 holes, slipping the pickup through the hole, aligning the 3 holes, and fastening the 3 adjustment screws, as well as wiring the pots and output jack? I actually think with a razor hand saw I can do the pickup opening. I've done pots and jacks before, so that would not be especially challenging. I just get scared thinking about that really big old pickup unit and its physical mounting.
    I would take it to a qualified luthier. Your process sounds right but I wouldn’t gamble with this kind of surgery.

  41. #40

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    [QUOTE=Fred Archtop;978002]Thanks all for your comments and appraisals. Some folks here know that I am mad about CC PU, and I always take the occasion to put them forward. I agree with you that the L50 and ES-175 CC are in a different category, sound-wise, than the others. To me, they are more adapted to a "modern post-bop style" and, indeed, I use them in this type of musical situation. But maybe this is just me...Now I must say that my ES-150 is my "trip to a desert island" guitar, if ever I could find an amp on this island.



    That's a mix of them. The ES-150 has an original (i.e. 1938) CC PU. The ES-175 CC has the PU that Gibson reissued for a brief period (1978-1980). It's conception is very different from the original, also tone-wise. The DS 250 and Gibson L50 were born in Daniel Slaman's guitar workshop. They are equipped with an ES-250 version (i.e. individual but non adjustable pole pieces). The ES-300 and L5C are equipped with Pete Biltoft special PU that I ordered to him. I once had a Lollar on my ES-300. Very good mic' but closer to a P90 as compared to the one from P. Biltoft. Therefore I switched for Pete's version.

    Cheers.[/QUOTE

    Fred--how is the ES-175 CC PU different from the original pickups in terms of conception? I have an ES-175 CC, and was under the impression that the pickups were more or less vintage-spec, no?

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dioxic View Post
    Fred--how is the ES-175 CC PU different from the original pickups in terms of conception? I have an ES-175 CC, and was under the impression that the pickups were more or less vintage-spec, no?
    I read somewhere that metal alloy was different. Also, they used different wire gauge and round numbers. Last detail, they notched the bar under the B string in the reissue version which was never the case in the prewar version.

    Compared to the original ES-150, the late ´70s, early ‘80s ES-175CC is a whole different thing.
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Archtop View Post
    I read somewhere that metal alloy was different. Also, they used different wire gauge and round numbers. Last detail, they notched the bar under the B string in the reissue version which was never the case in the prewar version.

    Compared to the original ES-150, the late ´70s, early ‘80s ES-175CC is a whole different thing.
    There were some prewar 150 pickups w/B string notches, due to the B being too "hot"

  44. #43

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    Right. I think '36/7 are the only un-notched models.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    Right. I think '36/7 are the only un-notched models.
    Hmmm, I know it’s a matter of debate. My ES-150 is from 1938 and unnotched. Tried a 1940 a few months ago, unnotched too.

    I discussed this point with René Duchaussoir years ago and he said that he had no evidence that prewar ES-150s were delivered B-string notched.

    Musicians did this for sure, but Gibson workshop is doubtful.
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

  46. #45

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    Last edited by wintermoon; 09-20-2019 at 12:54 AM.