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  1. #1

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    If you saw my listing for my vintage 47 amp in the for sale section you may have noticed an interesting guitar. It's a Gibson L-50 Black Special. I've been getting questions about it, so I figured I should do a NGD post. Yes there's a pickup in it. No it's not original. I saw it listed on Carter Vintage at a good price and I knew I was planning to mod it. I was kinda thinking of putting a CC Pickup in it, like Fred Archtop's Black Slaman, but I already did that to a sunburst L-50. I decided to go with another classic pickup - the Paul Bigsby cast iron pickup. This one was made by TK Smith.

    Here are some pics.

    I desecrated an 82 year Gibson, you may throw things at me-img_2089-jpgI desecrated an 82 year Gibson, you may throw things at me-img_2137-jpg

    And some notes about the pickup. It's a sweet pillowy, squishy, chewy pickup. I don't know exactly how else to describe it. Especially plugged into my Elektra 185, I feel like I'm picking a soft, bouncy cloud-thing rather than a guitar. I hope that's descriptive enough. The tone is naturally rolled off quite a bit, so I recalibrate my technique and amp settings a bit when I play this guitar. That said, the pickup (and the guitar) is really sensitive to these adjustments, I can get a lot of variety in tone from just a neck pickup by picking closer to the bridge, picking harder, palm muting, etc. I figured a Brazilian classical piece would be good material to demo this piece of gear with. It's a perfect match with my EH 185 clone by Elektra amps.

    I posted a clip of it on youtube and instagram, enjoy. I stopped using fancy mics to record because I don't have the time/patience needed to achieve professional quality audio, so this is just with a Shure MV88; absolutely zero postprocessing (aside from lossy compression courtesy of youtube and instagram).

    juan hernandez on Instagram: “Speaking of Dilermando Reis, here’s a tune for @jimcampilongo. Guitar outfitted with a @tksmithguitar CAR pickup by Geoff at @sfguitarworks…”
    Last edited by omphalopsychos; 10-01-2019 at 10:13 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Here, catch..
    That was really nice Omph. I enjoyed it.
    What you did was bring an old girl into the modern era. I think it’s really cool.
    Thanks for sharing your experiment and your wonderful playing.
    Very cool.
    Joe D

  4. #3

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    I like it.
    Check out my tracks at www.soundcloud.com/billmcmannis

  5. #4

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    Have you thought about putting a cutaway on it?

  6. #5

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    Needs a Floyd rose. And and EMA in the bridge

    Seruiosly some purists might complain but it’s yours to do the job you need and if that requires modding, well, so be it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  7. #6

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    You didn't desecrate that guitar at all, at least not in my opinion.

    If a guy were to electrify a guitar like that back in the 40's, that's the kind of thing that would've been done.

    I've always wanted to try one of those TK Smith pickups - I love CC pickups and Dynasonics, there's something special about big bobbin single coils... I'm not a humbucker guy at all.

  8. #7
    Thanks.

    entresz gets it.

    For reference, look at what some nut did to his D’Angelico.

    I desecrated an 82 year Gibson, you may throw things at me-493dd6f8-c24d-47fc-8ec7-0995c187dafd-jpeg

  9. #8

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    just as long as Chet didn't stick that big ole cigar under a headstock string.....

  10. #9

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    Sounds good to me! Pickup is cool too.

  11. #10

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    Guitars should be played, not stuck in museums. You are now part of that guitar's history.

    Pity your patience ran out when it came to recording its sound, as it deserves better, I think. Always love hearing you play, though!

  12. #11

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    omphalopsychos, I wish I had for "piano fingers" like yours. Being stuck with stubby ones has been like a gal with a smaller sized bust. I can make do, but always wished for better :-)
    Regards,

    Gary

  13. #12

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    Oh, Gary, could you be more sexist?!

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Oh, Gary, could you be more sexist?!
    What's wrong with being sexy?
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  15. #14
    Guys, stop hitting on Gary.

    Also, to set the record straight, I don't have particularly large hands or long fingers. I think my hands have just gotten stretchy over the years as a function of the repertoire at a given moment. I think the time spent on Bill Evans, Monk, and Derek Bailey left a lasting impression - those seconds are farther apart than they look.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Oh, Gary, could you be more sexist?!
    It is not sexist if it's true :-)
    Regards,

    Gary

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by GNAPPI View Post
    It is not sexist if it's true :-)
    And sometimes the truth is sexist.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  18. #17

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  19. #18

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    I have often wondered why so few women play jazz.

  20. #19

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    LOVED that "When I take my Sugar to Tea" link/vid.

    And noted the wide number of guitars pictured within.

    I just never hear too much Nat and Oscar ...

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  21. #20
    I recorded the bridge today partly to compensate for Instagrams 1 minute clip length but mostly to appease Rob’s sound engineering standards. Still lazy with my mic setup but this time I reduced the gain on the amp to get more clarity.

    juan hernandez on Instagram: “Instagram ran out of tape before I could record the bridge so here it is. If you want to hear the whole tune, play my last post twice then…”

  22. #21

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  23. #22

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    cant go wrong with tk and michiel!!

    2 of a small group of great current vintage niche inspired makers..i'll throw in tavo @ nocturne, grez and v47 too

    enjoy

    cheers

  24. #23

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    Sweet sounding archtop. Well done!
    Best regards, k

  25. #24

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    What a great looking and great sounding guitar ! Congrats Omphy!
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

  26. #25

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    Oomph, the only thing I want to throw at you is a compliment for tasty playing on a sweet sounding rig.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  27. #26

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    I think it looks badass.

    L50s are ripe for this sort of conversion no? I mean they are nice instruments but not the best acoustic guitars?

  28. #27

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    Sounds great too. That guitar is telling you how happy it is.

  29. #28

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    Totally applauding you! You have the skills to do that guitar justice in the upgrade. The guitar deserves a stylin’ pickup that gives it a second life.

    My 1954 L50 is destined for a Brit made CC pickup. I’m just studying how to do it—yes, it’s crazy but I want to do it myself. I”m a slow-going, methodical, one-step, measure 5 times then cut once kind of guy. I want to do it, but I’m studying it obsessively until I get the process.

    We’ll have to introduce our pimped out L50’s some time when mine is done!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  30. #29

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    I grew up around an L-48, dad gave it to my sister who pawned it. That still burns me.

  31. #30

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    Looks and sounds great!

  32. #31

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    I don’t think you desecrated it at all. I think it’s absolutely lovely.
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by geogio View Post
    I grew up around an L-48, dad gave it to my sister who pawned it. That still burns me.
    I have an L-48, which I treasure. It helped through some tough times. I also have a sister, and a brother and I treasure them as well.
    Best regards, k

  34. #33

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    Omphalopsycho, that is a sweet sounding combination. Loved the clip and the gear. Thanks for posting. Very cool!