Giveaways January 2015

January 15
more... Premier BlogSolidbodyHumbucker-equippedFebruary 2014EpiphoneVibramate

Massive Makeover! See a Vibey ’74 Epiphone Get Totally Transformed


Fig. 15. Carefully drilling holes for the tuner mounting screws. Always support the headstock and work slowly, checking the red depth mark as you drill.

Once I’d double-checked the drill bit depth, I slowly drilled the tuner screw holes while watching the red guide mark like a hawk (Fig. 15). Always support the headstock to keep it steady and above all, take your time.

Diving inside. In addition to the Seth Lovers, the owner specified all new electronics, so I planned to install Bourns potentiometers (two 500k volume and two 250k tone, each at $17 street) and a short Switchcraft 3-way toggle switch ($23 street). A Switchcraft output jack and a pair of .047 µF capacitors for the tone controls completed the package. We’d already decided to use the ’50s Les Paul wiring for the tone pots, so I was set to go.

For details on the ’50s LP wiring, visit and search for “The Fabulous Four: Mods for your Strat, Tele, Les Paul, and “Super Strat.”

Fig. 16. Surprise! Part of the neck extends into the neck pickup cavity, making it very shallow.

Unscrewing the pickguard and pickup mounting rings allowed me to examine the wiring harness and original pickups to get a sense of what work lay ahead. If you study Fig. 16 carefully, you’ll notice two things: First, part of the neck extends into the neck pickup cavity. Second, the original pickups had a single height adjustment screw on the treble side, but two height adjustments screws on the bass side. Okay, two problems to solve.

Fig. 17. (left) A stock Duncan Seth Lover humbucker has long pole piece screws. This neck pickup isn’t going to fit in the Crestwood. Fig. 18. (right) Ah—there is a solution. Carefully trimming the pole pieces with a diagonal cutter allows the pickup to fit in the cavity with enough room for height adjustment.

Fig. 17 shows the underside of the Lover neck humbucker, complete with signatures and serial number. The long pole pieces prevented the pickup from dropping down into the cavity. I knew I wasn’t going to start routing out wood from this guitar, and that left just one alternative: trim the pole pieces. Using a pair of dikes, I carefully snipped off the pole pieces close to the baseplate (Fig. 18). Now the pickup could fit into the cavity with enough room to adjust its height.