Workshop: Win Some, Lose Some Part 2

Is that guitar familiar? This is a customer's Kay Speed Demon that was pulled from consignment to return to its owner -- now spruced-up, of course. Except, except -- we wanted to solve a low output problem with one of its pickups (the bridge one, in particular). I fished around in the electronics to make sure that there weren't any capacitors or whatnot clogging-up the works and when I put it all back together the middle pickup was dead. This is not uncommon with older, non-fancy pickups as simply handling them can kill the leads inside the pickup.

Anyhow, rather than bother with fixing that fuss, the owner sent me a Gibson P13 pickup he's had squirreled-away and had me install that instead. I love the P13s and, in place on this guitar as a bridge pickup, it's a perfect foil to the mellow, chunky sound of the original Kay units.

Just to be coy, I swapped the positions of the pickups and now the switching options are: 1) neck 2) bridge 3) middle 4) all pickups. I had a feeling that the last option would not be extremely successful, granted the non-original pickup install, and I was rewarded with that thinking by finding it to be out-of-phase.

In the grand scheme of things, though, it's all worked-out fine as the switching results in a cool set of choices: 1) mellow jazz lead/chop chord tone 2) rockabilly-ish bridge lead 3) mellow rhythm tone 4) jangly demi-acoustic rhythm tone. Since 1 and 2 are the prime options on any guitar, it's nice to have them right next to one another, too.

I think these old deco-style P13s are just plainly-handsome pickups. With this install I've done-away with springs for adjustment as the other pickups can be easily adjusted up/down to compensate and I wanted it cranked as far up as I could get it.


Unknown said…
oh man, that is gorgeous!