Les Paul or 2203?

Going to look at a Les Paul tomorrow. On the Marshall amp side I have a 50 watt plexi clone and a 50 watt JCM 2000. Both are rockin amps in their own ways, but my ears want a 100 watter 2203. Not that I need 100 watts or even 50, but damnit 2203’s just sound right in the bottom and everywhere else for what they do to my ears. The green channel on the JCM 2000 wants to be a JCM 800, and the red channel wants to be the same with a built in overdrive up front. According to random people on the internet, it is very close on both channels. But it doesn’t have the 100 watter beefiness. The plexi clone is fun for sure, but it’s all or nothing. An attenuator surely helps, but it loses some of the magic that way. Maybe I’ll get the guitar and recover from spending on a 2203 by selling one or both of the 50 watters.

I got that les paul today. It looks better in person for sure. This is the first one I have owned, so I’m pretty enamored with it.

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Nice, i hope it serves you well.

In the old days there were lots of LP + Strat two gtr band setups. These days there’s still many LP + Stratish combos. The more ‘honking’ sound of a LP teams nicely with the ‘smooth’ sound of many other gtrs.

Sunburst style is really nice, always liked it.

I’ve got a Pacifica that plays very well, nicely machined, really chimes unplugged even.

The pups aren’t good nor the pickup switch. I figure Ima put a couple of Strat style single coils in it, any recommendations? I might check out Tedwood’s pickup thread in the Reaper forum if I can find it.

Yea, pickups in Pacificas that I have played weren’t too good, but maybe they were ceramic mags. You don’t have to spend much to upgrade. Hit up guitarmadness on ebay for advice and look in his store at the pickups available. guitarmadness | eBay Stores It might cost you a little in shipping since you are in Australia, but the pickups he sells are ace and very inexpensive. For classic stuff, I recommend getting an alnico II set, whether singles or humbuckers (not for metal). In single coils, the smooth velvets have a detailed and soft sound but very much not harsh or pokey. If you want something that cuts through more for a live band setting, look at the 62’z that use alnico V mags. The G.M. 57’s are nice sounding humbuckers too, and I might actually like them better than the gibson 57’s that came in my les paul, sounding a little looser in the lows (not muddy though) and having more grit in the mids (kind of grinding character thing). The G.M.'s sound less tame than the gibson pickups. I have upgraded three cheapy guitars with his pickups and all have been great. Two squiers went from blah in sound to fuck yea, no exaggeration. One is singles, one is humbuckers.

Even more inexpensive, you can swap out the rod magnets in the Pacifica pickups if they are standard diameter rods. Same with bar mags for humbuckers. And by the way, metal guys tend to like alnico V and ceramic more for humbuckers. Tighter lows, sharper upper mids, often with higher output windings.

Damn that’s some cheap pickups @brainio

There’s a couple of local makers in Oz that rule

Sliders in Sydney make some vintage-authentic single coils
He made mine in a couple of days, a SSH set
I’m still to put them in 18 months later, LOL
Any day now…

Kinman (in Brissy?) makes some great noiseless ones, probably the best
I got an SRV set a decade or so ago, put them in a Squier
My favourite single coils at home
They would be great even if not noiseless
No batteries required either

They both do pre-wired setups too, just drop them in
The Kinmans have a non-solder option too
Just soldering the output jack IIRC

Thanks guys, I find I’m often dialling out distortion from presets on Sgear so I’m not after very high gain type pups, the ones in the Sliders demo sound good, some bite but not harsh and they don’t seem very noisy which as yez well know is a big deal using amp sims.

The recording sound I got is largely the result of simply trying to tame harsh highs and noise so the less of that at the source the better. I’ll check out both the Kinman site and the ebay guy BW mentioned, noiseless would be nice after the racket me LP makes at higher gain levels.

Yeh was just now checking out the page, pretty tempting at that price point

Those guitarmadness pickups are crazy low priced for what they are and perfect for upgrading lower priced guitars. Made in China of course. Buzz on the net says that they are made by a company called Artec, so maybe you can find a local seller. I didn’t see anything about them that looked sketchy. Build quality is good, sound is good, and they even come with a wiring diagram for typical installs (strats and les pauls) and all necessary hardware.

And yea morgo, it sounds like you want lower output vintage winds which usually use alnico II mags, but some vintage winds also use alnico V which I think are given a lower charge to be closer to the strength of alnico II when it is fully charged. If you want some bite but lower output, you probably want alnico V mags and vintage winds (in the neighborhood of 5.5k-6k for strat singles) or a slight overwind. Alnico II to my ears sounds softer in the attack, less pokey in the upper mids, but also sounds to have more character overall. I relate it like this: Alnico II is like lower powered vintage stereo speakers with a bump in low mids and soft tizzy highs (as opposed to cutting upper mids) with some gritty character in the mids like vinyl 45’s can have. A softer more characterful sound overall. Alnico V is more akin to modern stereo speakers built for higher volume, tight and cutting and more neutral in character.

If you haven’t installed pickups before, be sure to roll your pots down fully before soldering in case you use too much heat and create a dead spot on the pots. Still try to be reasonably quick about soldering though because you can still damage a pot in other ways or a pickup if you hang out too long with too much heat. And use lead solder if you can. Soldering with lead-free can be a pain in the ass unless you’re used to it and have a soldering station with temp control for setting the right temp for it. Lead solder is much more forgiving on temp and just easier to work with all around. Kester makes good stuff. If you use lead-free, practice with an old pot and some wire until you feel comfy with getting it to flow good by finding the right temp. And you’ll want something on hand for bundling the pickup wires. Electrical tape, cloth tape, string, heat shrink, whatever you like. Try to get everything routed and bundled how you like before soldering. And having a roll of desolder braid on hand is a good idea. This might all be old news to you, but just in case.

Thanks again for the excellent info/tips.

I dunno what kind of solder I’ve got but I’ve done a fair bit of soldering with it, mainly stomp box battery terminals, I might need to practice a bit, maybe get the lead solder if it’s the other type.

Maybe if I order the pups soon they’ll be here before the Christmas slowup but there’s no real rush as the projects I need to finish at the moment don’t feature that guitar.

If you didn’t have any issues with the solder you have it seems that you should be good. Only caveat might be getting enough heat on the backs of pots for grounds since the lead-free stuff needs to be at higher temp than the lead stuff for flowing joints well. If you have some junk to give it a go on that might be the equivalent or greater in mass as a potentiometer, I would give that a go with what you have before buying more solder. If you don’t mind possibly messy’ing it up a bit, you could also just practice on the tremolo claw under the back cover of a strat type guitar that you have.

And if you order from guitarmadness, I would hit him up for suggestions telling him what guitar you have and what you want to hear from it. He seems like a knowledgeable guy without any bs.