The Pagey Project: Postscript

Does this guitar LOOK like it has over a hundred settings?

Just a quick follow-up on the Pagey project, which first recreated the original Jimmy Page wiring scheme, and then explored an even  more extreme version using Seymour Duncan Triple Shot Mounting Rings.

Once I’d finished the project, I had to decide whether to keep the guitar heavily modded, or revert to something simpler. It probably won’t surprise you to hear I decided to keep the extreme Phase 2 wiring, with its added germanium overdrive.

But as cool as the Duncan ’59 model pickups sounded, I wanted to revisit the Duncan Seth Lover pickups I’d previously had in the guitar. They’re bright — twangy, even — compared to the ’59s, and I like the midrange honk they add by virtue of being unpotted. (I’ve written about the pros and cons of potting here.)

I’ve recorded an example of how the guitar sounds with the Seth Lovers. (You can’t make exact comparisons with the previous Pagey videos, since I used an amp for those, while the new examples were recorded through an amp simulator, though the “Seth” character still shines through.) I’ve included the clip in the post after/above this one, because it’s my first audio example using SoundCloud, and I wanted to say a few words about that.

"There's GOLD in that thar pickup!"

And call me shallow, but…I really dig the way my guitar looks with the Seth Lovers installed. Between the teensy switches on the mounting rings and the push/pull pots, you really have to look hard to tell the guitar is not merely non-stock — it’s a morbidly overdeveloped tweak machine.

Funny — I’ve always found gold hardware a little bit tacky. But now I’m so enthusiastic about the look of gold that I feel like this guy at the right.

10 comments to The Pagey Project: Postscript

  • PAFs really were bright and twangy. I’m not sure where people got the idea that they are dark sounding. When I wind a PAF style humbucker it’s also bight and twangy.

    Gold really is the correct look for an LP Custom. That’s the way Lester wanted it. 🙂

  • So getting over the gold hardware aversion was just a matter of finding a great sounding  guitar? I suffer from this affliction, and have probably passed up some great guitars because of it. But whenever I see a guitar with gold hardware, I get this image of an old guy in a white suit and shoes, unbuttoned shirt, and too much gold jewelry.

    • Jerry Dunaway

      I’m more of a silver (or white gold when it comes to jewelry) guy, too. But last year I got a stupid deal on a goldtop body with a set neck (“off-brand”), and it just SCREAMED for gold hardware. So I got gold tuners and bridge parts, as well as gold filtertron-style pickups. On the right guitar (I would suggest white, black, gold or burgundy — used to have a 335 knockoff by Yamaha that had gold hardware and it looked pretty sharp), gold can actually look pretty cool.

      Here’s the goldtop once it was finished…

  • Oinkus

     First LP I ever got to handle alot was a early 70s Custom Black with Gold Hardware and I have always associated that look/style with what a LP should look like. Was such a nice guitar even after it was stolen and left in a ditch then restored into a beautiful sunburst by Bill Colgan(R.I.P.)

  • JH

       Well I guess it’s guitar bling! Not really for me either ( the gold hardware ) But its on mine. I was going to change it to chrome when I changed the tuners for locking schallers. But left it and got gold tuners.  Gold… just not my style.
        I have to say I like the versatility of the guitar with the triple shots, the series, and phase push/pulls. The other two, the artec bcu and the exp, well maybe get rid of the exp. Put another volume put so I’ll have the two volumes again. But the bcu stays! I like that thing.   Thats all the changes I think.
       I kind of did the same thing for my brother a long time ago. I put two switches under the pickguard. They switched from series/split/paralell for each of the pickups, so I was familiar with the sounds. I also put in the master series, and phase reverse push pulls. Ha Ha, he was like a kid in a candy store…….. To bad the Led Zeppelin songbook I gave him he put in the case under the middle of the neck, and put the guitar away like that for 3 months.  Wow did that give it a real nice back bow!

  • bear

    Bumping this because I’m curious how the Pagey wiring schemes are doing a year on. (And the mongrel Strats, too.) Still in use or rewired back to basics? In place but only using a small number of the available settings? Or “tasting the rainbow” all the time?

    • joe

      Good question! I’ve left the guitar with the “post Pagey” wiring — the one with an even more ridiculous number of combinations than the original Pagey wiring, and use it fairly frequently. I don’t use every sounds, obviously, but when dialing in a sound, it’s cool to flick through settings to see what works best in context. I’d use it even more if the guitar itself were a bit cooler — it’s a nothing-special ’80s Paul I bought because it was the cheapest “real Les Paul” I could find. Now I’m sort of wishing that I’d splurged on a cooler guitar.

  • Oinkus

    Hrmm nothing special 80s LP really? No fabulous Tim Shaw pups in it ? I got mine for 400 bucks in 81 or 82 was the first real guitar I ever owned ,probably a little more then attached to it? And heavily prejudiced especially after having finished all work on it last year. I always consider a Les Paul Custom to be the most and greatest of all guitars there’s just something about them. Back to your regular program! :borg:

  • Hi Joe, After coming across your article I ordered a set of triple shots and push-pull pots for my Guild Starfire IV and went to work. The Starfire presents a couple of problems that some readers should be aware of. For one the ring mounting screw holes don't quite line up, so I could only get two screws in to each mounting ring. Second, the Guild PUPs have three machine screw adjustment holes- one below which lines up with the triple shot ring, and two above that do not line up. So, drill a couple new holes on the ring, right? No, you can't because the triple shot circuit board this in the way! There is room to drill new holes on the bottom of the ring, So, I drilled them there and flipped the PUP 180 degrees. All looked good, but when I went to install in the guitar the routed holes in the guitar won't accept the filped PUPs because of the wider tab on the PUP for the two hole config. Ahhhh, now it's 1am and I'm getting frustrated! My solution was to keep the PUPs in the original orientation and flip the mounting rings 180 degrees, so the switches are on the bottom instead of the top as they were designed. Turns out I like the switches on the bottom- feels more natural, as I'm used to all my knobs and switches on the bottom. The only issue is that the bridge PUP rings are angled away from the strings instead of with them, but I think that's a minor issue. However, I do have an other unrelated issue-I think I wired something wrong because when I pull the Neck Volume pot up when I have the Bridge PUP selected I have no sound at all! doesn't matter what other knobs and switches I push or pull as long as I select for the Bridge PUP only and pull up the Neck Volume pot to engage Parallel mode (or is up series), I get silence. Any ideas, I hate to pull all the electronics out of that guitar again, but something is wrong.

  • Ed Foster

    On the off chance that there is a simple explanation for the “I think I wired something wrong because when I pull the Neck Volume pot up when I have the Bridge PUP selected I have no sound at all! doesn’t matter what other knobs and switches I push or pull as long as I select for the Bridge PUP only and pull up the Neck Volume pot to engage Parallel mode (or is up series), I get silence” issue, I have that situation, too. Is it a function of the switching? I thought I had read at one point that some forms of the Page wiring have a dead position in the middle of all of the other options that are created. If it’s the way it’s supposed to be, then WIN, I have a kill switch! If not, then back to the cramped quarters of my SG for more troubleshooting.

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