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Author Topic: I just got an ESP EC 401 to Mod
smgear

Posts: 170
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Post I just got an ESP EC 401 to Mod
on: August 29, 2012, 08:23
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I just got one of these for free from a contest:
https://www.espguitars.com/guitars/ltd-standard-deluxe/ec-401fm.html (black aqua sunburst)

It's waiting for me back home, but since I won't be able to pick it up for a couple months, I have some time to strategize about the mod. These are sweet guitars - great looking, great neck, mahogany/flamed maple and mahogany neck with rosewood and I love the dark sustain. But I'm not a shred/metal guy and I don't really care for the emg (EMG 81/60 Active) sound so I'm going to completely redo the pickup/wiring. The fact that it's got a battery compartment and 3 knobs mean that it is primed for adding some onboard effects. It appears that there is enough space in the compartment for adding a circuit or two (here's a pic of someone else's with the plates off: https://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/macock/112_0104.jpg.

I'll open it up to the group for suggestions of what to put in this. Since it has a solid mahogany frame, I want to make this into a dark roots/blues machine. I'm usually more of a single coil guy so I'd welcome some suggestions for humbuckers or p90s that would react well to the mahogany and provide some growl without getting muddy. I'm thinking maybe a combination of P90 and Humbucker might cover some good ground. Joe's germanium boost seems like a natural complement, but again, any other suggestions would be welcome. This might be a good frame for trying a diy sustainer as well.

so, at the moment, I'm thinking of maybe humbucker neck, p90 bridge. The pots would be 1. volume/hbsplitter 2. OD-Booster 3. Bill Lawrence Q Filter.

Any ideas?

bear

Posts: 153
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Post Re: I just got an ESP EC 401 to Mod
on: August 30, 2012, 17:00
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Surprised no input yet. Me, for roots and blues, I'd look at Joe's old Pagey LP blog posts, using the SD Triple Shot rings with splitting switches. Finish up the phase and series switching with pull pots, wire it with two volumes and a master tone so you can tweak the out of phase sounds -- rainbows in there. For a third pull pot, and onboard Rangemaster-ish germanium treble booster might be cool if you want to use the battery mount.

The other thought I'd have for a dark and sustainy LP-type guitar would be to push towards the range of Fripp's sounds with the LP, which might include a sustainer pickup in the neck to get that easy endless sustain going. Or an onboard compressor instead? (The Roger McGuinn on-board comp in his signature Rickenbacker was cloned in the Janglebox compressor, reputedly a Dynacomp-type circuit with pre-emphasis treble boosting before compression and de-emphasis after.)

smgear

Posts: 170
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Post Re: I just got an ESP EC 401 to Mod
on: August 30, 2012, 17:37
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I can wholeheartedly get behind all of those suggestions. I forgot about the Pagey project. Earlier I was watching Joe's PRails demo because it was the only vid I could find of someone using fingerstyle with them.
If I go with HBs, then I'll definitely go whole hog with the wiring. I'm kinda leaning towards a P90/tron combo though at the moment. Although, Joe did pull out those sounds pretty well in the Pagey vid. It's just that I really don't care much for the core HB/PAF sound. So I'd be doing 90% of my playing in altered configurations which feels wrong somehow. Triple shots would make that easier though. Onboard distortion/boost and compression are probably my two top desired effects, but I'm open to anything.

bear

Posts: 153
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Post Re: I just got an ESP EC 401 to Mod
on: August 30, 2012, 18:27
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Quote from smgear on August 30, 2012, 17:37
So I'd be doing 90% of my playing in altered configurations which feels wrong somehow.

Well if that would be wrong, I would prefer that to being right. I'm not big on dual humbucker guitars. Complete fluke that my number one is dual hum and I don't hate them. Triple shots are on my shopping list, though.

Oinkus

Posts: 236
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Post Re: I just got an ESP EC 401 to Mod
on: August 31, 2012, 12:09
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Dual humbucker sound like any guitar depends on what you are plugging it into and through what kind of chain. I have a couple with 3 way mini switches in series/split/parallel and you would be hard put to tell me my RR V isn't a Les paul or Strat or a Tele when I so decide it should sound like one.

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