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Replacing 225 pups


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I think they're as interesting and good sounding - separately and together - as any of the dozen PAF clones I've tried...including my actual PAF's.  They'll never come out of my Custom Core.

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I am happy with the 225s in my CC. But to be honest, I have a my CC, a Standard that has unpotted Wolfetone Legends, a LP that has Bare Knuckle Black Dogs, and a LP BFG with P-90s. I like them all for their differences in sound, but their similarities in feel. I have A2, A5, and A3 in my humbuckers. It's your guitar, make it yours. 🤘

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5 hours ago, ElChoad said:

I am happy with the 225s in my CC. But to be honest, I have a my CC, a Standard that has unpotted Wolfetone Legends, a LP that has Bare Knuckle Black Dogs, and a LP BFG with P-90s. I like them all for their differences in sound, but their similarities in feel. I have A2, A5, and A3 in my humbuckers. It's your guitar, make it yours. 🤘

Wise words!!

Yes, easy enough to swap & experiment with pups

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  • 1 month later...

I’m having a bridge pickup wound for my CC. It was microphonic and sounded weak compared to the neck which sounds great. I’m going with a Benson Customs  alnico 5 wound to 8.5 . I have a set of his alnico 3 in another guitar and they are killer. This Custom Core plays great and can use a pickup with a few more turns on the bobbins. 

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I enjoy the Schallers in my 2000 150 and in my 1991 574. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, HANGAR18 said:

I didn't spend $4000.00 on a brand new Custom Core guitar so that I could "upgrade" it to a $1200.00 guitar by fiddling with it.

I did. I added Dunlop strap lock buttons. 🤣

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On 4/23/2022 at 12:20 PM, HANGAR18 said:

I didn't spend $4000.00 on a brand new Custom Core guitar so that I could "upgrade" it to a $1200.00 guitar by fiddling with it.

This is really brilliant! LOL!

 

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On 4/5/2022 at 8:18 PM, Mustang64 said:

I’m having a bridge pickup wound for my CC. It was microphonic and sounded weak compared to the neck which sounds great. I’m going with a Benson Customs  alnico 5 wound to 8.5 . I have a set of his alnico 3 in another guitar and they are killer. This Custom Core plays great and can use a pickup with a few more turns on the bobbins. 

Just for grins, did you try putting the neck pickup in the bridge slot? I like a little thinner pickup in the neck slot, so you know, it's worth a try:) And I love microphonic pickups, unless they are out of control.

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On 4/23/2022 at 10:20 AM, HANGAR18 said:

I didn't spend $4000.00 on a brand new Custom Core guitar so that I could "upgrade" it to a $1200.00 guitar by fiddling with it.

I don't hold any guitar sacred, if I don't like the pickups, out they go! If you know what you're doing, there is no way in hell someone can tell when a new pickup was soldered in and out of a new guitar when it's done the right way. (or conversely, soldering the old pickup back in to sell the guitar) 

Rob (Yoslate) said his pickups in his CC sound killer, and Rob's guitar tone speaks for itself. But, I've heard conflicting opinions that some people don't like the potted pickups in the CCs. This was the first one I read... https://guitar.com/review/electric-guitar/heritage-custom-core-h-150-review/  and I agree, I'm generally not a fan of potted humbuckers and P90s's. As I think it holds back some of the top end. 

 

 

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Just now, rockabilly69 said:

I don't hold any guitar sacred, if I don't like the pickups, out they go! If you know what you're doing, there is no way in hell someone can tell when a new pickup was soldered in and out of a new guitar when it's done the right way. (or conversely, soldering the old pickup back in to sell the guitar) 

Rob (Yoslate) said his pickups in his CC sound killer, and Rob's guitar tone speaks for itself. But, I've heard conflicting opinions that some people don't like the potted pickups in the CCs. This was the first one I read... https://guitar.com/review/electric-guitar/heritage-custom-core-h-150-review/  and I agree, I'm generally not a fan of potted humbuckers and P90s's. As I think it holds back some of the top end. Like anything in guitar land YMMV.

 

 

 

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On 4/23/2022 at 12:20 PM, HANGAR18 said:

I didn't spend $4000.00 on a brand new Custom Core guitar so that I could "upgrade" it to a $1200.00 guitar by fiddling with it.

In my humble opinion, I don't understand this logic.  If a Custom Core was a master oil painting bought as an investment and I hated the frame it came with, then NO I wouldn't change the painting to a new frame to retain the overall value.  But a Custom Core shouldn't be bought as an investmentIt won't appreciate.  It is a guitar, a sonic tool to be played.  The Custom Core that I bought had 3 stripped tuners (I know of at least two other CC owners that have had stripped/poor functioning tuners and the dealer I bought mine from said they have had to replace many stripped tuners).  I bought drop-in replacement Gotoh tuners that work perfectly.  Should I had kept the stripped tuners in the CC to maintain the originality and keeping it unplayable?  I also upgrade the volume & tone pots to RS Guitar works super pots.  Now my volume & tone pots have a completely useable sweep from 10-1 on the dials.  This is a major upgrade to me.  I won't even get into the other issues with how the TOM bridge & Stoptail were dysfunctionally   installed... but suffice to say I had to use Faber hardware to fix the issues.  And yes, I installed Schaller strap locks too.  

I called Heritage to report the CC QC issues and asked if I could BUY a set of the 225 Parsons pickups before they were potted.  Heritage did say that they do the potting in house but despite asking (begging) three times on the call, they refused to sell me unpotted 225 pups.  They said in a year or so they may be available with different options. 

Bottom line is, now that I have fixed the unusable tuners and TOM & stoptail issues my CC became a very, very good guitar.  Later after I added the RS Guitarworks upgraded pots it is now an astounding guitar.  No one that would have played my CC before and then my CC after upgrades would say the changes I made by "fiddling with it" made the CC worse or devalued the guitar.

By the way, amazingly the Schaller straplocks had no effect on the tone! :)   

Edited by Kuz
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I agree with Kuz.  These aren't sacred instruments handed to mortals from the gods.

I will bet that in another 20 years Gibson and Fender will still dominate in prestige.  That doesn't mean they are or will be better guitars.  But those names were the trailblazers and the tools of the early masters, and that will never change.

I have had a few Fenders in my day.  Some were good instruments.  I have found G&L to be more consistently right and a better value.  Despite G&L having Leo at the helm and now over 40 years of history, G&L remains the bastard child of Fender.  The same seems to be the case with Heritage and Les Pauls.

Guitars are tools in a sense.  My experience in medicine has never shown me a surgeon who is strongly brand loyal to instruments, only shapes and weights.  None ever spoke of the vintage bone saw or spinal cord retractor that he wished he had.  No one longed for that 1968 pacemaker reissue.  It is unspoken but clearly the case that there is a push for continuous improvement.

Guitars are more than tools.  They are art as well.  But there is still more.  Guitars seem to capture lost youth in the older players or perhaps whisper a shortcut to mastery and fame in the younger players, given the right instrument.

I wouldn't hesitate to alter a CC to my liking.  That would be foolish.  OTOH, I would not pay that much for a guitar that was defective or not to my liking.

We love guitars.  There's a thin line between love and insanity.

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1 hour ago, MartyGrass said:

I agree with Kuz. 

We love guitars.  There's a thin line between love and insanity.

I have crossed that line many a times.

Having 6 Heritages built from 2006 through 2013, on all I have replace with RS pots and caps. Faber bridges and inserts on the Prospect, H150 and Millie. Stoptails were all upgraded as was the bridge on my 575.  

Factory bridges, pots and caps were purchased in bulk and neither Gibson or Heritage went for premium grade. Most players were OK or upgraded them.  Are you "most players?"  This is not like adding truck nuts under the rear license plates, if it plays and sounds better, it IS better.

 

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4 hours ago, Spectrum13 said:

.....if it plays and sounds better, it IS better.

 

My nomination for post of the year.

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13 hours ago, Kuz said:

In my humble opinion, I don't understand this logic.  If a Custom Core was a master oil painting bought as an investment and I hated the frame it came with, then NO I wouldn't change the painting to a new frame to retain the overall value.  But a Custom Core shouldn't be bought as an investmentIt won't appreciate.  It is a guitar, a sonic tool to be played.  The Custom Core that I bought had 3 stripped tuners (I know of at least two other CC owners that have had stripped/poor functioning tuners and the dealer I bought mine from said they have had to replace many stripped tuners).  I bought drop-in replacement Gotoh tuners that work perfectly.  Should I had kept the stripped tuners in the CC to maintain the originality and keeping it unplayable?  I also upgrade the volume & tone pots to RS Guitar works super pots.  Now my volume & tone pots have a completely useable sweep from 10-1 on the dials.  This is a major upgrade to me.  I won't even get into the other issues with how the TOM bridge & Stoptail were dysfunctionally   installed... but suffice to say I had to use Faber hardware to fix the issues.  And yes, I installed Schaller strap locks too.  

I called Heritage to report the CC QC issues and asked if I could BUY a set of the 225 Parsons pickups before they were potted.  Heritage did say that they do the potting in house but despite asking (begging) three times on the call, they refused to sell me unpotted 225 pups.  They said in a year or so they may be available with different options. 

Bottom line is, now that I have fixed the unusable tuners and TOM & stoptail issues my CC became a very, very good guitar.  Later after I added the RS Guitarworks upgraded pots it is now an astounding guitar.  No one that would have played my CC before and then my CC after upgrades would say the changes I made by "fiddling with it" made the CC worse or devalued the guitar.

By the way, amazingly the Schaller straplocks had no effect on the tone! :)   

I'll try and explain my point of view better.

* I don't consider my purchase of a Custom Core to be an "investment". What I have a problem with is when someone takes a bone stock guitar, makes a significant number of expensive modifications, calls them "upgrades" and then factors that into the asking price (jacking up the price) of the now USED guitar that they are trying to sell me. In most cases I consider these "upgrades" to be undesirable modifications which diminish the value of the guitar and I'm NOT paying for those upgrades. We have a similar thing in the used Harley-Davidson market where the saying goes something like... "You bought all that chrome for YOU, not me. I'm not paying you more for that bike because you spent $10,000.00 adding extra chrome to the bike."

* Repairs: I have no problem with repairing something if it is broken. Any components that are broken, fix them or replace them with something as good or better. No arguments from me. But I'm reminded of the Angus Young policy governing such things. "Replace nothing unless it breaks and is unusable. Otherwise, leave everything original."

* The perfect guitar: If I had only one guitar, I already know what my favorite pickups and bridges and nuts and all that are. So If I wanted my perfect guitar, I would buy something plain and relatively inexpensive and then add all the expensive stuff to it that I want in order to achieve my perfect guitar. For me, I consider $4000.00 to be ridiculously expensive amount of money for a guitar, and if I ever pay THAT much for a guitar, I had BETTER like everything about it just the way that it is because I sure as hell ain't gonna modify it. Not when I paid that much for it.

* Clones? I have a LOT of guitars (not as many as you, but a lot none the less.)  Shall I make all the same exact modifications to all of my guitars with all my favorite stuff so that they are all clones of each other? Nope. I've got so many guitars that I want them to sound different; I want each guitar to be it's own unique thing. Clearly I had a very different experience when I bought my Custom Core. I jammed with it on my own and also jammed with it when I had some buddies over to the house. I didn't find anything about it to be undesirable at all. But I also have a lot of other guitars which feel and sound very different and I like those too. 

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23 hours ago, Kuz said:

By the way, amazingly the Schaller straplocks had no effect on the tone! :)   

I have to agree with Kuz. Even when people are given things they think they are worth more than they are.  When you step out of the store the value goes down.  If it is your guitar make it how you want it to be.  Fine tuning isn't going to hurt it.   

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17 hours ago, HANGAR18 said:

I'll try and explain my point of view better.

* I don't consider my purchase of a Custom Core to be an "investment". What I have a problem with is when someone takes a bone stock guitar, makes a significant number of expensive modifications, calls them "upgrades" and then factors that into the asking price (jacking up the price) of the now USED guitar that they are trying to sell me. In most cases I consider these "upgrades" to be undesirable modifications which diminish the value of the guitar and I'm NOT paying for those upgrades. We have a similar thing in the used Harley-Davidson market where the saying goes something like... "You bought all that chrome for YOU, not me. I'm not paying you more for that bike because you spent $10,000.00 adding extra chrome to the bike."

* Repairs: I have no problem with repairing something if it is broken. Any components that are broken, fix them or replace them with something as good or better. No arguments from me. But I'm reminded of the Angus Young policy governing such things. "Replace nothing unless it breaks and is unusable. Otherwise, leave everything original."

* The perfect guitar: If I had only one guitar, I already know what my favorite pickups and bridges and nuts and all that are. So If I wanted my perfect guitar, I would buy something plain and relatively inexpensive and then add all the expensive stuff to it that I want in order to achieve my perfect guitar. For me, I consider $4000.00 to be ridiculously expensive amount of money for a guitar, and if I ever pay THAT much for a guitar, I had BETTER like everything about it just the way that it is because I sure as hell ain't gonna modify it. Not when I paid that much for it.

* Clones? I have a LOT of guitars (not as many as you, but a lot none the less.)  Shall I make all the same exact modifications to all of my guitars with all my favorite stuff so that they are all clones of each other? Nope. I've got so many guitars that I want them to sound different; I want each guitar to be it's own unique thing. Clearly I had a very different experience when I bought my Custom Core. I jammed with it on my own and also jammed with it when I had some buddies over to the house. I didn't find anything about it to be undesirable at all. But I also have a lot of other guitars which feel and sound very different and I like those too. 

 

People will pay different amount of money for different things, and $4000, although a significant amount of money for sure, doesn't even get you the bottom of the line guitars of certain boutique companies. So I guess the starter point for some people modding guitars is on a sliding scale. And as for investments, unless that guitar is made in a very limited number, or is using unobtanium woods (Brazilian Rosewood etc) I seriously doubt most modern guitars would be considered a good investment. 

I've only paid over $4000 for two guitars of my many (around 50), and both of those were my 70's L5s guitars, and I haven't touched a thing on them. They both do what I want them to, so no need. But I have a few historic Gibson electrics where they have creeped up in value to the point where they are in the $4000 dollar bracket. And to buy them new they would all cost over $4000. If there was something that I didn't like about them, I wouldn't hesitate to change anything on them. It's not like gussing up a motorcycle with chrome to make it pretty, it's about getting the end result you want in playability and tone.

I guess a lot of it comes down to kind of money people are willing to put into a hobby, which guitar playing is to most people. I make my entire living with music, but the electric side to me is the hobby side as I rarely play much electric guitar in my shows. And even though I am called upon to play electric guitar when recording people, the money I make doing that surely doesn't offset the cost of the mods I do to these electrics. 

If I bought a Custom Core, I guarantee I would swap the tuners, bridge, and pickups, as soon as I got it. I would only be buying it for the lightweight wood, and the great looking headstock. If they start building Goldtops, I may be in danger of parting with some cash. 

Most of these mods are non-destructive anyway, so if you want to sell the guitar you could just put it back to stock, and use the parts for some other guitar or just sell them. So no sweating losing value on your $4000 guitar. The only difference would be you had to break a few solder joints. 

I was talking to Kuz the other day about his Custom Core, and he told me that he had the people who sold him his pick the obvious best sounding one. And then when he got the guitar there were things about it he didn't like aesthetic/playability wise so he went about fixing it, 'till he got what he thought was right for him. He didn't put a ton of money into, just enough to get it there so to say. 

I watch the "for sale" sections of a lot of forums and when I see used parts that I think I can use for a builds down the line, I will buy them, and stock up my little repair area of my house.

 

 

 

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