The only guitar I didn’t mod (yet)

Time goes on, fortunately you get a bit wealthier and your dreams may become affordable… or close to.

Some years ago, I felt in love (again) with the 2009 Gibson Les Paul Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates 59′ VOS but my pockets were empty.
In 2017, looking at the classified, I found one of the non aged Pearlies in excellent condition. Unfortunately, the seller and I were not able to agree on the price. Since then I had never been able to make the idea of owning a 59 reissue sink again in the deep of my mind. That is how I brought myself to look for my R9.

I looked at several offers around the world and finally shorten my list to two candidates: a True Historic and a Standard Historic VOS, both new (I let you browse the Internet to look at the differences).

In the end, surprisingly for my guitar players (and Gibson’s LP addicted) mates, I chose the VOS. Why?

Well, what I can tell, is just that when I opened up the case of this one, I just said (or thought) “Wow…”. Sometimes, things happen just like that. The guitar may not have the true true vintage specs but something happened at te first sight: I knew that if I returned back this guitar I would regret it for the rest of my life.

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Gibson Les Paul CM 2016 serious upgrade

I felt in love with the Les Paul since Cloudbreaker as you may have understood if you had a look at my gear page…
Recently, I had been looking for a very simple guitar: one pickup, simple setup, light weight and not too expensive but has a killer look and a good sound.
As a good Gibson Les Paul fan, I though about a Melody Maker or a Junior and then while looking for splittables humbuckers for my SG, I saw the Lace Music Deathbucker : 😍!
I then started to look for a Gibson with a single humbucker.
At first I wanted to find a second hand SG-1 but I felt (in love with) on an LP CM 2016 T in perfect state an much cheaper. I had a look at Gibson’s because I didn’t know this model and… Bingo ! This was exactly what I was looking for without knowing it existed: LP shape, thin body, one humbucker.

Nevertheless, in my eternal quest for improvement, I decided to bring in some tonal or aesthetic upgrades to this guitar: 
• New headstock veneer with mother of pearl inlays of Gibson logo and Crown
• Blank Gibson bell trussrod cover
• ABM aluminium with chrome finish wraparound
• Schaller chrome tophat knobs
• Lace Music Alumitone Deathbucker Deceptor (Lace recommends 250kΩ pots and 22nF cap with the Alumitone “for better tone”)
• 250kΩ push/pull CTS pot to “split” the Alumitone on the tone knob 
• 250kΩ CTS pot for the volume control
• 22nF Orange drop capacitor
• Copper shielding of the control cavity and back plate
• Dunlop straplocks

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Adding a little punch to the microphone

To be honest, I bought the t.bone GM55 mainly for the look but I ended up keeping it because of its great audio qualities with regard to its low price. It has one major issue though: you have to push the gain/volume to the max if you want to hear something.

Fortunately, every problem has a solution… hopefully. In the case we are interested in there is one that works: the TritonAudio FetHead!

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New look for my Marshall 8240

I hardly remember my first amp. It was black and green with linear equalizer pots but I totally forgot the brand. It was good enough to learn how to play guitar on my first Aria Pro II (red and black Strat-like) but I ended up selling both because they didn’t pass the gigs test. I replaced the guitar with another Aria Pro II, the TA-60 and later on with the Samick SCM-1B when things got serious. Regarding the amp, I set my sights on the Marshall Valvestate 8240 Stereo Chorus which was working very well with my “pedalboard” (CryBaby and Korg A4).

We were in 1993. Since then, you can imagine the amp aged a lot!

I can’t count the times I carried this amp from smoky rehearsal rooms to my place, friends places, bars, shows and festivals stages. To finish with, my cat puked on it (several times) and so did he on my PODxt live years later…

That’s why I decided to give this amp a “little” refresh and why not start a complete makeover with on my todo-list:
• Ivory tolex
• Brushed silver face plate
• Silver pot buttons
• Black power switch
• Grey grill cloth
• Side handles

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