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Another John Birch Rebuild


WezV
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some of you may remember this one

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=44254&hl=%20john%20%20birch&st=0

well that is now one of my main guitars. still with its old dimarzios.

but another john birch has found its way to me. this one is a much earlier and rare john birch - its also a massively flawed design. and its just been swimming in the recent Hoboken floods. Possibly the first or second V built by john birch, and it shows its design flaws

unfortunately this one isn't mine and i cant keep the pickups for my JB les paul

anyway, after its recent swim the lacquer has started to come away and the fretboard is lifting, pots are very scratchy but everything is still working

it needs serious surgery. but we are going a different way. essentially i will build a new guitar exactly to john birch specs, but with more sensible design decisions to solve some of its flaws. the hardware will then all be transferred over

reasons for going for a whole new build rather than restoring the existing one:

1)set the neck further into the body. this is the main issue really, it will put more space between the pickups for greater tonal variation and will improve ergonomics a hell of a lot

2) increase neck angle, far too low at the moment.

3) go for a wider neck, its currently 39mm at the nut

P1020583.jpg

P1020590.jpg

other benefits for me. I was never quite sure mine was wired correctly, i can now compare one with its original wiring to see - they are very odd. also, the pickups have to come out for a while, so i may as well test them in mine. It will allow me to see if its worth me searching out an original set for it, not found any so far and i like mine as it is. but the fact i was waiting to find some originals stopped me ever completely finishing mine

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Looking forward to seeing how this neck was set under the pickguard....I presume it doesn't go all the way to the back of the neck pickup cavity? It could actually go as far back as the bridge which would be interesting! I presume that the bridge will be moving back to a more sensible location like, 30-40mm further back to maintain access to the 24th? It looks so odd being over the pickguard rather than in the crook.

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its a through neck like all JB's.

The pickups have a swimming pool route that starts about 1" past the neck. also the extra controls will make it difficult to move the bridge back on the exisiting body ( i was considering just adding a baritone fretboard) as the bridge studs will be too close - its another large route around the main controls

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  • 1 month later...

Well, bit of a rethink on this, has led to me being able to finalise my john birch

46683_10151271411593693_800989192_n_zps014d0fa9.jpg

first impressions of the proper pickups - very good, absolutely silent as far as any noise is concerned. Quite Hi-fi but no harshness - which i was almost expecting

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I have had the john birch les paul minus its original pickups for a few years - one of my main guitars.

The owner of the V and I came to an agreement which means i get the pickups and wiring loom from the V. he gets the bridge to go on a JB inspired SG i built him a few years back. he just decided he didnt really need the V and he knows i have been after some pickups for ages we also had some other projects on the go so we negotiated around what he had left to pay me

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oddly, the wiring loom from the flood damaged V was in much better shape than the one on my john birch, so after soaking in white spirit for a few days, cleaning all the mud out and then soaking in pot cleaner I have a fully working loom with john birches odd tone wiring.

the only downside of this is the V had one less control so currently the one behind the phase switch is a dummy. it would usually be wired for stereo operation but that isnt ever going to be needed so i am contemplating shoving a varitone in there

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