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LP Jr Double Cut With Twin Pickups - Neck Stability


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Hi.

For my second build I'll be making a LP Jr DC for my guitarist. He's keen to have a neck pickup, mainly to get the both pickups on sound. However we're both aware of the neck stability issues that can create, and the various modifications that Gibson did over the years to try to overcome them.

Obviously moving the neck pickup away from the neck will solve it to a certain extent, but I was wondering what other options are out there.

Is there such a thing as a shallower P90 that won't take such a huge chunk out of the neck tenon? Any other innovative solutions you marvellous people have come up with?

Cheers,
Norris

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19 hours ago, ScottR said:

I'm a big fan of a long neck tenon set into the body and sandwiched under the top. I use it in all my builds, for just that reason. I'm pretty sure you saw an example in my last build, but let me know if you need a link.

SR

Thanks. I tried to talk him onto a nice figured maple top, but he insisted on a solid hunk of mahogany "for the tonez" :D

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17 hours ago, ScottR said:

I've actually seen that done with a mahogany bodied studio LP that was chambered. Very light mahogany body that looked for all the world like a solid one piece slab.

SR

I did offer to chamber it for him to lose a bit of weight, but he thinks that will lose the tone. It's voodoo imho, but the resaw & stick back together might just be a way forward. I'll discuss it with my tame luthier guru :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Only just spotted this, @Norris  

Starting with the (only) slightly spurious strategies, you could:

  • persuade him (correctly) that the true LP DC Jr is single pickup.  With the old '58 wiring (sooo simple to do) it can get everything from jazz to clean to screaming overdrive without getting anywhere near the amp controls - just using the volume and tone control
  • point him to Thomann who are selling the Gibson 2015 Les Paul Special  (because it has the two pickups) DC Jr for only £507!!!! And they are in stock.
  • tell him to buy my beautiful cherry red single P90 one for even less than that (likely to sell sometime over the next couple of years because of the relentless progression of arthritis)

But - he will, of course, have seen your present build and will quite understandably want to wait the 5 years or so (sorry, I exaggerate - 8 years or so) for a real Norris DC Jr Special. :lol:        And (here I'm being entirely serious) I can fully understand that. :D  

In that case, don't overly worry.  Remember that:

  • Gibson gained their reputation more by poor QC than fundamental design.  I'f you've ever seen size of the gaps in the joint of the short tenon on some examples of their SG's over the years, you will understand what I mean.
  • A well fitted joint of that area and depth should be immensely strong

If you want added comfort factor:

  • As @ScottR  says, do an extended tenon under the pickup, with same type of dog-leg that I use on my solid-body neck-thru builds.   Like this but with a much shorter extension:

IMG_6210.thumb.JPG.a934cea09f1f5dee4c4d80a75a9f64bd.JPG 

  • This also means that the joint line is even deeper and you can transition the heel to the body very nicely :

IMG_6273.thumb.JPG.19be62f03062f65854fa973cdc302476.JPG

 

In terms of other tweaks that help - note Gibson's own (2015 £507) modern version below.  The joint has actually been extended by the cutaways on the modern design, creating decent haunches for the joint (the originals were straight cut from the bottom of the cutaway curves and therefore didn't have this extra joint-area):

Lespauldc.jpg.08add58ee8b855ada35c4c934ec54eca.jpg

Note also that, although the pickup goes right up to the end of the fretboard, the fretboard itself overlaps the end of the body by around an inch.  That is a significant joint area. (compare the back view here ref the fretboard position with the top view here):

Lespauljr2.jpg.797942f6c253cb24603c19d7bba4e8d0.jpg

  

So, in summary, we who have dabbled or lived in the 'dark side' of the bass world know know that all electric guitarists need to be knocked into shape a bit :lol:,  So, on that basis, I reckon with my tongue only half in my cheek:

  • If he wants an exact copy, he should buy the above Gibson, which is cheaper than the wood and the bits will be for you to build him one
  • If he wants a custom, best leave the builder/designer to design out the flaws that were in the original and also force out any voodoo by substituting their own creative magic

 

...and let's face it, he'll have a few years to come round to our way of thinking. :wOOt

 

Oh crap!  Just realised you may well know where I live :huh:

 

How big's your guitarist?  :(

 

;) :thumb: 

 

 

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Well I gave him a choice and it looks like the build is still on! I'll certainly use a rear mounted tenon for the neck joint - seems like it would be a lot more stable. As we're doing a solid colour it will all need a smidge of filler/primer anyway to prep the surface 

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6 hours ago, Norris said:

Well I gave him a choice and it looks like the build is still on! I'll certainly use a rear mounted tenon for the neck joint - seems like it would be a lot more stable. As we're doing a solid colour it will all need a smidge of filler/primer anyway to prep the surface 

Clearly a man of fine judgement . :thumb:

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