In my second post of ‘Adding the Guts to Bertha’ build blog, I made mention of some
pretty amazing and seemingly underwhelming parts that
will make it into that rig. I knew about those qualities because of an earlier installation in an LP copy Tradition guitar that had a Seymour Duncan Hot Rodded Set of pickups (which is the SH4 JB in the bridge and an SH2 Jazz model in the neck) installed in it. Those pickups saved the day when it came to the tired old rattlers that were in the original ‘instrument’ I bought.
Then one day I was surfing along, with images of pickups and tremolos dancing in my head, when along came a man with a LP and fedora whose name was Joe and he had something for me. It was something called the Pagey project and Joe (tonefiend) was demoing some changes he had made to his Gibson Les Paul to rival the tone choices Jimmy Page had in his guitar at a point in time. Then Joe played the original pickup tones and flipped a switch on something surrounding his pickup, what looked to be the surround ring. I dug for it and found out it was the Triple Shot ring and ordered a pair immediately.
When they arrived I had the cover off the electronics bay of the LP copy before the UPS guy had left the drive and started down the installation process. It was eerily simply to accomplish, primarily due to great engineering and use casing by SD, and fabulous installation instructions. I took the wires I had from the new pups and desoldered the connections – then re-soldered them in color ordered to the little circuit puck that is attached by a ribbon cable to the ring. String the outgoing lead from the ring to the bay, solder those connections up and voila the case cover is back on.
Well I sat down in my favorite chair, lit a stogie and started tinkering with the sounds. First, the cigar went out almost instantly because I neglected it – the fascination with the tone options was out of control and I played for 2 hours just getting my head around the tonal space now available to me. The TSR (my abbreviation..) allows you to pick from the normal way the pickup works out of the box (serial connection) to a parallel connected set and you can also coil split the humbucker into a north and south single coil pickup that sounds more like a stratocaster sound than a humbucker pickup. That’s four possible configuration out of ONE humbucker. (Jeez!)
It gets even better when you add another pickup with another triple shot in the mix – 16 different tone qualities from a pair of pickups that already sounded great. The tone knobs add even more options to the degree of flexibility this new option gives the instrument. I encourage you to watch that video (I’ve linked it at the bottom of this post just in case you’re lazy like I am!) Bottom line, if you just want something that goes ‘grunt’ and makes a distorted floppy fart sound all the time and you don’t care, please don’t sweat it – the rest of you lazy buggers need to get to Amazon or Musicians Friend or Guitar Center – wherever you shop for stuff, and hunt down the SD Triple Shot rings. If you use a flat top instrument and tone rings will work on it (like bridge strat humbuckers) then you want the flat ring configuration. Because many of these will find their way onto Les Paul’s and other carved top axes, there is a carved top set as well that you can pickup (the neck side is skinny and the bridge side is a deeper ring, just like the standard ones). Once they are installed they blend seamlessly into the look of your guitar and few if any will notice them, and that’s good. You want to have your audience confused, thinking you’re the genius making that killer noise – and you are, just with a large dollop of assistance from our friends at Seymour Duncan.
Thanks for reading as always!