Guild Thunderbird Mods - pickups and trem

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beatkitchenfunk
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Guild Thunderbird Mods - pickups and trem

Post by beatkitchenfunk » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:06 pm

I bought the new guild thunderbird st-90 recently, the blue one with p-90s. I'd like to put a trem on it and I'd prefer the jazzmaster trem set up. I also would like to try some gold foils in it. The p-90s that it came with are the darkest weakest sounding pickups I've ever had. The guitar feels and plays great and with an EQ in my chain works great in gigs. But, I'd like at the very least the trem. Has anyone modded a thunderbird before? Does anyone have a recommendation for gold foils? I've been using this guitar with a cumbia/chicha/dub band. Mostly clean, sometimes overdriven, maestro nasty fuzz once in a while.

Thanks for any help or input.

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mbene085
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Re: Guild Thunderbird Mods - pickups and trem

Post by mbene085 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:55 am

Gold foils are a somewhat puzzling fad to me. It's not that they sound bad, but it's odd that for 50 years, nobody cared about them until EVERYBODY cared about them.

If you want a HUGE clean tone with the clarity of a Fender but a big bottom end a P90 could only dream of, consider a pair of TV Jones' P90-sized DeArmond 2000-style pickups, the T-Armonds: http://www.tvjones.com/t-armond-pickups.html

These things are the closest to what I'd call a perfect single coil design. They're fat without overbearing kids, they're clear without being thin. And the Dearmond provenance of the design would fit a Guild really well.
Plus, they're probably not any more expensive than the boutique gold foil repros you'll find.

I spend a lot of time over on the gretsch forum and have literally never heard of anyone regret trying these pickups.

As for the trem, with a TOM/stop arrangement, is either do a roller bridge plus Bigsby B5 (use a vibramate V5 plate and it'll be totally reversible) or a stetsbar (for the same reason).

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beatkitchenfunk
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Re: Guild Thunderbird Mods - pickups and trem

Post by beatkitchenfunk » Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:29 pm

Wow. That was an awesome response and those are two suggestions I'd honestly not heard of. Researching both of them now.

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Re: Guild Thunderbird Mods - pickups and trem

Post by op4blushift » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:58 pm

Another option for a trem is a Duesenberg Les Trem II. Probably the least invasive and cheapest as well. I have a feeling it'd look pretty cool on the guild too.

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venompstinger
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Re: Guild Thunderbird Mods - pickups and trem

Post by venompstinger » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:38 pm

Go the bigsby and dimarzio pickups - good enough for Fred Cole.....

Image

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mbene085
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Re: Guild Thunderbird Mods - pickups and trem

Post by mbene085 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:29 pm

op4blushift wrote:Another option for a trem is a Duesenberg Les Trem II. Probably the least invasive and cheapest as well. I have a feeling it'd look pretty cool on the guild too.
Forgot about that one. Good call. I have a bigsby with vibramate on my BT Jag and have no complaints other than the price. But the Jag is one of those guitars where more chrome is always welcome, and that B5 is a glorious hunk of metal.

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beatkitchenfunk
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Re: Guild Thunderbird Mods - pickups and trem

Post by beatkitchenfunk » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:41 am

I loved the travel and sound of the trem on my danocaster jazzmaster. I think I will have to go that route and, well, route it. Not sure about pickups yet.

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beatkitchenfunk
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Re: Guild Thunderbird Mods - pickups and trem

Post by beatkitchenfunk » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:51 am

Thanks for your suggestions. The guitar turned out great. It’s #1 for my chicha band.

Here it is.
https://youtu.be/ttCTFTF38JA

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beatkitchenfunk
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Re: Guild Thunderbird Mods - pickups and trem

Post by beatkitchenfunk » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:40 am

I went with a gold foil in the neck and firebird in the bridge. Mastery trem and bridge. Good day.

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