Replacing Fender HB-1s with vintage HB-1s on an X-170?

Norrissey

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Hello Guild people,
Partly inspired by GAD's ramblings, I have been considering replacing the Fender HB-1s on my X-170 with vintage Guild HB-1s.
I had assumed this would be possible but recently read GAD's article about HB-1s where he mentions that vintage HB-1s will not fit into Fender HB-1 routes.
Does this make such a change impossible? Or can the routes be modified to accommodate the vintage HB-1s? Thanks in advance for your wisdom!
 

GAD

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Correct. If the routes were made to fit the Fender HB1s, then vintage HB1s will not fit.

You can modify the routes, but that's a pretty invasive chance that should be done by a pro.

On some guitars, the routes were made for the HB1s even though traditional sized humbuckers were used. Some Bluesbirds are like this, but I wouldn't drop the money on some vintage HB1s until you knew they would fit.

You can also try the new Guild Newark St. HB2s which are supposedly like HB1s but in a standard size. Note that these are nickel and not chrome, but they look right with the double humps.

Edit - sorry wasn't thinking - you need gold for an X170. Wait... did Corona make X170s?

Depending on the year I'd think the routes might be right. Post a pic if you can.
 

Norrissey

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Many thanks for the info @GAD and many thanks also for your meticulous reviews of Guild guitars!
 

Norrissey

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Hello @GAD, thanks for your help with this, a pic is below. It's a 1997 X-170.
I imagine even if the routes were good I would ideally need to find gold HB-1s? Or could the covers be switched?

Perhaps it would be easier to try to find some SD-1s? Would those fit?

IMG_1352.JPG
 

GAD

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Those look like SD1s to me, but I've been fooled before. Have you pulled them and looked at the backs?
 

GAD

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You could also just measure them. If they're 1 1/2" on the short side they're fenders. If they're 1 9/16" on the short side they're SD1s. That's only a difference of 1/16", so measure carefully, preferably with calipers.

Hb1-Regular-Measurements1.png
 

Norrissey

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I pulled out the pickups and photographed them-pics below. I believe they are SD-1s - please confirm this is correct. Sorry guys, I thought I had Fender HB-1s because the luthier I work with pulled them out when I first got the guitar and thought they looked like Fender humbuckers (not his fault he's a Fender guy and was only guessing)
Thanks for your help! If either of you is ever in LA let me know and I'll buy you lunch! (what I'm not mentioning is that lunch for me is a burrito)
Gary, I am guessing based on this info you would advise against switching to vintage HB-1s? I actually have a pair but I could always use them for something else or sell them. Hans, do you have any advice on this topic?

IMG_1448.JPG
 

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GGJaguar

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Yes, those are SD-1s! I like them a lot. Not exactly like the original HB-1s, but close enough.
 

GAD

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Yup those are SD1s!

I like SD1s but given the choice I will always pick HB1s.

If you put in the HB1s I’ll buy the SD1s if that helps any.
 

Norrissey

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Thanks so much @GAD !!
I’m gonna give the HB-1s a try.
I’m gonna keep the SD-1s for now in case I decide to switch back but I’ll be sure to let you know if I decide to sell them.
 

GAD

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Thanks so much @GAD !!
I’m gonna give the HB-1s a try.
I’m gonna keep the SD-1s for now in case I decide to switch back but I’ll be sure to let you know if I decide to sell them.

As someone who keeps every stupid little part I take out of everything, I can respect that. :cool:
 
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