While My Guild Gently Weeps, SF-4 tonal variations

Guildedagain

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Lockdown recording. A short loop recorded on F4CE strung with .011 TI Jazz Flats, and then I'm off on the '76 SF-4, strung with .010 GHS Brite Flats. No other layering.

I try to switch p'up position fairly often. The extremely chewy tones come courtesy of the out of phase middle position.

No pedals, direct into pawnshop rescue Park G15R combo amp, direct out into a BOSS Micro Br.

Due to lockdown and winter weather, I've had to totally give up on playing through a speaker cab unless I'm alone. All other electric playing to be done through an old pair of Sennheiser 420 headphones. The flatwound strings help the guitars be quiet.

It goes on and on. I actually like it, which says a lot. I [****]can most of my recordings but I liked this one.


 
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Rambozo96

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I’d like to own a Starfire some day. Was this the SF you were telling me about yesterday that someone modded for coil splits as well? I wonder if they rewound the pickups to do that. I don’t know if HB-1’s are 4 conductor or not but I guess it depends on the year.
 

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I’d like to own a Starfire some day. Was this the SF you were telling me about yesterday that someone modded for coil splits as well? I wonder if they rewound the pickups to do that. I don’t know if HB-1’s are 4 conductor or not but I guess it depends on the year.

HB1s are only four wire for a very small period of time around 1994
 

GAD

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No rewinding, you get inside the p'ups, separate the two coils and send out four wires.
And if you’re not careful you ruin the pickups. Those wires are *really* small and break if you look at them wrong. Let’s be careful out there.
 

Guildedagain

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42 AWG enamel coated wire is what Gibson was known to use, I'm guessing Guild did too.

Yes, really only an expert p'up repairman or tech should ever attempt this, and as we've just discussed elsewhere, it's not really worth it.

If you had a choice between coil tap and a phase switch, a phase switch is way more useful. I have a coil tap on my 335 neck pickup, and here it makes sense, the Seth Lover p'up sounds fantastic as a single coil, in a 335.

I've just taken some pickup readings for the first time on this guitar. Readings are right on the money, what you'd expect, with some interesting twists, because of the coil taps and the out of phase wiring which is very peculiar.

All measured through Vintage BOSS Japan patch cord, crazy low .1Ω resistance, and Everett WA USA made Fluke 23, very reliable.

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Bridge p'up

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Bridge p'up split

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Middle position

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Middle position with bridge split

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Middle position with both coils split

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Neck pickup, really strong, as I suspected.

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Neck pickup split


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Back to the middle position, an interesting phenomenon, full bore on that overpowered neck pickup, the neck p'up stomps all over the bridge pickup, very funky out of phase, buuuut, if you roll the volume back a couple numbers, much of the out of phase leaves for a much stronger practically in phase sound. I essentially have both in and out of phase middle position tones from the bass pickup volume knob, no push pull pot needed, instead I have a blend knob and a reading almost twice as strong with neck pickup volume rolled back a bit than the 3.73kΩ reading of both pickups together with everything on full blast.

Middle position

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Now the reading with neck pickup rolled back a wee bit.

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At this setting

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Guildedagain

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Exceeded the limit, following up here.

Even a bit higher reading just off full blast on the neck pickup volume pot, virtually twice the output from maxed out, much stronger tone, half the twang, by cutting down the bass pickup, doesn't even make sense but that's how it is.

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At this setting

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This is the way it was wired as far as output from the pickups. I finally mastered the wiring in this guitar, all new volume and push pull tone pot and .022 Orange drops from Stew Mac. Their parts are better, guitar sounds fantastic with the new parts in and the .022 caps are fantastic. The lower the better on caps. Who cares how wooly it can get, more important to have pleasantly noticeable tonal differences along the way and these caps do this, all kinds of sweet tones as you turn the tone knobs down, all the way to the end, all good usable tones.

This guitar is pretty bright actually, probably the norm for a Maple SF-4, and that brightness can handle some taming with the right caps.

The control cavity, the way it is now, the cap leads are left full length and soldered in a way that they can be removed and swapped in seconds.

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My soldering station, with Dewalt 20V vacuum suction device, loud, but effective.

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Tweedy Bird amp, actually helpful in troubleshooting, like trying to figure out drug fueled guitar wiring...

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Guildedagain

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This guitar surfaced here last year, some guy who had bought it from some guy who had modded it - split the pickups - who had bought it from some guy who really modded it, he's the one who made access covers , which are real quality made, molded to the back, nicely beveled, dang nice work. I can get a view of the Mahogany block in the center no one else can, and it's massive!

Here's the thread on it then.

By the time I bought it, the poster had already sold it to a guy who put it on Reverb, I thought I recognized it, went back on the site, and there this whole thread, which was way cool in every way possible because I got to study the thread before buying the guitar.


 
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