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Mick’s Gibson ES-335 Gets New Pickups & Loom [Hardest Pickup Swap Ever?]

Published 03 Feb 2023

Definitely a job for an expert… taken on by Mick. Oh dear…

Welcome to the show! Mick here, hello. Grab a beverage of your choosing and get ready to witness THE most frustrating bit of guitar maintenance that I’ve undertaken to date. I mean, why get a professional to do it quickly, cost-effectively and to extremely high quality when I can do it myself, nearly have a breakdown in the process, AND run a huge risk of it not working properly?!
Anyway, yes, I’ve been saying for ages that I’d like to hear some different pickups in the ol’ three-thirty-five, the reasons for which I explain in the beginning of the vid. Then comes the hilariously painful process of actually doing the refit, along with all the ‘doh’ moments and forehead slaps you’d expect… before hearing the old and new electronics back to back.
Was it worth it? I’m still not entirely sure. Hmmmm.

Questions arising…
What about pickup heights?
I set the Lollars to the same height as the Gibson pickups. It might be that their optimum position is elsewhere and that will have a significant impact on the tone. I’ll experiment with that over coming months.

- Is the old loom ’50s wired?
Yeah, I’m pretty sure it is. It looks different because instead of doing it in a ‘rigid’ parallelogram, it’s made as one big string to make insertion / retrieval easier (I presume).

- Are we hearing a difference in strings?
I put fresh strings on before recording with the old pickups/loom, and then another fresh set before recording with the new pickups/loom. I recorded each section in the same order, so the string newness should be very similar in the A/B comparisons. My strings are Curt Mangan 10.5-50 that you can find here

- Why are you wearing headphones in some of it?
So I can hear the backing track.

- Are both amps on?
Yes, both amps are running all the time.

- Have you tried [insert pickup brand and type here]?
Maybe, maybe not. I’m not trying any more pickups. Groan.

Enjoy the show!

And please visit That Pedal Shop

Pedals and stuff in today’s video
• Schmidt-Array SA-550 XDM

• Latent Lemon Audio Hurts

• Crazy Tube Circuits Super Conductor

• Mythos Argo
UK & Europe:

• Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer [underneath, mine is a Keeley mod from 2014]
UK & Europe:

• Kingsley Juggler V3

• TC Electronic SCF Gold
UK & Europe:

• Free The Tone FF-1Y Future Factory
UK & Europe:

• JAM Pedals Harmonious Monk
UK & Europe:
USA That Pedal Shop:

• Chase Bliss Audio CXM1978 Reverb
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G3 Atom

Interesting bits and go-to sections
0:00 Welcome and intro
1:05 Why the change?
2:25 Why not just change amp settings?
3:48 Which pickups and why?
5:15 Why change the loom?
7:00 Loom change begins
11:19 Out through the F-hole?!
12:57 Use the pickup cavity?
17:35 DC reading of the old pickups
20:35 New loom goes in
23:25 Old pickups come out
24:57 DC reading of the new pickups
28:45 It’s not going well. At all.
30:20 The next day brings an idea
33:43 A/B sound comparisons
44:46 A/B sound comparisons with track
48:52 Closing thoughts

Guitars in this episode
• Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335 – Mick’s video here -

Amps in this episode
• Two Rock TS1 1x12 50-watt combo with TR1265B speaker
• Two-Rock Classic Reverb Signature 100/50 with 1x12 cab & EVM12L speaker

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