Poor Sick Little Baby

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with my step kids, niece, nephews, family, or any actual people. Don’t let the next sentence or the title fool you.

My poor baby is in the hospital!

Translated from guitar nerd to English, I put one of my guitars in the shop today. I have used a soldering iron in the past, but I have no confidence in my abilities so when I want work done I have to outsource it.

I took a ride over to Guitar Center in Nashua, NH today and dropped my Les Paul off at the repair desk. I was nervous, but the repair guy put me at ease by telling me my guitar looked exactly like his. Hopefully he will treat it with the same respect.

*Robert wipes away a tear*

I took it in for two things. One repair and one modification.

(Why did this picture bring out every spec of dust?)

First, see the little switch in the bottom left? The one labeled Rhythm on one side and Treble on the other? That switch selects which pickup is active. The pickups are the two gold rectangular things with the six flat head screws. When the switch is on the Treble side it’s the pickup on the right, next to the bridge (commonly known as the bridge pickup). When it’s on the Rhythm side it’s the pickup on the left, close to the neck (commonly known as the neck pickup). When the switch is in the middle, both pickups are on. I bought this guitar in 1990 and through all that time the switch has never gone into the Rhythm position. You can push it there, but it doesn’t catch. I am getting the switch either fixed or replaced. Whichever gets the job done.

The second thing they will do is just a modification. I am getting the bridge pickup replaced. When I bought the guitar in 1990 it had two after market pickups. From day one I had wanted to replace them with the closest I could get to the stock pickups that would have come with the guitar when it was made in 1978. That would be Gibson Classic ‘57’s. I think it was 2006 or so that I finally did it. Larry installed them for me (he also fixed the bridge pickup’s tone pot which had never worked. He tried to fix the pickup switch but was unable to. That’s why when I dropped if off at the shop today I had a new switch in the case). The pickups sound okay, but they were a little disappointing. The tone is a little on the trebly side, and the output level is pretty low. The stock pickups on my ES 335 Pro are Gibson Dirty Fingers models. Those suckers sound incredible. I am replacing the Classic ’57 Plus pickup in the bridge position with a Dirty Fingers.

Those are the two reasons I brought the guitar to Guitar Center today. While I was there and talking to the repair tech, I added a third job. This one is a repair.

See the hole in the finish there? That’s been there since the day I bought the guitar. As I was looking at the guitar sitting on the counter while the tech was filling out the work order, I couldn’t take my eyes off the hole. I am 100% positive that it is much worse than it was in 1990. What I am not 100% sure of, but what my gut feeling is telling me, is that it is worse than it was three weeks ago at the last Lizardfish gig. I feel like the pace with which that hack in the finish is growing is accelerating rapidly. The tech is going to do a repair on it. It won’t look the same as the finish surrounding it, but it will stop it from getting worse. That’s all I care about. That repair is going to take a couple of weeks and it will cost about as much as the other two combined. It will be worth it though. For some reason it jumped out at me today as something that needs to be taken care of right now. No more waiting.

So my poor baby Les Paul is going to be at the doctor’s for two weeks or so while it gets all fixed up. I am going to miss her, and I am going to worry about her. I wish she had a cell phone so I could call her and check in on her every couple of days.

Please please please please please let my baby come home in one fully functioning piece.


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