Friday, August 27, 2010

It Came From Under the Stairs Part II

When I got home, I tried the hollowbody out through my VOX AC15, and I was still pretty happy.
Then, I cranked up my laptop for some research. I have found out that this is a First Act CE540 "Delia." It is made in China, and supposedly had a list price of $499. Based on my internet research, they actually were listed at $250-$300. The Delia came in several versions, This one with a bolt on neck, another version with a set neck, and a Limited Edition model for $1799.00!

I was happy with the action of this guitar, but not so much with the pickups, and was thinking of replacing them. Then, it hit me: I had a set of GFS Memphis "Rick" style pickups in the basement. These plus a hollow body guitar should give me something to jangle with. When I took the guitar apart to add the pickups, the GFS Memphis pickups did not quite fit the First Act pickup mounting rings. Five minutes with a round jeweler's file, and some sanding sticks took care of that. I unsoldered the old pickups, threaded in the new wires, and soldered them in. I was very pleased how easily this went. I re-attached the neck, then restrung and tuned it. Then came the moment of truth: I plugged her in, and both pickups worked. I was having another great ¢heapo Guitar day.

The pickups really, really change the sound of this guitar, and they look killer. But I really wanted some single coil edge...The new GFS Memphis pickups are supposed to mimic the Rickenbacker sound, but Rick pickups are single coil. So I was thinking of splitting the coils, and to avoid the mess of new switch holes, I should replace each volume with a vol/push-pull pot. I also figured that while I was at it, I should replace the caps and tone pot as well. The following night I took the plunge and rewired this lil' puppy.
Each of the two volume  knobs was replaced with with a Bournes 500K push/pull pot, the tone with a 500K CTS pot. Also added was a .022 orange drop cap. The pot mounting holes had to be massaged just a tad to 3/8", as the originals were just a hair smaller in diameter. Then is was just soldering from there on in. With the push/pulls I am able to split each pickup, individually, into a single coil. The sound is super thin, which is what I was looking for.I am able to get some neato, almost fuzz like distortion from the bridge pickup. Frankly, I am always nervous when I do a major rewire, and am afraid that I might plug in, and nothing will work.... But this time, I was really happy. Not bad for a $99 guitar.

1 comment:

  1. Hm, this guitar was almost free. The case was worth more than the guitar. Lol