Carvin Bolt C, SD CS '78 model, + JP-2C, WOW

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bandit2013
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Carvin Bolt C, SD CS '78 model, + JP-2C, WOW

Post by bandit2013 » Mon May 14, 2018 6:07 am

For some time now I have been considering another guitar. Instead I decided to experiment with a few different pickups. I ordered a few different pickups from Seymour Duncan and a set from Bare Knuckles. Unfortunately I did not care all that much for the Bare Knuckles pickups. I bought the Juggernaut set with metal covers and all poles exposed. Nice looking pickup but I found those way to bright for my taste. What a bummer. Will have to figure out what to do with those. However, what was a win-win was the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop '78 model. Sure they were associating the pickup with EVH with the demo video. This pickup took some time to get. Already had the pickguard from Warmoth guitar parts made with the trembucker position in the bridge. Since my Carvin has a Floyd Rose you need the trembucker sized pickup that has the F spacing. While I was waiting for the '78, I decided to get a Pearly gates bridge pickup and mated that up with the SD STk-S7 vintage stack pickups. Not a bad combination. I also installed an Emmerson blend control kit, definitely worth the money. I also had some other pickups from Seymour Duncan to install on other guitars but opted to remove the STk-S7 and reserve them for another guitar and install the STK-S4N and STK-S4M when the '78 came in. In the meantime, Sweetwater had the single coil sized '78 so I got that. I was not impressed with the small version of the pickup. So when the '78 full size pickup came in I was reluctant to install it thinking it would sound like the mini humbucker version. I could not be so wrong. This weekend I decided to install it along with a new Floyd Rose made in Germany to replace the Korean one that Carvin used in the year I bought the Bolt C. All of my other Carvin's have the German version. The Korean made Floyd was showing its age and the knife edges were milling away at the posts. Edges on the bridge are still good though. I will keep it for parts.

the point. The Seymour Duncan Custom Shop '78 Model was worth the wait. It is a perfect match up with the STK-S4 pickups. The '78 delivers that single coil attach with plenty of bold bottom end. WOW, first time I was overly impressed with a pickup swap that I felt worthy of sharing. The JP-2C never sounded better. Also a perfect match for the '78 pickup. I did play though the TC-50 for a short while but was definitely mesmerized by the JP and 78 combination it was hard not to stop playing. Yeah, it sounds just like the video. Now I need to learn some VH songs to go with it. The STK-S4 are definitely a good match as when you change the 5way switch position it is very hard to tell that you moved the switch. I am glad I swapped out the STK-S7 as those are a bit hotter than the S4. Volume roll off on the guitar running the JP is even better than I thought. Run from clean with a soft clip all the way to heavenly grunt and explosive response. :shock:

Nothing like swapping out some pickups to make you happy. This time was a win-win without the sin. In other words I got more than I expected. I would definitely recommend the '78 full sized humbucker but not the single coil sized '78 as that is not the same thing by any means.

Note on the picture: this is with the original Floyd Rose (MIK) and the Pearly Gates with the STK-S7. The guitar looks the same with the exception of the Bridge after I installed the '78 model pickup and STK-S4N, M. I did not take a picture as that would be the same look but the bridge is much cleaner.

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bandit2013
Triple Recto
Posts: 3096
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Carvin Bolt C, SD CS '78 model, + JP-2C, WOW

Post by bandit2013 » Mon May 14, 2018 9:32 pm

Another amazing deal was how this pickup rocked the TC-100. It is not new as it has been around since 1978. First time for me to have one. I have not tried my other amps yet, next up will definitely have to be the Roadster and then the RA100 half stacks.

I thought my friends Gibson 62 LP /or better to say it is an SG with a single hot wound P90 was killer. The Seymour Duncan Custom Shop 78 model is what I was after for so long but did not now what I was looking for. I thought the Pearly gates pickup was great, this one is amazing. So far both of those two trembuckers definitely are satisfying. May have to order another pick guard for my other bolt C. Too bad the Fender Strat is not routed for humbuckers like the Carvins are. Also both are routed for dives and pulls on the Floyd whereas the Fender was not so that is a diver only. At least I know what the Black limba body with maple top sounds like with the 78 and the Pearl. So far the 78 has overwhelmed me. The guitar on the right is the same one on the first post, this is the backside. Take that out in the sun and the color shifts to this golden yellow-olive color. When I ordered the guitar from Carvin (2014) I was uncertain how the back was going to look. I actually like the Black Limba just as much as the flamed maple. The one in the center is the Fender Stratocaster, Dave Murray model, and the one on the left is the other Bolt C in teal (this one was used and bought on Ebay). The other picture is the front view (before I made any mods with the full sized humbuckers.) I guess what I like about the strat type guitar, you can change the pick guard assembly to get a different guitar that will still play the same (assuming you like that sort of thing).

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Before any mods: Front View...

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bandit2013
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Posts: 3096
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Re: Carvin Bolt C, SD CS '78 model, + JP-2C, WOW

Post by bandit2013 » Sun May 27, 2018 7:53 am

It was fun while it was in the guitar. When I compared it to my other guitars, I sort of liked those a bit more than the '78 model pickup. Yesterday I decided to go back to the Pearly Gates and the STK-S7 pickups. The STK-S4's are not bad pickups but I wanted a bit different tone than the typical strat sound. The '78 is great pickup but would be better served in a brighter sounding guitar than a Black Limba (Korena, has similar tone to Mahogany) bodied guitar with a slab of maple on top. The Pearly gates Trembucker had a sweeter tone to it. It gets very aggressive with the volume maxed out just like the '78 model but is not as dark in character. I was fighting the lower frequency feedback too much with the '78 model. Pearly gates pickup did not seem to get swamped as easily as the '78, also the harmonics were as reactive with the PG vs the 78. Pearly gates gives me a bit more edge in my tone that I was missing when I swapped over to the '78 model. Perhaps I will have to make another pick guard and put that pickup in my other Bolt C since it has an Alder body. I changed to the PG not because I did not like the '78 model, it is quite the contrary. I do like the '78 but would sound better in a different guitar than the one I chose to put it in.

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