Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

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Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by rodolfosrb on Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:43 pm

I have a Thunder I-A version 2 guitar. It was recently reviewd by a luthier. He recommended me to change the pickups to make the guitar a better one. He said that the wood and the construction of the guitar is amazing, and it is very well conserved.
I think that the sales price of this electric guitar doesnt compensate, so i want to improve it.
I'm thinking in buying the Gibson 500T and 496R pickups.

So these are the questions:
1- Do you think will it work?
2- Can I use this pickup whith the active cicuit?
3- Do i need 2 or 4 wires pickup?
4- Can you recommend another pickup?

Thanks!
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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by David_A on Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:12 am

Hi rodolfosrb. This is my opinion:
Changing the pickups won't add to the value of the guitar. Most buyers want the parts to be all original. The only reason I would change the pickups is that I didn't like the sound of them. Gibson pickups are good but very expensive and there are much better value ones out there. If you have a Thunder that is all original and fully working then you are a lucky man!
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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by Barry on Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:51 am

Hello rodolfosrb and welcome.

Everyone's entitled to his opinion, but I think you'll find the original pups (marked MMK45 on the back) are extremely powerful and versatile. They're roughly equivalent to the DiMarzio super distortions of the period and very well regarded.

Some people do find the sound a tad on the "muddy" or heavy side but then, this is a rock n roll guitar, and the boost from the active circuit puts the output into the stratosphere. There's a reason it's called Thunder!

You can change pups if you wish and the circuit can still be used, but unless you're trying to change the sound for a specific reason my advice is to stay with the original MMK45's. If you decide to change please hold on to the originals, they're very much sought after.
CLICK HERE for a wiring schematic.

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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by rodolfosrb on Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:35 pm

David_A wrote:Hi rodolfosrb. This is my opinion:
Changing the pickups won't add to the value of the guitar. Most buyers want the parts to be all original. The only reason I would change the pickups is that I didn't like the sound of them. Gibson pickups are good but very expensive and there are much better value ones out there. If you have a Thunder that is all original and fully working then you are a lucky man!
Yes, it is original and working perfectly. All parts. I am not thinking in change the pickups to add value but to improve the guitar so i don't think about selling it. I saw some deals and the guitar was sold per $500. And i will never sell it for less than $1000. Can this guitar all original can be compared to a top line Gibson?
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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by rodolfosrb on Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:37 pm

Barry wrote:Hello rodolfosrb and welcome.

Everyone's entitled to his opinion, but I think you'll find the original pups (marked MMK45 on the back) are extremely powerful and versatile. They're roughly equivalent to the DiMarzio super distortions of the period and very well regarded.

Some people do find the sound a tad on the "muddy" or heavy side but then, this is a rock n roll guitar, and the boost from the active circuit puts the output into the stratosphere. There's a reason it's called Thunder!

You can change pups if you wish and the circuit can still be used, but unless you're trying to change the sound for a specific reason my advice is to stay with the original MMK45's. If you decide to change please hold on to the originals, they're very much sought after. for a wiring schematic.
I am not used to play the guitar using the active circuit. Normaly do you play all the time with the active circuit?
Thanks for all information!
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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by Barry on Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:53 pm

I have 2 Thunder IA's and I love 'em. But, they will never be worth as much as a top line Gibson.

This model Westone just doesn't carry that kind of interest or have that sort of finish. You might have better luck with the Prestige. Even then...

And hell no, you do not want to play with the active boost on all the time! It's there for effect, just like the other controls. You'd find it handy in a loud band if you were wanting to take a lead and wanted to be sure to be heard above everyone else. What a Face

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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by corsair on Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:21 am

I never used the onboard boost in 20+ years of gigging; I found the boost too shrill and the switch was a bit fiddly on a darkened stage, with sweaty fingers - stompboxes do all that for me. My active guitar wasn't a Thunder 1A, rather it was a Vantage VA900... so same company!!
Pickup swaps are easily reversable so I say "Have at it!!" Not sure I'd use Gibson p'ups, though - there are just SO many to choose from; name brand types like the Bareknuckles, Seymour Duncans, DiMarzios et al to the more mainstream like Entwistles, GFS and Kent Armstrong; I've found that the extra dollars you pay for premium brands aren't always refected in an appreciable difference in sound quality....

YMMV. Very Happy

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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by rodolfosrb on Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:37 pm

corsair wrote:I never used the onboard boost in 20+ years of gigging; I found the boost too shrill and the switch was a bit fiddly on a darkened stage, with sweaty fingers - stompboxes do all that for me. My active guitar wasn't a Thunder 1A, rather it was a Vantage VA900... so same company!!
Pickup swaps are easily reversable so I say "Have at it!!" Not sure I'd use Gibson p'ups, though - there are just SO many to choose from; name brand types like the Bareknuckles, Seymour Duncans, DiMarzios et al to the more mainstream like Entwistles, GFS and Kent Armstrong; I've found that the extra dollars you pay for premium brands aren't always refected in an appreciable difference in sound quality....

YMMV. Very Happy
So you dont think it worth to improve the pickups?
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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by rodolfosrb on Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:45 pm

corsair wrote:I never used the onboard boost in 20+ years of gigging; I found the boost too shrill and the switch was a bit fiddly on a darkened stage, with sweaty fingers - stompboxes do all that for me. My active guitar wasn't a Thunder 1A, rather it was a Vantage VA900... so same company!!
Pickup swaps are easily reversable so I say "Have at it!!" Not sure I'd use Gibson p'ups, though - there are just SO many to choose from; name brand types like the Bareknuckles, Seymour Duncans, DiMarzios et al to the more mainstream like Entwistles, GFS and Kent Armstrong; I've found that the extra dollars you pay for premium brands aren't always refected in an appreciable difference in sound quality....

YMMV. Very Happy
I have a Ibanez with Dimarzio pickups. Thats why i was thinking in put some kind of Gibson Les Paul pickups, to have a vintage sound to play Led Zepelin. Wich pickups do you recommend?

As I have the Thunder instead of investing in a Gibson guitar i was thinking in improve the Westone. The luthier told me its not easy to find good body guitar nowadays, only if you pay a lot in custom guitars, and its worth to collect the westone guitar and improve it. Does it make sense?
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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by Barry on Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:41 pm

rodolfosrb wrote:Does it make sense?
I think we've answered your question.

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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by corsair on Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:24 am

Of course it's worth changing the p'ups out -  as I said it's an easily reversible alteration! I just caution against blindly buying pickups on the name: find out what pickups you like the sound of on a recording, and then do some research into said pickup: magnet type, impedance, wire type etc. and then see what's out there.... Google is your friend!

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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by rodolfosrb on Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:56 pm

corsair wrote:Of course it's worth changing the p'ups out -  as I said it's an easily reversible alteration! I just caution against blindly buying pickups on the name: find out what pickups you like the sound of on a recording, and then do some research into said pickup: magnet type, impedance, wire type etc. and then see what's out there.... Google is your friend!
Thanks a lot! I will follow you up with the news!
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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by rodolfosrb on Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:51 pm

I'm thinking about the seymour duncan 59. Do you think will it work better than the original ones? Thanks!
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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by Westbone on Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:39 am

rodolfosrb wrote:I'm thinking about the seymour duncan 59. Do you think will it work better than the original ones? Thanks!
yes
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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by rodolfosrb on Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:48 pm

Westbone wrote:
rodolfosrb wrote:I'm thinking about the seymour duncan 59. Do you think will it work better than the original ones? Thanks!
yes
Thanks! And after the change the active and tone swiches, will be still work?
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Re: Thunder I-A V2 - Pickup change

Post by Westbone on Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:00 pm

rodolfosrb wrote:
Westbone wrote:
yes
Thanks! And after the change the active and tone swiches, will be still work?
If wired correctly, yes
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