Hot Rod Vela

xjbebop

Yippy ki yay...
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Installed a Duncan JB pup that was looking for a new home to try it out....
She can spit fire now!! :D

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Out of time right now... more details later...
 

xjbebop

Yippy ki yay...
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So, I –really- like the Vela. The weight, balance, ergonomics, neck shape, bridge, etc… In stock form, it sounds fabulous for sweet cleans and a mild to medium crunch. But I was often wishing for a bit more bite & growl from the bridge. Since I had a Duncan JB just laying around, I finally got around to swapping it for the stock Starla pup just to see what would happen.

I’ve read mixed reviews about the JB in mahogany guitars, and wasn’t sure how it would sound, along with the D-type neck pup. Much to my surprise, I’m very impressed with the JB on both accounts. My initial impression is it’s actually pretty close to the rock voicing I was hoping for, and it seems to mix with the neck pup much better than I expected. With the tone knob pulled up to the “split” position (***), it sounds very similar to a good, hot Tele bridge pup. Much more than the stock pup did. I might consider trying a different pup after this, but I’m more pleased than I thought I would be with the JB.

It does look different than stock. Better, equal or worse is subjective. But when I’m actually playing the guitar, all that really matters is how it feels, sounds and responds…

I was also thinking about making a custom, ‘full race” version by changing out the neck pup to a full sized humbucker as well, and then buying a second Vela to keep as stock. But, I’ve already got plenty of other 2-bucker guitars. Or I could always just get an S2 standard 22, which would be very close to the same thing, but honestly probably work better than a Vela as a 2-bucker rock machine anyway…



(***) = the push/pull doesn’t actually ‘split’ the bridge pup, but rather shunts the signal through a 2.2k resistor to ground (see pic). This effectively lowers the output and brightens the tone, much like a series/parallel switch (which I usually prefer to coil splits anyways), but with much simpler wiring. I’m definitely going to try this trick with a few other guitars.

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Fwiw, IMHO, the S2 series controls and wiring/solder work ‘quality’ is much closer to the SE / Epiphone level of guitars that I’ve seen than the other way (core models, higher end guitars, etc…) It’s not shite by any means, but pretty sloppy none the less. The stock pup wires released way too easy with just a touch of the soldering iron. The tone/push/pull control had sloppy solder on every contact point, before I even touched it… hadn’t seen that before. I suppose they are purchased / installed ‘pre tinned’, ready for any wiring config. I will definitely upgrade these parts once I settle on a long term pickup.
 

BrianC

more toys than talent
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Apr 26, 2012
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Always remember its YOUR guitar mod till you drop.

For me, its a big departure from the original which has its own chimey thing. I find the same issue when playing the smaller 408 pups or single coils.
 

markintime

Wood Grain Devotee
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
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Clinton, SC
Now I'm really scared to look at any wiring on my 2 S2's and 2 SE's.... Thankfully, I don't have a good reason to do that. And hopefully, nothing will ever break or quit working. (Fingers crossed)
 

xjbebop

Yippy ki yay...
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Now I'm really scared to look at any wiring on my 2 S2's and 2 SE's....

No worries...you're not likely to have any failures due to this. I'm just sharing the 'mass production' aspect...something most folks won't even ever be aware of.

Nice! Good idea to shoot your amp, too. ;)

There's a long story behind that involving another guitar customization I did awhile back.... it's just for fun. I got the BS when they first came out and after many other amps, it's still my go-to. I love this amp! :)
 

CVS

Not so new member
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
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Glad to see that you did not change the neck pickup. To me at least that is what makes this guitar somewhat different from all other PRS models.
Enjoy your "new" guitar
 

Livaq

New Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
1
Hello
What do you think about putting TV Jones plus in the bridge position? Will it save the ability to split in a way original Starla humbucker does?
Thank you)
 

velasemisatin

That's real fine lookin man, that's somethin' else
Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
2
I can't see any of the photos. Were they removed. Were either of the pickups out of phase in the middle position?
 
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