Guitar Reviews

14 Nov A 1959 Gibson Les Paul Conversion & a David Allen P51

Another long time project that I have was to “fix” an old original, 1952 style Gibson Les Paul – originally started as a Gold Top in the early 1950s – that I had bought in Florida probably 20 years ago.

It was my first 1950s Les Paul conversion, and the conversion itself had been done horribly. Never the less, I played the guitar for years live and at home. It was my main Les Paul for a long time, until the Lentz conversion came about years later.  I don’t have a picture of what the guitar looked like when I first got it. The guitar was refinished a number of times, eventually staying in gold with P90s (replicas) as its last condition before I decided to have it properly converted in 1959 style again – but this time, done as it should have been.


Finally Converted Properly.


It took almost two years to friend Luca of Cloe Guitars, but the guitar is now successfully converted. Luca did a number of incredible things to it. The first one – wasn’t easy for me – was to replace the neck. The neck was probably not its original one from the start – it had been reset for sure, but it had a very strange shape, definitely too thin, probably a 1970s neck anyways. Not only it didn’t have the proper angle in the 1950s Les Paul body, but it was shaped too strange for the guitar to get its full range of sound. So Luca swapped it with one that was carefully modelled after other conversions of mine. (more…)

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13 Nov David Allen Pickups Developing A New Pickup In Collaboration With SoloDallas (Updated With Allen’s Prototype I, Metro JTM50)

Recording The Rock N Roll Relics "Angus Model" With A David Allen P51 on a number of amplifiers

Recording The Rock N Roll Relics “Angus Model” With A David Allen P51 on a number of amplifiers

 Please note: for the latest updates, please scroll down to the bottom.


Well, I’m happy to be able to officially announce that Mr. David Allen, me & myself (Solo & Dallas) are working actively together to bring you a new pickup to sound… as it should.


Microphone Types & Placement: Left, Shure SM57; Right, original 1960s Sennheiser MD421. These microphones are a “classic couple” for Rock & Classic Rock. This is the combination used to record – for example – Highway To Hell.

For what? Well, typically – knowing me – for Rock ‘n’ Roll. And moreso, it’s supposed to be one of those you can stick or shove into an SG of any kind and make her sound… good. Good reminiscent of what you know. Idea came months ago to friend Billy Rowe of Rock N Roll Relics, that put David Allen and myself in touch to work on this. At the time, the main objective was to choose two pickups for the Angus Model (Rock N Roll Relics “Angus Model”). Billy had chosen one from David Allen’s great line of pickups called the P51, which replicates a 1959 Gibson (the Gibson of those times) PAF.

One of our Plexi prototypes - companding 100%, Boost circa 60&

One of our Plexi prototypes – companding 100%, Boost circa 60&


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02 Dec T-Top Replicas – A successful tone report!

I guess most “gearheads” and “tonefreaks” are already very used to boutique pickups. It seems that most variations and options offered out there are reproductions of the sought after “Patent Applied For” pickups (PAFs), which are very special in their own right, but also very elusive. The inconsistent character of that era makes reproducing them very hard, as there’s hardly any set “standard” for the true PAF tone.

The quantity of people who offer high quality replicas of said pickups is overwhelming. From $75 to even $200 or even more for a single pickup, there are many to choose from, be it from big names such as Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan, as well as other small winders. Truth is, all of them sound great in their own way, what you get, though, are different tastes.

But I’m not here to talk about boutique pickups in general. Thing is, I have something that might interest you.


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18 Sep The eBay “Watch” Post

Update info as per 18th Sep 2012: removed outdated links and older comments. Banane (Franz)


I am frequently asked by many of you “Fil, what could or should I buy…? Would this or that be good, and how much should I pay?… listen Fil, this one sounds like a great rock and roll guitar….?”

So this is the place for you to post links to point me to, or for me to point you to, equipment sales ads of interest.

So from time to time I’ll post here selected eBay items (and other internet places/links) that either I would buy myself or strongly suggest you to look into. Please feel free to do the same in the comment boxes below, I’ll look into them eventually and add it to the post here).

Most of the time, I will look for/will be looking at issue/bargain pieces.


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08 Oct AC/DC – Love Hungry Man (tone sample and settings)


First of all, I’d like to introduce myself since this is my first post here on solodallas.com as a contributor. 🙂

My name is Adam, I’m 18, and I’m a huge classic rock fan and player from Hungary. I’ve been playing for quite a few years now, and I plan to do this for a living. My all-time favorite is (of course) AC/DC, but I also like lots of other classic rock bands/guys such as Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Guns n’ Roses, Free, The Who, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix etc. I could go on for about a page more, but let’s get to the interesting part, shall we? 🙂


Today, I recorded a quick sketch of the rhythm part of Love Hungry Man. I’m really into getting the HWTH (album) tone, and this was my first attempt (the beginning of a journey, if you like 😀 )

When Fil heard it, he told me right away that I must post it 😛 So here it is guys:


Love Hungry Man (tone sample) (more…)

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30 Jun 1970 Gibson SG Custom


time to get back home.

But I didn’t resist and took with me this “issue” (repainted 20 years ago, in black, rewired original pickups)) 1970 Gibson SG Custom.

Gotta love America.


See you soon in a couple of days,

bye from San Diego, CA,


Fil! 🙂




Will be featuring the ORIGINAL Schaffer Vega Diversity in a few days; stay tuned!

[singlepic id=504 w=1024 h=768 float=none] (more…)

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20 Apr The (almost) Final Word On Back In Black? (UPDATE Shoot To Thrill)

Update: trying to grasp “Shoot To Thrill”.

Only an attempt, this one also is far from final. However, some reactions are already happening.

Angus seemed to have been “higher” on the guitar volume knob for this one, as he is evidently “boosting” the bass freqs more (you can hear it definitely even in the rhythm tone).

So on this 1971 SG Standard, volume knob was all time on 9 for both rhythm and solos (did only a single take). (more…)

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