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Unread 06-28-2012, 05:24 PM   #1
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BC Rich P7 Warlock was my first, cheap 7-string: upgrade suggestions?

Hey guys,

I've had my black BC Rich P7 Warlock (i.e., this model) for a couple of years now. I bought it second hand for very little money; it was my first 7-string and I still like it very much, despite the fact that it's obviously not the fanciest guitar in the world.

I'm thinking about doing a little maintenance and fine-tuning on it and maybe upgrading it in some way. What would be the most useful and efficient thing to do / have done that would improve tone or playability without costing too much? I'm thinking one or two new pick-ups perhaps: would that be worth it or would it be like putting a V8 engine in an old CitroŽn 2CV? Any suggestions on pickup models?

As you may have noticed, I'm not a huge expert on guitar tech (or cars, for that matter).
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Unread 06-28-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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I'm thinking if you like the way it plays put some new pickups in there, some locking tuners, refinish that bad boy in you got yourself a nice guitar!
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Unread 06-28-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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^What he said.

Replacing the electronics probably wouldn't go astray. My '04 Rich had the jack plug go on me. You could also change the wiring config opening up some more options as far as pup selections go.

Pickup change is probably another good idea. It's quite easy to do and sounds great!

"By the way, melted binding looks like marshmallow. But it really doesn't taste like it." - MapleLeaf97
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Unread 06-28-2012, 05:57 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. Glad to hear my old buddy still has some potential. I do like the way it plays, it's got a nice smooth and thin neck that's really grown on me.

Now that you mention it, I'd almost forgotten it but I had to do some resoldering on the jack plug some time ago. And even longer ago -- I'm talking maybe 15 years -- I put a new Dimarzio pickup in my Epiphone (6 string) Explorer. Guess I'm not that clumsy after all, though that pickup change was a bit of a solder mess if I remember it right.

Any suggestions concerning pickup types? I'm not interested in going active (which would probably require more invasive body modifications to accomodate for larger size and batteries) since my new 7-string will already have active pickups.

Locking tuners are a good idea too. Hm... I might pick black ones and replace the (chrome) tone and volume knobs with black ones as well. Sweet.
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Unread 06-29-2012, 09:24 AM   #5
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The same as above, + change that horrible bridge if you can.
Install... Well... Dunno what you like, but I'd go for a ToM + string through. It easy (only 7 holes to drill), cheap, and looks great. Also, it will sound better.
You can change the nut also if it's a plastic one. Change for graphite, bone, tusq, anything of quality.
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Unread 06-29-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
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Agreed, that chrome bridge is the cheapest looking part of the whole guitar and I'd be glad to see it go! I'd love a Tune-o-Matic one instead. Great suggestion!

In fact, the strings already go through the body so even the holes shouldn't be a problem -- except that they're right under the fixed bridge, of course, really close to where the string is supposed to leave the saddle (about 1 cm), so the strings go down at a pretty steep angle and I don't know if that'll work with a ToM bridge.

Also, the current bridge is pretty low (about 1 cm or less) and I don't know if you can put a ToM bridge that close to the body.

Seems like this guy managed to install one though (I think he drilled new holes for the strings).
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Unread 06-29-2012, 03:36 PM   #7
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My upgrade list I would do

1) locking tuners
2) graphtec or gfs saddles or just get a whole new bridge, your call
3) pickups
4) electronics
5) graphtec nut
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Unread 06-29-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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You could Refinish it, upgrade your hardware, upgrade electronics (pickups, pots, etc). How worn out is the nut? You could try replacing that too.

Perhaps you could clean it?
Speaking of... my fretboard is quite dirty :o
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Unread 06-29-2012, 06:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robrecht View Post
In fact, the strings already go through the body so even the holes shouldn't be a problem -- except that they're right under the fixed bridge, of course, really close to where the string is supposed to leave the saddle (about 1 cm), so the strings go down at a pretty steep angle and I don't know if that'll work with a ToM bridge.
I think it's a pretty bad idea unless your endorsed by a string manufacturer. Strings won't stop breaking at the bridge with too high angle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robrecht View Post
Also, the current bridge is pretty low (about 1 cm or less) and I don't know if you can put a ToM bridge that close to the body.
Yes you can:



Quote:
Originally Posted by Robrecht View Post
Seems like this guy managed to install one though (I think he drilled new holes for the strings).
See above.
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Unread 07-01-2012, 03:52 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, really inspiring and instructive! I'll try and post pictures once I get some things done (might take a while).
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Unread 07-02-2012, 04:08 PM   #11
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New nut and fret dressing would help to get it playing as smoothly as possible. From what I remember, the Warlocks used plastic nuts, which kill the tone and sustain. Upgrade to a bone nut or something similar. Fret dressing would get the action nice and low, and would help a lot especially at the higher frets, where the neck is at an angle because of that bridge.
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