I believe we have reached the limit of Gibson guitars electronic ability. What I mean is that attrition is now finally hitting the owners of some of their instruments. Namely the Chet Atkins line. I've detail in this blog about the pitfalls of the Chet Atkins CE and now I can add the Chet Atkins SST to the list. The problems are similar. The PC board mounts are non-existent, the wire and wiring jobs are poorly done, the ergonomics of the electronics are thrown together and not engineered for spacial regards.
The Chet Atkins model guitar are really nice but they use the same electronic cavity as found on most of the Gibson Les Paul's and if you look - most of the line. Oh, gosh it saves tons of money and a lot of production time but further down the road the instruments end up in the shop for repair.
These are simple before and after pictures of my latest repair. The shielding was poorly applied and had unprotected regions where the technician failed to complete the job. Really, the work obviously looked rushed.
This is what is under the foam:
You can see the area where shielding has been "spared." To the left of the battery, the perimeter, etc...
This was Gibson's attempt at a shield earth ground:
Here is the naked cavity upon my application of shielding material:
Now, this is what I've done. Hard mounted the PC board while using neoprene insulation. Solder connections fixed, slag removed, cavity shielded properly.
Previous guitars - Gibson Chet Atkins CE - Before!
Gibson Chet Atkins CE: - AFTER!
Finished product - Spankin results - Nice shield layer - - No ghost squeals, crazy noise, tube busting crackling or frustration. Nothing but tone now. However, I couldn't mount the battery with a hard fastener because there isn't enough wood to work with and screws come dangerously close to pulling through - even the shortest of lengths - BEWARE of this when mounting brackets or PC boards in this unit - Especially the SST. The Chet Atkins CE had more material to work with in terms of thickness.