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Les Paul Studio Wiring

#1 User is offline   MarkWatkins 

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 01:23 PM

Hi all,

I have a 1999 Les Paul Studio and I just removed the backplate from the above guitar, expecting to see the two humbuckers wired to the volume pots, only to find that there's only one humbucker wired (black cable). Does anyone know what's going on here? Many thanks!
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#2 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 02:20 PM

Hello..

Pictures would help a lot..

You can upload pics by uploading to an image hosting site first.. A lot of us use https://imgur.com/ if you use that copy the BB Link it gives you directly in to your post.
"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#3 User is offline   MarkWatkins 

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 03:13 PM

https://imgur.com/gallery/KnbFrgG
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#4 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 03:17 PM

View PostMarkWatkins, on 02 December 2018 - 03:13 PM, said:


Looks normal to me..

You do have two humbucker wires connected to the two pots.. that's the silver braided wires on the back of the pots.. the black wire is from the selector switch and then goes out to the jack.
"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#5 User is offline   MarkWatkins 

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 03:19 PM

Oops. Thanks for that; It now makes sense. You can probably tell this is new to me.
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#6 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 03:25 PM

View PostMarkWatkins, on 02 December 2018 - 03:19 PM, said:

Oops. Thanks for that; It now makes sense. You can probably tell this is new to me.

That's cool.. That's why we are here and we all have to learn from somewhere :)

And by the way in your guitar its all grounded to that metal plate which you don't always see. In which case you will see the pots have ground wire connecting and grounding each piece in a loop. Like this (the yellow wire)

Posted Image

This post has been edited by Rabs: 02 December 2018 - 03:28 PM

"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#7 User is offline   MarkWatkins 

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 03:30 PM

Great, thanks! And the stock pickups in my 1999 Les Paul Studio - are they the same as those fitted in the LP Standards, and what arey called?
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#8 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 03:37 PM

View PostMarkWatkins, on 02 December 2018 - 03:30 PM, said:

Great, thanks! And the stock pickups in my 1999 Les Paul Studio - are they the same as those fitted in the LP Standards, and what arey called?

That I am not sure of... You could try asking Gibson by emailing customer service.. Give them the serial number and maybe a picture or two and they may be able to let you know. That's the kind of spec they change all the time.. The only pickups I know they used in a lot of Gibsons Standards and Studios throughout the years on and off are the 490r and 498t pickups.

If really want to know you could try removing them and seeing what it says underneath.

This post has been edited by Rabs: 02 December 2018 - 03:38 PM

"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#9 User is offline   MarkWatkins 

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:25 AM

I contacted Gibson but I havenít had a reply as yet...
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#10 User is offline   MarkWatkins 

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 07:28 AM

I just heard back. It seems I have the 490R and 498T pickups. Are these considered good pickups?
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#11 User is offline   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 10:35 AM

View PostMarkWatkins, on 04 December 2018 - 07:28 AM, said:

I just heard back. It seems I have the 490R and 498T pickups. Are these considered good pickups?


That is a "depends" question really. It depends on what you play and what you like. If you are referring to quality, no reason that these pickups are considered garbage. My LP Custom and LP Standard have these pickup sets and they are stock for the LPs I have. I like them personally, because as far as I understand, the 498T/490R set is a bit hotter than the other Gibson pickups such as the 57 Classics or Burstbucker types. But again, depends on what you play. I play more hard rock and such and I can find they can be used to get a real nice clean tone too for blues/country and the like. If you like what comes out of the guitar when you plug it in to your amp, I wouldn't worry about it.

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#12 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 10:40 AM

View PostMarkWatkins, on 04 December 2018 - 07:28 AM, said:

I just heard back. It seems I have the 490R and 498T pickups. Are these considered good pickups?

Hello.. Well that was pretty quick...

And these are the standard Gibson pickups really.. They use them on Standards sometimes for instance.. With pickups it comes down to output.. Theres a chart here that shows the relative output on the most popular pickups. But really at the end of the day, if you like the way they sound, then they are good pickups for you as we all have different taste and experience. As you learn more about playing and guitars your taste will probably change.

You can also change how it sounds a bit by raising and lowering the pickups (the screws in the middle of the pickup rings).. This will have the effect of if they are too low it can sound muddy and undefined and if they are too high can sound a bit sharp and shrill (also if they are too high they can actually pull on the strings which can cause issues as it will cut the sustain and make the strings sound a bit dead). No one can tell you which is best, its just what you like and what inspires you to play.

Posted Image

This post has been edited by Rabs: 04 December 2018 - 11:33 AM

"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#13 User is offline   MarkWatkins 

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 06:27 AM

Many thanks to you both; this is really helpful.

Am I right in thinking that these humbucker wires are four lead (green, black, white, red and bare)?

Youíll see from my photo above that I can only see the silver outer covering.
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#14 User is offline   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 07:52 AM

View PostMarkWatkins, on 06 December 2018 - 06:27 AM, said:

Many thanks to you both; this is really helpful.

Am I right in thinking that these humbucker wires are four lead (green, black, white, red and bare)?

You'll see from my photo above that I can only see the silver outer covering.


It looks to me that you have only a 2-wire configuration right now. Yes, there are 2 coils connected, but this is "internal" to the pickup. The 2 wires you have are all you should worry about then using the pickup as-is. The center conductor is one coil's pole-type (N/S), and the outer braid conductor should be continuous with the pole of the other coil and the opposing pole as the other conductor's connection - connected with ground when installed in the guitar. So for lack of better terms, these coils you have are connected in series (N-S-N-S). That's why when you have a 4-wirescheme, typically there is a pair that may be tied together, and the other 2 are considered the "hot" and ground pair.

If you were to split the coils apart (essentially disassemble the pickup to find each coil's terminating ends), then you could concoct a 4-wire scheme, but you probably would want to know what you're doing or give to someone that does. Just mentioning...

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#15 User is offline   MarkWatkins 

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 08:46 AM

Ah yes, that mod would be beyond my capabilities, but I am interested in splitting. It looks as if Iím now looking at replacing the pickups and some of the switching, which is fine. Any recommendations for decent replacement pickups (with four lead wires)?
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#16 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:39 AM

View PostMarkWatkins, on 06 December 2018 - 08:46 AM, said:

Ah yes, that mod would be beyond my capabilities, but I am interested in splitting. It looks as if I’m now looking at replacing the pickups and some of the switching, which is fine. Any recommendations for decent replacement pickups (with four lead wires)?

Hmm, this is a big question really.. Everyone has different taste.

The thing for me is that most split humbuckers from my experience don't really sound like proper single coils.. So the split sounds a lot of the time aren't really useable (the idea behind spits is better than the reality)... You are far better off getting a different guitar for single coil sounds.

It also depends on what sort of music you want to play. So say for hard rock/metal type sounds people often go for higher output (hotter) pickups and if you played more bluesy 60s/70s rock you would probably be better off going for a more mellow pickup.

This is a very complex subject that also very much involves what sort of amp you have, if you want to use effects and pedals and what techniques you may use or want to develop. Really this is what a lot of playing is about.. Once you learn how to play it all becomes about technique, tone and the gear you use and is what we spend most of our time talking about on here, how to get that certain sound from a particular player we like or something we have heard on an album etc etc

The other kicker about all of this is as you learn more and gain more experience your taste changes.. So what you have now you may not want later.. Its called GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) and most of us suffer from it badly. But its also what makes its fun :) Sometimes just doing something like buying a new pedal and discovering new sounds to play with can re-energise your enthusiasm for playing if you start getting bored with doing the same old thing.

Sadly theres no real shortcut here either.. You just have to try a whole bunch of things over time and see what works for you. None of it is right or wrong. I guess though if you explain what sort of music you want to play that may help narrow things down a bit and would be a good starting point.

This post has been edited by Rabs: 06 December 2018 - 10:59 AM

"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#17 User is offline   MarkWatkins 

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:00 AM

Again, many thanks for the replies. I suppose I'd like a traditional-sounding humbucker reminiscent of the 50s Les Pauls, if such humbuckers exist, and if they're any good!
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#18 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:04 AM

View PostMarkWatkins, on 06 December 2018 - 11:00 AM, said:

Again, many thanks for the replies. I suppose I'd like a traditional-sounding humbucker reminiscent of the 50s Les Pauls, if such humbuckers exist, and if they're any good!

Really you should be able to dial in that sort of sound with the pickups you have.. But the 57 Classics have a really good reputation..

Also, theres the guitar controls.. A lot of people just leave them full on but you can do a lot with just the controls.. Check this vid


"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#19 User is offline   MarkWatkins 

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:23 PM

Ok, great. I have some thinking to do, along with a lot of research. Thanks for the advice - Iíll post an update soon.
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