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KVL

Les Paul Classic tune-up

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Hey gang, my '05 MIK LP Classic needs some love. She's going on 10 and I'm having some electronics issues. I think she needs some new pots and switch. I've done the contact cleaner spray twice on it and she's always cased when not in use, yet she falls out on the bridge setting, scratchy/staticy sounding sometimes, sometimes very thin, etc.

 

I know everyone seems to recommend the switch craft switch, but what pots should I get, and where to get them?

 

Keep in mind, I'm a reformed drummer... LOL!

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The kits available are easy, but the quality is about the same as what the guitar came with. I always like to upgrade myself when I do these things. Switchcraft jacks and switches are pretty east to come by and are good. Here is a link to some high end pots.

 

http://www.mojotone.com/guitar-parts/Guitar-Potentiometers

 

But, before you go there, what tuner cleaner are you using? Some do not really do much. Buy a can of Caig Deoxit and try it first. Even if it does not fix the problem, it is THE contact cleaner for audio. Every musician who plays an electric instrument should have it. It makes your gear sound better. Every serious recording engineer keeps a can around.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAIG-Laboratories-DeoxIT-Contact-Cleaner-D5s-6-D5-FREE-SHIPPING-5oz-can-5-/271177132829?pt=US_Pro_Audio_Microphones&hash=item3f236aab1d

 

God bless, Spamonkis

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Can't go wrong with Switchcraft, Neutrik, Bourns or CTS. 500k pots. Audio taper (although different people seem to have different preferences for that). 0.015uF caps seem to suit me; higher values will give you more high cut at full range.

 

Google Jimmy Page wiring. This can give you a bunch of new tones including coil taps and out of phase sounds. I love it although not everyone does. Normally you'd need 4 wire pickups to do this but, if you can expose the wire connecting screw/slug coils together, you can take an extra lead off of that (one from each pickup).

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allparts and stewmac (.com on either) have top quality pots at reasonable prices.

 

(I typed really slow because you're a reformed drummer [laugh] )

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It's easy to replace pots. I get mine at StewMac. The drawback to CTS pots is that they have wide stems and you'll have to make the holes in the body larger. I've run across very few Epi's with scratchy pots (I've owned dozens over the years), and I get most of mine used. It helps to keep them in a case of some sort, so dust doesn't get in the pots.

 

While you're replacing pots give this some thought: is your bridge PU too bright and/or neck too dark? It's something I deal with on most of my guitars. What I do is use a 250K or two on the bridge to shave off the excess treble (Epi's come with 500K's). Makes the mids more prominent. If a neck PU's a little too warm, I use a 1-meg or two to open the high end a bit more; you can also use no-load pots which let the pure tone come thru.

 

Epi toggle switches will last a long time, and there's a couple ways to ensure that. 1) Always leave the toggle in the middle position when you're not plugged in. If you don't, it puts tension on a prong in the toggle, and eventually they lean a little bit and don't go back to their original position, making poor contact. Every brand of toggle is subject to this. 2) But that's easy to fix. Pull the toggle out so you can see what's going on (don't disconnect any wires). Look at it from the side, and flip the toggle back and forth. You'll see where it's making contact and where it's not. Gently bend the offending prong. Takes seconds to do and the average 10-year old has the skill level required.

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I've always had no trouble with CTS pots. Haven't really used any of the others. Whatever way you go should be a great

improvement over what you have now.

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Epi toggle switches will last a long time, and there's a couple ways to ensure that. 1) Always leave the toggle in the middle position when you're not plugged in. If you don't, it puts tension on a prong in the toggle, and eventually they lean a little bit and don't go back to their original position, making poor contact. Every brand of toggle is subject to this. 2) But that's easy to fix. Pull the toggle out so you can see what's going on (don't disconnect any wires). Look at it from the side, and flip the toggle back and forth. You'll see where it's making contact and where it's not. Gently bend the offending prong. Takes seconds to do and the average 10-year old has the skill level required.

 

Cool... I'm gonna check that out. The switch is also out of position somewhat. What I mean is that rather than the switch being at 12 and 6 for treble/rhythm, it's at like 1 and 7. It's crooked in other words.

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Cool... I'm gonna check that out. The switch is also out of position somewhat. What I mean is that rather than the switch being at 12 and 6 for treble/rhythm, it's at like 1 and 7. It's crooked in other words.

 

Probably just the prongs being bent. You can fix that yourself. Once you look at a toggle, you'll see how simple they are, and that it only takes a minor tweak to get them making the connections right.

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I know everyone seems to recommend the switch craft switch, but what pots should I get, and where to get them?

Hello to all!

 

Haven't been around in a while. (been camping the better part of the last month)

Hope I'm not too late for the conversation.

 

KVL,

 

What is it you are tying to accomplish? Do you simply want to get rid of scratchy pots and a bad switch?

(do the jack at the same time)

 

Epi stock are Alpha 500k linear volumes (short shaft) and Alpha 500k audio tones (short shaft). You can get them most

anywhere and that includes Stewmac.

The capacitors are .022μF @ 100v. and can be reused. The Molex connectors IMO are undependable.

Stock Epi wiring is "Modern Dependent"

 

I mention this for a reason. If you are satisfied with the way your controls work (except for the scratchy sound)....

that is what you have. The parts can be replaced for very little money.

 

It comes to this....

Are you replacing parts or upgrading???

 

Wiring schemes are about how you want to control your guitar.

 

Willy

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The switch is also out of position somewhat. What I mean is that rather than the switch being at 12 and 6 for treble/rhythm, it's at like 1 and 7. It's crooked in other words.

Loosen the nut on the front of the guitar and rotate the switch to 6 and 12. You may need to take the round cover plate off on the back so you can hold the switch body while you tighten the nut.

 

In my experience all Epi switches oxidize if you don't use the frequently, and become intermittent or reduce volume. A few clicks back and forth usually solves it until you let it sit too long again. A Switchcraft switch will cure it for good.

 

If your pots aren't scratching when you turn them there is no need to replace them, but of course you can if you want to.

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Stock Epi wiring is "Modern Dependent"

 

I mention this for a reason. If you are satisfied with the way your controls work (except for the scratchy sound)....

that is what you have. The parts can be replaced for very little money.

 

Good point Willy. I rewire all my Epis to 'independent volume controls', which lets me blend the PU's in many increments. All that's entailed is changing which lugs a couple wires go to.

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Thanks again everyone. What do i want you ask? I guess I'm satisfied with it, but I sometimes can't leave things well enough alone. :)

The way I see it, I play guitar for fun, and not to chase electrical gremlins. if I need to replace something, I might as well go all out and do it, but I don't want to chase one problem after another.

 

With that said, I love the guitar. I get frustrated when it sounds good one night, and then another it has volume drop outs or scratchiness, etc.

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With that said, I love the guitar. I get frustrated when it sounds good one night, and then another it has volume drop outs or scratchiness, etc.

 

We would too, that's why you want to fix it once and be done with it.

 

Guitar wiring is very low tech and simple. Every part (PU, toggle, pot, jack) has a hot wire and a ground. The grounds are all interconnected in one big loop, and that's lined to the bridge or stop bar. Individual parts are easy to replace; make the sure the hot and ground are correctly done. You don't need to know about what processes go on inside the electrical parts, you just hook them up. Look at some basic wiring diagrams. Print a few off and use colored markers to follow the wires. Take the mystery out of it. 12-year old kids could figure this stuff out.

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We would too, that's why you want to fix it once and be done with it.

36_2_25thumbsup.gif

 

Look at some basic wiring diagrams. Print a few off and use colored markers to follow the wires. Take the mystery out of it.

Yup,

For a 2 pickup, 2 volume, 2 tone, 3 way toggle switch guitar, there are four basic wiring styles.

Most everything after that is a modification or alteration.

 

Here are the four basic styles drawn out in their most basic form:

(They are the first four diagrams)

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/4555-post2.html

 

The arrows on the back of the pots are the grounds that Bluemans335 is referring to.

The only other wiring is the toggle switch and jack which are also very basic.

 

Once you understand the basics, the rest are mostly variations.

 

Willy

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Les_Paul_Modern_Wiring_zpsbf37630e.png

 

Les_Paul_50s_Wiring_zpsb5b364ec.png

 

OK, judging from these schematics you linked me to, it's as easy as reversing the yellow and red on the one side and then which prong it connects to on the other?

I assume you just melt the solder and reconnect?

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OK, judging from these schematics you linked me to, it's as easy as reversing the yellow and red on the one side and then which prong it connects to on the other?

KVL,

Yes, if you want to go from "Modern Dependent" to "Modern Independent".

See how easy it is?

 

Now, keep in mind that an Epi harness is not that organized and the color codes for the wires are different.

Still, if you trace everything down, the wires go to the same places.

The drawings are utilizing "vintage braided wire". The braiding on the wire is the ground.

 

Not so with Epi:

 

You have this:

 

EEcavity.jpg

 

Which is this:

 

1001307v.jpg

 

and this:

 

1001308t.jpg

 

or this:

 

spagetti.jpg

 

Just keep in mind !!! Except for the type of wire you use... The principles do not change.

Personally, I like "50's Dependent".

I usually change the above to something more like this:

 

100_0947.jpg

 

(My LP Custom)

 

As to soldering....

Pratice...practice...practice.

Lots of great videos out there.

Here is one of my favorites:

 

 

Willy

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EEcavity.jpg

 

 

100_0947.jpg

 

 

 

Wow... Although I love spaghetti, I like the second guitar cavity much better. [thumbup]

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Do you still attend the weekly meetings and report on your progress to the group?

 

Nah... I decided to "stick" it to 'em... [flapper]

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