Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

1949 Gibson ES5 pickups


Recommended Posts

Hey all!


First time poster here! I have a old '49 ES5 on the bench that needs some rewiring, a cleanup and some shims underneath the P90

's. With unscrewing all pickups I noticed that the neck pickup was turned the other way around compared to the middle and bridge pickup. On the factory schematic I couldn't see any difference between the pickups...... as it is reversed it sounds like a out of phase tone. Is this correct / vintage correct?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does :). When reversed it is out of phase with the other pickups........


EDIT: on closer listening my bridge pickup was erroring....... turning it around does not change the phase!!




then there is another issue; after the shim job the neck and middle pickup sound great together..... BUT the bridge one does not! When used alone the units sound just great! When combined the weird stuff happens. Neck and middle are OK together, sound a bit like the in between settings on a strat. BUT when the bridge pickup is combined with either the neck or the middle it goes out of phase. Turning that pickup around works like a charm.


But when I checked the values of the P90's I noticed that the one with the greatest DC reading is in the neck, the middle has the lowest reading and the bridge is in between.


Did Gibson just put in any P90 in the guitar, not matching DC resistance (I know, it is only a hint of the output) with the place or the phase or did someone later put the pickups in the wrong place?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums! I'm no expert but here's a crack-


Your question made me think of a YouTube video of Jimmy Vivino, leader of Conan O''Brian's band, talking about his epi p93 and how he wanted to reverse wound the middle for "the t bone walker thing". Turns out t bone was a big fan of the ES5 and it seems that an out of phase middle pup was an original design, at least according to the experts on the gretsch pages




Sounds like they've probably been messed about with and reordered, from what you're describing now. Good luck, post pics

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...