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vintage p/u wiring scheme


kevinkjs

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does anyone know of the so called "59 vintage wiring" scheme for a les paul? I've read it's as simple as wiring the tone pots

 

to the volume pot outputs instead of the inputs. supposedly your tone "blooms" and less treble is lost when lowering your volume.

 

this mod was featured in Premier Guitar magazine, issue September 2013. any experience doing, hearing, or info on this would

 

be appreciated. If feedback is positive, I will mod my 1999 LP Standard and post both the procedure and most importantly, the

 

audible pros, or cons in the tonal response. thank you immensely.

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From what I hear those capacitors in-between the volume and tone pots can make all the difference too...

 

The big debate is between vintage "bumble-bee" and "orange-drop" capacitors.

 

I'm not up on it all enough myself to know the difference or have an experienced opinion.

 

875_Gibson_Historic_Bumble_Bee_Capacitors_PCAP-059_b.jpg

 

 

Here's a good illustration of how to get the current "bumble-bee" caps for far less than they are being packaged and marketed by Gibson direct:

 

Also there is a ton of info in that same thread on 50's/vintage wiring spec.

 

 

1912438_3997490512405_1097822200_n.jpg

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[thumbup] many thanks to cjmwrx, gunner, and jimi mac on the replies and threads. my 50's wiring mod is now a definite go. I'm waiting for a Duncan sh-4jb

 

to arrive from amazon first. now the whole bumble bee cap controversy has my head spinning once again. I will tackle whether to change mine as

 

well, while I await my sh-4jb. I'm new to this forum and am grateful about how helpful and knowledgeable you all are. kevinkjs

 

 

 

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I have a LP Studio wired with a mix of this 50's-style wiring, and Jimmy Page-style wiring.

 

The Studio has the same wiring as attached, but with the caps laid out in the same way as the above 50's wiring. So much tonal variety!

 

Image credits to Guitar Electronics.

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There are two functional changes in "50's wiring" vs modern. One is simply a matter of moving the tone pot connection from the outer to the center lug of the volume pots - output loading (50's) vs coil loading (modern). I showed some examples of the effects of this in this video in a series I did on guitar electronics.

 

 

The other change between how they wired in the 50's vs today is that the volume pots were 500k audio taper, compared to 300k linear that they switched to in '73 and continue with up through today. The taper comparison is shown in the third video of the series I did, and values focused on in the first.

 

The rest - capacitor type, physical layout and order of the components, are inconsequential for tone and function and are essentially just issues of detailed historical accuracy.

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Great reply David. I plan to watch all your videos. I really like the one below. I put an A/B switch in my LP Traditional so I could switch between PIO and the stock ceramic on the fly and no matter how I tried I could not hear a difference.

 

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Since the OP was talking Gibson vs Gibson (rather than Epiphone) I was considering the pushback braided wire to be a constant. Switch between that and unshielded wire and yes, there could be up to a few tens of picofarads difference. This could certainly affect a measurable difference with the right tools, but in blind testing I'd be skeptical than many people could reliably identify a difference so small (the equivalent of lengthening your cable by a foot or two). The change in noise floor from unshielded wire could likely have greater influence on player's perception than the change in capacitance it may bring (although I certainly acknowledge the change in wire type could affect some small change).

 

Regarding caps, there is certainly an abundance of differing experience and opinion, but when the tests are carried out blind and with good controls (close measured values, every peripheral factor remaining constant), no one is able to identify a difference between materials. The fact that significant effects are noticed when players and listeners know what cap is engaged, yet no one can pick our a difference when comparisons are truly double blind (even under ideal real time switching conditions), leaves me unable to conclude anything other than that changes are due to placebo effect.

 

Of course opinions will always vary.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just finished the 50's wiring mod to my 99 lp standard. I said I would post the results, so here it is. the loss of treble when

 

lowering volume is a thing of the past. It just seems like the tone controls are smoother and more sensitive, offering a wider

 

range of sounds. I may have been expecting more out of this mod but now realize that would require changing pots, caps,

 

etc. I think what I really need for now is to just play, play, and then play some more. all of the info I got from this post was

 

a great help and I'm pleased with this mod for now, but will keep an eye on pots and cap changes for future ref.

 

 

 

 

 

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