Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Electronics Upgrade for Epiphone Riviera Custom P93 Guitar

Little Jerry

Recommended Posts

Background – In December 2013, I purchased an Epiphone Riviera Custom P93 Black Royale guitar for me to learn how to play guitar and for my son to use in his middle school jazz band (unfortunately, the jazz band never happened for him). After establishing a budget, I spent hours in the local guitar shops trying new semi-hallow body guitars in my price range. I landed on the Epiphone Riviera P93 guitar, because I liked its tone, playability and looks. I have been very happy with the guitar and enjoy playing it immensely. I am far from being an expert and have benefited from the information that others have shared on various guitar forums, so I thought I would make this post to help those who may experience what I did and in my own way give back a little something to the community.


The Problem – As I started to experiment with my guitar and amp, I noticed that the volume controls for the pickups had very little, if any “taper” to them. In other words they went from off to very loud with not much in between. Also, with all three pickup volume controls turned down, the tone control actually increased the volume of the guitar through the amp rather than simply change the tone. Lastly, the nut holding the output jack had a tendency to come loose.


My Research – Electronics used in Chinese made guitars serve their purpose from a functional perspective and help manufacturers keep costs down to sell lower priced guitars. Components used in American made guitars, while more costly, tend to perform better and last longer. Be warned, components in Chinese made guitars use different measurements than their American made counterparts. The folks at Gibson.com responded to my email inquiry and told me that my guitar used 500k pots and a .02uF capacitor and sent a wiring diagram that I could use.


The Solution – I found a pre-package electronics wiring kit online that was designed for a Gibson ES-335, but that would also work for my guitar if I enlarged the holes in the body to accommodate for the larger sized shafts of the new components. The kit included four 500k CTS audio taper pots, two .022uF Orange Drop capacitors (although I only needed one for the tone control), one Switchcraft ¼” mono jack with a deep nut, one Switchcraft three-way toggle right angle and quality wire. I also purchased Gibson style top hat knobs and a switch tip to fit the new components. Not being very handy myself, I hired to reputable luthier in my area to install the kit and modify the holes in the guitar body as necessary.


The Results – It is hard to describe in words how happy I am with the sound and performance of my guitar. The volume controls are now truly tapered. I can set the volume of my amp relatively high and then effectively adjust the overall volume through my guitar. The tone control no longer changes the volume of the guitar and the range of tones is clearly better. The nut on the output jack has not come loose, not even once. The best result was also the least expected as many pundits led me to believe that upgrading electronic components (excluding pickups) would not noticeably change the tone of the guitar, but it did! My guitar now has a noticeably warmer, darker and fuller sound to it. From my perspective, it is like getting a new guitar and I am even more thrilled to be playing it than before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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

  • Create New...