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Need Help on KM

Andu Tollasepp

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HI Bought a Les Paul KM new in 1979---Used it on stage for years--loved it-- heaviest guitar I've ever picked up.--Quit playing and now have desire to fire it back up.--No signal has passed through the pots or pickups in 20 yrs.-- When I did play--amps were 100w Marshall head (old model--2nd year with preamp knob)with 1-4 by 25w cab and Musicman 130 openback combo with 2-65w Celestians.


A-B between the two amps would often achieve the desired sound with baffles--amps always had to be cranked.--I believe this was due to thin response from the treble pickup and tone pot vs the really bassey response of the bass pickup and tone pot as well as the lack of tonality from the Marshall tone pots.OH MY the presence knob sure worked back then.


I'm sure all volume and tone pots have now ceased up and need replacement and pickups are way out of date.


I need input on the best way to bring this absurdly heavy guitar back to life.-- Is there anyone with pickup and pot replacement savvy that can help steer me in the right direction for the ressurection of my once beloved guitar?


Many Thanx Andu

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As far as the pickups go, in my opinion there's no such thing as "outdated". If you like how they sound, then there's really no reason to change them. If you do need to replace them, I'm sure that everyone has a different suggestion as to what you should use. If money is an issue, then www.guitarfetish.com has a pretty big selection of pickups on the cheap. If you're looking for something a little nicer, gibson has their burstbucker line that are my personal favorite. They seem to perform differently in every guitar though. I had a standard with BB Pro's that was overly bright, while my VM with the same pickups sounds delicious. If you can find a local dealer who will let you swap out a few and try them out in your guitar, I'm sure you'll find something that suits you. As far as the pots go, try a cleaner like DeOxit




I've dealt with some old guitars, and the only pots that were totally unsalvageable were the dime sized asian ones that come on lower end import guitars. Maybe I'm just lucky, but most of the vintage guitars that I've had the pleasure of using had their original pots, which were surprisingly resilient against the test of time. I'd try the Deoxit before buying new pots. If you do need to replace them, I think it's pretty much unanimous that the 500k audio taper CTS pots are the way to go. A few guys I know have used Bourns pots as well. Definitely try cleaning the pots before you switch them out, though.

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