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Rewiring the Les Paul?


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25 years after I first played one, I still think the LP has a stupid control scheme.


I'll give you purists a chance to regain your composure after such blasphemy....






Watching the new movie It Might Get Loud with Jimmy Page, I got a better glimpse of his Les Paul than ever before. I noticed a few things like the neck pickup being dropped down flush with the rings, if not lower.


Another thing, I could be wrong but I could swear he was using the bridge pickup but adjusting the neck volume.

Changing the controls around is nothing new, I was just never clear about the wiring mods he had done on his.


I've ALWAYS thought the volume controls were backwards on a Les Paul anyhow.

Bridge volume control should be closest to the bridge in my opinion, tone directly behind it.


Another thing, I've considered for years the benefit of wiring the pickups in parallel so each volume works completely independently with its pickup - regardless of the other volume position. Select both pickups on a LP and if either volume is at zero then you get no sound from the other.

I would like to be able to fade each one in and out as desired, and then just use the selector to defeat one if I didn't want it in the signal path.


My cheap-*** Danelectro has that capability and I learned to really appreciate it.



Someday I may order and RS kit or something similar and do it that way on the LPs.

Maybe take both my LPs to my buddy's shop and let him mess with it as he has time.



Just thinking out loud.....

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I modded out my R9 like that. I bought 4-conductor SeymourD '59 and had the Jimmy Page wiring scheme installed in my guitar. I am pretty pleased with the outcome, except I don't always use all the crazy wiring options. I have been playing out-of-phase (neck tone pot up) more than any of them, which has started some light cracking of the finish by the knob. It is fun to mess with but now I wonder whether the pots I got installed are of the quality that I would like them to be. Either way, that kind of wiring is very tedious; the inside of my control cavity looks like a briar patch.

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Hey Neo


I posted a while back a mod on one of my students LP's that he was buying.

I got the shop to put it back to Standard wiring because that's what he wanted.

I bought the mod and put it in my LP and love it. When you turn down the

volume it goes down gradually. It doesn't not go from 10 to 1 and then go down

in volume. They work seperatel. In the middle toggle position you control each

pup separately and the tone also. I got the powers to be checking on what the

mod is. I had it on here and I guess no one knew what mod it was. I love it

now I can get much better control of the sound. I believe this is what you are




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I rewired the caps on my LP to only be connected to the tone pot, not the volume and it works better.


When I am in bridge humbucker mood I know exactly where the respective knobs are but when I am using both pickups my brain wants to do the logical thing and I often get the volumes reversed in my mind.


I bet page reversed thos controls, his guitar hangs so low that a bridge pickup adjustment (which is more common) would have him having to reach down far.


I guess you can always set the controls to suit the style you play.


Do remember that the Les Paul was originally a Jazz guitar so the neck pickup was probably more used and the knob is closest to the right hand. Rock and Roll changed all that of course.

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Didnt page have two switches under his pickguard one for parallel switching and the others for phase reversal?



I had mine modeled after the Gibson USA Page model that came out in 1995. Each pot is push/pull so there are a variety of options. Both the volume pots can be pulled up for coil tap on their respective pickup. The rhythm tone normal is in phase and pulled up is out of phase. The treble tone knob pulled up is parallel. I am able to get many sounds out of it, but overall I tend to stick with just the regular options and the out-of-phase. The fact is, even if you split the coils and go for the "single coil sound", you are better off just plugging in your strat or tele if you have one. My R9 does its best to be as versatile as it can be, which it is incredibly versatile for a LP, but I have heard it said in other threads that having one guitar to cover all genres (as a PRS claims to do) is impossible. I would have to agree with this statement. No matter how many mods you do do a guitar, there is still some area that it will falter in.

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