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Epi Les Paul Standard Electronics Upgrade


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Hi Everybody,


I'm brand new to the forum, so I hope this post isn't redundant. I've had trouble finding answers to my questions using the search and it looks like there are some really knowledgable people on here. I have an '06 Epi Les Paul Standard. I've already upgraded to a Switchcraft toggle, Switchcraft jack, and Burstbucker Pro pickups, but I want to upgrade the rest of the electronics. Here is what I'm thinking:


Volume pots: CTS 500k, short shaft. I like the taper of the stock volume pots. Does anybody know whether they're linear or audio taper in an '06? I'm not sure how to tell the difference, but the volume pot on my other electric behaves completely differently. Does 'linear' refer to perceived volume change vs. position, or actual resistance vs. position? Is it possible to tell the difference by looking at them?


Tone pots: CTS 500k audio taper, short shaft.


Capacitors: Sprague orange drops. I will probably order a couple of different capacitance values for each pickup and see which I like best. I'll probably start with .022's for each and move up and down from there.


Wire: Does wire gauge matter? Does shielding matter?


Control cavity shielding: I used kitchen aluminum foil with my other guitar and it made a big difference. Does anybody have a better recommendation?


Volume and tone knobs: Does anybody have a recommendation for where to buy an amber knob that looks stock but fits with CTS shafts?


Volume and tone knob pointers: I like the look of these. Do they go underneath the nut that secures the pot?


Does anybody have other suggestions?


Sorry for the large number of questions, but I really want to get some opinions before making the changes. Thanks in advance for your help.



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audio taper for volume.

linear taper for tone.


that's what is usual and traditional.

some reverse it.

I don't!


sprague orange drops are fine. mallorys are also not over spendy and liked by many. either is fine!


wire is often chosen by reputation.. ie: cloth covered push back style vintage wire.

I dont care for it much as it doesn't take solder well, and the ends fray so you have to add heat shrink tubing to keep things neat.


I like stranded silver wire with teflon coating. takes solder like a champ and is way stronger for a harness.

I strip the sheilding off the cloth covered, and put it on the teflon coated then heat shrink tube the ends.

works great, lasts forever, not sloppy.


with twin humbucks I'd skip the cavity shielding and go for a good single point ground system.. bleeds all extraneous noise to a single point..

works fine.


usa knobs for CTS pots. readily available. metrics for epi stock pots.


yes, the pointers sub for the pot washer.


suggest: treble bleed caps. allows volume reduction with no loss of treble.


consider vintage versus modern wiring..

lots of people prefer the new 'independant' style. this lets you turn either pot all the way down, with switch in middle position, and the other pot will still work.

with vintage wiring you have to have both pots turned up a little or neither will work.


argument is the old style gives more highs.


also, consider push pulls.. ie: jimmy page wiring.

if you guitar has four conductor wiring, you can pull out on one of two pots to switch either pickup to single coil.

lots more sounds, just a little more expense.



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That's good advice, Twang. I have a question you may be able to answer.

If you go to the push/pull pots to switch over to a single coil, does it act

like a single coil? Do you get the single coil hum?

Would shielding be a good idea if that's what our new member does?


By the way, nprenger. Welcome to the forum.

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Thanks to everybody who replied. I really appreciate your help. I do have one other question though.


Just after I bought my Epi LP, I broke the shaft on the neck pickup's volume control. I replaced it with a pot I had laying around and the taper was noticeably different. The volume with the new pot started to drop almost immediately when I started to turn the knob down from 10. With the stock pot, I had to turn the knob down to 6 or so before it made much of a volume change. Because of the difference, I think that one of them is an audio taper pot and one is linear, but I'm not sure which is which. Based on my description, is it possible to tell?


Thanks again,



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Well.. first off.. a humbucker uses 500K pots..


and when you switch to single coil you do get a bit more opportunity for noise. but if the humbucks have metal covers.. that is enough sheilding.

If they are open coil, you might consider some foil around the sides and bottom of the cavity. must be connected to a ground to do good.


and yes a linear taper in the volume position is supposed to give a more radical leap, to choose a word, but there are some who have them and find they like the taper. That leads me to believe you have the wrong value in there, or just another bad pot.


You can check resistance, even along the path, by hooking it up to a multi meter, or digital multi meter between the left lug and the middle..

set the meter to ohms setting..

turn the pot up from 0 bit by bit and you should see a pretty gradual change in resistance values running up to full open.


I'm doing a jimmy page type setup now which will have four push pulls instead of two.

two of them are for dual/single operation

and two of them are to switch the cap values from .022uF which humbucks like, to .047uF which single coils like.

While I'm doing that I want to test this idea with other values, since single coils like 250K and humbucks like 500K..

since using a 250K would pretty much turn a bucker into a dud.. and a 500K would only brighten a single coil..

I may wind up changing the single coils tone cap value a bit or find another way to otherwise make it more 'normal' for a single coil sound.



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