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Fudloe

Let me rephrase the question-P94 swap questions...

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Alright, let me try this instead... I am now in the middle stages of a planned complete electronics swap. My intention is to drop a pair of P94's and all new electronics in an Ibanez AXS32 that, unfortunately came with God-awful pickups, cheap electronics and really bad soldering, but a really nice mahogany body and a great neck. It has potential.

 

I have a handle on the schematics for a total electronics change out, but I have a few lingering questions.

 

First up, does anyone know if P94's follow more of a humbucker installation schematic? I know the lead isn't braided, so a standard single-coil install isn't possible.

 

 

Next, I am still curious as to everyone's opinion on pot selection. Both pickups have separate tone and volume controls and I've heard varied opinions about the choices for the pots, such as 500k or 250k, 500k Vol and 250k or 300k tone, audio or linear taper for vol and/or tone, etc.? I'm looking for a fairly vintage tone, so I'm thinking 500k all around. I had a non-reverse '65 Firebird with 3 P90's stolen from me three years ago and if I could get a similar tone, it might help me stop weeping at night.

 

On to capacitors:

 

Which caps are recommended for the highpass on the Vol pot, .001MFD were recommended, what do you think? Also, ceramic disk or Sprague?

 

Which caps are best for the Tone pot,.022MFD or .047MFD and, once again, ceramic disk or Sprague?

 

I'm looking forward to reading all suggestions and any anecdotes from folks who've had success with their own mods.

 

Look at it this way, with your help, there will be one less guy with bad tone you run the risk of hearing!

 

 

 

Thanks again!

 

-Fud

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Fud,

I'm not going to answer all your questions. Much of it is a matter of taste. (my wife says mine is all in my mouth)

I will give you what info I can so you can start to decide for yourself.

 

Let's start with the basics. If I am not mistaken the P-94s have 3 wires. North start, south start and ground.

There are 4 basic types of wiring for 2 humbucker (p94s are wired the same) 2 volume, 2 tone, 3 way toggle.

They are Modern dependent, modern independent, 50s dependent and 50s independent.

 

Just so we are on the same page lets start with modern dependent. In center position the volumes work together and turning one to 0 will shut down both. The advantage is that you can use one as a master. It is typical Gibson stock wiring:.....(ignore the north finish and south finish wires)

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/WD2HH3T22_00/Guitar-Diagram-Gibson-2-Humbuckers-2-Volumes-2-Tones-3-Way-Toggle-Switch-View-Download-Free

 

The following shows all 4 options:

http://www.dominocs.com/AshBassGuitar/WireLibrary-Gibson.html

 

We recently had a similar discussion regarding a G400. Some of the basics were discussed in reply #6 but read the entire post anyway:

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/59310-g-400-deluxe-upgrades/

 

Moving on: My preference would be 500k pots all around. As to linear or audio volume the argument has been going on since Moses was a baby. I personally like linear volumes (stock in many Gibsons) but many will disagree.

 

RSguitarworks makes a superpot for volumes. It is expensive. Those who use them seem to think they are the best thing since sliced bread. It combines both linear and audio into one taper.

 

As to tone pots: Most prefer audio. That would be stock in Gibsons.

 

Capacitors: .022 is standard though some like .015 on the neck pickup to keep it from becoming to dark as the tone is rolled off. As to .047 they are for Fender single coil and too dark for Gibsons. Even Gibson single coil such as P90s would become too dark when rolled off with .047.

 

 

Hope this gives you some insights. Remember it is still how you like your guitar set up.

My personal favorite is 50s dependent wiring. (more vintage sounding)

As to treble bleeds: They are only needed for modern wiring and IMO they kill your "cut" in a live situation. If I were to use modern wiring I would put up with the tone loss on volume roll off before I would use them.

Any opinions above are only my opinions. I'm sure many would disagree.

 

Best you do a few experiments of your own. Describing this stuff to someone who has not tried it is like trying to explain the difference between chocolate and vanilla ice cream to someone who has not tasted either.

 

Willy

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Thank you,Willy!!!

 

You actually have, indeed, answered all of my questions. From what I gather from your post, you and I have very similar tastes in tone and that, in itself, is incredibly helpful.

 

Thank you so very much for going out of your way to put a fine point on the dos and don'ts and whys and why nots.

 

Since a reasonable approximation of vintage Gibson tone is my ultimate goal, I think I have a really good handle on what my choices are going to be.

 

You have been a fantastic help and I am eternally grateful!

 

I'll post some pics when I'm done and if I'm feeling particularly motivated, maybe even a short demo vid for your approval.

 

Thanks again, Willy. You're a life saver!

 

-Fud

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Fud,

No problem. Anyone that has done mods to a guitar for the first time goes through this.

As to vids:

The guy has several good vids on youtube.

RSguitarworks also has several on youtube.

 

A couple of final thoughts:

When you solder to the back of pots, set them at 0. If you accidentally over heat a pot you can create a dead spot in the pot at what ever point it is set at. Should it happen it is best if it happens at 0.

 

Be careful with your bridge ground wire. It is the one wire you will reuse.

 

Tape in the pickup leads after all else is done. Try the guitar. If the pickup or pickups sound "thin" in any position, you may have to reverse a north, south wire. Once you are satisfied they are correct you can solder them in permanently. (just a precaution)

 

Willy

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Thanks again, Willy!

 

I would never have known about setting the pots to zero, or the North-South polarity issue. You have effectively saved me some serious issues.

 

You rule, sir.

 

Thanks!

 

-Fud

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Fud,

Thank you for the kind words.

There are a couple of things that I did not mention as most people are aware of them. Consequently, they sometimes slip my aging and often feeble mind.

 

I am not familiar with your particular guitar but this applies to any upgrade.

Pots come in long 3/4" thread length as well as short 3/8". Check to see which you need.

Also...

American pots are imperial and slightly larger thread diameter than metric.

If your guitar originally had metric and you change to imperial (example: going from Alphas to CTS) you may need to "open" the holes slightly. There are many ways to do this. The most basic is to tape over the holes with masking tape to protect the finish on your guitar. Use a small round file. File from the outside of the guitar inward toward the cavity. Take your time. The holes only need a slight enlargement.

 

I should also mention that imperial pots (CTS) use fine spline knobs. Metric use coarse spline. Your knobs should be matched to the type of pot you are using.

 

Best of luck on your mods,

 

Willy

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Willy,

 

Again, you've passed along some very important details! Fortunately, because of all of the guidance you've already given me, I had actually already taken these things into account (something I could not have known to do a few short days ago).

 

The congfiguration I'm thinking will suit my needs best is as follows, lemme know what you think-

 

500k CTS volume taper pots all around for rolling off the volume a little more precisely. I'm going with a .015Mu tone cap. From what I've seen and heard, it seems a little more transparent in the high end. I'm going for the 50's independant wiring configuration to keep the mud out when I roll off the volume and for a little more versatility in the center position.

 

Any issues with this configuration I should know about before I take soldering iron in hand and commence the festivities?

 

And seriously, man, you really are a godsend.

 

-Fud

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