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Early 70’s Wiring and Pickups


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I have a ’73 – ’75 ES-175T. First off, it does sound great. I’m not tempted to change it. But the tones I get from it are the mellowest (less highs) of any of my humbucker guitars. This is not something I noticed 20 years ago when I bought it. But in the last few years, I have learned how to re-wire guitars and change pickups. I’ve done probably 15 so far – everything from P-90’s, mini HB’s and full-size HB’s in full hollow-body’s, semi’s and solid bodies. So I have trained my ear a bit to the variables of pickups, pots, guitar types, etc… My questions would be:


Did Gibson use <500K pots in the early ‘70’s?

Might it just be pickups that mellowed with age?


Any thing else?


It has the big pots like those in the pic below. I couldn’t see the values on them. It was hard to inspect the pots even after loosening them because of the tight wiring job. The pickups read 7.0 ohms/ea and are adjusted to about 1/8” neck and 1/16” bridge - between the strings and pickups with the strings depressed at the last fret.


I’m just curious.

post-37657-029393100 1324617558_thumb.jpg

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The pot specs were as follows:


Volume: 300k Linear

Tone: 500k Audio (log)

Approx. PRE 1973: 500k for Tone and Volume


Please keep in mind that the magnets of the pickups are getting less strong over the years, making the sound more mellow. The pots should not be of influence normally, unless the contacts are not so well anymore, but this can also have to do with the soldering.


Kind regards,




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