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Trouble with my control knobs!!!


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Hi all, I have a vintage (korean) 1997 Epi Les Paul goldtop and I'm having problems with the control knobs cutting out sound when I adjust them, but very itermittently - its driving me mad. I presume it's the wiring as it is a 15 year old guitar.

 

Could I just get it re-wired and would this cure the problem and is there anything else i should do or upgrade at the same time etc.

 

As always - cheers all.

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Is it every knob? Is there any crackling noise coming through when you adjust them? Does it always cut out on the same setting?

 

Either clean the pots with contact cleaner or swap them out for CTS 500k pots. I've had guitars that had a connection made between the braided wire from the pickups that caused it to cut out but that doesn't sound like that is your issue. If you have a soldering iron and a steady hand you should be able to swap pots out if you need to. Just remember where everything goes. Actually you can do one pot at a time to ease on the confusion.

 

That's the best info I can offer.

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I would replace all the pots, upgrade the capacitors, the input jack, selector switch, and rewire it all with shiny new wires...and your good to go for at least another 15 years. [thumbup]

 

Plus it will probably sound better than ever too.

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Sounds like a wire issue. Open up the switch cavity. Check the middle wire connection. Wiggle the wires and see if it reproduces the problem. I had a switch once and the wire was a bit flaky. Good Luck. Your pots may also need a bit of electrical contact cleaner applied to the interiors.

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If you decide to clean the pots or replace them, be sure to put down an old, clean, towel or rag to keep the cleaning spray or the solder from damaging the guitar's finish. I try to do this whenever I repair or mod my instruments, and you sure want to keep that Goldtop looking in prime condition!!!!!! [thumbup]

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This is almost certainly NOT "the wiring", but the pots themselves.

 

 

Do yourself a favour and look into a whole new wiring harness; switch, pots, jack, & cables. SwitchCraft switch & jack, CTS pots. There are a few reputable dealers who can send you the whole thing pre-assembled, all you need to do is solder the connections.

 

 

I've done it, through the f-holes (no back plate). It ain't easy, and I'm far from a handyman, so if I can do it, anyone can.

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Probably dust/dirt in the pots. I'd just replace the pots. Doesn't take any skill to solder new ones in.

 

No skill? Man I hope that is true. I have been plinking around on guitars for 40 years, but I have never worked on one past cleaning and changing the stings. Maybe the height of the action..lol

What do I need to solder? What is the cheapest way to go as far as buying a soldering iron, and the correct solder? Flux?? Do you use flux? In one forum or another, someone told me I didn't need anything fancy.He told me what to guy to get started, but I can't remember what brand forum it was..lol.. so it's lost info.

What is the best way to learn to say change pickups? Pots?

Where do I start? I think I'm good on my Epi's. I had my Korean Dot's pups changed out by a local music store manager, but he didn't change the pots. He isn't a luthier, I live no where near a luthier, or even a guitar shop for that matter. I live in the stix and buy everything online. My Dot is fine even with the old pots, I don't want to mess with it or those F-holes..lol

But I have another Tele style guitar that I am thinking about changing pups on. Simple right? No?

Being an ignorant about such things, I always think, "buy a pre-wired setup, and screw it on. But they are expensive and I have no money to spare. I see some that you cut the ends off your existing wires and use a quick connect, again money!

If you were totally un-knowledgeable about electronics, and working on guitars where would you start? I have tried soldering a few things in the past, but never had any luck with wiring or connections, but I can solder a copper pipe on my water heater....lol

I am baring my soul here, so please be kind. I do have some woodworking skills and am good with my hands, tho they are big.SO I think I could learn if there was someone showing me, but that's not going to happen.

Thoughts?? Be nice now. :o)

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If getting a pre-wired harness is out, I'd caution you to practice your soldering before you get into the real job. It is possible to overheat the pots and fry them.

 

If I could find s nice Tele preired setup for affordable. that would be great.

I'm not thinking pots as much as pups right now. Of course I'm sure the electronics could use upgrading with the pups. Does anyone sell a nice prewired package for tele's that won't cost an arm and two legs?

And yes, I'm sure practicing on something would be a must..lol no matter what I am replacing.. Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated. I feel a lil helpless not knowing where to start.. [tongue]

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I suppose it depends on how you define, "affordable."

 

 

RS Guitarworks has a whole slew of pre-wired harness available, you may want to check them out:

 

http://store.rsguitarworks.net/

 

 

There's also a member "on another forum" with whom I've dealt in the past. He hooked me up with my 'Kat harness, and it really made a difference:

 

http://jonesyblues.com

 

 

 

Both of these outfits can sell you the whole kit pre-wired, or just the loose parts package for a DIY job.

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I suppose it depends on how you define, "affordable."

 

RS Guitarworks has a whole slew of pre-wired harness available, you may want to check them out:

 

http://store.rsguitarworks.net/

 

There's also a member "on another forum" with whom I've dealt in the past. He hooked me up with my 'Kat harness, and it really made a difference:

 

http://jonesyblues.com

 

 

Both of these outfits can sell you the whole kit pre-wired, or just the loose parts package for a DIY job.

 

Thanks for those links.Some good stuff on them, most of which is greek to me..lol.. Does anyone sell the whole kaboodle for tele's? Pups and pots already wired togther?

WIth those kits on teh sites you gave me I would still have to connect the pups to them which is like mind boggling for me at this point. I wouldn't know where to start honestly.

Man, I'm a lame duck aint I/..lol

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah guys, got all that info - took it to my regular guitar tech on Sat and hes doing a complete upgrade re-wiring job...CTS pots 500k, Switchcraft toggle switch spraque capacitors and 4 way conductors and new jack input etc. he said I won't notice a tonal difference but should just be more efficient and reliant, which is good considering I have a 15 year old guitar (probably overdue) the upgrades etc.

 

Anyway should be worht the money - all this is coming in at around £90 inc labour...which does'nt sound too bad. The next big thing to do is change the bridge from the standard epiphone one and then I'm contemplating changing the inlay markers from those horrible grey plastic ones to some nice mother of pearl ones (although my guitar tech does'nt really want to do it) as it is a bugger of a job apparently!!!

 

Cheers as always and any futher advice would be gratefully appreciated.

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I will risk my opinion. We are talking about scratchy pots in a '97 Goldtop Les Paul reissue? Built by Epiphone? If so, I've gotten to be such a electronics nut that I order CTS pots all the time:and oak/Grigsby 5 pos. switches for my Strat. I have a bag of used pots and switches that's heavy with used (but still good) parts. For the low cost of pots/jacks/caps/& switches: I replace them maybe once every other year. As for overheating pots while desoldering I use my 24" iron pipe wrench on my work desk and place the pot into the jaws of the wrench. This is a great"heat-sink" and portable, too! That doesn't make it right or wrong...it just works for me. I would suggest for anyone who is not experienced in soldering, to become experienced by working on stuff that's not usable anymore. The internet is the best, most patient teacher, in all subjects. I've never owned a 335 type hollow-body electric in my life. If a pot went bad on my 335: I would try to carefully pull out the wiring harness thru the "F hole" and make my pot replacement and do my best to get it all back where it was. That's an oversimplification of a difficult piece of work. I did say "I would try" but I sure didn't mention that I would be successful!

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If a pot went bad on my 335: I would try to carefully pull out the wiring harness thru the "F hole" and make my pot replacement and do my best to get it all back where it was. That's an oversimplification of a difficult piece of work. I did say "I would try" but I sure didn't mention that I would be successful!

 

I posted on a thread in the past week here how to rewire an F hole guitar; takes about 5 minutes to get the pots back in. Check it out. It's not hard. I've done several dozen.

 

Whether solid, semi, or hollow, if you're changing pots or PU's, you should have a set of T-nut drivers (I got mine from StewMac). Much better than pliers, keeps from scratching the finish when you loosen and tighten nuts on pot stems. Also handy to tighten the nuts on tuners when the strings are off (they're always loose).

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We are talking about scratchy pots in a '97 Goldtop Les Paul reissue? Built by Epiphone?

 

Epiphone's probably been making '56 Goldtops consistently for at least 15 years, the ebony ones came out a couple years ago. So if you get a used one, it could be a year old, or got back to the mid '90's. If you keep them in a case or gig bag, they're less likely to get dust and dirt in the pots.

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