Do you modify the wiring in your guitars?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Alligatorbling, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. El Gringo

    El Gringo Well-Known Member

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    No I don't
     
  2. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    In a word - yes.

    I replaced the shitty rotary switch in my PRS for a 6-way toggle - https://www.freewayswitch.com I first thought to use push/pull pots but it was too many combinations. Then I came across the Freeway switch and have the same 5 positions as the rotary, plus both humbuckers on at the same time which was not an option with the rotary.

    I rewired my MIM Strat from an SSS to HSS - 1V 2T, replaced the standard 5-way with a Super Switch and put in a push/pull pot in the bottom tone. One tone is for the humbucker and the other for the single coils. Pulling the tone pot in position 1 splits the humbucker giving me a single coil there. Position 2 auto-splits the humbucker so it's bridge and middle single coils for that Strat quack tone.

    I installed DiMarzio John Petrucci pups in my Ibanez RG470 and changed it from an HSH to HH. I didn't like the empty space where the single coil was so I just disconnected it and screwed it all the way down. I replaced the Ibanez switch with the Fender I took out of my Strat and have the following pickup combinations:
    1) Bridge
    2) Bridge & Neck
    3) Neck
    4) Bridge and Neck split
    5) Bridge split

    I rewired my Harmony Les Paul with Gibson 50's wiring.

    Sometimes I think I like rewiring my guitars just because I like working on them lol.
     
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  3. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Wow @KraftyBob. Those Freeways look good, but complicated?
    One of those 3X3 Toggle switches could be just the thing for my coil split/parallel HH guitar.
    And Thomann actually sell them in Europe!
    I would prefer to have switches instead of push/pulls.
    The only P/Ps I could find in the UK are way too slack for me. I prefer a stiffer rotation like a CTS.
    The 3X3-05 HH Parallel Scheme 1V/2T looks spot on.

    Freeway.JPG
     
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  4. Marshall Boogie

    Marshall Boogie Well-Known Member

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    All my guitars get the same treatment......cts pots and 50's wiring. I have one Jackson that has cts pots and 50's wiring, plus push/pull phase reversal and dpdt 3-way switch for wiring selection(so I get control of which coils are active even to switching from humbucking to single coil and obviously phase reversal of all coils when in center position of the three way switch). The 3 position switch shifts between humbucking pickups wired in series, center position is single coil and the lower position is humbucking pickups wired in parallel(humbucking wired parallel is slightly lower output with a brighter tone than hum wired series)...in the center position single coil the push /pull pots act as coil selection.....complicated wiring on that one but I worked on it to get it just how I like it....experimenting with your guitar wiring can be very rewarding....But I always start with 50's wiring because I hate treble loss when dialing back volume. 50's wiring is for people that prefer volume control to be accurate, modern wiring is for those that prefer the tone control to be more accurate at full volume(that is just my opinion).
     
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  5. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    I would say it's a little more involved but not complicated. You just have to be careful because the terminals are pretty small so there's not a lot of real-estate to work with. Just take your time and pay close attention to the schematic and you'll be fine. I have the 3x3-04 in my PRS which is a little less wiring - maybe because of only 1 tone pot?

    The switch is high quality too. I've had mine in for just over 3 years and use my PRS all the time and it's solid. One thing to note is that I needed to open up the mounting hole a little in my PRS to fit this switch as the threaded barrel was a slightly larger diameter than the PRS rotary switch. I'm assuming this is to accommodate the 6 positions vs normal 3 for a toggle?
     
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  6. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Mine has a Gibson style 3-way toggle at the moment.
    It's a guitar I made myself with a Les Paul template control cavity and the toggle in the place of one of the normal 4 knobs.
    The 3X3-05 looks like it will fit even better that the 3-way, with where I put the input jack.

    A nice little winter project looms.

    20200902_190215-1900.jpg
    20200902_185951-1900.jpg
     
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  7. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    Sweet - keep us posted!
     
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  8. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Well-Known Member

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    5 out of 7 as it stands at the moment. I haven't needed to change my Les Paul Junior or Gretsch (semi acoustic), but either through age/wear or building from scratch I've modified most of them.

    Usually, just better pots/switches to replace the cheaper/worn ones in my older Squier/Epiphones, but I also took out the PCB from my 2018 Gibson SG because the controls had a poor taper, so it was easier to replace with standard CTS pots and 'vintage' wiring.

    I replaced all the electrics in my 1990 Epiphone Les Paul because it simply wore out with use/age. I figured it deserved an upgrade to the full CTS pots/orange drop caps and metal braided wiring after all these years of service:

    Control panel after.jpg

    I built a Partscaster 'Esquire' so that needed wiring from scratch, but I modified the 'Eldred' type wiring (which is a mod in itself from standard Esquire wiring). Then I added a pull tone knob because I fitted a tapped pickup, followed by an Eric Clapton Mid boost PCB, which gives amazing control over the sounds I can get from a single pickup guitar:

    Esquire 4.jpg

    There's a lot to fit under the control panel, but I think I made a reasonably neat job of it:
    Esquire 5.jpg

    I couldn't buy one that sounds like this, so it was never an option...plus it's less likely that someone will sound like me too. ;)
     
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  9. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Well-Known Member

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    everytime I open a guitar I delete the knob tone.

    my go to wiring is ONE VOLUME and everything else not working.
     
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  10. shredless

    shredless Well-Known Member

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  11. Redguitar

    Redguitar Member

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    I rewired my M5 Charvel. I added a single coil under the coil closest to the bridge. I extended the poles to make it work. My tone control now brings that SC pup into the output (variable mix) no matter what position the switch is in. The neck HB also gets the split option from a push/pull pot.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    Nice wiring work! Very clean and organized. I like to do the same so I can appreciate your work.
     
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  13. RCM 800

    RCM 800 Well-Known Member

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    2 of my 4 LP's I added push pull coil taps to. Will be doing the other two when I get around to it. Did the wiring on my partscasters, mostly normal 5 and 3 way. Just rewired my dinky with duncans, push pulls, and and a quality 3 way. I love tinkering and wiring. Self taught but I started out wiring guitars. Moved on to pedal clones and then on to amplifiers. I wish I understood the theory behind it so I could come up with my own designs but thats beyond me all I can do is follow instructions.
     
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  14. Saunatonttu

    Saunatonttu New Member

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    My usual way is to implement more or less Petrucci wiring to an HH superstrat using a 4PDT toggle. In Carvins I used the mini switches to add series/parallel to that, In ESP used a push/pull knob for volume to achieve the same. Good palette of tones with only volume and toggle switch. The pot was for circuit board installation so not nice to solder on.
    Otherwise mostly stock wiring as Ibanez tends to have lever type, which does not lend itself to JP wiring. EMG:s I have in one gtr do not have the necessary number of wires to make it possible. Thinking about putting Lundgrens in that. Been thinking for many years. Should stop thinking and get on with it.
     
  15. jeffb

    jeffb Well-Known Member

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    For the past 10 years or so, I replaced all the electronics in my Gibson styles with 50s wiring and high quality measured 500K-ish pots and caps almost immediately. Many came with the PCB boards and clip in pickups, 300K pots.

    It has it's benefits, 50s wiring- Sounds great for copping certain classic tones, but I could never get what *I* wanted out of my guitars with it, though I didn't realize the wiring was the culprit. I mean, 50s wiring is supposed to be the best, right? Several months ago, I went on a tone-chase after hearing a clip of myself from 2005 playing my old R8 (Best les Paul I ever owned).

    Knowing when I had been into the control cavity that my R8 was modern wiring (Gibson didn't actually start using proper 50s wiring in Historics until a few years later) I decided to re-wire one of my guitars to modern wiring just to see, and bingo. *My* sound was back. If the pots are significantly below spec, I will change those out still.
     
  16. jeffb

    jeffb Well-Known Member

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    For srats and teles, most of the time I've been fine with the stock stuff fender uses. I did go with a blender pot in my ever best strat ( a partscaster) because I bought a pre-wired pickguard with the pickups I wanted (Fralin) but I never used the blender.
     
  17. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    Not the same switch you’re looking at but a good review of a Freeway switch nonetheless.

     
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  18. marco_giampa23

    marco_giampa23 Well-Known Member

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    I run Les pauls and the wiring on them is pretty good stock, love to chuck in some orange drops, never tried the 50s wiring thing but im pretty sure it s not that different, never interested in doing the jimmy page 4 push pull pot stuff though

    I love the tone of nocasters with the wierd wiring with the massive tone cap in one position and such, was going to do that mod on a classic vibe but didnt click with the tele thing at that time, might try get another one
     
  19. Trapland

    Trapland Running Into Walls Silver Supporting Member

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    All strats get wired to 2 volumes and a master tone. The neck gets its own volume as that’s the one I use the most. Plus then you can do the quick flip from clean to scream like a Les Paul.
     
  20. ido1957

    ido1957 Active Member

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    Not my guitars but I did swap pots on my cheapo Squier PJ bass which made a significant improvement.
     

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