Well I've been silent for a while, because my first attempt failed. I wired myself silly and when I plugged it in it went, "HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM."
So what went wrong? At first I couldn't figure it out. It didn't make sense because I had followed the wiring diagram religiously. Now that the original configuration is destroyed it's hard to say for sure, but now I'm pretty sure that somehow the pickups were wired backwards. Now you have to imagine that I've never done this before, so I removed everything expecting it to be the way it is supposed to be. So if the pickups and wiring were upside down, (that is wired for bridge controls on top and neck on the bottom, instead of reversed as the factory specs called for) and then I started looking at one of those wiring diagrams in reverse, well, you can see the confusion starting to mount. Anyone who knows electronics would have seen it instantly. So in essence I was turning the diagram upside down to get it to fit the original configuration. so instead of wiring pot tab two to tone tab one with the capacitor I was reversing it, going from volume tab one to tone tab two. I knew my switches and pickups were correct. Even if I had attempted "modern wiring" I would have still screwed it up.
So I started from scratch and decided to review all my wiring diagrams. In regards to fifties era wiring everybody who has some interest in building these wiring harnesses for money has a different diagram that accentuates their little insignificant hot rod mod. So in the end I downloaded a lot of them, until I could find three that agreed with each other. I decide if I could find three that were the same then that at least would work. In that regard I was correct.
The ground loop was also a source of frustration. You see, all those micro wires that Gibson used along with those tiny capacitors really aided in shoving all that stuff back into the guitar. So I found a large stranded length of copper "stranded" wire. stripped the ends and skinned two blank spots in the middle. Then I tinned those places and soldered them in long beads along the sides of the pots. So now the array was considerably more flexible, which aided in its Freudian reinsertion back into the guitar.
So what about the fifties era wiring? Why did I do it? Every cool "historical" Les Paul had it. I looked at lots of pictures, and it was always the same. The Peter green Les Paul was the only picture I could download. The rest were descriptions. But the all had one thing in common. Fifties era wiring. But, I can see why it is so unpopular, because those tone knobs aren't the what you think they will be. Instead of bass to treble it's more like an almost imperceptible mild to a little more harsh. But the sound! It's nice man, much better than what I had.
I can also say the triple shots were the right thing to do. Totally. I get different sounds. I'm not sure what I will do with them yet, but it's nice man. I may do this again, like in six months, because I learned a lot doing this. It was painful, but man it was worth it.
Post by Benford Guitars on May 5, 2014 21:27:50 GMT -5
Great news Shawn. Thank for all the walk throughs. Sounds like you learned a lot. I remember talking apart one of my guitars and "re-wiring it" back in the day. Basically I unsoldered everything and put i back together. Course I didnt draw a diagram and it didnt work. I took it in to get it fixed. Cost me $40 and a stern talking to by the condescending store clerk. I deserved it.
In a way its kinda good you has some issues. Ive really learned a lot more by what i've done wrong than what ive done right. Needless to say ive learned ALOT over the years. You should see my "WHAT NOT TO DO" list.
Post by expressure on Sept 9, 2014 19:30:14 GMT -5
In retrospect I did a pretty god job for my first time in the "hole." My results were much better than what I originally expected, but they were paltry because I had for some unknown reason lost most of the functionality of the tone pots, and the volume pots were pretty much just on and off. But the sound was good! Much better than before.
To be fair to myself my ideas for the triple shot pickup rings, and the cloth wire harness for the switch, worked very well. The quick connector plan I made for the pickups also worked flawlessly.
My mistake was to choose to use the vintage 50's era wiring ideal with this design of electronics mounting. the reason why is that the retro capacitors, although nice sounding, were physically too big for the application. when I inserted the caps one of them broke due to a stress fracture, causing the maladies I previously described. Had it not, my first foray would have been a success.
So I decided once again to do a lot of research and acquire a bunch of parts and start all over again. Luckily I overbought capacitors, and had a vintage set off Sprague Vitamin Q capacitors....017 and .022. I also had read about treble bleed circuits and decided I would experiment with those as well. I ended up going with a Mullard Mustard cap for that application. I ordered ten resistors and through some oversight received 1000. I am not exaggerating.
I happened to see a photograph of a set of capacitors installed "under" the potentiometer itself, between the locking nut and the main body of the potentiometer thus allowing a huge measure of covered protection and stability due to it's not being able to move or be grazed and tugged by all the wires in the cavity. This was advantageous to me in the end.
It took a long delicate time to install and assemble everything. But it's done. I have 100% functionality of all the components. And let me say it sounds much much better than I would have been totally satisfied with having previously. I can't overstate how dramatic the difference is. Two days ago you could have bought that guitar from me cheap. But now...baby it sounds like fairy dust magic, I kid you not. And a final word about all the capacitor argument. I know, logic would state that they all sound the same. I know that the tiny telephone wires carry the signal exactly the same as the big cloth covered wires. I know tons of research has been done to prove beyond all shadow of a doubt that caps all sound the same. I am here to say that I laugh in the face of all of that. That guitar sounds crazy good, especially at low volumes. Perhaps my experience is anecdotal, much like a placebo effect in that since the guitar sucked to begin with and I finally got it right, it has to sound better thus I would attribute that to the magic of the old caps and the treble bleed kit and the big wires that Gibson didn't use.
But that is my point. Gibson didn't use them. The smallest components, with the tiniest wires are quick to assemble, and in a factory situation time is money. Gibson caused this journey for me, regardless of what anyone says. I would say it to the president of the company's face that his team did a bad wiring job that day. But that is a good thing. Because again regardless of what anyone says that guitar sounds MUCH better than anything, custom shop or otherwise I can buy off the shelf. But what I have can't be bought off the shelf. I think the reason why is because I put 11 hours into carefully wiring it in this rendition. Again, that is a good thing, because now I can own that guitar. Brothers and sisters I hit the tone target. It's mine.
Post by guitorganist on Sept 9, 2014 22:46:33 GMT -5
Awesome story, Shawn! Even better with a happy ending like that. Nothing beats the feeling of restoring something yourself to the condition you know it could be in. As a dairy farmer I worked for in my teens would say, it's like you turned cow shit back into new mown hay (I think he was referencing a restored muscle car, but you get the point). Did you use this guitar on your Woodstock piece?
Steve Clark: I'd rather be playing guitar
Nov 12, 2015 5:38:31 GMT -5
Steve Clark: Counting down to my new guitar
Dec 22, 2015 2:51:07 GMT -5
Steve Clark: Happy new year!
Dec 31, 2015 16:00:56 GMT -5
tricky: Just passing by so thought I would drop in and say a big Hiya to the hard core keeping the board going. Hope you are all well, have a great 2016 and keep it real(ish)!!
Jan 19, 2016 18:21:19 GMT -5
rhod34: Richard, none of us are real. I'm my own imaginary friend
Jan 21, 2016 11:44:24 GMT -5
Steve Clark: I've never met Rhod. I assume he's just some Welsh computer 'bot'
Jan 22, 2016 4:53:37 GMT -5
rhod34: you leave my bottom out of this, ya perv!
Jan 22, 2016 15:25:24 GMT -5
Steve Clark: In Wales bot-net has a very different meaning
Jan 26, 2016 5:21:44 GMT -5
Steve Clark: My guitar is in the UK! Awaiting news from customs
Feb 9, 2016 6:30:31 GMT -5