Looking to renew an old guitar you haven’t used in awhile? Wiring a Les Paul Guitar.
After two attempts to rewire this great guitar (bought in 1997 used from Guitar Center), I’ve finally found a great how-to site that truly walks one through each step of the process of replacing the pots (potentiometers), switch, jack, and wiring of a Les Paul.
Through a sister site, I learned that the Studio uses a longer shaft of potentiometer as opposed to the shorter shafted pots used in the Standard and Classic models.
My list of hardware needed in wiring a les paul:
- CTS Pots – 2 500k 10% linear for Volume, and 2 500k 10% Log. for Tone
- Switchcraft 3-way switch (short shaft)
- Switchcraft Output Jack (mono)
- 2 feet of Vintage Push-back Wire
- 5 feet of Shielded Push-back Wire
- 12 inches of PVC Shrink Wrap Tubing
- 2 Vitamin T .022 Capacitors (or brand of your choice, the sky is the limit with caps)
- 2 Pickups, Try these Seymour Duncan Vintage Humbuckers, you won’t be disappointed (If you are going to change the wiring, consider a humbucker change)
If you don’t want to find all of the parts on their own, you can certainly pick up a kit from Amazon here.
My motivation in starting this project was to remove the grounding plate. The grounding plate, or control plate, was a way for Gibson to quickly wire together a harness and then drop it into a newly carved, painted and lacquered guitar body. Through my two failed attempts to wire my Les Paul, I built circuits that always produced a bit of static. I’m sure my soldering was garbage, or something was touching it shouldn’t. Bypassing the grounding plate, using Jonesy’s method, I found my circuit absolutely quiet.
Let me stress this: If you don’t need something in the signal chain, remove it (even if it is a part of the ground wiring). If you have a pedal that is unnecessary, do you keep it in your chain? Yes, this is an unfair analogy, but I just needed a good opportunity to tinker and potentially create a better circuit.
Jonesy explains through his youtube tutorials how to wire together the 3 way switch including the wiring harness. …And he does this incredibly well.
Here’s the thing – He doesn’t need to do this! He’s super cool! He offers prewired switch harnesses and pot harnesses, and doesn’t need to show you how to do this. Why does he do this? Because he’s a good person, who cares about you getting good tone out of your guitar.
I considered getting these from him, but geographic boundaries forced me to get resourceful, man up, and learn how to solder a great guitar together. Without a doubt, do I suggest following his tutorials.
[usrlist Ease-of-Install:3 “Sounds:5” “Vibe:5″ Value:4 avg=”true”]
If you like simplicity, and are looking for a simple project to do this weekend, get a full kit today!