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Unread 09-30-2009, 08:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

I've heard braided wire is the way to go for re-wiring an LP. The wires in my Epiphone LP Standard seem thin and cheap. However, electric guitars are passive electric instruments and might not require heavier guage.

I'm puting CTS pots and RS Guitarcaps in mine, and would love to have the best wires available. Maybe a new switch and jack too. My Epi tone controls barely function, they are soooooooo bad.

BTW, should I do '50s wiring? Can you tell a sonic difference?
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Unread 09-30-2009, 08:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

I normally use 22 awg Stranded wire for my harness's...
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Unread 10-02-2009, 08:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

22-24 AWG wire is good...

Braided wire is good because it contains a ground shield around the wire but for it to work, you have to connect at least one end of the braided shield to ground.. Big PITA and messy looking in my opinion... necessary on the pickup wires, however in the cavity, the same sheilding can be had by using grounding paint inside the cavity and running a ground screw with a wire to the back of one of the pots

I personally like vintage style pushback wire... for some reason, its what i expect to see when looking into the guts of a guitar!!!!
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Unread 10-02-2009, 11:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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22-24 AWG wire is good...

Braided wire is good because it contains a ground shield around the wire but for it to work, you have to connect at least one end of the braided shield to ground.. Big PITA and messy looking in my opinion...
I'm not quite sure what the big PITA is or where the "messy" part comes from...IMO, this is how the inside of a Les Paul should look...
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Unread 10-03-2009, 07:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

In the picture above, does anyone know what the bare ground wire is that runs from one pot to the other? I can't find any wire like that anywhere...only copper wire. It's not solder, is it (it looks a lot like it)? Thanks!


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Unread 10-03-2009, 08:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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In the picture above, does anyone know what the bare ground wire is that runs from one pot to the other? I can't find any wire like that anywhere...only copper wire. It's not solder, is it (it looks a lot like it)? Thanks!


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I would say there is a good chance it is solder because I have seen it used many times and it looks like that. Or it could be some solid 16-18 Tinned copper wire.
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Unread 10-03-2009, 08:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

Just thin plain wire. Simple ground wire. You can either buy it that way, or if you have some solid core wire, you could just strip off a section. I have some braided wire the same size that I like, because in the back of my head somewhere it makes sense to let the solder soak into the braid for a better connection. Connection is fine either way, just an OCD thing on my part.
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Unread 10-03-2009, 08:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

I haven't been able to find wire like that anywhere. It seems that all the solid core wire out there now (at least that I've found) is copper. I've checked three stores so far, including two hardware stores, and a Radio Shack...and nothing.
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Unread 10-03-2009, 01:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

It's this wire from MOJO Musical Supply. Often used inside of amps, I've just found it works good and gives a vintage look to guitar wiring. It should go without saying, but make sure it stays well clear of other wires, leads, and cap lugs to prevent shorts.
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Unread 10-03-2009, 09:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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Originally Posted by freddarl82 View Post
It's this wire from MOJO Musical Supply. Often used inside of amps, I've just found it works good and gives a vintage look to guitar wiring. It should go without saying, but make sure it stays well clear of other wires, leads, and cap lugs to prevent shorts.
Thanks for the link! That's awesome! And no wonder I couldn't find it locally. It seems like a real specialty item.


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Unread 10-04-2009, 07:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

Nice pic, Pinefd. It gives me some inspiration for my LP upgrade. Thanks for the Mojo link. I need that wire.
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Unread 10-04-2009, 11:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

Mojo Music has really come around lately as a major source for guitar parts. I use their stuff for my day to day guitar electronics repair and upgrades. The PIO caps are great and they are $4.00 each. The CTS pots from them are also very good. The one thing I don't like from them is the Push back cloth wire. The outer cloth and the inner cloth seem to separate and not push back at the same time, leaving the thin white insulation under the cloth showing. On the other hand the Gibson style braided wire is great.

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Unread 10-04-2009, 08:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

Here's a pic of the control cavity of a friends LP Classic I wired up tonight. I'm posting it to bring up two points:
1. It shows the MOJO "Vitamin T" tone caps for those that are interested. MOJO definitely has some good stuff. Not always the cheapest source, but a good selection. After my last few pot buys "elsewhere," I will try MOJO's next time.

2. Grounding discussion: I often see pics where people have run the ground wire between the pots all the way around (in a full circle, or at least a backwards "C" from neck vol-neck tone-bridge tone-bridge vol). Why?!? From everything I've read about grounding, you want all components to ground at a single point. Wiring it up the way I did below, all the grounds go from the tone pots to the volume pots to the switch. They're all tied together at the switch, and the ground from the switch goes to the output jack. If one does the circle or "C," doesn't this introduce the possibility of ground loops (and more noise)? Looking at my first picture above of the 76 LP Custom, the ground wire running between the two volumes was unnecessary. Then again, given the fact that all the braided wires are touching in their route through the body, does that also create a ground loop?

From an amateur who would like to know...
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Unread 10-05-2009, 12:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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Originally Posted by freddarl82 View Post
I'm not quite sure what the big PITA is or where the "messy" part comes from...IMO, this is how the inside of a Les Paul should look...
http://i716.photobucket.com/albums/w...icscloseup.jpg
Thats a modded bfg right?
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Unread 10-05-2009, 07:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

No, it was a 1976 LP Custom (you can see the seam for the "pancake" body inside the cavity).
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Unread 10-05-2009, 08:28 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

If I am rewiring a Les Paul or especially an ES guitar I build a harness outside of the guitar in a jig. When I do this I usually solder the buss wire in a C-shape starting from vol - tone - tone - volume. I have always done it this way and never heard any difference in noise with relation to a ground loop situation. The noise usually came from the pickups. When you are using braided wire there are multiple ground points due to the nature of the wire touching everywhere.
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Unread 10-05-2009, 03:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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I have the same caps in my wiring kit!
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Unread 10-06-2009, 08:40 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Question Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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I have the same caps in my wiring kit!
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/k...ession/kit.jpg
Why do you have three capacitors on each tone control?
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Unread 10-07-2009, 09:33 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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Why do you have three capacitors on each tone control?
It looks like he is using the "treble bleed" mod. He has them wired up "modern-style," so as the volume pot is rolled back, you will lose some of your high frequencies. This mod helps to lessen that effect. And, by the way, the two components soldered between lugs on the volume pot are not both capacitors -- it is a resistor and capacitor wired together in parallel. Here's a brief description of the mod. You can make your own, or I've occasionally seen them premade.

Another solution, of course, is to use 50's style wiring, which inherently does not lose the treble when the volume is rolled back.
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Unread 10-07-2009, 09:54 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by freddarl82 View Post
Here's a pic of the control cavity of a friends LP Classic I wired up tonight. I'm posting it to bring up two points:
1. It shows the MOJO "Vitamin T" tone caps for those that are interested. MOJO definitely has some good stuff. Not always the cheapest source, but a good selection. After my last few pot buys "elsewhere," I will try MOJO's next time.

2. Grounding discussion: I often see pics where people have run the ground wire between the pots all the way around (in a full circle, or at least a backwards "C" from neck vol-neck tone-bridge tone-bridge vol). Why?!? From everything I've read about grounding, you want all components to ground at a single point. Wiring it up the way I did below, all the grounds go from the tone pots to the volume pots to the switch. They're all tied together at the switch, and the ground from the switch goes to the output jack. If one does the circle or "C," doesn't this introduce the possibility of ground loops (and more noise)? Looking at my first picture above of the 76 LP Custom, the ground wire running between the two volumes was unnecessary. Then again, given the fact that all the braided wires are touching in their route through the body, does that also create a ground loop?

From an amateur who would like to know...
http://i716.photobucket.com/albums/w...vity-final.jpg
I am not capt wireing guy but I have noticed that you do occasionally get a minor humm when doing the continuous ground,
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Unread 10-07-2009, 01:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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Why do you have three capacitors on each tone control?
That's currios, you're right!
It's a prewired "modern Les Paul" kit I ordered from crazyparts!
I don't wanted the extra money for vintage specs and stuff
but a 50s wiring would have been better I guess!
Here is the link:
Prewired Assembly Les Paul Modern
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Unread 10-07-2009, 01:41 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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No, it was a 1976 LP Custom (you can see the seam for the "pancake" body inside the cavity).
áh, seemed that way because of the diffrent pot!
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Unread 10-07-2009, 02:00 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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I haven't been able to find wire like that anywhere. It seems that all the solid core wire out there now (at least that I've found) is copper. I've checked three stores so far, including two hardware stores, and a Radio Shack...and nothing.
Just use any sold copper wire you can find. It doesn't have to be tinned. If you want, you can tin it yourself just by running the iron across it with some fresh flux cored solder. I just use cut a piece off a spool I bought years ago and pull the wire out of the insulation and solder it up. There is nothing wrong with using stranded wire either, although solid sometimes seems to be better for the grounding wire to the TP bushing.
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Unread 10-07-2009, 02:37 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

[QUOTE=Knarbens;1194702]That's currios, you're right!
It's a prewired "modern Les Paul" kit I ordered from crazyparts!
I don't wanted the extra money for vintage specs and stuff
but a 50s wiring would have been better I guess!

+1!

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Unread 10-07-2009, 03:15 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

Man! It was even about twice the price! We all learn from our mistakes!
But I'm still confused why the stuff from the fifties is still better than the new ones!?
I thought today we can build better guitars!? What's up?
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Unread 10-07-2009, 05:54 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

As I understand it, when using 50's style wiring, the volume controls are "coupled." That is, when the switch is in the middle (both) position, if EITHER volume control is turned all the way down, you lose ALL sound - it cuts out BOTH pickups. At some point, someone decided to "improve" on this, but in the process created the issue with treble loss as the volume is rolled of. There is a diagram for 50's style wiring with independent volume controls in the wiring library. I used it in a guitar once, but never really did an "A-B" comparison with standard 50's wiring. Anyone care to comment on the sound of one vs. the other?
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Unread 10-07-2009, 06:06 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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Originally Posted by DGNRepair View Post
Mojo Music has really come around lately as a major source for guitar parts. I use their stuff for my day to day guitar electronics repair and upgrades. The PIO caps are great and they are $4.00 each. The CTS pots from them are also very good. The one thing I don't like from them is the Push back cloth wire. The outer cloth and the inner cloth seem to separate and not push back at the same time, leaving the thin white insulation under the cloth showing. On the other hand the Gibson style braided wire is great.

Dan
sprague orange drop caps are awesome. i have them in my lp. they give it a nice deep, warm, and bright tone. they are only like $3-4 last time i checked.
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Unread 10-09-2009, 12:30 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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sprague orange drop caps are awesome. i have them in my lp. they give it a nice deep, warm, and bright tone. they are only like $3-4 last time i checked.
Dude! $3 - 4 ?!? I know you are only 13 from the Velcro thread, but if you're paying that much, you're getting ripped off! Shouldn't have to pay much more than $1.50 for an Orange drop online (Admittedly, the shipping will kill 'ya unless you put together a larger order). And, you're right -- they are a nice cap, especially for the money!
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Unread 10-09-2009, 10:29 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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Originally Posted by freddarl82 View Post
As I understand it, when using 50's style wiring, the volume controls are "coupled." That is, when the switch is in the middle (both) position, if EITHER volume control is turned all the way down, you lose ALL sound - it cuts out BOTH pickups. At some point, someone decided to "improve" on this, but in the process created the issue with treble loss as the volume is rolled of. There is a diagram for 50's style wiring with independent volume controls in the wiring library. I used it in a guitar once, but never really did an "A-B" comparison with standard 50's wiring. Anyone care to comment on the sound of one vs. the other?
The "coupled" volumes is referred to as dependent vs independent (not coupled). The 50s vs modern thing is if the tone filter (pot and cap) are connected to the pickup side of the volume pot (modern) or the output (50s). That gives you 4 possible wiring choices. When people say 50s they usually mean dependent volumes I think.
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Unread 10-09-2009, 10:10 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

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sprague orange drop caps are awesome. i have them in my lp. they give it a nice deep, warm, and bright tone. they are only like $3-4 last time i checked.
If you like the Orange Drops, then you should try Paper in Oil Caps like the Vitamin T's in the above pics. They make the tone even more usable than the Orange Drops, IMHO.
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