Ok, everybody, take a moment to read this post carefully.
'50s wiring DOES NOT REQUIRE YOU TO CHANGE THE TONE POT'S WIRING.
I'll say it again, this time for those of you who don't believe me. YOU DON'T NEED TO CHANGE THE LUGS ON THE TONE POT TO DO '50s WIRING.
LEAVE the cap on the center lug and bend the right lug back to ground. Just don't mess with it.
The difference between Modern and '50s Wiring is that you connect the capacitor NOT to the pickup lug (bottom) on the volume pot, but to the switch lug (middle). That's the ONLY CHANGE YOU NEED TO MAKE.
'50s Wiring and Modern Wiring differ not in how the Tone pot is wired up, BUT IN HOW THE VOLUME POT IS WIRED UP
When someone's asking you for help on an EXISTING WIRING SETUP, talking about changing it from modern to '50s, quit telling them to do soldering steps that make absolutely no difference. You're making them do extra work they don't need to do...steps with a hot soldering iron...steps that could lead to damaging wires or components if they're not super-duper careful.
Again, STOP TELLING PEOPLE TO DO STUFF THEY DON'T NEED TO DO.
You guys put so much faith in wiring diagrams on the internet, but have you even ONCE looked at it from an electrical/mechanical standpoint to see if doing it will make ANY lick of difference?
Now, with that being said, there IS a tonal difference between having the tone pot BEFORE the capacitor (the cap goes to ground and you have a separate wire going to the volume pot) VS having the tone pot AFTER the capacitor (as in most Gibson Les Pauls, SGs, etc.). If THAT is the case, then you have to decide whether that change is something you want to do and whether you like the way your tone pots operate like that.
Here's why: We all know that pots don't cut/block all frequencies equally. If they did, we wouldn't have things like "Treble bleeds" on volume pots and such. So the resistance of the pot acts like its own frequency filter. This is the same thing as the Capacitor acting like a frequency filter.
When the Tone pot is at 10, it has the full 500K or whatever resistance in series with the capacitor. As you turn it down, that resistance drops eventually to 0, allowing the signal to ground. The Capacitor allows the treble frequencies to pass through to ground (silencing them), but prevents the bass frequencies. That's why the tone pot works the way it does.
So if those two components are in series, do you want the capacitor filtering your frequencies before the Tone pot's resistance does, or do you want the capacitor to filter your frequencies AFTER the tone pot's resistance does?
Some people will again claim that this is 6-and-1/2-dozen of the other, but then some people claim they can hear the difference in pot values, the difference between this pickup and that pickup, etc. Whatever works for you...
The whole thing about Series wiring VS Parallel wiring, electrically, is the difference between Modern wiring and '50s Wiring.
Look at the diagram. I've "redrawn" the whole guitar wiring diagram in a standard electrician's wiring diagram.
If you look at the right pictures, you can see the BIG difference between Modern and '50s Wiring. But the tone pot wiring, strangely enough, looks virtually identical, even though the in/out wires have been reversed (like in most '50s diagrams). Why is that? Because electrically, they're both operating EXACTLY THE SAME. You have the exact same resistance either way when the dial is turned to the same point. It makes NO DIFFERENCE if you put the cap in the middle and the ground on the end than if you put the CAP in the middle and the Ground on the end.
Have I beaten this horse to death yet?