Best wire type for electronics upgrade in LP?

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by silverfrost1, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. silverfrost1

    silverfrost1 Senior Member

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    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?
     
  2. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    I normally use 22 awg Stranded wire for my harness's...
     
  3. H.E.L.Shane

    H.E.L.Shane Senior Member

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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... 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!!!!
     
  4. freddarl82

    freddarl82 Senior Member

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    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...
    [​IMG]
     
  5. pinefd

    pinefd V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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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!


    Frank
     
  6. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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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.
     
  7. carydad

    carydad Senior Member

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    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.
     
  8. pinefd

    pinefd V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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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.
     
  9. freddarl82

    freddarl82 Senior Member

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    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.
     
  10. pinefd

    pinefd V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks for the link! That's awesome! And no wonder I couldn't find it locally. It seems like a real specialty item.


    Frank
     
  11. silverfrost1

    silverfrost1 Senior Member

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    Nice pic, Pinefd. It gives me some inspiration for my LP upgrade. Thanks for the Mojo link. I need that wire.
     
  12. DGNRepair

    DGNRepair MLP Vendor

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    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
     
  13. freddarl82

    freddarl82 Senior Member

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    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...
    [​IMG]
     
  14. steadyriot

    steadyriot Senior Member

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    Thats a modded bfg right?
     
  15. freddarl82

    freddarl82 Senior Member

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    No, it was a 1976 LP Custom (you can see the seam for the "pancake" body inside the cavity).
     
  16. DGNRepair

    DGNRepair MLP Vendor

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    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.
     
  17. Knarbens

    Knarbens Senior Member

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    I have the same caps in my wiring kit!
    [​IMG]
     
  18. silverfrost1

    silverfrost1 Senior Member

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    Why do you have three capacitors on each tone control?
     
  19. freddarl82

    freddarl82 Senior Member

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    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.
     
  20. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Senior Member

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    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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