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Unread 08-17-2013, 11:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Orville new pots, re-wiring

Hi everyone,

I posted earlier this week asking about a treble bleed for my Orville Les Paul, but now I've got the back cover off (and am going to be replacing the pickups very soon) I've decided I may as well do a full re-wire with the 50s style wiring.

Now I've gotten started though I've run into a problem. I bought some CTS 500k pots to replace the stock mini pots which are already in there, but despite my measurements (and after having drilled the holes larger) when I poke them through the body they are just a hair too short... literally only a couple of mm.

I've already soldered some of the lugs on the pots so I can't return them, so I'm either going to have to take the hit and order some long shaft pots to replace them, or somehow gain the extra length by shaving/sanding/routing the wood inside the cavity.

Any recommendations? Any help would be much appreciated
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Unread 08-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

Here's a picture to show it.

Just to give you an idea of how little it needs to poke through, if I put the pointers on the nut won't even start, but without them you can at least get it on a tiny amount.
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Unread 08-17-2013, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

I will say this. Thinning from the back takes a very steady hand and just the right Forstner bit or a jigged router. I had a Terada Black Beauty-sold but have been begging to buy back-- They are great guitars as far as I am concerned. Considering how cheap even 10% long shaft CTS pots are, I highly recommend that you resolve it that way. IF you are a confident and competent to do the mod to the guitar, then do it. However, the question as well as your original purchase would hint not. Even being in the UK, it is still a relatively cheap part and I would buy extra washers and nuts for the pots, though if you follow my advice you would have "extras" as take-offs from these standard pots.

I respect the Orville and Orville by Gibson as good as a Gibson and it would be so painful, even as a bystander to see a boring tool go wild on the guitar. For volume pots, I use the RS Guitar "custom" taper exclusively unless a customer insists on some other choice. The "customer is always right;" but " that doesn't make him wise." Jonesy and Martin 6 use those primo pots for their premium harnesses-Good Luck*

* I am concerned enough that I have this urge to send you a pair but it is really 4 and that becomes to me, more generous than I can afford nowadays. Check with Martyn at Crox there at home.
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Unread 08-17-2013, 08:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

I would buy the long shaft pots. And while you're at it, you might consider this wiring instead of 50s: I just tried it in another lawsuit Les Paul and it works.

Top Secret Wiring of the Pros !
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Unread 08-18-2013, 06:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

Thanks for your replies guys.

I think I may have managed to solve the problem. I compared the new pots to the old ones and although they looked basically the same length I noticed one difference between them... the CTS ones had those little metal 'nubs' on them.

Obviously that will have stopped them going through as far as the previous, so after reading up to check if they served any majorly important purpose (I read they're to stop the pot spinning) I just snipped them off with some wire cutters.

Now the pots come through just those extra couple of millimetres to get the nuts and pointers on. One problem solved!

This now brings me onto my second question. Whilst removing the old wiring I noticed there was a very thin piece of wire attached to the back of the bridge volume pot, the other end of it disappearing into the body. I'm assuming this is a ground connection for the bridge. Is this normal?
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Unread 08-18-2013, 06:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

Yes, this is your bridge ground connection and must be resoldered to the back of a pot case.
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Unread 08-18-2013, 06:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

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Yes, this is your bridge ground connection and must be resoldered to the back of a pot case.
Thanks! I thought so
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Unread 08-18-2013, 09:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

New question... what's the correct name for the type of wire they use to connect the grounds on the back of pots? I'm talking about the stiff stuff that looks sort of like solder. I don't even know what to begin searching for!

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Unread 08-18-2013, 09:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

That's called bus wire...... 20awg would be the proper thickness
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Unread 08-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

Having converted my Orville to CTS pots, I'm glad you discovered the little nubs -- that was the first thing that came to mind as I read the thread.

The bridge grounding wire is usually connected to the neck volume pot, the one closest to where the wire enters the cavity.

Bus wire is nice for the vintage look, but not essential. Any good quality wire can be used.
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Unread 08-18-2013, 10:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

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Originally Posted by freddarl82 View Post
Having converted my Orville to CTS pots, I'm glad you discovered the little nubs -- that was the first thing that came to mind as I read the thread.
I'm guessing you had the same issue and did the same 'de-nubbing' to make it work?

Thanks to you both about naming the Bus wire. I wondered before it was actually just solder, given it looks like the ends are melted onto the pots. I'm glad I now know better! Now I just need to try and find someone that sells it here in the UK.
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Unread 08-18-2013, 06:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

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I'm guessing you had the same issue and did the same 'de-nubbing' to make it work?

Thanks to you both about naming the Bus wire. I wondered before it was actually just solder, given it looks like the ends are melted onto the pots. I'm glad I now know better! Now I just need to try and find someone that sells it here in the UK.
I originally discovered the "nubs" with CTS 250K pots and Strat pickguards. Now I just automatically take them off.

Again, Bus wire is not essential, i.e. if you don't want to pay $5.95 shipping for $1.50 worth of wire. Any good quality wire (with the insulation still on, even) will work. Keep in mind, on SG's and some LP Specials (like my doublecut), even Gibson uses insulated wire. The bus wire is just a throw-back to the 1950's for those who want their cavity to look like a 50's LP (Gibson did away with it in Les Pauls when they went to the grounding plate, which accomplished the same objective -- connecting all the pot housings to ground). Here in the U.S., I get Bus wire from MojoTone.
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Unread 08-18-2013, 11:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

Here's a shot of the rewiring on my Orville. You can see I just used some regular pushback style wire to do the grounding.

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Unread 08-19-2013, 04:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

So here's my progress so far.

After the 'de-nubbing' of the short shaft CTS pots I managed to get them in and done up, albeit without the anti-slip washers (will this cause a problem?). Without the washers they just about fit with the pointer washers, but if it's integral I have the anti-slip I'll have to order some long shaft pots and start again.

I managed to order some buss wire on eBay - around 2.00 for a 5m length of 20 SWG. Now I just need to wait for that to be delivered along with the new knobs to finish up the job.

I've still got the old ceramic caps so I'm debating whether or not to use them or get some orange drops instead. I can't say I ever disliked the tone before so at the moment at least I'll probably stick with them.

I used to have this guitar wired with a push/pull pot for phase reverse but for the time being I'm going to wire it as just standard 50's wiring to see how I like it. Once I've established whether I want to change back to modern or keep it 50's I'll go about fitting the push/pull pot (got a DiMarzio one ordered).
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Unread 08-20-2013, 03:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

I have converted 4 OBG's and always use Paper in Oil caps. .022 400 with 500k CTS pots. This combo seems to give it a women tone more than regular caps. JMO
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Unread 08-22-2013, 07:30 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

Replacement Gibson knobs arrived yesterday. Once I got them on the pots felt quite stiff to turn but I loosened them up with a bit of contact cleaner and turning each of them back and forth about 50 times. Still not super easy to turn but I'm sure they'll loosen up with use.

Buss wire arrived today. Wasted no time in getting that soldered in. Just need to make up my mind now about what caps to use.

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Unread 08-23-2013, 11:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

Finally finished! All the wiring done and new pickups installed. Sounds great, was worth all the effort. I may still change the caps to bumblebees at some point but the original ceramic ones will do for now.

I'll also be re-installing a push/pull pot for phase reversal but I wanted to get the basic 50s wiring right before I complicated anything.

The pickups are from OX4 Pickups and are fantastic! (OX4 PICKUPS | Hand wound pickups made in Oxford)
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Unread 09-12-2013, 06:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

Finished!

1234655_622536437766990_2059610320_n.jpg1176281_622550154432285_237515534_n.jpg
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Unread 09-12-2013, 07:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

Looks good, congrats.
I've heard talk about how good the Ox4 pups are, any chance for a clip of how they sound?
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Unread 09-13-2013, 08:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

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Looks good, congrats.
I've heard talk about how good the Ox4 pups are, any chance for a clip of how they sound?
As we speak I am working with them on a pickup promo/demo video. I'll be sure to post it when it's complete
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Unread 10-23-2013, 07:25 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Orville new pots, re-wiring

Here's the OX4 promo video I made using my Orville.

OX4 Pickups
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