Epiphone upgrade/wiring questions

Discussion in 'Epiphone Les Pauls' started by Epilespaul85, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Epilespaul85

    Epilespaul85 Junior Member

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    Hey guys, 1st post here. Had my Epiphone for a few years and something has always felt “off” about it but I still love it and it still sounds good. I put new pickups (59’ and jazz if I remember) but wasn’t a fan so I sold them. I’ve decided for fun I’m going to re-do the entire thing. New jack (piece of junk) new pots, caps, wiring and probably go the 59 or Seth lovers route, I love some Zeppelin/Jimmy Page. I saw some pre-wires stuff online but it’s $143 for the “premium” and figured I’d do it myself.

    Anyways I picked up some mojotone vintage taper pots. They’re 30% taper with 7% tolerance. Figured for $5 a piece I’d try them. They’re CTS brand.

    I’m leaning towards the luxe .022 bumblebees. I know they’re insanely priced ($59) but whatever if they will have a close to vintage tone. I’m lost in deciding on these parts as I’m new.

    Here is where the real questions come in, wiring. My guitar is a mess (to me) and I don’t know how to wire a guitar, never have. Which is really sad considering I’m a journeyman electrician lol. I want to do 50’s wiring and the pre-wired stuff I’ve seen has the cap wired in between the volume and tone pots. My guitar currently only has the caps wired (both ends) to the tone pots, is this normal? Is there a difference between wiring them either way? Or is the cap being between the 2 part of the 50’s differences? I’ll stop here and wait for responses and order more questions after that. Thanks for any help everyone!
     
  2. 07rogersg

    07rogersg Senior Member

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    I know this is opening up a whole can of worms but honestly I can't believe people pay more than a dollar for a capacitor.

    50s Style & Modern w.JPG
     
  3. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Old School Premium Member

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    I don't know about the Luxe bumblebees, except they are insanely expensive. I prefer NOS Russian K40Y-9 caps, but alternatives like Mojotone Vitamin T will do.
    Yes it is normal on many guitars to have one cap lead grounded on the back of the pot. For 50's wiring however, you want to ground the middle lug on the tone pot, and put the cap between the left leg (bottom view) on the tone pot and the middle lug of the respective volume pot.
    You can read all about 50s wiring and then some here:
    http://www.mylespaul.com/threads/wiring-library.558/
     
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  4. Epilespaul85

    Epilespaul85 Junior Member

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    That was my thought at first lol. Capacitance is capacitance. But, they seemed to be vintage so they were on my radar.
     
  5. Epilespaul85

    Epilespaul85 Junior Member

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    Perfect, thanks. That makes more sense now. Both of those options are MUCH cheaper. It’s still an Epiphone after all so I’m not expecting a 59’. But it’s a fun guitar and I plan on keeping it so I figured a little upgrade can’t hurt.
     
  6. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Old School Premium Member

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    No a little upgrade won't hurt. And welcome to the forum! :)
     
  7. Naquat

    Naquat Member

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    I can see dumping a cheap ceramic cap but I'd love to see a blind listening test between guitars with decent Poly caps and one with the extravagantly priced caps. They've done the same with audio cables and one test showed the CEO of a very high dollar cable couldn't tell the difference (in a blind listening test) between his high $$ cable and something that cost something like $25 dollars ! Not all, but IMO, a lot of it is snake oil. Can't blame the sellers because they're just selling what people ask for.
     
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  8. Epilespaul85

    Epilespaul85 Junior Member

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    Thanks! So I was looking through the wiring and still had a few questions.

    Where do you guys buy wire from and what kind? Looks like the 3 way switch needs a 4 conductor as well (ground,neck, bridge,output?)

    Anything else I need. Oh yeah, solder? What kind do you guys use? Thanks!
     
  9. Epilespaul85

    Epilespaul85 Junior Member

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    Nonsense, everyone knows the $300 monster HDMI cables make your 1080P more 1080P. I think good speaker wire does matter but isn’t the end of the world. Either way, I’m going to go with the cheaper sets of caps. I’m generally just looking at it as a fun project. Will it make a huge difference? Maybe not. But for me it’s just fun and I’ll be more comfortable knowing it’s wired correctly and with quality parts.
     
  10. 07rogersg

    07rogersg Senior Member

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    Yeah don't get me wrong, I use orange drops in all my guitars which is arguably a downgrade from the ceramic caps they came stock with but hey they look neat.
     
  11. Epilespaul85

    Epilespaul85 Junior Member

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    Orange drops are a down grade? Interesting.
     
  12. Epilespaul85

    Epilespaul85 Junior Member

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    Actually I guess I have another question. What’s up with the voltage differences on the caps? I’m seein 200/100/600 etc. what do I need to look for?
     
  13. 07rogersg

    07rogersg Senior Member

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    Makes no difference, it's just what voltage the capacitor is rated for use until and guitar tone caps don't reach anywhere near the 200V range.

    Also in regards ceramic vs foil it's just a trade-off between ceramics being microphonic vs foil forming an LC circuit becoming more susceptible to RF interference.

    Edit: Some orange drop caps are non-inductive.
     
  14. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Old School Premium Member

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    4 wire cable is only necessary if you use push-pull knobs to split or phaseshift. I prefer the old school steel braided wire, available form a number of suppliers like Stewmac, Philadephia Luthier and Guitarelectronics. As for the cap voltage it matters only for the size of the cap. I think most caps for guitars are 200 or 400 volt (400 volt is the standard on old Les Pauls). As an example, a 600 Volt K40Y-9 is rather large for the cavity in a Les Paul.
     
  15. Epilespaul85

    Epilespaul85 Junior Member

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    Perfect, thanks! Actually amazon (the art of tone) had k40y-n 400v caps for $13.75 and they had the pushback cloth wire as well so I grabbed 12’ of that. I’ll start this as soon as I receive everything. Total of $43, not bad at all. Except I just realized I forgot to order the mono jack lol. Damn.
     
  16. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE Senior Member

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    I'm just going to leave this little tidbit of about different types of capacitor and their tonal effects here.

    http://zerocapcable.com/?page_id=224

    In fact, I suggest visiting the entire site. Full of great info.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
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  17. Epilespaul85

    Epilespaul85 Junior Member

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    So you’re saying I’m wasting my time haha. Oh well it’ll be a fun experiment either way! Thanks for the info, made me feel like I was back in school again for electrical engineering.
     
  18. Jymbopalyse

    Jymbopalyse Senior Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Lot's of good advice here.
    Not sure if you were intending to replace the 3-Way switch during the rewire but If you are upgrading your harness you might as well include the 3-way switch.

    Have fun.
     
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  19. Epilespaul85

    Epilespaul85 Junior Member

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    You know I pondered it but the switch works just fine so I figured I’d leave it for now.
     
  20. Naquat

    Naquat Member

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    This article nails it ! I started in audio electronics training under an engineer while in tech school who really knew his stuff. He used to have Dr.'s, Lawyers, etc. coming into the shop to have caps installed on the leads of Turntables to "match" the input capacitance of the amp because they read it in some hi-fi magazine. He thought it was nuts but did it because they insisted. We use to laugh because these guys thought they could actually hear the difference in distortion of two audio amp amps one being say .004 THD and one .0001 THD (total harmonic distortion) !

    I've repaired vintage guitar amps and built guitar amps from scratch and I can say from my experience that if the same values are used with an original schematic you'd be hard pressed to hear any difference in a vintage V newly built amp using the same speaker cabinet.

    I believe this "cap" hype, as the article explains is just that. Hype !

    BUT-- To each His/Her own. I don't have a problem if someone else wants to spend $50 for a cap THEY think is better than the $2 cap....LOL...it's their money.
     
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