3-pickup wiring (custom)

rpbarry58

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I'm building a Les Paul Custom that is inspired by a guitar my father had made for him that has a bit of a backstory to it.

My dad played in jazz/swing bands back in the 40's and 50's around NYC and Hartford, CT as a hobby (he was a physician by day). He could play drums and piano fairly well (he was left-handed, too) but preferred the guitar, usually playing Gibson hollowbodies. His friend loaned him an early Les Paul Custom with 3 pickups and he loved the sounds he could get and how it felt and played, but he despised the wiring and controls. He felt the layout with the group of 4 knobs and switch up at the top was kind of ridiculous and not really intuitive, and that the two respective tone knobs were redundant and didn't do a whole lot of tone shaping with multiple pickups activated. So he wrote Gibson over and over, and basically harassed them into making him a lefty 3-pickup Les Paul Custom that had a volume control for each pickup, two bridge and one neck pickup, and one tone knob for all of them. Gibson finally agreed to make it as long as he bought a GA-40 as well as a package deal, which he did. He played this combo until 1962 when he moved up to Cape Cod and couldn't find anyone to play with. It sat in it's case under his bed (I used the GA-40 myself until it was stolen after a gig in 1993) until his death in 2006, after which I sold it via an auction house...I'm a righty, unfortunately.

So what they sent him was a 1957 left-handed Les Paul Custom with the rear body routes as standard, but Gibson simply left the neck volume and bridge tone pot holes undrilled and installed a third pot between what would normally be bridge volume and neck tone pots...giving 3 volume pots in a diagonal configuration. Then they popped in a tone pot where the pickup switch would normally be and shipped the guitar and amp out, hoping that crazy doctor in New England would leave them the hell alone with the letters from now on.

So I am trying to re-create this guitar but am having trouble with the wiring schematic...I'm attaching some crappy pictures taken inside the control cavities of the guitar before it went up for auction. Keep in mind, it's a lefty. Can anybody suggest how the heck this thing was wired? I've wired maybe 9 or 10 LP's myself with standard and some custom wiring but this one is kind of puzzling...
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BadPenguin

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Ok, to me, it looks like the pots are daisy chained. Pickups to lug 1 of pots, lug 2 wired to lug 2 of second, then third pot, lug 2 of third pot to out, tone control is wired to lug 2 of the first pot. I could be wrong, but that's how I see it working.
 

rpbarry58

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Okay, thanks...I had seen it a little different...in the picture, the left pot is the bridge pickup, middle is middle pickup and right is neck pickup...left handed, the knobs on the front corresponding to pickup arrangement.
I saw the pickups hot wires going to the middle lugs of the pots, or lug #2. Then lug #3 of the bridge pot to lug #1 of the middle pot and lug #3 of the middle pot going to lug #1 of the neck pot. Ground wire coming in and soldered to the back of the neck pot. And lug #3 of the neck pot going to lug #1 of the tone pot, with a tone cap from tone pot lug #3 to the pot back (ground). And a plastic-shielded wire coming from somewhere going to the jack. But I could be completely off. Here is an enlarged view...
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BadPenguin

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Leftie..... duh me. You're right, or left, of course!
 

rpbarry58

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Chasenblues you may be correct, that is possibly what they sent him. I had the copies of the reply letters from Gibson including the 1957 catalogs and all of the original documentation when this guitar went to auction to prove provenance, but I don't even have copies anymore. Did the Baker model have 2 neck or 2 bridge pickups?
 

rpbarry58

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Never even knew about that model! If the serial 7 3587 number on that re-issue is the same one that was on Mickey Baker's original, his precedes my dad's by a bit, his was 7 6086.

So is this basically an pre-1955 ES-5 wiring job? Anybody have that schematic? (Not the Switchmaster version)
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