335 Electronics Installation (a.k.a. How to take years off your life)

Louie

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Thanks for the step-by-step instructions, Billy!
I installed your kit in my 335 copy together with a set of Seymour Duncan '59 pups last night and it took me around 1.5h including reaming the holes in the top. The lead extensions are a great idea, cause I'll never replace the electronics again.

On a side note: I didn't have the tubing you recommended, so I tied a piece of strong string to the thin part at the base of the shaft of each pot and pulled them through the holes. It worked very well, although a needle-nose pliers and/or a crochet is advisable in this case. I worked everything through the F-hole, too.

Oh, and I'm in blues heaven right now! Can't wait to get home today, the wife is out of town (another good advice, thanks!) and I can play for as long as I can.
 

pumpkinhead

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This seems like plenty of information for a first-timer to swap out everything. I am jumping into an Ibanez copy of a 335, so I am still nervous about boring out those holes, but this is one great thread!

thanks!!!
David
 

mdubya

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I used the tube technique on my Epi Sheraton with great success. RS wiring harness next. :thumb:
 

4nd3h

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I used the tube technique on my Epi Sheraton with great success. RS wiring harness next. :thumb:

Did you use metric pots?

If not, did you have to change the size of the holes for the pots?
 

mdubya

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Did you use metric pots?

If not, did you have to change the size of the holes for the pots?
I used the stock pots on my last effort. RS pots will be ordered soon, along with the associated S.A.E. sized parts. Holes will be enlarged to accommodate.
 

whytheflyband

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Well I have a 1995 Epi Sheraton ( Korean ) and very soon will be installing a new harness and Fralin Pure PAF pickups. I have tried to fit a normal sized CTS pot through the F-hole but there is no way I can see it will fit. I had to replace the bridge volume and tone with a CTS mini pot.... any suggestions?
 

mdubya

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Well I have a 1995 Epi Sheraton ( Korean ) and very soon will be installing a new harness and Fralin Pure PAF pickups. I have tried to fit a normal sized CTS pot through the F-hole but there is no way I can see it will fit. I had to replace the bridge volume and tone with a CTS mini pot.... any suggestions?
hillbilly said:
I was in an out of an Epi dot today in about 20 minutes...through the F-hole, even...

Of course, I have pre-wired harnesses ready to go...

I wish my wife was "out of town" a little more often...
_______________________________________________________________
 

hillbilly

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Well I have a 1995 Epi Sheraton ( Korean ) and very soon will be installing a new harness and Fralin Pure PAF pickups. I have tried to fit a normal sized CTS pot through the F-hole but there is no way I can see it will fit. I had to replace the bridge volume and tone with a CTS mini pot.... any suggestions?
I had a Epi Sheraton in the shop for the whole RS 335 Upgrade; "regular" sized" RS SuperPots in the Volumes, along with 2 push/pulls on the Tone's. I got it in through the F-hole using a bit of "english"; the whole operation took me about 20 minutes, but I am used to dealing with 335-style guitars. Plus, I like challenges, because there are only so many Les Paul Jr.'s & Telecasters I can re-wire before I become bored. :rolleyes: :hmm: :cool: :naughty:

The trick is to find the appropriate "angle" to load the pots in through the F-hole (and there is one). Then, put your tubing/string on the corresponding pots. :cool:

Or you can just hog out the bridge pickup rout with a big-ass drill bit... :dude: It's only balsa wood...you won't hurt anything... :cool:
 

whytheflyband

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OK I will try the different angles again, I just couldn't see how it could possibly fit. I also have a big ass drill bit too ;)
 

DrewG

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Have only just found this thread, it's a great resource :) I just gutted my cheapo Ibanez AS50 (think 335 dot copy) and put a new harness complete with CTS pots and bumblebee caps, switchcraft jack and switch, and a couple of '57 classic pafs 2nd hand from ebay. I also followed Billy's videos on Youtube, where you can see him go through the installation of the harness he photographed here in 4 online videos - that's what /really/ helped me - I had soldered the bridge ground and got the harness in through the f-hole and installed within around 20 minutes.

For those in the UK, I struggled to get hold of a 3/8 inch drill bit for enlarging the pot holes, but found a 9.5mm bit was an excellent replacement. 9mm was just too small.

For the videos, check out the RSGuitarWorks channel on youtube.

Thanks hillbilly :)
 

Pinkie

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You da man Billy! I love to watch you cuss at 335's when I'm in the shop.J/K cool calm and collected.
Those are very hard to work on so the tips will save you lots of time and frustration
 

slapshot

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oh my lord I need to send you a slab of beer or 2 for this.
About to redo my samick 335 and this just saved my fucking life I spent all day when I did it last time
 

Quill

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I have a bit to add to this excellent thread! A while ago, I did a thread in the pickup forum - Quick-change Pickup Tip - that showed how Deans micro-plugs could be used in a solidbody guitar to facilitate fast pickup changes, and a few players have found that little trick useful. Well, I recently had the idea to try using the connectors at different places in the harness to make other repairs easier - specifically, in my 335.

I started by placing a Deans plug on the lead running between the switch and the jack:



I didn't think to snap a photo until after I'd installed it, but what you can't see in this photo is really the key to the whole thing: the string ground is connected directly to the jack. I've never tried this before, but so far it seems to be working just fine - to the point that I'm wondering why it isn't done this way in all guitars. It eliminates one wire from the harness, and in these guitars the string ground can be a real problem; I broke the string ground on one of the installations I did in this guitar. Terrible mess!

... yes, it's true. In this photo, there are, in fact, two connectors shown on the lead to the jack. That is because I have built the option for a switchable stereo rig into this guitar. (The black plug is on the lead that runs to the "long" leg on the jack, which will work with a monophonic plug, and the red plug goes to the "short" leg - if I don't want the stereo hookup, I can just use the black plug, and leave the red plug disconnected.) I used a very good Switchcraft jack with a long thread, and with a little luck, I'll never have to take it out again.

Here's the harness - it's not the work of art that some can assemble, but it's neat enough for me and it all works. Note the absence of the string ground. The black wires ground the cans on the tone pots; I used a good quality cloth-covered stranded wire for these connections instead of a stiff steel wire, for reasons that do not have to be explained to anyone here!



The two leads that are held together with the big lump of black heat-shrink are connected to the plugs that are already in the guitar. The other two leads, coming off the volume pots ... well, of course you know what those are for.

Once the harness is in the guitar and the pots are locked in, the switch can be brought out and the connection to the jack lead can be made:



This is really going to be handy if I want to swap out the caps sometime or make a repair to a bad pot. As hillbilly has explained, it is possible to get the pots out through the f-hole, so theoretically, this harness could be pulled without even taking the strings off the guitar. How cool is that?

Finally, the pickups. With A Deans connector on each of the pickup leads, it's extremely easy to draw the leads from the volume pots out the F-hole and plug in the pickups.



I'm really happy with this new trick. This old guitar has been sitting inactive, as I've been dreading wiring it up for the umpteenth time - but it is a great guitar, with an interesting sound. I swear, every mistake I've ever made is manifest somewhere on this guitar, in a ding or a scratch or a chip or worse (don't look too closely at the photos, please :D). But, either despite or because of all that, everyone loves this guitar - even non-guitar-playing women love this guitar! Just something about a semi, I guess. And finally, I can easily fool around with different pickups and find just the right set for its unique voice.

Hope this trick helps someone out.
 

IndySouthPaw

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I just want to thank you for showing me what my tech goes through every time I want to tray something new on my left handed Sheraton. Wow, I need to pay him more! Really it is an art guys. Nice work
 

Thermionik

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Man, I wish I had seen this before I put the Z-90's in my Sherry.....
Just THE best word I have EVER seen on working inside a semi. 10/10, or better :applause:
 

Tmeisster

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Thanks Hillbilly. Great post:thumb:
I've been dreading taking the harness out of my 335 for some time now...
I've rewired pretty much every guitar I own so I guess I can't avoid it anymore.
With your advice, I'll make the jump this evening while the wife 's out of town.
I'll make sure that I have one Adult Beverage or two handy just in case...:naughty:
 




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