50s Wiring Confusion

iffy50

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Hi,

I installed 50's wiring in my LP (2000 standard) about 3 years ago. I re-did all of the wiring at the same time (added Russian PIOs, 500k CTS custom tapers etc).

Although this was much better than the stock wiring, I've always suffered from neck pickup muddiness. So I ended up going down the pickup swapping route: SD Jazz? Muddy. Pearl Gates? Muddy. 490R with Alnico 5, SD Slash and finally Bare Knuckle Rebel Yells. All the same results. 3 years worth of swapping, adjusting and replacing.

The exact symptoms: Volume full open - Great. Plenty of treble and definition.
Turn the volume down to 8 or lower and it's mud all the way. This only happens on the neck pickup. The bridge is fine and always has been (and, yes, I have checked the wiring on the neck pickup many, many times).

in frustration, I moved the neck pickup over to modern wiring. And the problem's gone. Decent definition. No mud at any volume setting.

So, I'm happy that I've got the problem sorted out. I'm just confused as to why the 50s wiring on the neck pickup behaved completely the opposite of what it's meant to do, compared to modern wiring.

Any ideas?

Cheers,
Ian
 

David Collins

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Any ideas?

Cheers,
Ian


None really, other than the possibility there was an error, but you've made clear you checked that several times already.

Once the volume is rolled back from 10, 50's wiring should always leave greater high end to at least some degree compared to modern. If all that was changed was moving the tone connection from the middle back to the upper lug on the volume, I really can't think of how you would now be retaining more trebles than before.

It makes me wonder if all this time there may have been some unintentional error in connections that went unnoticed through previous pickup swaps. Hard to say without having seen or heard before and after, but it does sound odd enough it seems something else had to be going on.
 

ScottMarlowe

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Sounds like either miswired, a bad solder joint, or some wires were crossing. Just a guess tho.
 

stone_gossard

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hi,

im in the proses of upgrading my wiring to 50's wiring..got all the parts and maybe tonight i will do the wiring..will let you know the result!
 

iffy50

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I determined to get to the bottom of this, so i ripped out the switch wiring (which was still the original Gibson telephone cable) and replaced it with braided wiring, back to 50s for both pickups.

Well, suffice it to say that the problem has now gone, and the neck now sounds great right across the volume control.

Thanks for the replies. I should have done that years ago!
 

bulletproof

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Glad you got it sorted out...I ALWAYS had probs with the neck pup till I started doing the 50's wiring.Happy tone to ya,brother!
 

MrKensei

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Tone Cap value too high for the pickup?
When you roll off the volume more of the signal is shunted through the Tone cap. If this is too high (I've accidentally ordered caps that wer 10x or even 100x too strong when I was in a hurry, as soon as you start shunting through it, instamud.
 

David Collins

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Sounds like the problem is already solved - no further action required.

I determined to get to the bottom of this, so i ripped out the switch wiring (which was still the original Gibson telephone cable) and replaced it with braided wiring, back to 50s for both pickups.

Well, suffice it to say that the problem has now gone, and the neck now sounds great right across the volume control.

Thanks for the replies. I should have done that years ago!

The original problem didn't jive with well known and established rules of electronics, indicating that there was some peripheral issue which had gone unnoticed. Though not directly diagnosed, it appears to have been resolved in replacing of the wire to the switch. Could have been a flawed connection at either end, a partial short within the wire from overheating in soldering, or maybe something else not yet considered.

In any case, whatever the problem was, it's gone now and everything seems to be working as it should. Problem solved.
 

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