50s wiring not for me

kevinpaul

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I did the 50s wiring on my LP Standard, LP junior and it was bright and very much an ice pick to both ears. I put the junior back to normal. I'll get to the other some day. I hate it and the time I wasted on this silly crap. I might leave the bridge pup at the 50s, the blend may be cool? I'll see when I get to it, I have been playing my Strat to death.
 

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ARandall

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I honestly don't understand this at all, I have never ever experienced this, I keep my bridge pickup tone down to about 5 and volume is almost always 9 or lower,
and I never notice any bass roll off or treble boost at all.

The only effect I notice is when the tone is off, and the volume is full up for woman tone, rolling the volume down to 9 instantly cleans up the sound
and its an extremely fast volume roll off in general with the tone down.

Try rolling down to 3 or 4 on both. Its right into the clean area too if you are running drive.
 

dmoss74

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thank god you have choices. '50s wiring (to me) was a revelation. i can see how some would feel the complete opposite. the beauty is, it's the quickest "mod" you can try, on any guitar, as long as you own a soldering iron.

sure, it may require a bit more knob fiddling to fully appreciate it, but to me (again, subjective), it's totally worth it.

no skin of teeth is lost to try it. if it ain't for you, then no harm, no foul.

one thing i don't get is how you said that when you switched harnesses, you noticed the bridge was too bright, while dimed (on the pots), regardless of the '50s v modern. i have never noticed any difference between the two wiring schemes, while the pots are cranked up. it's only when potting them down (volume or tone) that you (i) hear the differences.
 

siore

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I prefer modern wiring myself. With a treble bleed it's a lot of the same benefits of 50's wiring and more consistent. If you do a search on this, you'll find a wiring scheme that enables you to hook up the t.bleed circuit to the tone pot, so that you get less of the 'thinning-down" effect as you roll off the tone knob together with the volume. I think it was called a modified treble bleed or tapered treble bleed or something.

I'm of the opinion these days that the benefit of 50's wiring is having less components to wire, and thus possibly it interferes less with pickups to pots to cable. Pure tone for the purists.
 

zoork_1

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I honestly don't understand this at all, I have never ever experienced this, I keep my bridge pickup tone down to about 5 and volume is almost always 9 or lower,
and I never notice any bass roll off or treble boost at all.

The only effect I notice is when the tone is off, and the volume is full up for woman tone, rolling the volume down to 9 instantly cleans up the sound
and its an extremely fast volume roll off in general with the tone down.

Maybe this helps...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRUobVmNKko
 

zoork_1

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I believe that the quality and characteristics of the pot/taper - how it work - is crucial here.
 

C.J.

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The big deal with 50's wiring being too bright/harsh is just odd. That is why you want 50's wiring - so the volume control actually is something you actively use.

For me tonally there are things I did not like (my tone knobs don't seem to do much and managing the volume during a performance takes real skill. You can't just set and forget etc. Also the middle position is less awesome as mixing independently the pickup volumes isn't really a thing now. I got round that by tapping the bridge and having a push pull for phase which gives me all the twang I need in the middle..) but so much more came out of my instrument in terms of tone and clarity I'm never going back.

I would also suggest that people pay attention to their caps (how you load the tone circuit matters unless you are using no load pots) and your setup. Pickup heights etc. My guitar sounds more like a harp on the neck if I have the pup at a certain height/angle. Totally wild and different tone. But obviously a few mm's height or tilt matters in a big way.

Also the way I use my amp/guitar for gain is now completely different. I rarely need to touch the gain channels anymore - its all there at the turn of a knob. I haven't used an overdrive pedal since I went 50's at all. Except as a near passive boost.
 

Stuff

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One thing I've tried is Jonesy's hybrid 50s/60s harness. It uses push/pull tone pots to switch each pup from modern wiring over to 50s wiring and back again. I went down this route because I had no experience at all with 50s wiring, and wanted a way to try it without regrets.

Might be an option for anyone reading this thread and feeling unsure about whether to try 50s wiring or not.
 

Vash854

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Try rolling down to 3 or 4 on both. Its right into the clean area too if you are running drive.

Yea that's what I usually do, just roll the volume down between 5-6 depending on how clean I want it,
I just meant I never heard any kind of bass roll off or treble boost effect in any of the interactions between vol and tone.
It just seems to stay very balanced to me I guess, and actually sometimes I wish even more treble presence was retained with 50s wiring.
 

zoork_1

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I'm usually treble around 4 bass 5. Volume 3-4 low input

I usually set treble between 8-10, bass 5 (or 0 with external speaker cab), volume 8-10 and plug in to "high" input. Thing is, it never sound harsh or ear piercing as long as I use the knobs wisely.

Not sure about the difference between 550k and 500k pot... :hmm:
 

if6was9

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I prefer modern wiring myself. With a treble bleed it's a lot of the same benefits of 50's wiring and more consistent. If you do a search on this, you'll find a wiring scheme that enables you to hook up the t.bleed circuit to the tone pot, so that you get less of the 'thinning-down" effect as you roll off the tone knob together with the volume. I think it was called a modified treble bleed or tapered treble bleed or something.

I'm of the opinion these days that the benefit of 50's wiring is having less components to wire, and thus possibly it interferes less with pickups to pots to cable. Pure tone for the purists.

I believe that this is the post that you are referring to:
http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109923
I did not mention in my post that I also use this modified treble bleed on my guitars.
 

C.J.

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I usually set treble between 8-10, bass 5 (or 0 with external speaker cab), volume 8-10 and plug in to "high" input. Thing is, it never sound harsh or ear piercing as long as I use the knobs wisely.

Not sure about the difference between 550k and 500k pot... :hmm:

I use 1meg vol pots with 50's wiring and 0.22/0.015 orange drops and it sounds stunning. Its only 'too much' on 10, which is reserved for solos and what not. Love it and would strongly recommend 1meg pots on any les paul with humbuckers. It really cleaned up the neck pup on mine.
 

David Collins

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I know there are some who say no difference between 50s and modern when pots are wide open but I hear a big difference, the better to me.

There are certainly reasons to prefer one or the other, as there are differences once you start to roll the volume back. Just to be clear though, this is not a case of "some who say". Unless your volume pots are defective, it is a simple fact that there is no difference between the two when the volumes are on 10. This is not an opinion or issue of perception skills, it is as much an incontrovertible fact as 2+2=4.

The only ways a difference could be affected with the volumes on 10 would be by defective pots, or if some other wiring change were made in addition to the 50's/modern change.
 

Laro

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Any brightness difference between 300k, 500k and 550k volume pots when wide open?
 

David Collins

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Any brightness difference between 300k, 500k and 550k volume pots when wide open?

Yes, absolutely. 300k to 500k (66% increase) will affect enough of a difference for most players to easily notice. 500k to 550k (10% increase), and yes there will be some difference, but much less, probably noticeable to you if you are very familiar with the instrument beforehand, but subtle enough that the change could be easily missed or overlooked by many.
 

moreles

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Interesting! After reading all the 50s wiring raves, I went that way myself for a while, but ultimately have come to prefer modern wiring, with carefully-spec'd treble bleed, because I came to freaking hate the control interactivity of 50s wiring -- sorry, but I hate having to fiddle with the dang knobs! -- and the unpredictability of effect when tweaking either tone or volume. I found I could get the tones I wanted, but dialing it in was too fussy. I think modern wiring works great, but only if you take the time to get the pots, caps, and bleed set up for you, your guitar, and your rig.
 

QReuCk

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Yes, absolutely. 300k to 500k (66% increase) will affect enough of a difference for most players to easily notice. 500k to 550k (10% increase), and yes there will be some difference, but much less, probably noticeable to you if you are very familiar with the instrument beforehand, but subtle enough that the change could be easily missed or overlooked by many.

When I first saw the OP and how he complained about excessive brightness with volumes on 10, I was about to ask:
"You mentionned a wiring harness so there are new pots in there. Did you measure pots before installing?"

But I've learnt to read the whole thread before answering. So reading on, I learnt the new pots are 550K (still no confirmation of the old pot's values), but David already answered:

1° Modern wiring and 50's wiring are absolutely equivalent when volumes are on 10 AND using the same pots.

2° Using higher value volume pots will always be brighter, with whatever tone and volume dial, unless your amp input impedance is ridiculously low (50kOhm cheap solid state practice amp if they still exist can completely negate the impact of pot values, but fortunately enough, most good amps have an input impedance in the range of 1MOhm).

So to OP: you discovered you simply don't like higher value pots, not that you dislike 50's wiring. As others pointed out there are still reasons why someone may dislike 50's wiring (one of which being the big volume drop associated with rolling off the tone knob), but being brighter even with volume on 10 is not because of the wiring, it's because of the pot value.
 

JohnnyN

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Whatever rocks your boat, but 50s wiring may take some time to appreciate.
I find 50s wiring very versatile due to the interference between the pots. Some find it odd, I find it magic :)
 

Laro

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When I first saw the OP and how he complained about excessive brightness with volumes on 10, I was about to ask:
"You mentionned a wiring harness so there are new pots in there. Did you measure pots before installing?"

But I've learnt to read the whole thread before answering. So reading on, I learnt the new pots are 550K (still no confirmation of the old pot's values), but David already answered:

1° Modern wiring and 50's wiring are absolutely equivalent when volumes are on 10 AND using the same pots.

2° Using higher value volume pots will always be brighter, with whatever tone and volume dial, unless your amp input impedance is ridiculously low (50kOhm cheap solid state practice amp if they still exist can completely negate the impact of pot values, but fortunately enough, most good amps have an input impedance in the range of 1MOhm).

So to OP: you discovered you simply don't like higher value pots, not that you dislike 50's wiring. As others pointed out there are still reasons why someone may dislike 50's wiring (one of which being the big volume drop associated with rolling off the tone knob), but being brighter even with volume on 10 is not because of the wiring, it's because of the pot value.

Your right, I think it's the pot that is the culprit and not the harness itself that I dislike. I even went so far as to order a 300k pot to try, but have not tried it yet since I'm liking what I'm hearing at the moment.
 

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