Epi Electronics upgrade question

rickym

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My '02 MIJ came with mini-pots. Two failed about the same time the toggle did. Opening the holes was easy for the CTS pots. The Switchcraft toggle - a little scary since I had to remove some wood from the inside so the threads would stick out of the top.

If in doubt - send it out!
 

AnthemBassMan

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-My '02 Classic came with full size pots in it. If you don't want to grind out the cavity walls to fit the full size pots in it, I'd still recommend the CTS minis that I linked to you earlier. While I haven't used them, they'd just about have to be better than the stock minis that were originally used. As for opening the holes through the top to accommodate the larger SAE threads, a $5 hand reamer from Ace Hardware or Lowe's will fix you up in about 5 minutes for all four holes, or five holes if you include the selector switch.

L8R,
Matt
 

TeleDog

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Epiphone now using mini pots? Gee, I knew Gibson didn't care but this is a bit too much! Cheap bastards! LOL

Reading this thread is gonna make me believe in the tooth fairy again! Wow.... The audacity.... Amazing crap.
 

-=[Shifty]=-

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Epiphone now using mini pots? Gee, I knew Gibson didn't care but this is a bit too much! Cheap bastards! LOL

Reading this thread is gonna make me believe in the tooth fairy again! Wow.... The audacity.... Amazing crap.

Did you really read the thread? :hmm:
Just asking, because GitFiddle's Epi is an '89 and mine's a '92.
Nobody said anything about Epi using mini pots now.
 

-=[Shifty]=-

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Nothing wrong with that soldering job Shifty.

Thanks Skit. :)

I rewired my Tokai Custom's stock wiring 50s style today and also replaced the stock caps with PIOs (Luke was so kind to throw a few extra caps in when I ordered the wiring harness from him :thumb:)...man, what a difference that made.
I can actually go from fully cranked (first gen. Marshall Valvestate 8100) to clean only by rolling back the volume pots.
I'm just not sure if that's because of rewiring it 50s style or because I swapped places of the volume and tone pots (for some reasons, Tokai uses linear taper pots for volume and audio taper for tone).
 

lukemacauley

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-=[Shifty]=-;2005681 said:
Thanks Skit. :)

I rewired my Tokai Custom's stock wiring 50s style today and also replaced the stock caps with PIOs (Luke was so kind to throw a few extra caps in when I ordered the wiring harness from him :thumb:)...man, what a difference that made.
I can actually go from fully cranked (first gen. Marshall Valvestate 8100) to clean only by rolling back the volume pots.
I'm just not sure if that's because of rewiring it 50s style or because I swapped places of the volume and tone pots (for some reasons, Tokai uses linear taper pots for volume and audio taper for tone).

You're right in thinking that it's because of the 50s wiring, but a good CTS pot also helps make a smooth transition with no jumps.

How are the PIO caps working for your in your newly rewired Epi?

P.S. The soldering job is great! Next time I edit my website, I'll probably throw that picture up. Cheers! :thumb:
 

-=[Shifty]=-

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You're right in thinking that it's because of the 50s wiring, but a good CTS pot also helps make a smooth transition with no jumps.

How are the PIO caps working for your in your newly rewired Epi?

P.S. The soldering job is great! Next time I edit my website, I'll probably throw that picture up. Cheers! :thumb:

Thanks, Luke.
If you think it's good enough, I'd be honored if you use my picture. :)
The biggest problem was to de-solder the stock parts.
I don't know what kind of solder Tokai uses, but it was really hard to get that stuff to melt.
Even with the iron put to max it took quite some time.

I used the stock pots in the Custom, but put the linear taper pots in the tone positions and the audio taper in the volume positions. For whatever reason, Tokai uses them the other way 'round.
When I encountered the problem with the full sized pots not fitting into the Epiphone cavity, I decided to use the PIO caps in my Tokai Custom.
Man, the 50s style wiring and the caps really opened up the guitar.
I mean, the guitar sounded great before, but now....I really don't know how to describe it...it just sings much more and the pickups sound so much more vintage.
I also have the impression that the guitar sustains much longer, now.
The 0,015µF cap for the neck pickup was a good decision, it sounds just like I wanted.
It sounds smooth but still has enough treble.

I haven't had the guts yet to take the Dremel to my Epiphone. but once that happened I'm sure I'll need another pair of caps. :D
 

lukemacauley

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Yeah, I've found that when parts have been soldered together for a long time, it can be hard to desolder them if you're only using a 25W iron.

Ah, nice! So how does my harness compare to the stock Tokai harness, after the change to 50s wiring with the PIO caps?

Well, just dremel the bottom of the cavity, enough for the pot to fit and I'm sure no one would object if you ever do come to sell it. If you need any caps, or even a harness, let me know and I'll be sure to find some sort of discount for you. :)
 

-=[Shifty]=-

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Yeah, I've found that when parts have been soldered together for a long time, it can be hard to desolder them if you're only using a 25W iron.

Ah, nice! So how does my harness compare to the stock Tokai harness, after the change to 50s wiring with the PIO caps?

Well, just dremel the bottom of the cavity, enough for the pot to fit and I'm sure no one would object if you ever do come to sell it. If you need any caps, or even a harness, let me know and I'll be sure to find some sort of discount for you. :)

Sorry for the long delay. :)

Well, it's pretty hard to compare them, since I'm using different pickups in both guitars.
I should've tested your harness with the Standards stock pickups (same as the Custom's) first, but like I already said, I've been waiting almost a year to put the new pickups into my Standard, so I was too impatient to do a step by step upgrade. :rolleyes:

One thing I can say is, the CTS pots from your harness definitely feel sturdier than the stock Japanese pots.
What I can say for sure is that the Switchcraft switch and jack are a definite step up from the stock Tokai parts.
I also like the braided wire better than the stock wire Tokai uses.
Another thing I realized is, I don't really like linear taper pots...neither as volume nor as tone controls.
I really don't know why Tokai puts them in there.
There's hardly any noticeable change in tone, when rolling off the tone pot, until you're at about 4.

So yeah, I think getting one of your harnesses is definitely the better option.
 

-=[Shifty]=-

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So, to get this thread back on track...working the Epiphone's control cavity with a Dremel definitely worked. :thumb:
It took some time to remove enough wood for the pots to fit, but it worked. :D

It's not the cleanest job, but once the pots are in, you can't see it anymore, anyway.

4959530191_bcd993de90_b.jpg



Here's the cavity with the installed electronics.

4959533823_2d259eca4d_b.jpg
 

GitFiddle

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Great looking job Shifty. :thumb:
You did it so well the routed wood is completely hidden by the installed pots.

That's exactly what I figured I would have to do with my Epi.
What type of attachment did you use on the dremel?
A grinding wheel or a sanding wheel?

All these how-to sites describing how easy it is to upgrade the electronics in an Epi never mention this part of the situation.

Thanks.
 

brianugly

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Just a thought, I recently rewired a friends guitar, which was some sort of SX model, to 50's wiring, and of course the holes were much too small. I didn't have any sandpaper handy, so instead I put the largest size drill bit that would fit in the hole in, and went at it in a circular motion...until the CTS pots would fit. Interestingly enough, it didn't even chip the finish. Those little holes are a PITA!!! And those mini pots are ridiculous.

Nice job by the way Shifty.
 

-=[Shifty]=-

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Thanks, guys. :)

I was hoping that everything would be covered by the pots and gladly it worked out.
I used a grinding stone attachment and only removed enough wood for the pots to just fit in the cavity.
That poly finish is pretty hard to get through and I think getting through the finish alone would've worn a couple of sanding attachments.
 

Gretsch&Gibson

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Excellent work.

I just swapped out my caps in my MIK Epiphone as I wait for new parts for a complete overhaul just to see how much difference a cap makes in the tone pot. It is huge! Now I can actually have something between on and off. When I incorporate a new pot, I am sure it is going to be even better.

That soldering job is inspirational. I have to say that I was comfortable working on my guitar tonight, even having never used a soldering iron. I bight recommend swapping caps to anyone with one of these guitars as it is a really easy do it yourself job that most anyone can do with the help of some threads like this and some online tips.
 

nbeersiii

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I just got done changing the caps and pots in both my lps. I wired it for independent volume. I don't understand why they don't come wired this way to begin with.
 

idcraft

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Put the RS kit in my "07 STd +top. Looked like your cavity, but the pots fit and I only had to enlarge the mounting holes with rolled up sandpaper. What a difference in the control of volume AND tone now, Fantastic. Highly recommended!
 

DualAxis

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I have a quick question that I haven't seen asked. I have a 2008 Standard with the newer full size pots factory installed which I assume are 500K. Would I notice a great improvement by replacing them with aftermarket pots or should I just drop in new caps and would changing the caps be worthwhile?

If you had the money I would highly recommend getting a full wiring harness with maybe some push pull pots from the many of the people on the forums who specialise in guitar electronics such as Jonesy. Although PIO capacitors will still make a major difference but my first recommendation would be a full new wiring kit.
 

AnthemBassMan

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-You should check the accuracy of the pots that are in it. My '02 came with full size pots, but when I measured them with my multi-meter, they ranged from 394k to 507k i believe. I have it written down somewhere. My next item of business is either PIO caps or aluminum tailpeice. Still waiting on my Mean 90 neck p'up.........

L8R,
Matt
 

AnthemBassMan

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-To finish my comment above, I'd say new pots would be about the least expensive upgrade you can do. Even my stock Epi p'ups sounded good with the matched CTS pots and Orange Drop caps I put in it. But I still went with the DiMarzios to get a lower powered, more vintage tone I was looking for. Also, once you have the new pots/caps in and a better switch, you have the solid foundation for tone mods you need if you start swapping p'ups.

-Btw, very nice work there, Shifty!

L8R,
Matt
 

dave

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My Samick 96 Epi Goldtop had mini pots and the cavity was way too small to put full size pots in.
 

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