Pickups & Pots & Caps... Oh My!!!

SteveC

Village Elder
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
14,296
Reaction score
34,708
A little background... I have an '81 LPC. I'm the original owner; I purchased it brand new. Other than the recent refretting, it is 100% stock. You can see it and read about it here in this thread.

After some serious consideration, I'm going to replace the stock Shaw pups, with a set of Duncan Seth Lover's (SH-55, 4-conductor wiring). Some folks love the Shaw's... I do not. I'm not looking for any input on that decision.

Wiring appears to be straightforward. Looking at the Duncan wiring chart on this link, it's a combination of using the "Standard Wiring for 4-Conductor Humbuckers" and the "Coil Splitting" option below it.

So, I opened up the control cavity to have a look. You can see it in the picture below. Here's what I found:

Bridge Volume Pot: 137943 70-034
Neck Volume Pot: 137943 70-034
Bridge Tone Pot: 1378045 71-079
Neck Tone Pot: 137804? 71-079
Bridge and Neck Caps: MP 203Z 50V

From what I can find, looking here, the 70-034's are 300K linear taper (long shaft?) and the 71-079's shown here are 100K audio taper (long shaft?).

The Cap's appear to be just plain ol' ceramic/mylar 0.022uF... nothing special about them.


Here's where I would appreciate your thoughts, comments & suggestions...

1. Replacement Pot's - must be push/pull for the coil splitting.
a. Long shaft is required for my year, yes?
b. What R value for Volume Pot?
c. What R value for Tone Pot?
d. Linear or audio taper, or a combination?
If anyone has specific part numbers, from specific sources - that would be great.

2. Caps - not so worried about PIO or other esoteric composition.
a. What C value for bridge?
b. What C value for neck?

3. General comments/thoughts about putting all this together.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any and all responses!!!
 

Attachments

joedonner2001

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
4,704
Reaction score
4,416
If I were you I'd keep that beauty stock - really I would. If you're in the mood for something different then rather buy another guitar. But best of luck if you go ahead.
 

Longhair

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
279
Reaction score
101
Elenco electronics offer a capacitor & resistor substitution boxes.

You should invest in those and play around with different combinations to find the values that your ears are happy with, not what someone else tells you to be happy with.
 

Tone deaf

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
31,732
Reaction score
59,372
If you are going to go down this road, I'd only desolder the connections necessary to remove the original electronics (pots and caps, primarily) intact and take everything except the switch out of the guitar. Pick up a pre-wired assembly in the configuration of your choice from Jonesy or one of the other guys on MLP and plop it in with your new pups. Store the old elecs on the board that the new elecs will come on and with the Shaws and keep all of this stuff!

Well, that's my opinion. It's worth what you paid for it.
 

maverick08

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
356
Reaction score
330
500k volume and tone, check out CTS TVT pots, RS guitarworks superpots, those from Jonesey, etc.

In general, .022 bridge and .022 or .015 neck...a good PIO makes a difference IMO
 

SteveC

Village Elder
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
14,296
Reaction score
34,708
If you are going to go down this road, I'd only desolder the connections necessary to remove the original electronics (pots and caps, primarily) intact and take everything except the switch out of the guitar. Pick up a pre-wired assembly in the configuration of your choice from Jonesy or one of the other guys on MLP and plop it in with your new pups. Store the old elecs on the board that the new elecs will come on and with the Shaws and keep all of this stuff!

Well, that's my opinion. It's worth what you paid for it.
That is exactly the road that I plan on traveling! :D

I'd never discard any of the original components. Not that I plan to sell it - EVER... but, maybe my grandson will want (need) to do that and having all the original equipment is a MUST.

Thanks to everyone for the pointers to the prewired harness. I'll go that way. Not only will it make it easier, but it also supports MLP members.
 

smorgdonkey

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
2,092
Reaction score
1,439
That is exactly the road that I plan on traveling! :D

I'd never discard any of the original components. Not that I plan to sell it - EVER... but, maybe my grandson will want (need) to do that and having all the original equipment is a MUST.

Thanks to everyone for the pointers to the prewired harness. I'll go that way. Not only will it make it easier, but it also supports MLP members.
You are a wise man IMO.
 

acstorfer

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
19,620
Reaction score
21,165
Well, you had the guitar for over 30 years, you're obviously not selling it. Screw stock and make that guitar exactly what you want. There was a reason that so many guitar legends modded the hell out of their guitars.

I would probably do one upgrade at a time. You may love the sound of just new pickups, or just new wiring harness and the other cost may be unnecessary. If you are open to it, check out Jason Lollar pickups. I have an Imperial (highwound) in the bridge and I am still in love with it. I have the original wiring in my 73 Deluxe. I thought about changing the wiring, but I thought about it and I just really loved how it sounded. Why mess with a good thing?
 

SteveC

Village Elder
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
14,296
Reaction score
34,708
So, here's the thing. I really have 2 wants:

1. I want different pups. I really dislike the original Shaws. Might they be 'improved" by replacing pots & caps? Probably, but if I do that and I still don't like how it sounds, then I am back to square-1.

2. I want to coil split, so I need to get new pups to do that. I know that will never replace my Tele & Strat, but it's an option that I want to explore.

So, my deranged reasoning is to dump the Shaws for the Lovers. I ordered the Lovers in 4-wire, so I can split. Thus, I get new electrics *and* new pups *and* split.

If I don't like the split, it's a "who cares". I just won't use it. But, going this way, I still get the new electrics and pups. And, I can live with that. The Lovers alone are probably good enough. Getting new electrics is a bonus.

Make sense?
 

smorgdonkey

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
2,092
Reaction score
1,439
Makes sense to me...and Seth Lovers are really nice.
 

Findthetone

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
301
Reaction score
140
Even if you go with new pots and caps first to see if it improves the Shaws you still won't be back to square one if it doesn't improve them. You were still wanting to replace them with new pickups so you'd just have choose which new ones you want. If you're set on coil splitting, I would seriously look in Suhr pickups. They are the only humbucker I've ever used that truly split very well. Seth's are nice but I haven't heard them split so they may be fine.
 

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
14,996
Reaction score
11,538
The Seths aren't a huge amount more powerful than the Shaws, just so you know. They probably have a slightly different base tone to them though.
 

acstorfer

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
19,620
Reaction score
21,165
So, here's the thing. I really have 2 wants:

1. I want different pups. I really dislike the original Shaws. Might they be 'improved" by replacing pots & caps? Probably, but if I do that and I still don't like how it sounds, then I am back to square-1.

2. I want to coil split, so I need to get new pups to do that. I know that will never replace my Tele & Strat, but it's an option that I want to explore.

So, my deranged reasoning is to dump the Shaws for the Lovers. I ordered the Lovers in 4-wire, so I can split. Thus, I get new electrics *and* new pups *and* split.

If I don't like the split, it's a "who cares". I just won't use it. But, going this way, I still get the new electrics and pups. And, I can live with that. The Lovers alone are probably good enough. Getting new electrics is a bonus.

Make sense?
Kapisch!

I have a coil tap on my bridge (my neck pup is a mini, so I didn't bother), it is a very nice feature I am sure you'll enjoy. It really is amazing how much it improves versatility.
 

politenessman

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2011
Messages
3,460
Reaction score
2,540
they sell pus? i didnt know there was a big market for that. i will take 1 sac of pus, please!
 

KenG

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
6,327
Reaction score
3,424
I was under the impression that Tim Shaw PUs were very close to the original PAFs and very collectable/desireable. I think the POT value change would be the 1st thing I'd try to see if you can revive them.
 

SteveC

Village Elder
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
14,296
Reaction score
34,708
I went with the Seth Lovers (4-wire). I also ordered a coil tap harness from Martin Six String Customs. I could have just ordered the pots & caps and put it all together myself, but I figured that I'd just save a little work by getting the prewired harness.

I want to remove the covers from the original pups and put them on the SL's. The originals are the real version of what the Ant's have been made to look like. Putting shiny new pups on a 32 year old guitar just doesn't seem right.

Pix will be forthcoming as the parts arrive this week and the surgery is scheduled for this weekend.

I'm kind of tempted to put the harness in with the original pups, just to hear what, if any, difference that makes. In any case, the Shaws are coming out, because I want the coil tap. If it arrives before the pups, I may just do that.
 

DHart

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
Messages
583
Reaction score
825
Looking forward to seeing/hering the results.
 


Latest Threads



Top