- Aug 15, 2011
- Reaction score
Before you put new pups in, take out the crappy harness and put in a proper 50’s style one with 500k pots and some decent caps. I did this to my 2014 Trad and it now sounds amazing. It sounded good before but doing this mod turned it into a very vintage sounding LP. The 59’s really shine. I have Custombuckers sitting in a box and have not been tempted to even try them in that guitar.
Just a thought if you haven’t already pulled the trigger
This is the post that I have been waiting for last couple of years!
I also have a 14 Trad, and I was not impressed with the stock pickups much. After a lengthy process, I wound up with the current set as advised in my signature below. I’m extremely happy with what I have on my Trad now and it is the benchmark against which i measure the tone of my other five Les Pauls.
After a ton of reading, in April I took the plunge and shelled out for an Obsidian Wire solderless harness on and uninspiring sounding (too middy, not enough sparkle) but very easy to play Les Paul Halcyon.
(Just before buying the harness, I performed the magnet swap mod on a of 490R and 498T that I had just thrown into the Halcyon... a set that stock are well known for being muddier. After the swap, they really improved but were still not as clear as my Trad).
After the harness install the Halcyon is as clear as the Trad!!!!
The result was night and day as they say and totally worth the money, it now sparkles and has that toppy, brass bell, ring, definition and transparency where you can hear the notes breathe. Mission accomplished and now I am more interested in harnesses than I am in pick ups!!!!
However, under the hood, the halcyons original stock electronics were a rats nest of random skinny wires with tiny little blue caps that looked like bits of blueberry chewing gum.
So the obvious conclusion is that our friends at Gibson threw in dreadful electronics as it is a metal signature guitar (because of course, all
us metal fans get treated as dummies, something I resent)... note that the
volume pots were branded CTS.
I believe, or want to believe, that the stock electronics in my other Gibsons won’t be as poor as the electronics in the Halcyon.
Now, I have a chambered 2009 standard that I want to bring to the Trad and Halcyon’s level of sparkle and transparency, but don’t really want to spend another £100 (USD $140 + with shipping etc. an OW harness (and often out of stock in the UK).
The chambered Standard is almost there with its current pickup configuration, and I would like your advice please, on what cheaper harness I can get that will deliver the same effect of lifting a blanket off the amp. What harness did you use for your Trad?
Do you know enough about wiring specs to suggest another brand that has exactly the same components or, that could yield even more clarity than the obsidian wire set?
Part of me thinks I should go with the devil I know, but to fund another obsidian wire purchase I’d have to sell my Tribute 59 pick up set I have in my drawer! This brings my quandary back to full circle.
If you read all this, thank you very much for your time and I eagerly await any scrap of insight you can provide. I am not into vintage correct specifications or cosmetics. What I want out of my electronics is clarity. I played guitar in the band and the rhythm guitarist place single coils, which sounds great and my Les Paul, but when gigging on unknown tube amps, i don’t want to run out of treble.
Thanks also to the OP starting this thread. I bought my Trad ‘14 in 2015 as new, it was my first Gibson, and I never really bonded with it as for as it couldn’t compete with my Tokai Love Rock 135Q. Since performing several upgrades on it myself, the Trad is my favourite guitar out of a USA collection I’m very proud of (I know I don’t have any custom shop guitars, not a problem here).
Finally, my post is not off topic: I am in the market for either a quality harness as inspired above, a set of Monty’s PAFs or other than that I was mulling over the antiquities, all this for my 2009 standard. And I am considering selling my tribute 59 is to fund one of these three items.
Thank you for your time.