Want to know about learning how to replace electronics in guitar.

Ides of March

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
2,010
Reaction score
372
What a shit title I know, couldn't figure out how to word it so maybe this will help. I am interested in learning or taking a class about knowing how to replace electronics on my les pauls. Like changing pickups, pots, caps, maintaining them things like that. What is the best way to go about this. Are there classes you can take or is it more of a learn as you go type thing by reading books or watching dvd's.
I am wanting to do this type of work myself rather than taking it to someone else and paying for it every time a change is due.
 

onedaycloser

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Messages
693
Reaction score
37
You could start out Googling for "How to Solder" articles, for me that was (is) the hardest part. Past that and it's pretty much just following wiring diagrams, and deciding what parts/values/wiring scheme you want.

I guess it's just learn as you go, to answer your Q.
 

ozone

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Messages
1,052
Reaction score
63
Search this forum about pots, caps and wiring you should be able to pick up alot of information. When I first started on this forum I couldn't solder anything. Now I can replace anything electronic on my guitar.
There are some basic values on pots and caps like 250ohm verses 500ohm pots, and .015 vs .022 caps. and modern wiring vs 50 style. Try to get a handle on that before you start modding you LP. And practice some soldering also.
Open up you Les Paul and look at it and compare it with the diagrams and you'll see that all those connected wires make sense.

Tip: Don't be scared that you'll jack up your guitar, cause you won't. (unles you mess with the setup, neck relief, action, ect.) You'll find that Les Pauls are as fun to mod as they are to play. And if you don get stuck there are alot of very cool people here that'll help you. Cause we've all been there. Take a lot of notes while you work.
Another tip is try to swap out the caps first. It's the first thing everybody does. And it's good practice. I would buy some orange drops (pairs) at different values:.015, .022, .033, .047 to hear all the differences they make. Then go to the bigger jobs.

Go For It.
 

Hawk

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
895
Reaction score
28
Good info here;

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXEcFqehw0]YouTube - Pickup Installation with Seymour Duncan[/ame]
 

Ides of March

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
2,010
Reaction score
372
Thanks for the help guys, where can you get pots and caps to practice on. I heard radio shack has some.
 

zslane

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
2,807
Reaction score
1,158
Hey Ides, I was in the same boat as you a couple of years ago. I found that videos online, like the Seymour Duncan videos and others you can find on YouTube, are invaluable for seeing how its done. And these forums are invaluable for learning what components to look for and how they differ.

The trickiest part is soldering skills, at least it was for me. I had never done it before, and so what I did was buy a soldering learning kit for about $20. It was a great way to learn and practice the basics before putting my beloved guitars "under the iron", as it were. You might want to consider getting a learning kit too. They are pretty easy to find online.
 

Kansas_LP

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
32
Reaction score
38
Old post but same question. What are the best resources to learn guitar electronics? I’ve YouTubed and Googled to death and still don’t have any idea which pots I need.. whether to go soderless.. do I just buy the entire wiring set.. etc. I bought a cheap guitar to replace everything and don’t know where to start. Appreciate the help.
 

Roxy13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
13,139
Reaction score
33,404
What kind of guitar and types of pickups first of all? Wiring a LP is different than wiring a typical strat.
 

Kansas_LP

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
32
Reaction score
38
I got an Ibanez Gio GAX 70 for $50. It’s an SG type guitar with two vol and two tone pots and a nearby switch. I am thinking of putting in Probuckers or 57 classics.
 

ArchEtech

Gold Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Messages
2,395
Reaction score
1,653
Get a good soldiering iron and kit. Get soldiering material/wire.

Buy, if you don't already have one, a dirt cheap guitar and practice if you want. I jumped in and modified a Les Paul Standard, by installing caps and pickups. I just used youtube videos, I wouldn't be too afraid of it.
 

Roxy13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
13,139
Reaction score
33,404
I got an Ibanez Gio GAX 70 for $50. It’s an SG type guitar with two vol and two tone pots and a nearby switch. I am thinking of putting in Probuckers or 57 classics.

Let's see a pic inside your cavity, but generally SGs use a right angle switch. Gotoh or Switchcraft are both quality. However some similar solid bodies might just use a short straight switch. In that case I prefer Gotoh to the short Switchcraft for reliability (my opinion of course).

For humbuckers most like pots in the 500-550k range. My favorites are VIPots because I like the taper, which is supposedly similar to the old Centralabs. But, CTS pots are good too as well as Bourns and even Alpha aren't bad. Your guitar probably is metric so if you don't want to enlarge holes or change knobs then metric CTS or Alpha will require no mods. Some Bourns require enlarging holes but use a metric course knob so you could reuse your knobs. SAE CTS, SAE Bourns or VIPots will require you to enlarge your holes AND change to a US spec knob.

I use the Hakko FX 888D soldering station and have for years now. Great solder joints using it.

I use 60/40 rosin core solder.

I use AWG18 bus wire.

For wiring switches I use vintage braided wire for LPs, 335s and hollow bodies, but for SGs or other cavities where the switch is close by I use Fender cloth covered push back wire on the switch.

Make sure you have good lighting and steady hands. And if you are getting older wear reading glasses or a magnified visor for good ability to see small parts up close.

Turn your pots to zero before you solder. I also clean them first with isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel to wipe off any residual cooling oil from machining or anything that could have gotten on them. And I wash my hands first before handling anything and soldering.
 

BayouGTR

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
117
Reaction score
161
That’s good advice…

Using a templet of the control cavity will also be helpful. You’ll be able to secure the pots and switch in proper location and orientation, outside of the guitar. This will give you more room to work and a better visual. When done soldering the pots cap and switch, remove from templet and should drop right in place, then connecting the pickups and go. A templet is also great for learning/practicing your soldering, away from the guitar.
 

Roxy13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
13,139
Reaction score
33,404
Yes, if it's a guitar that I don't already have a nice template for then I turn it upside down onto a piece of cardboard and trace the shaft holes onto the cardboard. If there are holes for the switch and jack, like an SG then I trace those on as well. Cut the holes out with an xacto knife and make my harness on that.
 

el84ster

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
467
Reaction score
546
One of the hardest parts for me when I started was I’d end up scorching the finish, melting wire insulation and generally other wise messing up my guitar by not being hyper careful with that iron.
 

bluesoul

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
764
Reaction score
1,892
First: Buy a good soldering station! Don't buy the cheap ones!
Second: Google is great for almost anything. Watch and learn!
Third: Don't be affraid to get after it and start.
Forth: Any one here will help anytime you need a question or 2 answered!

The idea of practicing soldering is a good idea.

With a few basics down, there is not much to it. It short order you will be on to it!
Good luck!
 

Kansas_LP

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
32
Reaction score
38
Thanks for all the advise!

Here is the guitar. I think it’d fit an SG wiring harness perfect with exception of the output/input Jack. What happens if it’s too short?

It looks like a 335 prewired kit would do the job. The leads are bit longer.

I’m looking at the Mojo tone pre-wired es-335 guitar wiring harness from sweet water.
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    81.6 KB · Views: 9
  • 6E23B5FB-DE2C-4D47-ABF7-96A761E3A2F7.jpeg
    6E23B5FB-DE2C-4D47-ABF7-96A761E3A2F7.jpeg
    88.1 KB · Views: 11
Last edited:

Kansas_LP

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
32
Reaction score
38
The Seth Lover pickups are in via the mojo tone 335 solderless kit. However, a connection did break loose so I had my more handy brother solder it back together. Pickups sound great. Now to decide which Epi to buy and move them over.
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    92.8 KB · Views: 5

Latest Threads



Top