Wiring in 87 Les Paul Studio

bevdaddy

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Hey guys - I have never been happy with the tone of my 1987 Les Paul Studio and I think it may have something to do with the wiring on the pots. Can you take a look at this for me? I just read almost the whole "Wiring Library" thread and I think I have an idea what is going on, but would love a second (or more) opinion(s). What I have looks just like the "Modern Style Wiring Typically Stock" diagram here:

wiringModern.jpg


Is that right?

When I looked inside the cavity I was pretty bummed out - it looks like somebody did this wiring on their own and it looks pretty sloppy. Here is a pic:

Les Paul pots.jpeg


I would like to clean this up as the wiring to the three-way selector is a mess too. My question is this: Should I just remove the wiring and the caps and try to start over with new wiring and caps while keeping these original pots or am I better off just getting all new components across the board? Is there any reason why I would want to keep the original pots? I would consider getting the new components individually or using a prewired kit from somewhere like RS. I am a decent solderer, so installation wouldn't be an issue.

I figure some of you have done this both ways and would be interested in your opinions.

Thanks!
 
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LCPG282

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IMHO I'd go for a Pre-Wired Vintage Upgrade Kit (for your Les paul Studio you need long shaft pots.)
The vintage wiring has almost no treble loss when you roll down the volume pots and offers more tonal possibilities than modern wiring. YMMV.
If you change your kit, keep the original pots and caps in case you want to sell the guitar, many buyers like the original parts.
 

Oranjeaap

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If they're 500k pots I don't see why you would change anything.
Isn't going from modern to 50's wiring really easy? Just switch a few wires around?
 

bevdaddy

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If they're 500k pots I don't see why you would change anything.
Isn't going from modern to 50's wiring really easy? Just switch a few wires around?
Is there any chance the crappy soldering job damaged them in any way? If not, this could be an easy fix.
 

Oranjeaap

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The soldering doesn't look that bad to me. Did someone change pickups or are they original?

Pretty sure you can get some better information if you google "change to 50s wiring gibson" or something.

If you're not happy with the tone of your guitar when the volume and tone are at maximum, the problem isn't the wiring. Maybe you have 300k pots, then changing to 500k pots might make a difference. If they're 500k pots then you might want to look at different pickups.

Changing to 50s wiring only changes the way volume and tone react with eachother, it doesn't change your tone in any way.

Those prewired "vintage tone blabla hocus pocus bullshit" sets everyone tries to shill on guitar forums are all a load of bullcrap when you have decent electronics. And yes Gibson electronics are more than decent enough.

So lets start with this:
What is it you don't like about how the guitar sounds?
Is there any resistance value stamped on those pots? You're looking for a number followed by the omega sign (ohm)
 

bevdaddy

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The soldering doesn't look that bad to me. Did someone change pickups or are they original?

Pretty sure you can get some better information if you google "change to 50s wiring gibson" or something.

If you're not happy with the tone of your guitar when the volume and tone are at maximum, the problem isn't the wiring. Maybe you have 300k pots, then changing to 500k pots might make a difference. If they're 500k pots then you might want to look at different pickups.

Changing to 50s wiring only changes the way volume and tone react with eachother, it doesn't change your tone in any way.

Those prewired "vintage tone blabla hocus pocus bullshit" sets everyone tries to shill on guitar forums are all a load of bullcrap when you have decent electronics. And yes Gibson electronics are more than decent enough.

So lets start with this:
What is it you don't like about how the guitar sounds?
Is there any resistance value stamped on those pots? You're looking for a number followed by the omega sign (ohm)
Oranjeaap, thanks for the explanation in detail.

The main thing I dislike about the tone is the output is super low compared to other Les Pauls I have. This can be a good thing in certain situations, but that's not what I want out of that guitar these days. It sounds like I can take a look at the pots and switch them out for 500k (if they are 300k) as a first step - I dont' see a resistance value, but I can take them out for a closer look. . I am under the impression the pickups are original, but never looked. I'll check that out as well.

This is hugely helpful as I'm a noob when it comes to guitar electronics, which I'm sure you picked up on.
 

Oranjeaap

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If you have a multimeter you can check the resistance of the pickups in kOhm, they're probably what is now the 490R/498T set, but they could also be a PAF style pickup, that could explain the low output if your other guitars have burstbuckers or 490/498 sets.
Ofcourse it could be a cold solder joint but a paf style pickup can feel really tame and dull if your're used to more agressive buckers.
 


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