Wiring: Why did they change? (vintage to modern)

hbucker

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This isn't a "can you tell the difference?" thread. I'm just wondering why they changed the basic wiring strategy from the vintage years? I get using cheaper components, but why change the actual wiring too?

Any ideas?
 

LPSol93

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Anyone know the answer to this? I'm curious as well.
 

dwagar

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My off-the-cuff theory is that, as their market changed to lower volume and solid state amps, Gibson changed to this. The added treble with the volume rolled down may not be the tone that buyers are looking for at low in-store and at-home volumes.
I don't subscribe to the lower cost theory, I'm sure they could buy audio pots for the same price as linear pots.
 

LoKi

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There may have been a bit of a price difference. When did they start the 'new' wiring anyway?

Audio pots nowadays are slightly more expensive than linear, and in production numbers, that adds up to a lot of money. Gibson is a company first and foremost, and a guitar builder lastly. The bottom line is all the matters, and all that has mattered since the early 60's.
 

hbucker

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What is interesting to me that in the after market pots, caps and wiring are talked about as though they have a huge impact on tone. Yet unless I am wrong (and could be) the standard Gibson models all have the new wiring and the less expensive components. At least the caps are less expensive; no?

So if wiring makes that big of a difference, some preferring one kind of wiring others preferring the other, why wouldn't Gibson offer the same components with the two different wirings as an option. Wouldn't cost them much more if anything, and they could create two different models of LP out of the exact same stock.

Unless on the factory side, such things don't make a difference.

I don't know the answers but they seem like a reasonable questions.
 

lp59aholicDon

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This could have come about by a personnell change in the wiring department where maybe a new boss just decided to put their foot down on a change . the whole wiring scheme, pot and cap values for Gibson was a crap shoot when it came to Humbucking pickups anyhow . the pick of Centrallab pots and Sprague Bumblebee's was probably because Gibson could get them at good prices for the amounts they were using, and or willing to buy
 

diceman

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I've wondered the same thing recently... Good thread.
 

jgalvan8804

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I was under the impression the historics are using the same wiring right?
I got some bumblebee looking caps under my plastic.
 

LPCollector

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I was under the impression the historics are using the same wiring right?
I got some bumblebee looking caps under my plastic.
The wiring used on the Historics (don't know when it changed from Vintage wiring) all have the Modern wiring without independent volume control.
I have no clue why they changed.

The bumblebee's that are used on current historics are "repo" type. They are not the paper/oil type, they are just made to look like them.
Mark
 

hbucker

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The wiring used on the Historics (don't know when it changed from Vintage wiring) all have the Modern wiring without independent volume control.
I have no clue why they changed.


That is very interesting... and doesn't make sense to me. If they go to every effort to be "vintage spec" why wouldn't they wire it (at no extra cost) in the original way???

It's a head-scratcher.

:hmm:
 

Bluzboy66

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.....So if wiring makes that big of a difference, some preferring one kind of wiring others preferring the other, why wouldn't Gibson offer the same components with the two different wirings as an option. Wouldn't cost them much more if anything, and they could create two different models of LP out of the exact same stock.

Unless on the factory side, such things don't make a difference.

I don't know the answers but they seem like a reasonable questions.
I worked General Motors for over a decade. Trust me, small differences in an assembly schedule make a huge difference on the production floor. In a mass-production process (yes, production-line Gibsons are mass-produced) where literally every second counts, the last thing you want to do is throw an 'option' in the mix. Can't tell you how many times I witnessed G.M. supervisors and Union officials at each others throats over such details. Me??.....I say slow the production line down a bit, and ALLOW time to address the details, and in the end, reap the benefits in SALES. I, for one, would certainly appreciate that Gibson take the time to offer different options, such as the little wiring detail.

I would also appreciate a little more attention to detail in the way of fret finishing, nut dressing, finish buffing........guess that's another topic....... ;)

Mike
 

hbucker

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I worked General Motors for over a decade. Trust me, small differences in an assembly schedule make a huge difference on the production floor. In a mass-production process (yes, production-line Gibsons are mass-produced) where literally every second counts, the last thing you want to do is throw an 'option' in the mix. Can't tell you how many times I witnessed G.M. supervisors and Union officials at each others throats over such details. Me??.....I say slow the production line down a bit, and ALLOW time to address the details, and in the end, reap the benefits in SALES. I, for one, would certainly appreciate that Gibson take the time to offer different options, such as the little wiring detail.

I would also appreciate a little more attention to detail in the way of fret finishing, nut dressing, finish buffing........guess that's another topic....... ;)

Mike
Thanks Mike! You make some good points and to the extent that I know anything :wave: I agree with you. I'm sure there is a good reason for why things are the way they are, I'm just wondering what that reason(s) are. With your first comments I'm guessing that many people making decisions on what does and doesn't happen on the assembly line aren't even guitar players, musicians or music fans for that matter. My other comment is that with what is paid for Custom Shop LP's, it seems they could "slow down" enough to install the vintage wiring that people actually think they're buying.

I also agree with your last comment about slowing things down when possible. If I have an over all problem with all of this it's what seems like at least a slight disconnect between the image that Gibson portrays to the public, "When you by Gibson you're buying the history..." and the actual products they sell tot he public, "What can we do to make these products look the part but still fit our company profit goals?"

None of this is evil but the best way I can describe it is a "disconnect" between the two sides. And I don't buy that Business in general can't have that connect because it can.

Gibson clearly does something right. Not knocking that. But for anything they do wrong, the solutions seem pretty simple to people who actually play guitiar...:)
 

dwagar

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but, it wouldn't take them any more time to wire 50s style. You're soldering a cap or you're soldering a cap. And I think in the volume they would buy, especially with what they charge for historics, the difference in cost between audio and linear pots would be negligible.

I also don't think Gibson does things without thinking. So there has to be a reason they do this.

Personally, I think it has to do with making the guitars sound darker, especially at store volume levels.

Also remember, we who hang out in these forums and change whatever we can to make our guitars look and sound vintage are just a tiny part of the market.
 

Liam

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I think the modern wiring sounds better. Maybe that's why they do it.

(I'm not just playing devil's advocate, I've been messing around with this and I prefer the tone cap on the "hot" lead of the volume pot.)
 

hbucker

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Yeah, I wouldn't doubt that each form of wiring has it's advocates. That's why it seems reasonable to put out both kinds of wiring... This is also why I get suspicious when people talk about how vintage wiring is always vastly superior. Maybe for them. But would it be better for me? I don't know.
 

lp59aholicDon

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Yeah, I wouldn't doubt that each form of wiring has it's advocates. That's why it seems reasonable to put out both kinds of wiring... This is also why I get suspicious when people talk about how vintage wiring is always vastly superior. Maybe for them. But would it be better for me? I don't know.
Its an easy check to find out if you are half decent with a soldering iron
and if you still have stock caps, This is the best time to upgrade , Vintage OR modern wiring, you will almost definitly hear tone improvements if you ditch the ceramic , or mylar " Faux " Bumblebees
 

Blues Power

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whats the difference in the wiring. my 02 looks nothing like the pics above.

i have the jack wiring going to a T up to the switch back down to the pot. one wire on each pup. caps are wired like the 50's pic

sorry i cant post a pic now buy maybe later on



I can see the cap wiring being moved to the center lug in the pics, but whats the difference in tone
 




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