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Home made Les Paul

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    Because it was easy I bought all the electronic parts as a kit from StewMac, figuring that I can always replace them in the future but this would be an easy way to get started. I also got a set of their Parson Street humbuckers - again, just as a starting point. I wired them based on schematic #0133 on the instruction tab of this page (I can't copy just the picture here so I guess people that understand this will have to open the page to see what I'm talking about),_pickups/Supplies:_Wiring_kits/Wiring_Kit_for_Les_Paul.html?tab=Instructions#deta ils

    I did the "alternate" volume control wiring that is supposed to blend the two pickups if the switch is in the middle position.

    It works terribly. The volume controls are not at all linear and in all three positions they do not completely shut off. The tone controls have a small effect, but certainly not what I expected. So I go poking around the internet, including StewMac's own site, and find wiring diagrams for both old and new Les Pauls. The wiring of the tone cap and tone pots is completely different - in the above diagram the cap is from term 3 of the volume control to term 2 of the tone, and there is a wire from term 1 of vol to term 3 of the tone (which is also the hot wire from the pickup). Note that the tone control is not grounded.

    This diagram, also from StewMac is similar to what I have found in other sources,_pickups/Pickups:_Guitar,_electric/Golden_Age_Parsons_Street_Humbuckers.html?tab=Inst ructions#details

    Note that the cap is wired from term 2 of volume (which is output to switch) to term 3 of tone, and term 2 of tone is grounded. They also show the "modern" modification where cap is from term 1 of the vol to term 2 of tone - I have also seen this in other sources.

    I'm going to dive into this tonight with soldering iron in hand - two questions

    1) is the "alternate" wiring of the volume controls good or bad? I like the idea that it eliminates the fact that turning one pot down kills both pups, but I also am willing to live with that if other problems are created.

    2) what is the best wiring of the tone controls? I'm thinking the "classic" version of the second StewMac diagram - is there any reason to use the "modern" version?

    Thanks again for everyone's advice.


    • Here is a link to Seymour Duncan's wiring diagrams:

      And here is the basic Les Paul wiring scheme:

      Here is the difference between modern and 50's:

      I find these easier to read than the Stewmac version. As far as your pots having a linear taper or not, if the are A, as in 500K A, they have an audio taper. The B variety is linear. Audio taper pots tend to have most of their effect over 30% of the pots travel. Linear will taper evenly over the entire travel.

      Hope this helps.


      • Thanks Verne, that pretty much agrees with the other diagrams that I have found. I'll do some rewiring tonight and see what happens. I also sent an e-mail to StewMac to see if they have an explaination.


        • The devil is in the details, as the saying goes. I've found 99.99% of the time when guitar wiring doesn't work it's because of something I did, or didn't, do.


          • if possible freeman, measure all your pots and pick the ones that are closest to 500K out of the 4 you have and use them for the volumes. I agree with the guys here, 50's wiring is the way to go with Les Pauls, they can get quite muddy with the modern wiring scheme when rolling off the volume. Some players like that, some don't.

            one thing I love to do when wiring my guitars is shielding the entire cavity with adhesive copper tape, including the underside of the cavity plate, forming a copper shielding "box" all around the electronics in there. Helps with noisy rooms/studios/hall/etc big time and it also eliminates the need of a grounding wire sharing between all your pots (which makes for a cleaner looking wiring job too) as the copper foil IS the grounding point for all the pots.


            • I found my wiring mistake, and it was mine. I had installed a ground on one pot but didn't like it, removed it so I could relocate it and simply forgot. Duh.

              Lets call this fini for the present - I still need to make a new truss rod cover for it and the end of the month I'll pull all the hardware off and give it another buffing. But for now, i want to play some blues

              (I really don't like that t/r cover, but it was fun to try)

              I'll take some better pictures too, these are flash and are pretty hot. And once I figure out how to play it (LOL) maybe I'll post a clip or two. Thanks to everyone for all the support and nice comments



              • That is one of the prettiest LP's I've seen bro... that color

                The only thing I don't like is the board. If it was ebony the LP would be perfect
                Guitars:Gibson Les Paul Standard FadedFender Roadworn '72 Deluxe TelecasterKramer StrikerAmplification:Titan Custom RetrofitRandall R412CSOfficial member of the Ninja Lows club


                • looks great loovveee that burst!
                  ibanez rg7321 7 string with dimarzio activators
                  epiphone les paul custom with gfs power rails and stock neck humbucker
                  ibanez rg470 with power rails and epiphone neck humbucker
                  epiphone les paul "junior" stock epiphone pickups

                  EPIPHONE EMPIRE


                  • Looks beautiful. I love that the finish has a satiny sheen, not that ultragloss urethane look that makes wood look like plastic...

                    But...but...but now we have to hear it!!! Clips/vids pleez!
                    Check out my gear, rigs and soundclips at!


                    • very nice! Would love to hear sound clips too


                      • that is awesome work!!congrats!!


                        • Stunning guitar is stunning!

                          I think that truss cover might work if it were a darker burst? Start w/the same color as the headstock and work slightly lighter?
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                          • Very nice end result and great thread!
                            Great Deals

                            Originally Posted by jjpistols

                            Damn son! Not only are you a master dealer, I also crown you king of the multiquote!

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                            • Hey bud. Great job.
                              I dont think the truss rod cover needs to be replaced. It's just too bright right now. Go over it a little with a darker stain and youre golden!

                              Really wish you went with the original open book headstock though.
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                              • Amazing! That really came out nice!
                                Hold mah beer an' watch this!