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Thread: Les Paul Wiring Help

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    Default Les Paul Wiring Help

    Hi guys,

    Just looking for some advice on what I could have done wrong re-wiring my Les Paul. I have swapped out the stock pick ups for an SH-4 in the bridge and an SH-1 in the neck. The neck sounds fine but the bridge is completely under-powered, sounding weaker than a single coil but not 'out of phase' (the tone and volume pot seem to work okay).

    I've followed this schematic correctly as far as I can tell. My understanding of it was that I need to solder the green/unshielded wires together to the the corresponding volume pot and the black wires to the bracket that leads to the tone pots.

    I'm pretty useless when it comes to soldering and the second-hand JB (from 1993) didn't have too much flex to it so I've had to stretch it slightly to reach the bridge volume pot. I've re-soldered the bridge volume pot and will get one of my mates to check it later. Could it be a dud pick up? I think it was a 40-watt iron I used. Is that too hot?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Iain

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Les Paul Wiring Help

    welcome to the forum!

    i use a 40w iron all the time without issue. the only thing a hot iron will do is cook your pots if you leave it on too long. pulling on the wires is a bad idea, they dont really stretch and you can break your pup by doing it.

    that is the right diagram. the green/bare wires go to the back of the volume pot (ground) the red/white wires need to be soldered together and insulated so they dont contact anything else, and the black wire goes to the volume control.

    do you have a multimeter or access to one? how close is are the pups to the strings? you probably want the bridge pup pretty close to the strings and the neck pup about flush with the top of the pup ring.

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    Default Re: Les Paul Wiring Help

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    welcome to the forum!

    i use a 40w iron all the time without issue. the only thing a hot iron will do is cook your pots if you leave it on too long. pulling on the wires is a bad idea, they dont really stretch and you can break your pup by doing it.

    that is the right diagram. the green/bare wires go to the back of the volume pot (ground) the red/white wires need to be soldered together and insulated so they dont contact anything else, and the black wire goes to the volume control.

    do you have a multimeter or access to one? how close is are the pups to the strings? you probably want the bridge pup pretty close to the strings and the neck pup about flush with the top of the pup ring.
    Could be the red/white wires actually! I'd totally forgotten about them and just had masking tape round the flex to keep them in place whilst I did the rest. Should I try soldering them together and putting gaffer tape round the flex? Would that explain the drastic lack of output? I don't plan on coil splitting at any point so don't need the red/white in use.

    I have the pick ups fairly close to the strings out of preference. I have a multimetre kicking around somewhere. What should I be checking for?
    Last edited by Cryptoyourisan; 01-24-2012 at 10:03 AM.

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    Mojo's Minions ericmeyer4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Les Paul Wiring Help

    Yes solder red and white together. See if that helps.
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
    yea, they [ Fender Bassman] do sound like a mess, don't they. It's like a blind date with a shaggy hippy girl with a poochy belly, but then you get a hot oil massage from her and all of a sudden you're doing tantric prayer all night and asking her to move in with you.

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    Default Re: Les Paul Wiring Help

    check the red/white connection. that links the two coils in series and if that isnt solid you could get really low output or maybe even none at all. thats most likely your problem.

    solder them then cover them. i use shrink tube but electrical tape is fine too. gaffers tape wouldnt be my first choice but it will probably do the job

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    Default Re: Les Paul Wiring Help

    Just soldered the red and white together, wrapped electrical tape round the solder and taped it to the flex. Not much difference. I might have crippled the pot - if I shake volume knob a bit, it does seem to kick out out the right volume (like when you have the volume on the neck pick up turned all the way down and bridge all the way up and toggle between the two).

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    Default Re: Les Paul Wiring Help

    turn all the controls full up, plug a short cable into the output jack of the guitar, turn the meter to dc resistance, put one probe on the tip of the jack and the other on the sleeve and see what you get. you should get 7.5k for the neck, 5k for both, and 16.5k for the bridge.

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    Default Re: Les Paul Wiring Help

    Got the soldering re-done and seems just about right. No idea what the problem was seeing as the guy said there was nothing obviously wrong with my soldering (). Only problem now is there is a slight crackle with the volume pot (l'd get contact spray of some kind if it were an old pot) pot but I'm done for today.

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    Default Re: Les Paul Wiring Help

    if you have contact cleaner, id give it a quick shot and see if it clears it up. cant hurt

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    Default Re: Les Paul Wiring Help

    I'll need to order some in but I'll give it a go. The jack on one of my other guitars is giving me similar grief, so I need it anyway.

    Incidentally, is there any easy way of lengthening the flex on a pick up or putting a new one in? The guy I bought this JB from looks to have just cut the flex when taking it out of a guitar and didn't leave much room to work with.

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