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50's Pot wiring

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by billdurham, May 14, 2006.

  1. billdurham

    billdurham Member

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    Dec 29, 2005
    Guys,

    I have been reading about wiring of tone controls in Les Pauls. I have a Norlin, 74 Standard. Its tone pots are wired with the tone cap.... .022 mylar in mine, from the top of the volume pot to the middle of the tone pot with the bottom of the tone pot grounded to the case. I have read that 50s Les Pauls are wired differently... a wire from the top of the volume pot to the wiper of the tone pot, then the cap from the bottom of the pot to ground.
    I changed my Les Paul to this wiring scheme, and I'm not sure its a good thing with the pots in my guitar. What it did was make most of the tonal change in the very beginning of the rotation of the pot.

    Can anybody confirm that this is fact the correct wiring for 50s Les Pauls?

    thanks,
    BD
     
  2. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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  3. loudguitarz

    loudguitarz Member

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  4. Junior

    Junior Member

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    Bill, you got it half right.

    Unfortunately, there are two changes between the "fifties" and "modern" wiring, and you got the one that doesn't make a difference, so something's wrong in your control cavity. You didn't use the 'other' outside lug on the tone pot did you?

    The difference that matters between the old and new is the connection of the capacitor to the volume pot. In the fifties, they connected it to the wiper of the volume pot, in the sixties, they started connecting it to the outside lug where the pickup is connected.
     
  5. Junior

    Junior Member

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    PS: If you're talking the original pots, the first thing you should do for your tone is replace them both with 500K American CTS pots.
     

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