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Completely replacing electronics in a Les Paul Standard- value killer?

Ron Kirn

Member
Messages
6,822
I would suggest that, while the PCB functions perfectly well.. its presence is a deal killer for many, and certainly cuts into the future value. I'd replace that cack with classic CTS pots, a couple of quality caps, and "push back" wiring in a redneck heartbeat.
 

Rocco Crocco

Member
Messages
1,416
You said it all. At some point you have to decide are you a guitar collector or a guitar player? With most hobbies out there, reselling stuff isn't even an option. Buy something you'll use, and if you lose 500 bucks on it 5 years later, whatever. 500 bucks was the cost of your hobby.
Yup. I look at any losses I incur at re-sale as paying rent on the instrument for the time I had it. The answer to all of this is to buy used and return the instrument to stock when you go to sell.
 

uab9253

Member
Messages
2,359
Not exactly rocket surgery, but you can pretty easily look in the cavity and see how the solder joints look etc.

not like every factory Gibson comes with perfect wiring anyways
Well yeah you can look at how the pot solder joints are and maybe see if the pots are decent but a jackleg wiring job isn't always apparent in photos
 

Crunchtime

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,320
Sadly, even if a potential buyer finds your mods desirable, they will use the fact that the guitar is not stock to try and get a discount.
 

LqdSndDist

Member
Messages
1,336
Sadly, even if a potential buyer finds your mods desirable, they will use the fact that the guitar is not stock to try and get a discount.

It’s almost like people who buy used gear are more interested in getting a good deal for themselves and don’t care at all how it affects the seller or their return on investment.....
 

sleep

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,953
A year or so back, I bought (used) a 2016 LP Standard Mahogany top. It came equipped with the factory Burstbucker Pro pickups, and the PCB electronics with all the coil-splitting and other possibilities wired in with push-pull pots, etc. You know the setup.

Because I can't resist, I pulled everything out and put a combination of Porter pickup- the H90 (humbucker-sized P90) in the neck and a Porter Anthem PAF in the bridge. Replaced all the control wiring with a 50's setup and PIO caps. I've been thrilled with the result.

I think I know the answer here, which is to say (a) this isn't a particularly collectible guitar to begin with, and (b) some buyers will pass on a modified LP, some will be intrigued. I kept the PCB and pots, and sold the BB Pro pickups. I'm pondering selling the guitar to finance something else- and I'm curious what sort of opinions exist about what impact my mods are likely to have on the asking/selling price.
All Gibson guitars are implied if not stated to be collectibles once you get beyond something like the Firebird 0. You have made that guitar your test guitar, which is cool, your guitar, but yes, you have negatively affected the value, but mainly because you sold the pickups. If you still had those and you were able to put it back together you'd be fine, it's not the modding as much as the loss of original parts.

Whether or not what you made for the pickups can offset the value loss due to mods to the guitar you'll find out, I guess, but you also BOUGHT pickups so factor the price of that into your loss as well.
 

sleep

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,953
There's something really satisfying about ripping out all the junk Gibson Standard wiring and PCBs/pots, and starting fresh with shielded braded 50's wiring and quality pots! Sounds better too!
There's something equally satisfying about making any guitar work for you (especially one that allows options not generally available on a specific guitar, like that offered by phase or coil splitting or tapping options on a LP) and not worrying about making it sound like a guitar from 1960. Jimmy page definitely should have left well enough alone, he didn't need any of those options. If only TGP were here then to let him know that.
 

BalancePoint

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
140
Upgraded wiring, pickups, etc wouldn't bother me. I'd be more interested in your soldering skills, and determining if the guitar was upgraded or molested. It wouldn't be hard to return a LP Standard to stock if needed.
It's probably 90% reduced in terms of noise from the original PCB electronics. I probably couldn't make a living at it, but the solder joints are clean and solid, and everything works as it should.






 
Last edited:

Brian N

Member
Messages
1,662
It's probably 90% reduced in terms of noise from the original PCB electronics. I probably couldn't make a living at it, but the solder joints are clean and solid, and everything works as it should.






Did you scratch up the backs of the pots to create solid sticking points? Those blobs don't look like they will hold too well back there. It would be easy enough to spread the solder out with the iron.

And really, a 90% noise reduction? Wow. Wish you'd done a before/after because that's impressive! Btw, I see people listing those old PCBs for around $50.
 

BalancePoint

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
140
Did you scratch up the backs of the pots to create solid sticking points? Those blobs don't look like they will hold too well back there. It would be easy enough to spread the solder out with the iron.

And really, a 90% noise reduction? Wow. Wish you'd done a before/after because that's impressive! Btw, I see people listing those old PCBs for around $50.
I may have exaggerated the decrease in noise. Let's call it 85% ;)

The solder joints on the tone and volume caps came with the prewired set. My solder joints never look that pretty. I wired in the new pickups, switch and output jack. The ground sheathing is tricky, and there's more than one way to do them. I solder a piece of pushback wire to the sheath and then to the ground point. They're all strong. No torsion or other forces working on them. They'll be fine.
 

BigDoug1053

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,864
If you really like the guitar and play it regularly, mod it to your heart's desire to make it yours. I would save the original electronics, etc. and keep it in the case so you don't lose them!
 

BigDoug1053

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,864
@BalancePoint - here's my LP Standard Pro DC. I wanted to install a 6-way Freeway Ultra switch to have parallel humbucking options, but the stock humbuckers were 2-conductor. So I ended up installing a Duncan JB/Jazz set, and replaced the volume with a 500-KΩ pot and the tone with a bass contour 1-MΩ/0.0022 µF pot. I also installed a Duesenberg Les Trem. The guitar sounds wonderful and is very lively and trebly like I like them, and the original stuff is in the case. I might not do this with a collectible guitar or a CS reissue, but my 2003 LP DC, no problema...
View media item 164628
 

BalancePoint

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
140
There's something equally satisfying about making any guitar work for you (especially one that allows options not generally available on a specific guitar, like that offered by phase or coil splitting or tapping options on a LP) and not worrying about making it sound like a guitar from 1960. Jimmy page definitely should have left well enough alone, he didn't need any of those options. If only TGP were here then to let him know that.
I don't disagree with you, nor with the post you replied to. Your specific point about making a guitar work for you- which I assume implies making use of tools like coil spitting and tapping, etc. is inarguable as far as it goes. For me, a non-professional who has no need to be able to supply a range of input guitar sounds to match a playlist; I can just enjoy what I like. I'm paying rather than getting paid. I invested about $350 in the pickups and wiring, and got about $150 for the pickups I sold. I'm fine with that. I enjoyed the end result after enjoying the process of putting it together. I think, if I'm honest, I started this whole thread asking a question I already knew the answer to. What matters to me may or may not mean f*ck-all to anybody else, or maybe it will. It was really interesting to read the replies. Tinkering with things whether they really need it or not is part of the fun to a lot of people. I appreciate everyones' comments.
 

BalancePoint

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
140
@BalancePoint - here's my LP Standard Pro DC. I wanted to install a 6-way Freeway Ultra switch to have parallel humbucking options, but the stock humbuckers were 2-conductor. So I ended up installing a Duncan JB/Jazz set, and replaced the volume with a 500-KΩ pot and the tone with a bass contour 1-MΩ/0.0022 µF pot. I also installed a Duesenberg Les Trem. The guitar sounds wonderful and is very lively and trebly like I like them, and the original stuff is in the case. I might not do this with a collectible guitar or a CS reissue, but my 2003 LP DC, no problema...
View media item 164628
That's a pretty awesome set-up!
 

BalancePoint

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
140
I would suggest that, while the PCB functions perfectly well.. its presence is a deal killer for many, and certainly cuts into the future value. I'd replace that cack with classic CTS pots, a couple of quality caps, and "push back" wiring in a redneck heartbeat.
Your opinion carries a lot of weight. My inclination remains to keep the guitar. I did note a substantial drop in noise when I changed everything. And there’s just something that goes beyond rational with the PCB. I don’t want it!
 

John 14:6

Member
Messages
3,291
A year or so back, I bought (used) a 2016 LP Standard Mahogany top. It came equipped with the factory Burstbucker Pro pickups, and the PCB electronics with all the coil-splitting and other possibilities wired in with push-pull pots, etc. You know the setup.

Because I can't resist, I pulled everything out and put a combination of Porter pickup- the H90 (humbucker-sized P90) in the neck and a Porter Anthem PAF in the bridge. Replaced all the control wiring with a 50's setup and PIO caps. I've been thrilled with the result.

I think I know the answer here, which is to say (a) this isn't a particularly collectible guitar to begin with, and (b) some buyers will pass on a modified LP, some will be intrigued. I kept the PCB and pots, and sold the BB Pro pickups. I'm pondering selling the guitar to finance something else- and I'm curious what sort of opinions exist about what impact my mods are likely to have on the asking/selling price.
Keep the original parts. I have sold some modded guitars along with the original parts as part of the sale. I usually come out well ahead when selling as opposed to selling it used stock original. Recently I sold a Fender Jeff Beck Strat modded with a Duncan Screamin Demon pickup in the bridge and Duncan YJM single coils along with wiring mods. I shipped it with the original pickups and pickguard and sold it for as much as new JB Strats were selling for online.
 




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