Gutting a Les Paul Custom Lite

Brad Scott

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,264
Just picked up a LP Custom Lite - Black Beauty. Looks like the '57 Reissue version except for the thinner body.

It feels and plays great, but I'm not much into the Gibson 498t and 490r pickups — they're a little too hot and modern for my tastes. It also has a toggle switch in the treble tone position that splits the coils.

I'm thinking of replacing the entire harness with a traditional 4-pot setup, and getting a set of vintage-sounding humbuckers. Something with that classic rock '60s/'70s vibe.

Thoughts or suggestions for where to get a replacement harness with vintage wiring? Advice on specific caps for a vintage tone? Recommendations for classic-sounding humbuckers? I hear a lot about WCR, Bare Knuckles, Wolfetone, etc.

Maybe there are certain pickups that would work better with a thinner body.

Thanks
 

Tim Plains

Member
Messages
6,145
RS Guitar and Martin Six String Customs sell pre-wired kits. Vintage bursts came with Bumblebee caps. As for pickups, just google "best PAF Les Paul" because there are a hundred threads asking the same question and the answers don't really change. Good luck with it. The PAF hunt can be overwhelming and fun at the same time.
 

Brad Scott

Silver Supporting Member
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1,264
As for pickups, just google "best PAF Les Paul" because there are a hundred threads asking the same question and the answers don't really change.
Yes, you're right. Tons of choices, and it really comes down to trying options out until something works for you. I suppose the question is more about LP wiring kits, and where to get them. I'll check out your suggestions, thanks.
 

rummy

Silver Supporting Member
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8,567
In a Les Paul, you could just buy individual parts and wire them. If you insist on a harness, RS sells one, and so does Mojo. Matter of fact, I see a lot of reputable builders selling them on ebay, too.

http://store.rsguitarworks.net/electronic-pre-wired-kits
http://www.mojotone.com/guitar-parts/Les-Paul-Style-Guitar-Wiring-Kits
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR11.TRC1.A0.Xles+paul+wiring+&_nkw=les+paul+wiring+&_sacat=0&_from=R40

As for pickups, I've had good luck with WCR Crossroads, Fralin Pure PAFs, and Seth Lovers.
 

Retreads

Member
Messages
362
I'd recommend TundraTone harnesses to anyone...superpots, lots of cap choices, prewired. Steve can get you real vintage bumblebees for much less than Gibson is charging for the repros, if that's your thing. Otherwise, just take his recommendation for what will work best with your style and save some money. I've had good luck with Sheptone PAFs, and SD Antiquities are always nice.

My two cents that for thinner guitar? Sheptone Blue Sky PAFs w/ TundraTone Harness. Any PIO or Mylar cap of the right value (no ceramic!). Only go with the vintage caps if you really care. No need for repro caps...nobody is looking at them.
 

2HBStrat

Senior Member
Messages
41,244
According to Gibson's website their Classic 57's are made exactly like the original Seth Lover humbuckers....fwiw...
 

geekocaster

Member
Messages
2,262
I have a Black 2013 LPCL as well, I'm probably going to leave it stock as the hotter pickups seem to work pretty good (for me) with that thin body. I never use the toggle switch for single coil tap but the master tone control is fine with me.

I have another LP custom shop that is chambered that had the burstbucker (original non-wax-potted) #2/#3 which would feed back like crazy. I replaced them with the Seymour Duncan Slash pickups set. I'm not a huge slash fan but the Slash set is a vintage flavor that is just slightly hot wound and are wax potted. They sound great IMHO, even with the covers left on. For the wiring harness I just used a new-guitar take out from a 2013 les paul traditional (standard solder/pots and orange cap) that I picked up for $50 used.
 
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kracdown

Custom User Title
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,978
Id throw in some Wolfetone marshallheads and I wiring harness from Martin six string customs. Will make an awesome guitar.
 

PunkKitty

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
236
I did that with a Les Paul LPJ last week. I didn't like the look of the black pickups and I didn't like the 498. For a while I debated whether to buy a 490T or just use some of the pickups that I had in stock. I realized that I had the parts at home so I built a new wiring harness and decided to rewire it entirely. I used a Gibson 57 Classic Plus and a Burstbucker 1. The difference is incredible. The circuit board that Gibson uses just sucks the tone out of the guitar. Using 50's wiring, CTS pots, and .022 mustard caps I am able to get a great selection of tones. I attribute the tone difference to the wiring more than the pickups. I have 490r/490t sets in other guitars and they sound great.
 

karma1

Member
Messages
1,121
I have a 92 Les Paul Studio Lite and I swapped the stock neck pickup for a Duncan Seth Love and it sounds great.
 




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