Re-Wiring a 3 Pickup Les Paul Custom, help!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by trower, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. trower

    trower Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a 1989 3 PU Black Beauty I need to get going again, I can't remember the wiring for the PU selector and the Pickups to the pots, Anybody know how to wire-up a 3 Pickup Les Paul? Also does the selector switch differ from a standard? ...It may not be original.
     
  2. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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  3. trower

    trower Silver Supporting Member

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    I see the mid and neck are in combo. I thought it was Bridge, Middle alone then Neck but I can't remember. This looks good Thanks!!
     
  4. GM Reszel

    GM Reszel Member

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    I'm sure an original schemo is shown but it seems thing could be more discreet in terms of combinations if you so desire. Someone brought me and LPC (sg style) and he wanted more options. If I remember correctly we used a standard lp switch. We made a master tone and put the middle pickup on its on volume so no matter where the selector was you could blend in the middle.

    Edit: I just remembered we made it so the middle and neck postions only could blend in the middle pup.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  5. trower

    trower Silver Supporting Member

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    Interesting, I'd like to get this back to original but it's probibly helpful to blend in the middle. I'd probibly just get confused with a master and blender.
     
  6. GM Reszel

    GM Reszel Member

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    Prob-obaly me too, I like it fairly simple.
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    here's a cool variation that i came up with (is it conceited when i start quoting myself from other posts?):

    "the trouble with blending options like the frampton version is that it requires the dreaded "independent" wiring, where the pickup goes to the middle lug of its volume pot instead of the outer lug. this compromises tone and sweep, and leaks a tiny bit of signal even when turned all the way down.

    my solution was to wire up a rotary switch in place of the neck tone knob (to keep the stock look.) the rotary chooses between neck and middle pickups, sending the choice to the neck volume pot and then on to the normal 2-pickup style gibson selector toggle. when my "secret switch" is set to "neck", you have a regular 2-pickup, 2-volume les paul (the toggle chooses N, N+B, B). set the rotary to "middle", and you now get the choice of middle by itself, mid + br, or br.

    the pluses are, now you can vary the blend of mid and bridge, you get mid by itself which is a very useful tone (especially for slide), and no matter what, slamming that toggle down always gives you the bridge pickup, sort of an inherent "blower" switch. all with no tone loss from independent wiring.

    the other tone knob can just be the master tone.

    i prefer a 2-way rotary, as the 2 extra options offered by a 3-way (N+M, all three at once) are IMO muddy and useless."
     
  8. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    With a 3 pickup guitar, to my ears, the neck/bridge sound is close enough to the middle pickup by itself...but adding the middle to either the bridge and/or neck are interesting sounds. So, I'd probably just wire the middle pickup to a pull-pot (to turn it on/off) and wire the bridge & neck to the pickup switch in the traditional 2 pickup manner.
     
  9. GtrDr

    GtrDr Member

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    I bought one a few years ago ('57 BB RI). I couldnt stand the sound. So I built a dummy center pick up & wired the guitar like a 2 PU Les Paul.
     
  10. trower

    trower Silver Supporting Member

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    How is the Master tone wired? Very interesting but being a traditionalist I'm asking for my friend who's always mucking with his guitar.
     
  11. trower

    trower Silver Supporting Member

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    Haa...I was running this the same way, I took the Gold cover off the center PU to expose the black bobbins because I don't really go for these 3 PU axe's..
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    a master tone knob would just be wired between all the other stuff and the output jack, just like an explorer (or a jazz bass, for that matter).

    in that scheme i was referring to, the final output from the 3-way toggle goes to the "5 o' clock" lug and from there to the jack, while the "6 o' clock" lug gets one leg of the capacitor, with the other cap leg going to ground. (the "7 o' clock" pot lug doesn't get used.)
     

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