Replacing PCB Gibson (P90 and 498T) with pots and a push pull

sumpe

Member
Messages
430
hi guys,
i just got my les paul gibson back from the shop. i was going to replayce the 498T with a dimarzio bridge, keeping the P90, wich I like.
i got a CTS - Push/Pull - SPST - 500k for it.
being naive i basically did not realize my les paul, like so many gibsons built in the past 8years or so, got a PCB (circuit board)
i wanted to install the dimarzio bridge pickup with a push pull option on it, but the tech advised me to consider my options as 1) the CTS pot i got to replace the tone knob of the bridge pickup wouldnt even fit on the space given the circuit board currently present there and B) even if just swapping pickups, i would have to get the connector.
i have done some reading online, but i got a few questions:
- what are the chances i would significantly change the sound (volume, tone) of the P90 (neck) if i remove the PCB and replace that with traditional pots
- would it be better to get a pre-wired 500k set for the les paul (2 volumes and 2 tones with an orange or equivalent drop) and then replace the tone of the bridge with the CTS I already have (the tech would be doing this, but i think he would ask for my preference)
- which pots would you recommend for the P90 (?500k)- note i like the feel (torque) of the gibson on all knobs currently - they are not as easy to move around as a PRS tone knob, for comparison.

PS: i love this guitar and the neck P90 sound but i am truly dissatisfied with its unfriendliness towards swapping pickups for the bridge as i want to swap that. also, someday i might want to swap the P90 (cant see that happening now though).

i am not sure my tech guy would be able to preserve the PCB board if I ask him to remove it, so i wonder if anyone regrets doing that.

thanks for any input - i am a newbie to swappig pickups and would be the first time on the gibson
 

Tony Bones

Member
Messages
1,212
You can cleanly remove the PCB with all four pots and two capacitors attached. Then replace with four new pots and two new capacitors of your choosing.

The toggle switch, output jack, and P-90 will have connectors that you'll simply cut off and wire everything old-style.

You can buy a prewired harness or individual parts, your call. I usually just buy the parts.
 

pale fire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,927
I had an SG with the PCB / 498 / 490 setup and took it all out. Replaced with Thornbuckers and conventional wiring. Only issue was mine was set up to pull to split the coils and the depth was tight....shafts stuck up just a bit higher than normal.

I don't know if changing the wiring made much difference in tone (the pickups clearly did), but there was no issue doing a swap.
 

johnh

Member
Messages
5,073
Plenty of people replace the PCBs in their Gibson's. I would replace the whole thing, rather than trying to replace one pot and keep the PCB.
 

RayBarbeeMusic

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,343
Just pull it and rewire it with normal pots and caps. Doesn't take long and long shaft CTS pots that guarantee at least a 500k meter reading are available at WD. They call them 500k pots; it's all I order now and I order a lot of pots; never seen one under 500k, but regular CTS/Bourns/Alphas are hardly ever 500k or over; the mean seems to be about 10% low.
 
Messages
4,557
I just bought a wiring harness from Sigler Music and tore the PCB crap out of my 2014 LP Std. Put a Duncan JB in the bridge too.
 

sumpe

Member
Messages
430
cheers for feedback. yes, i spoke to my tech guy and he asked me to just get the parts and he can do the job, having done it before.
i got 4 total CTS pots: 2x linear for volumes (i also play quietly) and 2x log pots, 500k for all of them, and the bridge tone pot being push/pull. I also got 2x drop orange .22 capacitators and braided wire.

could someone tell me if i would need a 3 way switch and input jack also? (i did not think so as my guitar has those but wondering if it would be necessary for the job regardless because i am replacing the entire PCB board)

cheers!
 
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