Rewiring my Gibson ES-339

kracdown

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I have a Gibson ES-339 that I've pretty much modified everything on:
Grover Rotomatic Tuners
Faber ABR-1 and Tailpiece
Gibson Historic Plastics (probably going to change to real plastics)
Wolfetone Dr. Vintage pickups

Anyway.. when i had all this work done, I had asked the tech (not my usual tech, but it was a big job and this shop usually does a good job and it's close to my house) about doing some sort of 50's wiring. Instead, they insisted that I use the treble bleed mod. So, I just said "fine.." Unfortunately, I hate it. When I turn the guitar's volume down, the sound becomes extremely thin. Like pure treble. And then when I begin to roll of off the tone knob, i lose a ton of volume.

Would some sort of wiring kit fix this? I basically making this guitar what it would have been like if it were produced in 1959, with the 335. It sounds pretty close to what I want, but the second i use my volume knob, it sounds terrible.
 

kracdown

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yea 50's wiring and upgraded pots (IMO) would be great for that
can you point me towards anything? I think they added the treble mod onto the terrible Nashville wiring system which probably contributes to awful sound when i roll off of the volume...
 

brianr0131

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well....replacing electronics on a semi hollow is a hell of a job.

I'd take it to another tech and order these:

2 of these for Volume

http://store.rsguitarworks.net/RSG1.html

and 2 of these for tone

http://store.rsguitarworks.net/CTS1.html

You can get NOS Caps in the emporium or ebay for pretty cheap (under $10 each shipped). I'd recommend one .022 and one .015

You're talking about $75 in parts plus the tech charge to install.

Also, this will add a little brightness and balls to the guitar in general. If you DEFINITELY DON'T want that part changed just have a tech set regular 50's style wiring with your existing components.They should be able to do that.
 

kracdown

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well....replacing electronics on a semi hollow is a hell of a job.

I'd take it to another tech and order these:

2 of these for Volume

http://store.rsguitarworks.net/RSG1.html

and 2 of these for tone

http://store.rsguitarworks.net/CTS1.html

You can get NOS Caps in the emporium or ebay for pretty cheap (under $10 each shipped). I'd recommend one .022 and one .015

You're talking about $75 in parts plus the tech charge to install.

Also, this will add a little brightness and balls to the guitar in general. If you DEFINITELY DON'T want that part changed just have a tech set regular 50's style wiring with your existing components.They should be able to do that.
Do i need some sort of harness or anything? Or would my tech be able to go from the pots and the caps? Sorry for the ignorance, I've been a player for the last 9 years, and I am still learning every day about the technological aspects...
 

brianr0131

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Do i need some sort of harness or anything? Or would my tech be able to go from the pots and the caps? Sorry for the ignorance, I've been a player for the last 9 years, and I am still learning every day about the technological aspects...
No harness required for a tech

btw you're at the right place to learn
 

walterw

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actually, the 339 is one of the first recent gibsons to not need new pots!

it already has 500k audio tapers in all positions.

as for the treble bleed cap ("treble pass", actually) i hate it too, sounds nasty and artificial to me. it's a simple matter to snip the little cap out.

"50s wiring" consists of moving one wire, the tone pot connection, from the volume pot's input lug with the pickups to the volume pot's center lug. (don't care for that one either).
 

brianr0131

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actually, the 339 is one of the first recent gibsons to not need new pots!

it already has 500k audio tapers in all positions.

as for the treble bleed cap ("treble pass", actually) i hate it too, sounds nasty and artificial to me. it's a simple matter to snip the little cap out.

"50s wiring" consists of moving one wire, the tone pot connection, from the volume pot's input lug with the pickups to the volume pot's center lug. (don't care for that one either).
Walter may have just saved you some money OP.

Try this first. It's cheap. I still really like the taper on the superpots for cleaning up a dirt sound, along with 50's wiring
 

kracdown

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Does anyone know if this Nashville tone circuit can be removed?

I'd also rather just have everything done at once, so I'll probably order the new pots and caps just in case.. not too much money to fuss over.

Also - anyone know of a good place for late 50's period plastics that aren't extremely pricey? RS guitar works sells some parts. Also Reto Spec... Biggest question about that: Are the knobs more durable than what Gibson historic sells? The one's on my ES-339 and R4 are all cracked.
 

Seegs

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Take out the Memphis tone circuit...contrary to popular opinion it does need to be removed...I hated it...

You've already done most of the important upgrades this will put your guitar over the top...it did mine...

Grab one of these kits and enjoy your 339...the installation of the kit took me all of 20 minutes and the Bourns pots are amazing...

There is a wiring template that you have to fill out for a 339 as requires different spacing than a 335...it was very easy to do the kit is extremely well made and doesn't cost $200

http://bcsguitars.com/?page_id=2760

Chow,
Seegs
 

Seegs

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10,173
Isn't the 339 wired with 50's wiring from the start?
It has a Memphis tone circuit with a treble bleed (IIRC a res and cap in parallel) circuit...I think it's a 50's wiring scheme it has but I hate treble bleed mods so out it came...

Chow,
Seegs
 

kracdown

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Take out the Memphis tone circuit...contrary to popular opinion it does need to be removed...I hated it...

You've already done most of the important upgrades this will put your guitar over the top...it did mine...

Grab one of these kits and enjoy your 339...the installation of the kit took me all of 20 minutes and the Bourns pots are amazing...

There is a wiring template that you have to fill out for a 339 as requires different spacing than a 335...it was very easy to do the kit is extremely well made and doesn't cost $200

http://bcsguitars.com/?page_id=2760

Chow,
Seegs
By any chance do you remember the measurements?

thanks
 

Seegs

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10,173
Sorry I no longer have it...the template is very easy to do...took about 5 minutes and the kit fit perfectly...IIRC...BCS adds an extra 1/2" to your measurements for a bit of leeway...

Chow,
Seegs
 

walterw

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so if the "memphis circuit" is 50s wiring with added treble caps, then just snip out the treble caps and you're done!

you guys are talking about doing a lot of work with no point here.
 

soopajeanmi

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1,163
It has a Memphis tone circuit with a treble bleed (IIRC a res and cap in parallel) circuit...I think it's a 50's wiring scheme it has but I hate treble bleed mods so out it came...

Chow,
Seegs
I quote Dave Carpenter on the les paul forum, about the design of the 339:
"The wiring is modeled after my '61 ES 335. The tone circuit follows the voltage divider circuit of the volume control on the ES 339"

Isn't this *exactly* a 50's wiring ? I don't see any treble bleed system mentionned.
 

Guinness Lad

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If you want a treble bleed that sounds real you need caps in the 300pf range not 22uf. This is a giant reduction in the amount of treble that passes. In fact, if you get it anywhere from 270pf to about 370pf you'll never know there was one.

The people who do treble bleed mods must either be deaf or just go by what a a few people have written on this topic. Overly large capacitors will make it brighter when turning down.

Regarding the Memphis circuit I like it, makes your guitar almost behave like a booster is on. The biggest thing is you have to know how to use your controls and set them so when you need to solo you go from 9 to 10. It's rather easy, not sure why all the hate.
 

kracdown

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If you want a treble bleed that sounds real you need caps in the 300pf range not 22uf. This is a giant reduction in the amount of treble that passes. In fact, if you get it anywhere from 270pf to about 370pf you'll never know there was one.

The people who do treble bleed mods must either be deaf or just go by what a a few people have written on this topic. Overly large capacitors will make it brighter when turning down.

Regarding the Memphis circuit I like it, makes your guitar almost behave like a booster is on. The biggest thing is you have to know how to use your controls and set them so when you need to solo you go from 9 to 10. It's rather easy, not sure why all the hate.
The Nashville ;) circuit sounds pretty artificial to me. I thought it was okay at first, but the more I played with it the less i liked it. Then these dumb guitar techs added in the treble bleed circuits... I'd rather just go with old school wiring that i've got going on in my other guitars... I'm a big Jazz player - i definitely know how to use my volume and tone controls - but the ES acts so weird I just want a normal wiring system in it.
 




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