If you are re-wiring your Les Paul, building your own, or upgrading the electronics on an imported copy then you will find this guide useful. There is a full wiring diagram at the end of this article and we recommend you study it before starting. We will break this guide into four parts which you can navigate to using the buttons below.
Pre-tinning the components before assembly makes an easier and more solid electrical and mechanical connection. Test it out on a few scrap parts and wire before starting to get a feel for the flow of your equipment and solder. A clean and tinned tip is essential for the correct heat transfer into the joint you are creating.
We will start by wiring the initial harness that slots inside the control cavity. There isn't a lot of room in there and you'll be working with a hot soldering iron - better to work in the open where you can see what you're doing and eliminate the risk of burning the finish of your guitar. Place the template under the guitar and trace through. Then drill the holes to M10 to accommodate the larger shaft diameter of CTS pots 9.
The idea is to create the inside of a Les Paul control cavity as accurately as possible. With the template complete, assemble the 4 pots as per the below photo. You can also turn the pots inwards at a slight angle.
Note - our long shaft k pots come with 2 hex nuts, a flat washer and a serrated washer. The first nut is used for height adjustment inside the control cavity.
The serrated washer sits in between this nut and the inside of the cavity ie. The dress washer and the second nut are used to tighten the pot from the other side. So that order again, nut, serrated washer, flat washer, nut. Lay down a ground wire connecting each pot together. Using the black cloth wire provided or tinned copper, lay the ground running from the top left pot neck volume clockwise until you reach the bottom left pot of the template bridge volume It does not need to be a continuous wire.
In fact it is a lot easier to cut the ground wire provided into 3 - as long as each pot is connected. By putting it on the edge, you leave more room for grounding the toggle switch and pickup leads on the volume pots which you will do later. It is recommended that you allow for a little bit of slack in the wires in case you miscalculated the dimensions of the template compared to your control cavity.
Next, ground the lugs on each pot that will not be used in the circuit. From a birds-eye point of view, these are the first lugs on each volume pot lug 3and the middle lugs on the tone pots lug 2.
You can either use a snippet of ground wire soldered between the lug and the back of the pot or alternatively, bend the lug back onto the pot and solder. If you decide to bend it back onto the pot, be careful - if you over do it on the solder, you risk getting some inside the pot via the hole behind the middle lug.
Refer to the diagram further down the page for reference. After completing the above steps you should now have the initial wiring harness which will simply drop into your control cavity. The harness is now ready to install into your Les Paul. On to the toggle switch wiring. Here is our guide to wiring it using braided guitar wire - the Gibson way. Note - your guitar may vary in length so be sure to double check your lengths before starting.
Before we start - a little lesson on braided guitar wire and how it works. It essentially two wires in one.There are many different brands of pickups you can install into your guitar, and once you know the wiring code of the pickup, the rest of the installation is the same. Keep reading, while we discuss the Les Paul wiring diagram as well as some components you can substitute for changing your Tone. The wiring code refers to four colored wires plus one bare wire that most humbuckers have.
You need to know which color is the Hot, which two colors are tied together and taped off, and which color you connect to the bare wire to create the Ground. There are many different brands of humbucker that you can install, and many of them will use a unique wiring scheme. The most important thing is to find the Hot and the Ground so we can install it, as we see in Example 1.
Once you know the Hot and the Ground wires for each pickup, installation is straightforward. Wire your guitar to resemble the diagram in Example 2. The only thing that might seem strange about this diagram is that most people will not use the black wire from the third lug of the Volume to the back of the volume pot.
Most people will instead bend the lug to contact the back of the pot and solder it into place. These are the components you are likely to need if you are starting from scratch or are unsure about the replacement part. You are going to need four potentiometers. Two potentiometers are for the Volume controls, and two are for the Tone. Since we are using humbuckers, we use k pots.
In the early days, Gibson used a k pot for the Volume and a k for the Tone. Modern guitars use two k pots. If you feel the Tone is too dark, you can try 1 Mega-ohm pots or no-load pots. We recommend starting with audio taper pots, but many people like to use linear taper in the tone control.
You will need a three-way toggle switch. Any 3-way switch with three tabs on one side and a ground on the other should work as long as it fits into the hole. Most of the older Gibson Les Pauls used a.Be sure your control knobs will fit: CTS pots in these kits have fine-knurled spline split shafts.
Coarse-knurled knobs for imported Alpha pots won't fit. Need knobs? Check here.
How to Wire an Epiphone Les Paul Special Guitar
Great Quality! Fast Delivery! Bought for a project About to beginnot yet used! I have the push pull pots. The wiring diagram has you putting the push pulls in the tone pots. Tried to find info on the push pulls. Hard to find. If your looking at the pot in front of you, the 3 lugs facing you and the 2 ears on top, the top lug on the right is your ground. The left is a "common" connection as far as I can explain.
Middle is your out to your switch. I still dont know if that ear is actually grounded, so I grounded mine with wire to the outer body. Depending on which style of wiring you do, your capacitor you need to look up which way you need to solder. The switch was way too long, had to get a short one. I also ordered more grounded wire. They give you just enough.
If you split the one wire in three even lengths, it will be too short for the ground wire.
How to Wire a Les Paul (50s Wiring)
Ask me how I know. I had no problems with the kit. The pups went in with no problem, the pots have a smooth and solid feel. I am very satisfied. I only wish you guys would use fedx ground for your shipping. Couldn't use the ling switchcraft switch. Definitely comes with enough wire. I didnt use it all as I kept most of the original wire. But man that braided shielded wire looks like it will stand up to anything.
Hope i can use it in other guitar mods. I did have to squeeze the pot shafts a little to fit my fine spline knobs. I was scared that i might crack them if i just pushed them on. Great quality set that for sure. I'm not sure if the kit comes with a short shaft version in gold. I ordered it anyway.
Every feels great and no more grit on my tone pots. This is one upgrade you should think about for either a kit guitar or refurbishing one. Some trial and error on my part but worked out well.There are two humbucker pickups and we will wire both of them up the same way. This allows you to split the pickups or wire them in other unique ways.
We are just going to worry about the standard way for right now. You want to solder together the Red and the White wires and tape them off. You want to solder together the Green and the Bare wires. This is your ground wire. The Black wire is the Hot wire. Fig 1. The Gibson Les Paul circuit gives each pickup its own Volume and Tone control, and now that we have the Hot and the Ground wire from each pickup we can wire them to the Volume control the same as we would a single coil pickup.
If you hold the Volume pot upside down with the tabs pointing down we can number them 1, 2, and 3. Solder the Hot wire of the neck pickup to Tab 1 of the neck Volume control. Solder a wire from Tab 3 of the neck Volume control to the back of the neck Volume control.
Solder the Ground wire from the neck pickup to the back of the neck Volume control. Do the same thing for the bridge pickup and the bridge Volume control. Fig 2. Look at the bottom of the Toggle switch and arrange it so there are three tabs on the left side and one tab on the right.
We can number the tabs on the left from top to bottom, 1, 2, and 3. Solder a wire from Tab 2 of the neck Volume control to Tab 1 of the three-way switch and solder a wire from Tab 2 of the bridge Volume control to Tab 3 of the three-way switch. Solder a wire from Tab 2 of the three-way switch to the tip tab of the Output Jack.
We will leave the sleeve tab of the output jack alone for now. Solder a wire from the only tab on the right side of the three-way switch to the back of the neck Volume control. Fig 3. Solder a wire from Tab 1 of the neck Volume control to Tab 3 of the neck Tone control. Solder the capacitor from Tab 2 of the neck Tone control to the back of the neck Tone control.
Do the same for the bridge Volume and Tone controls.
Solder a wire from the back of the bridge Tone control to the back of the neck Tone control. Solder a wire from the back of the neck Tone control to the back of the Volume Tone control. Solder the main Ground wire from the bridge of the guitar to the back of the neck Tone control.
Les Paul Wiring Diagram
Solder a wire from the sleeve of the output jack to the back of the neck Tone control and you are finished. Fig 4. Your email address will not be published. Fig 1 Figure 1 The Gibson Les Paul circuit gives each pickup its own Volume and Tone control, and now that we have the Hot and the Ground wire from each pickup we can wire them to the Volume control the same as we would a single coil pickup.The Les Paul Special has two humbucker pickups and a three-way switch, which are standard for Les Paul guitars.
The difference is that the Les Paul Special only has a single volume and tone potentiometer that controls both pickups rather than having separate potentiometers for both pickups. This changes how the guitar needs to be wired to function. Solder the hot wire of the neck humbucker of the Epiphone Les Paul Special guitar to the three-way switch.
You should solder it to the left-most prong of the switch if the group of three prongs is facing down. Place this drop onto the end of the hot wire and the switch prong. It will solidify almost instantaneously once the soldering iron is removed. The color of the hot wire will vary based on the manufacturer of the pickup. Solder the hot wire from the bridge pickup to the right-most prong of the three-way switch.
Use the same procedure as used in Step 1. Solder a wire to the center prong of the three-way switch in the group of three prongs. Solder the other end of the wire to the right-most prong if the prongs are facing down of the tone potentiometer.
Solder a wire to the prong on the three-way switch that is separate from the group of three prongs already used. Solder the other end of this wire to the back of the volume potentiometer. Solder together the two remaining wires for the neck humbucker together. You only need to do this for some pickup models. Solder together the two remaining wires for the bridge humbucker together.
Bend the right-most prong of the volume potentiometer if the prongs are facing down so that it touches the back of the volume pot. Solder this prong in place. Solder a wire to the left-most prong of the volume pot. Solder the other end of the wire to the right-most prong of the tone pot. Solder the 0. Solder the other end of the capacitor to the back of the tone pot.
Solder a wire to the back of the volume pot. Solder the other end of the wire to the back of the tone pot. Solder a wire to the back of the tone pot. Solder the other end of the wire to the sleeve of the output jack. The sleeve is the prong of the output jack connected to the inner metal circle. Solder a wire to the center prong of the volume pot. Solder the other end of the wire to the remaining prong of the output jack. The exact pickups used in the Epiphone Les Paul Special guitar may vary based on when it was manufactured.
Contact Epiphone if you are unsure what pickups are installed in your guitar. The same color wire can mean different things for different pickup manufacturers.
In some cases, the same pickup can even use different wiring colors from year to year. Matthew Anderson started as a writer and editor in Finding the right gluten-free substitute for your usual gluten-containing ingredients is a matter of personal taste, so spend time in the kitchen getting used to gluten-free flours and baking aids. Once diagnosed with coeliac disease, you can start to make positive changes to your diet to improve your health.
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Do you have coeliac disease or suspect you may have a gluten intolerance. Share your top tips for living gluten-free below. As well as helping you decide what to cook we can also help you to cook it.
Les Paul Three-Way Switch Wiring – Basic Guitar Electronics
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