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  1. #1

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    Hey guys.
    I got a very good deal on an old Gibson Archtop (awesome guitar!), but the tone knob does not work. I know I have to somehow replace it via the F-hole, but I can't find any videos on youtube describing how to do it.
    Are there any good resources for this?
    Thanks.

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  3. #2

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    Check out Matt's article on the Seymour Duncan site: Wiring a Hollow Body Guitar The Easy Way.

  4. #3

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    Depending on the model, you may be able to fish things through a pickup hole. Thats how I got things out/in my Epi Zephyr Regent.

    Full hollows you can do this. Semi-hollow occasionally, if theres a notch cut in the center block allowing access.

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    1948 Gibson L-7N
    1981 Epi Emperor T (MIJ Matsumoku)
    1998 Epi Zephyr Regent (Peerless)
    1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio
    2004 Gibson SG Special Faded
    2006 Epi G-1275 (MIK, Unsung)
    2013 Squier Affinity Telecaster, BSB
    (among others)

  5. #4

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    It may not be a bad capacitor. It could be just a loose wire. It's possible, although not likely, that it's a bad potentiometer. I would first look for a bad connection, either a wire completely loose or just a poor solder joint where the wire looks to be connected but isn't really making contact due to corrosion inside the joint. I always try the easiest and most obvious fixes first.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    It may not be a bad capacitor. It could be just a loose wire. It's possible, although not likely, that it's a bad potentiometer.
    Sorry, yes, bad pot is what I meant to say.

    The model is a Gibson ES-150 from 1955.

    I'll read the article posted above and see if will apply to this guitar. Thanks!

  7. #6

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    It’s possible you may not have enough wire between the tone pot and the input jack to just remove the pot without having to remove the jack as well.
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  8. #7

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    If you can’t find any obvious culprit, it might be worth resoldering every connection. A few extra minutes could save you from having to buy any parts. And of course, do a fully soldered mock-up before installation (I use heavy cardboard), holding the pickup upside down over the strings to test it out.

    Wen I installed my jack, I made a custom installation tool by bending a small T end of a wire hanger. I fished it through the jack, then the hole, and it did a great job of preventing it from turning inside the body. As Big Toe said, hopefully you won’t have to remove the jack, saves you from buying a special tool if you aren’t going to be doing this kind of work a lot of times.
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, Gibson L6-S and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion

  9. #8

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    I find dozens of videos on youtube when I search for wiring archtop guitars.

  10. #9
    The best local luthier in town quoted me $100 to $150 to fix this. That seems excessive?
    I'll probably just attempt it on my own. Any tips for trying to salvage the original pot?

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    The best local luthier in town quoted me $100 to $150 to fix this. That seems excessive?
    I'll probably just attempt it on my own. Any tips for trying to salvage the original pot?
    It isn’t that hard unless the wiring is all super short with barely enough tolerances to get each item in place. Should be an half hour to an hour’s work, no more than two with complications, plus whatever charges for shop stock (solder, flux, wiring, etc), plus maybe a small charge for a new pot and/or capacitor. If that is his rate, then that’s his rate. But if he’s quoting you for more than two hours he’s expecting a problem or overcharging you.

    You can reuse a working pot but I don’t know about salvaging a bad one. Do you have a multimeter? When it’s pulled out it should roll between 0-250kOhms or 0-500kOhms depending upon which you have installed.if it transitions smooth as you roll the knob, then it’s good. And a capacitor should only be $2-$8 depending on vendor and maybe shipping. They’re cheap on Amazon if you have Prime.
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, Gibson L6-S and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion