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  1. #1

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    My plan is to install a 70s Gibson T Top humbucker (7.4 K DCR) into a Korean budget laminated archtop.
    Would it be best to use 300K or 500K pots and what value capacitor should I use?
    I think I'm angling (hoping!) for a 175 type tone.
    TIA

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by garybaldy
    My plan is to install a 70s Gibson T Top humbucker (7.4 K DCR) into a Korean budget laminated archtop.
    Would it be best to use 300K or 500K pots and what value capacitor should I use?
    I think I'm angling (hoping!) for a 175 type tone.
    TIA
    Standard practice is to use 500k pots for humbuckers and a .022uf cap. Gibson used 300k volume pots in some cases, but 500k gives a little more highs/sparkle.

    Now you have to decide if you want 50ies or modern wiring:
    Mod Garage: Three Ways to Wire a Tone Pot | Premier Guitar

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Standard practice is to use 500k pots for humbuckers and a .022uf cap. Gibson used 300k volume pots in some cases, but 500k gives a little more highs/sparkle.

    Now you have to decide if you want 50ies or modern wiring:
    Mod Garage: Three Ways to Wire a Tone Pot | Premier Guitar
    Yeah 50s, modern, linear, log,PIO, Orange drop? etc. etc!!! What have I started???
    I did wonder 300K for a warm jazz sound may be.
    Thanks

  5. #4

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    300K is not very different from 250K. Lower values pass more highs to ground, thus less going to the amp. 500K pots allow more treble through, but they can be lowered by rolling off the tone control. Humbuckers tend, in the main, to reproduce fewer highs than single-coil pickups, thus the preference for higher value pots. IMO the type of capacitor has no effect on tone at all. Orange drops are a marketing ploy aimed at extracting maximum funds from the pockets of the gullible. The only thing that matters is the value. Less capacitance means more highs get through. But with the tone control fully open the capacitor is out of the circuit and does nothing. Higher cap values mean that the starting point, where the capacitor starts having an effect, is darker, quicker. Thus smaller cap values allow more control as the tone control is rolled off. So short version, I recommend 500K pots and a .022pF or smaller capacitor. And I'm almost as trustworthy as any other stranger on the internet.

  6. #5

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    Hello! Stranger!

  7. #6

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    I’ll bet the T-top sounds great!

    I have always preferred 500K pots with humbuckers and P90s but last few months I have been playing a P90-hollowbody that has 500K volume pot but 300K tone pot. Very natural jazz sound with all pots at full 10. Warm but not dark.

    But would it work with Your guitar, T-tops and amp, it is of course uncertain. And unfortunately the hollowbodies are quite a hassle to experiment electronics thru the F-holes.

    Tell us how it sounds!

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    And unfortunately the hollowbodies are quite a hassle to experiment electronics thru the F-holes.
    That’s why I prefer working thru the pickup cavities ;-)

  9. #8

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    StewMac sells a tool for working inside hollow-body guitars. They charge a pretty penny for it. But it can be home-made pretty cheaply, using a wire coat hanger. The basic shape can be seen on the website, and with a wire hanger, pliers, and basic skills it can be made easily enough at home. No need for the monofilament line, tubing, or whatever, the tool works well for putting pots and jacks into place through the sound holes, no need for removing the pickups unless they need to be changed or rewired.

  10. #9

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    Stewmac helping hand:


  11. #10

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    That's it. Mine isn't quite so nicely done, but it works.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    That’s why I prefer working thru the pickup cavities ;-)
    That’s great if You have two cavities...Wiring a Gibson T-Top Pickup in an Archtop-65bddc13-45c7-400b-8a76-aba588db3d84-jpg

    Actually it ain’t too bad to work thu F-holes, if only the wires are not soldered too thickly under the pots.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    That’s great if You have two cavities...Wiring a Gibson T-Top Pickup in an Archtop-65bddc13-45c7-400b-8a76-aba588db3d84-jpg

    Actually it ain’t too bad to work thu F-holes, if only the wires are not soldered too thickly under the pots.
    I rewired my ES-125 through its (single) pickup cavity. The pots didn’t mind traveling the extra distance.....

    If you solder the pickup to the pots beforehand you have no other option than to insert the whole harness through the pickup cavity. I pull the jack input in place with a guitar string and an O-ring. I attach a thread to the O-ring to pull it back from the inside after the input is in place. The pots are pulled in position with some strings (thread) around the shaft. Was able to held the pots in place with my fingers through the f-hole while putting on the nuts, but I guess for that a tool à la Stewmac’s third hand would be handy as well.

  14. #13

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    Since I'm a big fan of the 335 style guitar and have several of them I have done quite a bit of work on the electronics - and this is a thinline to boot with much less room to fumble around in the body. What I have found to be extremely useful for moving pots to their respective locations is a long handled spoon like they are being used for cocktails:

    Wiring a Gibson T-Top Pickup in an Archtop-dv004-ppic_229901334_0-jpg

    That idea came to me when I watched a video about the "recreation" of Clapton's "Crossroads 335". There's a very short sequence where a worker installs the pots and harness and uses a similar tool.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    I’ll bet the T-top sounds great!

    I have always preferred 500K pots with humbuckers and P90s but last few months I have been playing a P90-hollowbody that has 500K volume pot but 300K tone pot. Very natural jazz sound with all pots at full 10. Warm but not dark.

    But would it work with Your guitar, T-tops and amp, it is of course uncertain. And unfortunately the hollowbodies are quite a hassle to experiment electronics thru the F-holes.

    Tell us how it sounds!
    After some considerable thought, I have decided to hold off on this surgery and I intend to experiment with adjustments to the floater and then possibly invest in a Rhythm Chief. I've thought about modifying the T - Top to sit above the guitar top - I think I have the room - but cutting off the pickup feet and the pole screws would be out of the question. Cheers.

  16. #15

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    Regarding the Stewmac third hand tool, while it is helpful, a pair of pliers and an old flexible metal cloth hanger and save yourself 15$
    I changed all electronics in my former Epiphone Sheraton, Epiphone Joe Pass and Emperor Regent that I routed an humbucker in top.
    In all those cases, I used some rope and or metal wires.
    In the Sheraton it was a bit more tricky but doable for the harness because i needed to fish everything through the lower f hole because of the wooden block.
    Last edited by vinlander; 06-24-2020 at 08:54 AM.

  17. #16

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    Waxed dental floss is your friend for fishing pots, jacks and switches into place. Put the lock washer on the shaft then tie a simple slip knot with two turns (like a fish hook knot only with just two turns) and pull it tight around the shafts of the pots. Two turns ( assuming you’re using Butlerweave Mint Waxed floss) allows enough tension to pull the component into place then to pull off the floss. While supporting the part from underneath (If possible) with your finger, pull a little harder on the end of the floss and it pulls off. Slip the finish washer and nut down the shaft and tighten. Move on the the next one. Works like a charm, removes plaque from the threads and leaves your guitar smelling minty fresh!

  18. #17

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    When I say two turns, I meant a single loop with two twists to firm the knot. It just loops around the pot shaft once. Get it? Sorry if I wasn’t clear.