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  1. #1

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    Hi Jazzists,
    I want to change the whole electric on my archtop, including Pickup.
    Pickup would be Seymour Duncan Antiquity, Seth Lover low wound or Lollar Imperial. -> What do you thin about teh differences between them?

    But I've no idea or experience wich tonepotis (500kohm fur Humbuckers is all I know) and cables (Material, AWG-Specs) in good/best quality I should choose.

    Any suggestions?

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  3. #2

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    Hi,
    About your pickup question, i tried both Seymour Antiquity and Seth Lover in same Eastman models. T49V ( one pickup ES 175 ) for Seth Lover and T49D/V ( double pickup ES 175 ) for the Antiquity. Both were close, but i prefered the Seth Lover. Very subjective choice. Seth Lover sounded " fuller " and " rounder ".

    About your pots and cable, i don't have any advice. But you can change your regular output jack with 2 contact pins with a model with 4 contact pins. All my guitars had output jack problems, but it's all done since i changed this part ( should cost around 5€ )

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madansi
    Hi,
    About your pickup question, i tried both Seymour Antiquity and Seth Lover in same Eastman models. T49V ( one pickup ES 175 ) for Seth Lover and T49D/V ( double pickup ES 175 ) for the Antiquity. Both were close, but i prefered the Seth Lover. Very subjective choice. Seth Lover sounded " fuller " and " rounder ".

    About your pots and cable, i don't have any advice. But you can change your regular output jack with 2 contact pins with a model with 4 contact pins. All my guitars had output jack problems, but it's all done since i changed this part ( should cost around 5€ )
    +10 on the Seth Lover pickups. Just plain fantastic humbuckers. Warm and round.

    To ease your pain with the wiring harness, you may be able to purchase a ready-made harness on Reverb or eBay if your guitar is a common model. I’ve seen very high quality, complete wiring harnesses (including pots, caps, switch and all wiring) for around $100. I typically do the wiring myself, but at that price, I will probably buy one of the harnesses from Jackson Electronic Luthier on Reverb (no affiliation) the next time I gut and upgrade. ES175 Wiring Harness CTS 525k Rare .022 uF Vitamin Q PIO | Reverb

    All the best to you for a successful project!

    Roli

  5. #4

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    US made CTS pots and Switchcraft switches.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dreipass
    Hi Jazzists,
    I want to change the whole electric on my archtop, including Pickup.
    Pickup would be Seymour Duncan Antiquity, Seth Lover low wound or Lollar Imperial. -> What do you thin about teh differences between them?

    But I've no idea or experience wich tonepotis (500kohm fur Humbuckers is all I know) and cables (Material, AWG-Specs) in good/best quality I should choose.

    Any suggestions?

  7. #6

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    +1 on the idea of a pre-wired harness, if you can find one for your guitar.

    Right now, I'm installing new electronics in a Strat clone. I don't have much skill doing neat and tidy soldering work in tight spaces, so I went with a "solder less" pre-wired assembly from MojoTone that will let me swap out pickups with ease. And will save my clumsy self a lot of trouble.

  8. #7

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    I'm pay a lot of attention to the components in my guitars. Last archtop I replaced all the electronics I used Switchcraft selector and jack, CTS pots, braided wire & Sprague Orange drops. For pickups I went with Parsons Street Alnico 2 Humbuckers from Stew Mac.

    Which Tone Pots and Cables for Replacement?-sebring-wiring-jpg
    Last edited by icr; 05-06-2021 at 02:07 PM.

  9. #8

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    Both pickups are great. Which pickups will work in Your guitar is highly subjective question and it depends a lot on the guitar too. Some guitars just need certain pickups and won’t sound good with anothers.

    Seths are cheaper, start with them! Buy used so You can sell them for the same price if they don’t work.

    Can You solder? If yes, the price of the ready made harness is just too much. A pot is about 5€/$ (4 x makes 20€/$), caps make 0,5€/$ (no use to pay for the boutique ones, the only important difference with the caps is the value), jack makes 5€/$ and the switch 15€/$ – totals 41€/$. Plus solder and cables. And a bottle of beer...

    If You can’t solder, pay the 100 €/$ for Your tech to change the electronics so he’ll get his earnings.

    And if You don’t have a tech, then buy a ready made harness!

    Good luck in the project! If You change it Yourself, it is a good mental excercise! Breathe deep!

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    Can You solder? If yes, the price of the ready made harness is just too much. A pot is about 5€/$ (4 x makes 20€/$), caps make 0,5€/$ (no use to pay for the boutique ones, the only important difference with the caps is the value), jack makes 5€/$ and the switch 15€/$ – totals 41€/$. Plus solder and cables. And a bottle of beer...

    If You can’t solder, pay the 100 €/$ for Your tech to change the electronics so he’ll get his earnings.
    !
    Archtops have the additional challenge to mount the pots via the F-holes.
    I'm comfortable with soldering and have changed numeous pots and pickups but when it comes mounting pots through the F hole I think I could be tempted to give it a try on a cheaper guitar, but I would pay someone who has done it professionally numerous times to do it on my most priced possessions rather than have work done on it by someone (me) who is doing it for the first time.

    I usually choose CTS pot because I like how they feel when turning them.
    It might sound a bit stupit. I think Alpha Pots (significantly cheaper) are just as good when it comes to sound, quality and reliability (I'm happy to use them in amps).

  11. #10

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    I did this wiring harness for my ES-330 build:



    I used Alpha pots, 500K log (audio taper) and .022uf caps. Personally I wouldn’t worry too much about wire-thickness (awg), almost anything goes. Personally I like the braided vintage wire because you can ground everything through the outside braiding.

    I am a big fan of the “50ies wiring” in my vintage ES-125, so initially I wired everything according to the 50ies schematic. But it did not work the same at all! Pots were only effective in the first 25% or so of the turn.... I found out the taper of modern log pots is different from the old ones!

    So I switched to “60ies wiring” (electrically the same as modern wiring, but it involved less work coming from 50ies wiring) with 100k/.001uf treble bleeds on the volume pots. Now I really like it! Pretty smooth transition throughout the whole range of the pots and much less loss of treble when rolling off the volume.

    (The different wirings sound the same, especially with pots full open, but it’s the operation that differs.)



    Treble bleed (I used 100k and .001uf for P90s, for Humbuckers maybe different values are better - google!)

  12. #11

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    Btw, in archtops and hollowbodies it’s much easier to install the harness through the pickup cavities than through the f-holes....

    Of course with semis, f-holes are the only way....

  13. #12

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    Several have touched the question of soldering. I recently received from Seymor Duncan a free "course" which covered all aspects of soldering, pick ups, guitar electronics etc in extreme detail. VEry helplul if you are a novice, or need to fill gaps in your knowledge in your soldering skills. I assume it is all available on their website. Good luck!
    Last edited by 0zoro; 05-07-2021 at 09:59 AM.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0zoro
    Several have touched the question of soldering. I recently received from Seymor Duncan a free "course" which covered all aspects of soldering, pick ups, etc in extreme detail. VEry helplul if you are a novice, or need to fill gaps in your knowledge in your soldering skills. I assume it is all available on their website. Good luck!
    Nice!
    As with playing guitar, learning to solder well takes practice. Much to learn: correct tools for the work you need to do, proper wire stripping, making a solid mechanical connection before soldering, how much heat is needed, knowing where and for how long to apply the heat to create a good joint but to not fry the component, how to cleanly de-solder a joint, etc. etc.

    Learning about these things and practicing making good solder joints is a good investment of time if you plan to roll your own harnesses or even to upgrade pickups or repair your instruments. Otherwise, I’d recommend having a skilled tech do it.

  15. #14

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    Hi Jazzists,
    thanks for alle the helpful answers and hints. I can solder a little and I agree with Herbie that the sets are much too expensive.

    So as I can see, mostly CTS Pots an Switchcraft Jacks and Switches are recommended. What about the cables? How to choose? Material? AWG shield class?

    On some US-Archtop-Sites I found that they were not satisfied with this "standards" and recommend much more expensiv stoof: ist this kind of vodoo talk? Or ist heir a next step in quality?

    What do you think about capacitors for treble bleed. does this make sense - ore are CTS Pots good enough to keep the signal clear?

    Thanks
    Tim

  16. #15

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    Of course if you ask the right person he will tell you you need expensive vintage Paper-In-Oil Bumblebee Snake Oil caps or it won’t sound right..... but take my word for it, I’ve soldered quite a few wiring harnesses together by now and I have never found a difference in caps except when they have a different value. A $0.15 ceramic cap performs the same as a $120 bumblebee of the same uF-value..... it’s your wallet, but I know what to choose....

    Wire: for ease of use and good looking results I use braided ‘vintage wiring’, like this one from Stewmac:


    Tip: soldering the outer braid of this wiring to a pot can be hard. It’s much easier when you ‘wet’ the tip of your iron and scratch the surface of the pot with a screwdriver!

  17. #16

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    Oh and I think there are several pots sold as CTS: made in Taiwan, made in USA and perhaps even Chinese made ones. They also look different.

    I was not impressed with Stewmac CTS pots! I liked the Alphas much better.
    Last edited by Little Jay; 05-08-2021 at 07:19 AM.

  18. #17

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    Besides it is matter of taste/preference there is more uncertinity...

    Similarly to old times hifi turntable, arm, pickup (trafo), cable, preamp/amp, cable, loudpeaker choices, this is also matter is "fitting"

    I mean if there is a character, or oppositely a weakness of a particular instrument, some pickup may fit better on the instrument compared to other pickup by enhancing a good characteristics, or hiding/correcting a weakness. However on an other instrument the other pickup could be better.

    There is a chain of (pick), string, instrument, pickup, amp what gives the final result, and in chain #1 the one pickup could be closer to your idea, however in chain #2 the other.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by dreipass
    (...) What about the cables? How to choose? Material? AWG shield class?
    (...)
    What do you think about capacitors for treble bleed. does this make sense - ore are CTS Pots good enough to keep the signal clear?
    Thanks
    Tim
    There is a large variety of cables used inside the guitars and I have understood that most types work great. I personally like working with the classic braided shield wire. If You choose the same be careful to choose a cable that has a cloth insulation, not plastic.

    I think that any volume pot will decrease the highs a bit when turned down, no matter is it cheap or boutique, it depends more about its electrical function (adding resistance).

    It is good to remember too that this is often a wanted sound. You can find a tons of threads about ’a good jazz sound’ here in which people suggest turning the vol pot down to 7-8 to ’soften’ the sound a bit.

    But of course there is the tone pot for that too.

  20. #19

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    Search Amazon for The Art of Tone (no affiliation). Great source for quality pots, caps, wiring, etc.

  21. #20

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    Soldering is not hard. Takes a little practice and watching some videos. And some inexpensive tools. But if you want to swap pickups, no time like the present to learn.

    I actually prefer plain wire over braided. I use different colors (you can pick what you want.. e.g. front pickup hot is blue, ground is always black, back pickup hot is green, ground is black). Also I find the outer braid harder and less precise to solder.

    For caps I use Sprague orange drops. They do not sound any different than any other cap. I just like that they are easy to spot on the work bench, have clear markings, large enough to handle easily, and they look cool.

  22. #21

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    Which Tone Pots and Cables for Replacement?-580dc3b9-fe13-4fc5-b70c-05b408f0d39f-jpg
    What I can really recommend is to measure the top, all the holes, and make a cardboard template. It really helps to keep things neat and only use the lengths necessary, this keeps buzzes away. I used combination of braided shield wire covered with shrink tube, and 4 conductor shielded cable. This was very easy to pull into place because everything just fit.

    For pots I just used 10% cts, with orange drop capacitors which are not very expensive but have small error tolerances.

    Here I used Benedetto b6 pickups and followed the included schematic (“modern wiring”) so the actual values probably won’t be relevant to a typical setup with PAFs.

  23. #22

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    I’ll play devil’s advocate and suggest sealed pots in any guitar in which they are open to the elements, for example, anything with an F-hole. Bourns type 82 or 95, or various sealed mil-spec pots. Jim Dunlop and Mighty Mite sell them, too. You would have to wire the harness differently with the Bourns pots, since you can’t solder to the casing, but it’s not a big deal.

    just my two euro-cents

    steven

  24. #23

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    Bourns looks interesting. Going to have to try them.

  25. #24

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    Hi Steven,
    thanks for this. I like the idea of sealed pots. Miss them in many amps, when they beginn scratching the sound...
    After a first look I can't find the difference between 82 and 95 Bourns. Except there is a huge price range and the 82s are more expensive. But in the spec sheet I cant see why. Can you clear up things? And how ist soldering done with them if there is no metalcase?


    Thanks
    Tim

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by dreipass
    Hi Steven,
    thanks for this. I like the idea of sealed pots. Miss them in many amps, when they beginn scratching the sound...
    After a first look I can't find the difference between 82 and 95 Bourns. Except there is a huge price range and the 82s are more expensive. But in the spec sheet I cant see why. Can you clear up things? And how ist soldering done with them if there is no metalcase?
    Thanks
    Tim
    Thats what I found (helpful):

    The main practical difference with the 82 vintage model is that the connections are wire loops rather than small metal tabs. Also the body is a little larger. Overall this makes connecting/grounding a little bit easier.
    Some of the 95 premium models come with a grounding washer with solder point – to ground a connected metal electronics plate.

    More about Bourns-Potentiometers: Reviews > Parts >
    Bourns Guitar Pots : DIY Fever – Building my own guitars, amps and pedals