wiring harness

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by RobertD, May 10, 2020.

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  1. RobertD

    RobertD New Member

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    Hello. I am looking for a complete wiring harness for a 61 sg.
    Can't afford a real one. What is a good repro.
    Thanks
    Robert
     
  2. RW59

    RW59 New Member

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    I have no personal experience with pre-wired harnesses.

    But there are some forums that are more vintage-focused than this one, and RS Guitarworks harnesses get a lot of love.
     
  3. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Wiring harnesses are a waste of money. There is almost no wiring in a guitar. The connections from the pickup can't be included for obvious reasons. The only things you can have are a pair of capacitors and the connection to the jack. Don't waste your money.
     
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  4. RW59

    RW59 New Member

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    People have different abilities.

    There are posts on all the forums from people who wired their guitar according to a simple standard scheme and can't get it to work.

    The first time I wired up a guitar it was pretty messy. After cutting a couple of wires a little too short, I resorted to cutting them extra long. Burned some insulation, had some blobby joints.

    There are people who have never owned a dyke or a wire stripper or a soldering iron, and would never use them ever again after wiring up their guitar.

    The assembly fee is actually pretty cheap. Less than most techs charge for completely wiring a guitar. Techs charge less for just connecting the pickups. (Most of the cost is the "premium" pots & caps -- that's a separate debate.)
    --------------------
    I pay to get my engine oil replaced. A simple job I could do (and have done) myself. Total waste of money.
     
  5. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Anyone capable of fitting a wiring harness into a guitar and connecting the pickups has more than enough ability to do the job without a harness. Any tech weho takes on a wiring job and buys a harness to achieve it needs to find more suitable work.
     
  6. RW59

    RW59 New Member

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    The scenario I was describing is that you buy the harness, give it to the tech along with the guitar, have him solder in the pickups.

    Any good tech could build the harness. But he'll rightly charge you for the labor. He'll charge less to install a preassembled harness.

    Any good tech will have run of the mill CTS pots and some sort of capacitors. But if you want premium parts (again, whether premium is worth it is a separate question), the tech is likely to have to have to order them. And he'll rightly charge you a markup for the time he spent doing that.
    ---------------------
    Anyone can learn to sew. It's a waste of money to buy clothes when you could make them better and cheaper yourself.

    If someone has never wired a guitar and only plans to have one guitar wired, why should that person invest time and money buying the tools, the solder, the parts?

    Why should that person pay a tech to do the whole job?

    Why not just buy a harness and only pay the tech to do a few solder joints?
     
  7. RW59

    RW59 New Member

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    Further, any Guitar Center "tech" can connect your pickups to a prewired harness. Whether he can build the neat, pretty loom a vintage '61 SG deserves is more questionable.
     
  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    A tech won't "Build a harness". He will put the pots, switch and jack in and make a few solder joints. That's it. And a tech has a stock of decent parts.
     
  9. RW59

    RW59 New Member

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    When you wire pots together, you're building a harness. Whether you do it in place or on a template, it's a harness in common language.

    Shielded jack wire with the insulation cut and pulled apart lengthwise in 2 locations, without nicking any of the shield wires. Cap leads and jumper wires cut to length. No burned wires, no mess. Child's play to you perhaps, but the Gibson factory doesn't always do a pretty job of it.

    "A stock of decent parts" -- yes, most techs have decent CTS or Alpha pots, and an assortment of correct value caps. But many/most won't have paper in oil caps or premium pots.

    I get from your posts that you're an excellent tech with high standards and high workmanship. If I didn't do all my own guitar work, I'd feel blessed to have you work on my guitars.

    There are many great techs. But there are lots of hacks. And lots of techs with uneven skill sets -- might be a wizard at fretwork and setups, but a menace with an iron.
    ----------------------
    I'm curious, if a customer mounted a pre-assembled harness in his guitar and asked you to connect the pickups, would you charge him the same as you would for doing all the wiring?
     
  10. RobertD

    RobertD New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I just want a harness with all the correct type pots, caps, Etc so I get a tech drop it in.
     
  11. RW59

    RW59 New Member

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    As you can see from the sub-forum post counts, this forum leans heavily modern (8,859 modern vs 477 vintage).

    There are some vintage mavens here, but for vintage repro harnesses you might get more info over on...

    Am I allowed to mention the non-sister forum where the corksniffers are obsessive about the minutiae of vintage Les Pauls and LP/SG's?

    Those people will tell you the most expensive repros are the best. But they'll also tell you what the differences are between the different harnesses. Then you can make an informed decision about whether you care what the caps look like, or care about the strand count of the jumper wires.

    All of the harness makers offer the correct circuit with the correct value pots and correct value caps. If you plan to eventually restore it with original old parts, any harness will be fine.

    Some have pots with better tapers. They use different brands of capacitors. Some look more vintage-accurate. The ones with great tapers are functionally equal to the originals -- maybe spending a little extra now will save you hundreds on old used pots and caps.
     
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  12. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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  13. Satellitedog

    Satellitedog Active Member

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  14. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    If I was decided on buying a pre-wired harness I would expect it to be made tidily. That one is just a mess. You will do a much better job wiring components inside the cavity.
     
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  15. Satellitedog

    Satellitedog Active Member

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    You may be right I don't see it as messy, the , and there may be nicer harnesses around, and I would probably build my own, but the components are fine in the crazyparts one too.
    Here are two from the US:
    https://emersoncustom.com/products/sg-prewired-kit

    https://www.creamtone.com/products/...bsolute-vintage-collection-1961-ceramic-discs
    this one I think is messier than the German one.
     
  16. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    To build a harness you need to create a jig that has all the holes in the right places. You already have that - the guitar. Just do the job once. Screw the bits into the guitar and solder the parts and wires on. That even prevents the potential problem of stressing the solder joints as you manoeuvre the assembly about.
     
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  17. fernieite

    fernieite Member

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    Last edited: May 14, 2020
  18. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    @donepearce -Herr Doktor, assuming the the same values and tolerances, does the composition (and/or price) of capacitors in a passive guitar circuit make a gnat's knackers worth of difference to the sound coming out of the amp?
     
  19. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Good question, and easy answer. Not a microbe's genitals worth of difference. At audio frequencies, value is all. Size matters. It's a good plan to use caps small enough to fit between the volume and tone pots so they don't have to be flapping around in mid-air unsupported (like the caps in that recent picture, sadly).
     
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  20. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Active Member

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    At the forefront in the battle against ignorance and woodoo here I see, hahaha. "Microbes genitals" is just priceless.
     

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