50's Wiring

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by chicagoslim, Jun 24, 2017.

  1. chicagoslim

    chicagoslim Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Bowling Green, KY
    Long story short: I sold two guitars and went to the guitar store to replace one. I looked at a PRS Vela and SE Custom 22 semi-hollow. I came home with another, light weight, Zach Myers. So, I decided to switch one to 50's wiring. Hoping to made the tone responce, a little different.

    I connected the capacitor to the lug on the Tone Pot, that had the original Cap. I connected the other lead to the center lug of the Volume Pot. Everything works, but the guitar is now brighter with the Tone Pot set a zero.

    Did I wire something Backwards? Or, is this normal for 50's wiring?

    Thanks.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,988
    Likes Received:
    2,289
    Location:
    Groovy Beach, CA
    Not normal. Does it gradually get brighter as you roll down the tone? Can you post very detailed pics? Maybe explain how it was wired originally, too.
     
  3. chicagoslim

    chicagoslim Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Bowling Green, KY
    I works normally. It just seems backwards. Brighter at 0, darker at 10. The original Cap, was wired from the left most lug, to ground on the Tone Pot. I lifted the original Cap, and wiring from the same lug, to the middle lug of the Volume Pot.

    Not my guitar, but wired like this. I have more slack wires (harder to see), and North/South coils, wired together.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,988
    Likes Received:
    2,289
    Location:
    Groovy Beach, CA
    In that pic, let's call the tone pot lugs by
    #3: the lug that's connected to the cap.
    #2: lug is grounded to its own casing.
    #1: lug is not connected to anything.
    Make sure lug #1 is not connected or touching anything. Not even a ground. Some people choose to snip the lug off.

    #2 has to be grounded to its own casing, only.

    #3 is connected to one end of cap, while the other end is connected to the volume pots middle or #2 lug. Make sure the leads of the cap are not touching the casings or any other ground source.

    wiring50s.jpg
     
  5. chicagoslim

    chicagoslim Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Bowling Green, KY
    Thanks syscokid.

    I've got an extra red lead (and ground), on pin 2 of the Tone Pot. It's like the red leads in my picture, except that it has 1 red wire on each Tone Pot. And, of course, the controls are in different positions, on a PRS. PRS doesn't list SE schematics. I'm hunting through the MIA models, trying to figure out what It's for. I believe it's just extra grounding.
     
  6. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,988
    Likes Received:
    2,289
    Location:
    Groovy Beach, CA
    I didn't know what to make of the red leads. I couldn't tell what it was connected to. PRS does things differently... in a good way.

    Does this diagram help out all. I know it doesn't show no stinking red leads:

    singlecut.jpg
     
  7. chicagoslim

    chicagoslim Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Bowling Green, KY
    It's still not exactly right. But, I've got another Zach Myers with modern wiring, to compare it to.

    I started using a Zoom MFX pedal and quality head phones. It sounded pretty close, with backwards Tone controls. Then I found the clean jazz sounds, were 100% better. I'm keeping the wiring. Next I'll try all analog, at band practice levels. For gig volume, I normally use the MFX pedal and a bigger amp. It is giving me one guitar working better at some sounds, which is what I wanted.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
    syscokid likes this.
  8. chicagoslim

    chicagoslim Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Bowling Green, KY
    I'm really liking the 50's wiring at band levels. I figured out that the red lead on the Tone Pots, go to the pickups. This gives me a resistance ground, making a bright circuit. This has reversed the path of least resistance to ground. Making the Tone Pots work backwards. In the mid range of the Pots, the sound is much more articulate. I have now wired both guitars, this way.

    [​IMG]
     
    syscokid likes this.
  9. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    241
    What?!? I have no idea what that means.

    If the tone pots work backwards just move the cap to the other side of the pot, assuming you've got it on one of the end tabs.

    It might be a good idea to contact PRS with the model and SR# and ask for a wiring diagram of how the guitar was originally wired when it left the factory.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
    syscokid and chicagoslim like this.
  10. chicagoslim

    chicagoslim Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Bowling Green, KY
    Thank you! That's what I was looking for. I moved the capacitor to the other lug.

    No, that did not work. I'm back to my other wiring, and Tone control that works backwards.

    I have two new Zach Myers, as wired from the factory.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  11. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,988
    Likes Received:
    2,289
    Location:
    Groovy Beach, CA
    I would love to see a diagram. I'm so confused with the PRS wiring that is being described. I wish I can understand better in what is going on.
     
    DCCable likes this.
  12. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    316
    Isn't the issue that for 50s wiring the tone pots are NOT tone pots but rather blend pots?
     
  13. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    241
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean?

    Essentially most guitar tone controls consist of a pot (usually the same value as the volume pot) and a cap (usually somewhere around .022 uf to .047uf. And usually the pot has only the wiper and one of the end pins hooked up making it a variable resistor. This variable resistor in in series with the cap and that series string goes between some signal point and ground, and acts to short the higher frequencies to ground. The -3db frequency of this RC network is determined by where the tone pot is set, all other things being equal.

    http://stuffbillhasdone.blogspot.com/2010/06/guitar-tone-circuit-analysis.html

    The URL above gives a very good analysis of the situation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  14. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    316
    chicagoslim likes this.
  15. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    241
    Okay, but I still don't get what you mean by not being tone pots but blend pots.

    And yes the pots do work the same you just have different results because the tone pot is in a different location in the circuit so the impedance of the circuit changes differently when its turned down.
     
  16. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    241
    For some fun try this tone circuit out

    Guitar_Volume_Tone_circuit.jpg
     
  17. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    316
    Hello
    Not sure if I am helping here and I should state that i am not an expert on this at all. All of my SGs have standard factory wiring. I have researched the 50s wiring though and observed that people sometimes refer to the tone knobs as "blend" knobs on 50s sets ups. By blend they mean how much sound is coming from each pickup in relation to the other. Not sure if that is technically correct but again its what people say.
     
  18. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    241
    Maybe its just me, but I'm not following that line of logic at all; oh well.
     
  19. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    241
    Okay, wait a minute, I have wired tone pots on Strats (the lower tone pot) as a blend pot between the neck and bridge pickup. In this case the tone pot is no longer a tone pot. It is indeed a blend pot. And by extension, I see no reason why that couldn't be done with a Gibson set up, but it seems a little redundant since the same thing can be done with the pickup selector in the center position using the two volume controls.
     
  20. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,988
    Likes Received:
    2,289
    Location:
    Groovy Beach, CA
    That's how I have my Strat wired. Works for me... :yesway:

    On some of my guitars, I have this same style of treble bleed cap setup between the #1 & #2 lugs of the volume pot. In your schematic, your adding a .001 cap ala vintage style, .022 cap ala modern style, and finally a wired connection from the #1 lug of the volume pot to the normally unused #1 lug of the tone pot? Do I have that right?

    What does this bring to the soundscape?
     

Share This Page