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Old 04-24-11, 09:04 PM   #1
TedB
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Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

I'm looking for the correct wiring diagram for a '50s era 3-Pickup Custom, and I've come across this:



If anyone out there who can definitively verify this, it would be much appreciated!

Last edited by TedB : 04-25-11 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 04-25-11, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

Ted; That's pretty right with the exception of the caps. The caps were wired to the output of the pot(center lug) so when you roll down the volume, the pickup doesn't get dark.
Also, the middle pickup is not wired out of phase with the bridge. What's happening is the same as a Strat and you get magnetic phase cancellation with the pickups being so close together. Raising or lowering the pickup will determine the amount of quack you get in the middle switch position.
I've had a 3-pickup Custom for around 6 years now. Love it!
Regards, Don
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Old 04-25-11, 05:28 PM   #3
JJ Blair
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

TM1, I was under the impression that the magnet of the middle PU was flipped to achieve phase reversal, on that middle PU.
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Old 04-25-11, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

All (3) pickups are identical.

(3) Pickup Les Paul Custom (.pdf file)
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Old 04-25-11, 07:37 PM   #5
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

Thanks so much you guys for that explanation and pdf. It's clear to me now. I've found incorrect wiring schemes for both '50s LP 2 and 3-pickup models, and that damn sure makes for frustration. Ah well, back to the ol' soldering iron ...
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Old 04-25-11, 08:03 PM   #6
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ Blair View Post
TM1, I was under the impression that the magnet of the middle PU was flipped to achieve phase reversal, on that middle PU.

+1 When the pickup selector switch is in the middle position.
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Old 04-25-11, 08:39 PM   #7
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

All pickups are standard, none of them have any internal magnet or wiring differences.
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Old 04-29-11, 12:22 AM   #8
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

Yes, it may sound out of phase, but actually it's just interaction between the three magnets. All three are installed exactly alike. It's much like a Strat where all the Strat pickups have the same magnetic polarity, but they sound out of phase. The magnets in the humbuckings are installed with the same polarity, but because they are so close you get frequency & magnetic interaction that makes them sound like they are out of phase. I've actually done a magnet flip on the middle p.u. on mine and it's not a nice sound. Very thin and shrill.
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Old 04-29-11, 07:43 AM   #9
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

FWIW, I don't find the middle switch position to be very 'quacky'. Actually, I find it to be more useful than a 2-pickup LP. It thickens the sound mildly, which works for chording phrases. This may also be a factor of the middle pickup height, which I imagine some drop considerably, and that may make things 'quacky'.
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Old 04-29-11, 11:48 AM   #10
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

I believe in the middle pos pickups 1 & 2 are in parallel, hence the unique sound.
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Old 04-29-11, 11:50 AM   #11
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

Yes, bridge and middle in parallel.
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Old 04-29-11, 12:54 PM   #12
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

Too bad Switchcraft doesn't make a switch that would put the neck and middle together. I actually like the sound of the middle & bridge though and use it alot. Where the middle is set depends on how much quack you get. Also, I've found that the original PAF's and the ThroBak's sound nearly identical in that position.
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Old 04-29-11, 01:04 PM   #13
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

TM1 you could actually do this with the 3-pickup switch
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Old 04-29-11, 04:47 PM   #14
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

OK. I was lead to believe that something was wrong, or my middle PU had been replaced, because the middle switch sound on mine is really nice. It didn't sound out of phase, and somebody insisted that they were supposed to be out of phase.
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Old 04-29-11, 04:55 PM   #15
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

Nope, sounds more like a fat single coil.
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Old 04-29-11, 07:23 PM   #16
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

My Rev Firebird VII, on the other hand, sounds very piercing in that position.
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Old 04-29-11, 07:27 PM   #17
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

Yes using the gibson 3-pickup wiring scheme shown with all 3 identical pickups, the middle position will have a brighter tone and slightly lower output than either the bridge or neck
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Old 04-29-11, 08:38 PM   #18
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Re: Vintage Wiring - 3 Pickup Custom

I once was fortunate enough to get a hold of 3 short magnet PAFs from a '61 SG/LP the readings were neck 7.75k middle 8.13k and bridge 8.36k.
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