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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Got my 335 recently and took it to my guitar tech for a set up etc............gave him my pio caps and Timbuckers to put in it and he said 'no can do' as he can't access the wiring and pots through the F holes(can't draw the loom out) or work through bridge pup routing as it's very narrow.
    Any of you have the same problem.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Everything is drawn out and put in through the Bridge pickup routing. The Bridge ground is typically unsoldered first (after removing the bridge pickup and pulling the loom out far enough) . The Neck pickup is unsoldered second and at that point the rest will pull out through the same route. I tie dental floss to each shaft (3' should do it) to draw them back to the same points. I would suggest searching for my post on how Collings makes their harnesses which are wired exactly the same but they ingeniously change the lengths so it wraps around the bottom of the bout before coming back to the Bridge Tone and Volume controls which makes it easy to route the bundle so you never see it. I suggest putting a piece of blue tape over the F-hole and inside if you can to keep a shaft from poking up and destroying the edges. Don't ask me how I know.

    If your tech has never done a 3XX find a different tech. YOU DON'T WANT HIM LEARNING ON YOURS!

    Collings: You are looking at (bottom to top) the bridge pickup, Neck volume, Switch to the left, Neck Tone, Bridge Tone, Jack, Bridge Volume.

    I always make a plywood template with the holes in the exact spot (paper transfer) to wire up a new one or changes to get the wire bundles correct. Stuff it back in and solder on the ground and Neck pickup as it gets to the correct spot before stuffing it in.
    Last edited by renderit; 05-22-20 at 08:27 AM.


  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Triplet's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Yep, through the bridge route. Tie strings to the pot shafts and jack when drawing them back into position. Awkward first time. (coat hanger to pull the strings into position)
    .
    'then she made me play games I didn't wanna play...'
    .
    .
    Fer fux sake! Duane's left and Dickey's right!
    .

  4. #4

    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Not all 335s have access through the bridge route.

    I have never checked my 2018. .


    1962 bridge route.


  5. #5

    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Pics of the harness drawn out through the pickup route on my 2014 Dot Reissue. My Epi Sheraton does not have this access and mini CTS pots were used in replacing that harness. It was a nightmare to work through the f holes on that guitar, too.


  6. #6

    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    The bridge route on my 2018 1959 RI (made in Memphis). This is historically correct. No pots are passing through this route.



    And the f hole. Tight work space.

    Last edited by mdubya; 05-22-20 at 11:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Thanks for all the pics you guys.
    I picked that 335s were difficult to work on but didn't know to what degree.
    Thinking about it, it would be desirable to do some routing to make access easier wouldn't it?

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    I would not if it is not done that way.

    The F-Hole method sucks, but use blue tape in that case to cover the edges or you WILL eat them.

    I have done this on ones without the large hole under the pickup 3 or 4 times in my entire life.

    Hopefully you will only have to change it out once so I would NOT hog the hole out.

    Go SLOW and CAREFUL and COVER THE GUITAR as you will be soldering right over it in those cases.


  9. #9

    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    IMHO, unless you have a real problem with the tone, I would leave it be. Play it for a while. It will reveal itself to you the more you play it.


    As far as the pickups go, you could cut the leads off in the pickup route and solder the new pickups there in the route and change pickups all you want.

    Different pots and caps may sound a little bit different, but better or worse? That is subjective.

    If you ever want to sell the guitar, anything less than original is going to make it that much harder to move and that much less valuable.

    I changed the harness and the pickups on my Dot Standard, all easily reversible. But I still second guess if that was the right move. I could have lived with it stock, no problem.

    And that is what I would suggest as the great enabler! Don't spend money modding and devaluing this guitar. Spend that money on another guitar!

    The Custom Buckers and 500k harness in your guitar should be perfectly fine and sound great by all accounts.

  10. #10

    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by goldtop0 View Post
    he said 'no can do' as he can't access the wiring and pots through the F holes(can't draw the loom out)
    ask him how it got in there

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Thanks fellas for your input and advice.
    I'm used to doing this and that and trying different things with my LPs so the 335 presents a challenge in that regard.
    It's a fine instrument and I'm as happy as a larry with it's sound etc........on it goes

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    When removing the guitar's wiring harness, I would suggest using strong 10 lb. monofilament fishing line for securing the pots and output jack. Fishing line is very strong and flexible, and less likely to break vs. other weak string materials.

    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

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  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    When removing the guitar's wiring harness, I would suggest using strong 10 lb. monofilament fishing line for securing the pots and output jack. Fishing line is very strong and flexible, and less likely to break vs. other weak string materials.


    The expertise here is just great and thanks for the advice
    I feel like I'm entering a fishing contest.......... and the Jaws theme popped into my mind
    Last edited by goldtop0; 05-24-20 at 12:14 AM.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Which is why I use dental floss, never broke it and it's easier to see.

    I would also suggest a trip to Harbor Fright and get you a set of picks:

    https://www.harborfreight.com/mini-pick-and-hook-set-63697.html

    They come in real handy to move stuff around in there.

    Good luck! You are about to be very frustrated...


  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member J.D.'s Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Remove the pickguard, tape the f-hole edges, and gentlywiggle them out. That's the opening they went in through. ES guitars aren't the easiest to work on but a competent tech can do this job.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member OKGuitar's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Since I deal in mostly pre 65 ES-335's, I've pulled dozens of harnesses out through the f-holes. It's tricky fiddly work. Painters tape around the f-hole is a good way to keep from trashing the edges of the f-hole but even that thin layer of tape can make it near impossible to get them out. There are occasions where I've had to remove a pickup and couldn't get the pot out (usually big solder blob in the way) and I've done the work with the pot still inside the guitar, through the f-hole. To re-install, I generally use only one length of aquarium tubing (with a 1/4" plug taped to the end) on the jack and use that to pull the entire harness into place. Chopsticks are a good tool for moving the pots into position to pull them up through the proper holes and surgical forceps are a good way to grab the pot shafts. Even after having pulled and reinstalled probably 50 harnesses, it's still no fun but at least I can pull and reinstall a harness through the f-hole in about 20-30 minutes. The first time I did it, it took 3 hours and I swore I'd never do it again. Doing it through the bridge pickup rout on one with a cut center block is no fun either but it is somewhat easier to get out. Getting it back in still sucks. I still won't install a 345 Varitone harness with shielding cans. Getting it out is pretty easy. Getting it back in there in one piece is not. One final point that's already been made-if your luthier can't pull and reinstall a 335 harness, find a new luthier.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by OKGuitar View Post
    Since I deal in mostly pre 65 ES-335's, I've pulled dozens of harnesses out through the f-holes. It's tricky fiddly work.
    One final point that's already been made-if your luthier can't pull and reinstall a 335 harness, find a new luthier.

    Thanks fellas for all the input.
    Yes it's like performing surgery as they say and a different luthier/guitar tech is the go. I'm not prepared to tackle it, I can just see myself pulling my hair out by the roots and most probably completely messing things up
    I'll have a hunt for someone who's au fait with 335s and get a quote to have the work done at some stage............I'm in no rush.
    Cheers and thanks again, you guys are the best

  18. #18

    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by goldtop0 View Post
    Thanks fellas for all the input.
    Yes it's like performing surgery as they say and a different luthier/guitar tech is the go. I'm not prepared to tackle it, I can just see myself pulling my hair out by the roots and most probably completely messing things up
    I'll have a hunt for someone who's au fait with 335s and get a quote to have the work done at some stage............I'm in no rush.
    Cheers and thanks again, you guys are the best
    Here you have a nice method using plastic tubes for wiring.
    May that is useful too.
    https://youtu.be/p7pKqsBF56A


    BR
    Andy

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member jrgtr42's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    I did the pickups on my Epiphone Dot ( for all intents and purposes a 335) myself - and I didn't even think of using floss / etc until it was too late.
    If I remember right (this was almost 20 years ago) I pulled the harness through the F-holes, I clipped the stock pickups off as close as I could to the pot - I wasn't going to use them again, but someone might - and soldered the new ones on outside, then wiggled them back into place. The jack was the worst part with nothing to grab onto, but I got it eventually.
    ********************************
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  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Tubing, fishing nylon and a dowel for the jack to pull it through. That’s my approach. Done a few now and it requires a stiff drink before and after.
    Otherwise known as Grant.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by latestarter View Post
    Done a few now and it requires a stiff drink before and after.

    Appreciate your erudite and practical approach with that Grant
    Spoke with my guy again about this today and he said that he has worked on a number of them over the years, so problem solved.........lord knows why he said he wouldn't want to tackle it or say that he had in the first inst
    Obviously this gives me options now as regards maintenance of the 335, good guitar techs are few and far between in this country.
    Thanks for all your input and help fellas..............most appreciated, I've learnt a lot

  22. #22
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by goldtop0 View Post
    Appreciate your erudite and practical approach with that Grant
    Spoke with my guy again about this today and he said that he has worked on a number of them over the years, so problem solved.........lord knows why he said he wouldn't want to tackle it or say that he had in the first inst
    Obviously this gives me options now as regards maintenance of the 335, good guitar techs are few and far between in this country.
    Thanks for all your input and help fellas..............most appreciated, I've learnt a lot
    Good that you will be able to get this work done on your 335 . I just wanted to say that unless it's a vintage guitar (50's-60's) I would install my choice of pickups and wiring harness , as I have done on my Custom Shop Les Paul's . I am just so partial to ThroBak Pickups (MXV-SLE-101 Plus ) . I can appreciate a fully factory stock instrument and yet at the same time if I am not getting the desired sound/tone then it's fair game , after all we do have the right to enjoy our musical instruments to our hearts and ears desires . Best wishes .

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Keefoman's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Is there a difference between the Nashville and Memphis made 335's? I've swapped electronics in my '13 Memphis 335 through the f-hole. It was a pain in the a** and a real test of patience, but it was doable even though I'm not a guitartech by any means.

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by El Gringo View Post
    Good that you will be able to get this work done on your 335 . I just wanted to say that unless it's a vintage guitar (50's-60's) I would install my choice of pickups and wiring harness , as I have done on my Custom Shop Les Paul's . I am just so partial to ThroBak Pickups (MXV-SLE-101 Plus ) . I can appreciate a fully factory stock instrument and yet at the same time if I am not getting the desired sound/tone then it's fair game , after all we do have the right to enjoy our musical instruments to our hearts and ears desires . Best wishes .

    I've got Timbuckers I want to try in it and some pio caps.
    This 335 of mine does sound great with its Custombuckers, I really like them as with my R8 also, so it's just a matter of when we do the change really.........and see if there's any tonal difference(which I'm sure there will be).

    We're at Level 1 here in NZ(as of yesterday) so we're edging towards a complete release from the lockdown thing in maybe a week or two I'd say, with no new cases in the last 2-3 weeks.
    All the best to you guys in the US too, you're having quite a time of it with one thing and another at the moment

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Keefoman View Post
    Is there a difference between the Nashville and Memphis made 335's? I've swapped electronics in my '13 Memphis 335 through the f-hole. It was a pain in the a** and a real test of patience, but it was doable even though I'm not a guitartech by any means.

    Great that you did it yourself..........I'm not game to.
    The big difference I've seen is that Nashville 335s etc were produced in Gloss finish(prior to 2020) and Memphis were VOS mostly(prior to the closure of the factory in early '19).
    Plus Nashville have Custombucker pups and Memphis MHS.

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member Keefoman's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by goldtop0 View Post
    Great that you did it yourself..........I'm not game to.
    The big difference I've seen is that Nashville 335s etc were produced in Gloss finish(prior to 2020) and Memphis were VOS mostly(prior to the closure of the factory in early '19).
    Plus Nashville have Custombucker pups and Memphis MHS.
    Mine is gloss. And in ‘13 the Memphis dot came with Classic `57s. I was thinking about the size of the f-holes.

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Keefoman View Post
    Mine is gloss. And in ‘13 the Memphis dot came with Classic `57s. I was thinking about the size of the f-holes.

    I've never thought about f-hole size, it'd be interesting to find out any differences in models and years, for sure.

  28. #28
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by goldtop0 View Post
    I've got Timbuckers I want to try in it and some pio caps.
    This 335 of mine does sound great with its Custombuckers, I really like them as with my R8 also, so it's just a matter of when we do the change really.........and see if there's any tonal difference(which I'm sure there will be).

    We're at Level 1 here in NZ(as of yesterday) so we're edging towards a complete release from the lockdown thing in maybe a week or two I'd say, with no new cases in the last 2-3 weeks.
    All the best to you guys in the US too, you're having quite a time of it with one thing and another at the moment
    Good for you ! I wish you the best and please stay safe . Yesterday I was as happy as I have been in quite awhile as I got a note that my Brazilian 2018 R9 Lemonburst is finally coming back home to me as she has been quarenteened and under lock up from COVID-19 . She got a new set up and I wanted to have the bridge pickup checked to make sure it was installed in the correct bridge position and also to check the stock wiring harness to verify that the ThroBak's were correctly wired to vintage 50's spec , which every thing was as I was told , except I didn't care for the prior set up and thought it was going to be an easy routine visit to my favorite shop and then COVID-19 happened and she was in lock down since mid March and now my shop just started Phase 1 last week and today she finally comes home . Bummer news is I might not be able to send more instruments to them for work as I was told I might have to wait for the next phase . Oh well ! P.S. , once I get her home she will go back on her stand and after an hour or so I will play her to check her out and rock out on her once again .

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: My '14 Nashville 335 is impossible to work on!!

    Quote Originally Posted by El Gringo View Post
    Good for you ! I wish you the best and please stay safe . Yesterday I was as happy as I have been in quite awhile as I got a note that my Brazilian 2018 R9 Lemonburst is finally coming back home to me as she has been quarenteened and under lock up from COVID-19 . She got a new set up and I wanted to have the bridge pickup checked to make sure it was installed in the correct bridge position and also to check the stock wiring harness to verify that the ThroBak's were correctly wired to vintage 50's spec , which every thing was as I was told , except I didn't care for the prior set up and thought it was going to be an easy routine visit to my favorite shop and then COVID-19 happened and she was in lock down since mid March and now my shop just started Phase 1 last week and today she finally comes home . Bummer news is I might not be able to send more instruments to them for work as I was told I might have to wait for the next phase . Oh well ! P.S. , once I get her home she will go back on her stand and after an hour or so I will play her to check her out and rock out on her once again .

    Good result now.......... but what a saga!!
    I was so pleased to get my 335 sent from Tokyo mid Level 3(for us, early May).......cost me almost three times the normal freight per Fedex but great to receive.
    My buddy and I are waiting on t-shirts and parts per USPS post ex USA.......him for 3 months now and me 1...........we'll get them one day

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