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Pre wired loom's for Les Paul's.

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
Messages
636
So many traders on Reverb, and Ebay offer these 'pre wired 50s loom's as drop in replacements for historics, not to mention companies such as ThroBak, for eg, offering the same thing with vintage caps and selected vol and tone pots.

If you were going to point a friend toward a company with a good rep for quality and reasonable cost, where would you point them ?
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
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636
Thanks guys, I wonder if anyone will recommend something other than ThroBak..?
 

AA00475Bassman

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Apr 26, 2016
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3,239
I blindly bought a harness off Reverb SG JR - Les Paul JR it was OK .

The guy down the street was selling Hamburger for 25 cents a pound , when I asked for one pound ?

The owner kindly replied he's been out of hamburger for a week smiling he said that's what promoted the hamburger sale .

Go with Throback !
 

EpiLP1985

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Aug 11, 2017
Messages
110
Okay, okay, guys I get the message..! ThroBak are currently 1st on my quest for the loom of doom.. 😎

Well, you can obviously solder so I would recommend sourcing parts for harness and putting one together yourself, but, you want prewired, which presents a dilemma.

With a prewired harness, you still have to make a number of connections so why not make a few more?

I personally like the VIPots from Vintage Inspired Pickups. They do kOhm matching and sell quads for $43.99. My last set were all 545 kOhm +/- 2%. They are excellent. Add a set of your favorite caps and you’re good to go.
 

CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
Messages
159
I thought about doing it all myself too, but by the time you get the pots, test them, get the caps, solder everything etc if end up costing more or less the same. FYI I got a 59 Parts harness for my JR and it’s ok….
 

EpiLP1985

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Aug 11, 2017
Messages
110
I thought about doing it all myself too, but by the time you get the pots, test them, get the caps, solder everything etc if end up costing more or less the same. FYI I got a 59 Parts harness for my JR and it’s ok….

I hear you but I guess it depends on how the valuation of your time is laid out. I personally don't factor in my own time to the cost. With that in mind, you can get the parts for < $75.

What I like about the VIPots is that they are Spec'd at 550k and you can have them match them for you. My last set were 545 kOhm nominal with a difference between the 4 pots of +/- 2%.

Places like The Art of Tone have Sprague Vitamin Qs at 0.022 uf for $12 each. That's about $75. If you did not want PIO caps, you can grab some high quality Mallory caps for $4.

The Throbak harness with $4 Mallorys is going to set you back $129. With the Luxe Bees, it'll set you back $169. Even if you splurged and need cloth and vintage braid wire, you'd still only be in for < $100 in parts. In my opinion, the most economical way to re-wire/re-harness your guitar is DIY. If that's still not something you wabnt to do, take a look at Jackson Electronic Luthier and thier harnesses:


Same quality soldering and a huge range in choices for parts. Except they are all much cheaper than the Throbak.
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
Messages
636
My soldering has improved over the yrs and I could do it all myself, but it's my weakest skill by far.
The cost of a pre wired loom could save a customer money. Its about the time It takes to do a job. More time, equals more cost, and more cost equals less work.

I'm desperate should demand resume that I offer a service hard pressed musicians can afford.

Now there is a potential scenario where a premium loom such as that from ThroBak could be seen as a way of maintaining guitar value down the road, but that's pretty speculative at the moment, but it goes to the heart of what we're all discussing.
 
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EpiLP1985

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Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
110
My soldering has improved over the yrs and I could do it all myself, but it's my weakest skill by far.
The cost of a pre wired loom could save a customer money. Its about the time It takes to do a job. More time, equals more cost, and more cost equals less work.

I'm desperate should demand resume that I offer a service hard pressed musicians can afford.

Now there is a potential scenario where a premium loom such as that from ThroBak could be seen as a way of maintaining guitar value down the road, but that's pretty speculative at the moment, but it goes to the heart of what we're all discussing.

I assure you there is nothing particularly affordable about buying a pre-soldered harness. The harness itself is the easiest and fastest part to actually wire. It's all done outside of the guitar. Solder 4 pot tabs to the cases, a length of wire from each tone pot to the volume pot, and one side of the tone cap.

If I take my time and I prep the tone pot to volume ground wires beforehand, soldering an entire harness together takes 5 minutes.

The part that does take some extra time, planning, and presents a physical obstacle is actually wiring in the switch, pickups, jack and bridge ground, which is, conveniently for the pre-wired harness builders, the most complex part. Harness builders are essentially charging a premium for the easiest part of the work and then leaving the customer to do the most complex part by themselves.

I'm biased. I'm frugal and I own a 40W iron. I am always going to argue the numbers on this one and the economics of it all say DIY.
 

CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
Messages
159
I hear you but I guess it depends on how the valuation of your time is laid out. I personally don't factor in my own time to the cost. With that in mind, you can get the parts for < $75.

What I like about the VIPots is that they are Spec'd at 550k and you can have them match them for you. My last set were 545 kOhm nominal with a difference between the 4 pots of +/- 2%.

Places like The Art of Tone have Sprague Vitamin Qs at 0.022 uf for $12 each. That's about $75. If you did not want PIO caps, you can grab some high quality Mallory caps for $4.

The Throbak harness with $4 Mallorys is going to set you back $129. With the Luxe Bees, it'll set you back $169. Even if you splurged and need cloth and vintage braid wire, you'd still only be in for < $100 in parts. In my opinion, the most economical way to re-wire/re-harness your guitar is DIY. If that's still not something you wabnt to do, take a look at Jackson Electronic Luthier and thier harnesses:


Same quality soldering and a huge range in choices for parts. Except they are all much cheaper than the Throbak.
I agree, but I live in Canada so factor in shipping from different vendors etc…

Maybe I’ll give it a shot next time.
 

EpiLP1985

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Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
110
I agree, but I live in Canada so factor in shipping from different vendors etc…

Maybe I’ll give it a shot next time.

I guess my beef with pre-wired harnesses is that it pawns all of the hard work off on the consumer.

That’s not a knock on the quality because the quality of almost everyone’s prewired harnesses is top notch.

Let’s say I buy a Throbak harness for $169. That includes pretty run of the mill CTS pots (I know it says “custom” and “vintage spec” but these are essentially available to anyone) and Luxe Bees. That’s < $100 in parts and shipping. So that means I’m paying the owner $69 for 5 minutes worth of soldering and a mounting board with some stickers on it.
 
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AA00475Bassman

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Apr 26, 2016
Messages
3,239
If you itemized the harness please take into account your paying for four pots that function correctly , not over heated pots from inexperience not being able to have solder wet out.

I have Vintage Spec & PEC , the PEC,s are expensive & the performance doesn't warrant the up charge .

The Vintage Spec perform well with the sweep , Although not much better then stock run of the mill stock Gibson pots .

Yes people are charging north of $50.00 above materials & and they are acquiring a small profit business 101 .

I built a harness for a LP JR & a Firebird I just wanted to do the job no other reason I had fun doing it .

Sincerely hope this helps with a educated some what decision . & yes I was challenged finishing the job in the control cavity the JR really sucked !
 
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EpiLP1985

Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
110
If you itemized the harness please take into account your paying for four pots that function correctly , not over heated pots from inexperience not being able to have solder wet out.

I second this. I'm not so experienced that I don't occasionally get overzealous when soldering. I recently burned up a set of matched VIPots chasing a buzz and it turns out it needed shielding.

The Vintage Spec perform well with the sweep , Although not much better then stock run of the mill stock Gibson pots .

I think the VIPots are the best taper I have ever played. There are not as ruggedly constructed as CTS and others though so care needs to be taken when soldering.

Yes people are charging north of $50.00 above materials & and they are acquiring a small profit business 101 .

I get this. I'm not slagging harness makers. Obviously they don't turn a huge profit on this stuff. I just wanted to point out that the actual act of putting together a pre-wired harness is the easiest part of installing a new harness as a whole.

Sincerely hope this helps with a educated some what decision . & yes I was challenged finishing the job in the control cavity the JR really sucked !

This is really the hard work, to be honest. I have a few tips that I use to make this part, and wiring the whole harness yourself actually, much easier. Let's look at the diagram I use:

LP Wiring.png

Here is a short list of things I do to make wiring in the harness easier:

1.) Don't solder the braided shields directly to the back of the pots. I wrap a length of either cloth covered wire or bare buss wire around the switch and pickup leads for each pickup, solder it there, and run that wire to a SMALL solder blob on the back of the volume pot.

2.) Don't solder the bridge ground to the volume pot. Extend the lead and run it to the output jack. Or you can solder it directly to the output braid from the switch and then heat shrink it and route it around the side of the bridge controls.

3.) Remove the ground wire connecting the 2 tone pots. It's not necessary and actually allows toy to solder those controls to the switch and pickup leads independently of one another, thus making the hard part of wiring the harness into the control cavity easier.

4.) Turn the pots to zero when soldering to the cases.

If you look at my diagram, you can see that there are not many connections. I prefer less solder on the pot casings if I can help it.

Here is my last harness I wired up:

3b944957-ca12-48a0-b373-3a6ade75736c-jpeg.542383
 
Last edited:

Nick-O

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
184
I second this. I'm not so experienced that I don't occasionally get overzealous when soldering. I recently burned up a set of matched VIPots chasing a buzz and it turns out it needed shielding.



I think the VIPots are the best taper I have ever played. There are not as ruggedly constructed as CTS and others though so care needs to be taken when soldering.



I get this. I'm not slagging harness makers. Obviously they don't turn a huge profit on this stuff. I just wanted to point out that the actual act of putting together a pre-wired harness is the easiest part of installing a new harness as a whole.



This is really the hard work, to be honest. I have a few tips that I use to make this part, and wiring the whole harness yourself actually, much easier. Let's look at the diagram I use:

View attachment 14312

Here is a short list of things I do to make wiring in the harness easier:

1.) Don't solder the braided shields directly to the back of the pots. I wrap a length of either cloth covered wire or bare buss wire around the switch and pickup leads for each pickup, solder it there, and run that wire to a SMALL solder blob on the back of the volume pot.

2.) Don't solder the bridge ground to the volume pot. Extend the lead and run it to the output jack. Or you can solder it directly to the output braid from the switch and then heat shrink it and route it around the side of the bridge controls.

3.) Remove the ground wire connecting the 2 tone pots. It's not necessary and actually allows toy to solder those controls to the switch and pickup leads independently of one another, thus making the hard part of wiring the harness into the control cavity easier.

4.) Turn the pots to zero when soldering to the cases.

If you look at my diagram, you can see that there are not many connections. I prefer less solder on the pot casings if I can help it.

Here is my last harness I wired up:

3b944957-ca12-48a0-b373-3a6ade75736c-jpeg.542383

Is that diagram 50s wiring?
 
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