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Removing the plate with the pots etc.. / Shielding the cavity

TheArchitect

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Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
490
I have been starting to tinker with certain instruments again. I just finished a cleaning and setup of my 2000 LP std. I have been debating replacing the 300k pots on the neck pickup with 500k to brighten that up a bit. I have been debating the possibility of removing the plate, shielding the cavity and rebuilding it in a more traditional manor without the plate. I am not sure gutting it and such will really make any tangible difference. How many have done something similar to their LP and what did you think of the results? I have shielded pretty much all of the strats I have kept long term and now may way around that process but single coils in a strat are a very different thing than a LP which is pretty quiet as it is.
 

J T

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Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,241
Yes I did that to my 1999 Les Paul Classic. The reason why was because one of the volume knobs was a little loose. I pulled off the knob by hand and attempted to spread the slot carefully with a screwdriver to increase the pressure on the knob but it snapped. :## Therefore, the pot could not hold the knob. darn.

Well, underneath in the cavity was the metal shield with all the pots bolted onto that. Now Gibson USA does that so the electronics can be assembled outside the guitar cavity by some other group of people then dropped in at some later time into a finished guitar. Speeds Production I suppose.

I went over to RS and got the electronics to replace all of it in there because I figured , "Why Not?" so out came the plate, pots, caps etc, and in went the individual pots and I re-soldered it all myself.

After that, I found the plate made no difference in shielding whatsoever. The guitar actually sounded better with the RS kit.

I got my knob back. :biggrin:
 

grimlyflick

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Oct 27, 2005
Messages
1,250
Not entirely sure if it had made any difference but because of this. . . .

Furrycontrolcavity.jpg


I did this. . . .

ShieldedcavitywithRSkit.jpg


Can't tell any difference that the shielding makes, but with the RS kit the pots became more usuable and the guitars core tone just sounded more "open" if that makes sense.

:salude
 

TheArchitect

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Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
490
Not entirely sure if it had made any difference but because of this. . . .

Furrycontrolcavity.jpg


I did this. . . .

ShieldedcavitywithRSkit.jpg


Can't tell any difference that the shielding makes, but with the RS kit the pots became more usuable and the guitars core tone just sounded more "open" if that makes sense.

:salude

Nice work. I am more concerned about gotchas like having to make holes bigger etc. I don't expect the plate did anything for shielding. I am wondering if shielding the compartment matters with the unshielded path up to the switch for example.
 

grimlyflick

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Oct 27, 2005
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1,250
Nice work. I am more concerned about gotchas like having to make holes bigger etc. I don't expect the plate did anything for shielding. I am wondering if shielding the compartment matters with the unshielded path up to the switch for example.

To be honest I don't think the shielding made one iota of a difference.
If you get a kit from RS and follow their guidelines on their site for which kit you need no drilling will be required.
:salude
 

J T

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Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,241
here is the lp with stock plate

controlcavity.jpg


It all came out on the plate. You can see the broken pot on the left.

DCP_1201.jpg


here is rs kit
DCP_1200.jpg
 

Kris Ford

New member
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Jan 6, 2007
Messages
4,003
The mere fact that you guys are ditching the 300K pots and installing 500Ks is what's making the tonal difference.
Some of the stock pots I've seen actually measure between 248-264K..these values are simply inadequate for a humbucker..period.
Gibson HBs (AND P90s:yah) need 500K. That's what they were designed to use.
 

TheArchitect

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Jul 6, 2003
Messages
490
So it appears you need to remove the entire plate to change one pot. I don't really mind the plate as long as everything works. Its a far cry better than what they do now.

Those are still long shaft pots I assume to reach through the body still.

Is the plate itself screwed or connected to the wood in any way?
 

J T

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Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,241
So it appears you need to remove the entire plate to change one pot. I don't really mind the plate as long as everything works. Its a far cry better than what they do now.

Those are still long shaft pots I assume to reach through the body still.

Is the plate itself screwed or connected to the wood in any way?



No it all comes out when you unscrew the pots from the top. Then after you unsolder the connections, it just drops out.
 

J T

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Oct 20, 2005
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10,241
Oh and don't forget that Gibson uses the plate as a ground, so you have to solder all the grounds to the nearest pot ground.
 

tommersjay

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Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
134
I replaced the PCB board in my studio with 500K pots and PIO caps and regular cavity shielding (basically tinfoil). It was the best decision I could have made. Changed the tone entirely and for the better. Just go the traditional route, you will not be disappointed. Much easier to replace a pot if just one goes bad.
 

JohnH

Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
363
I think the plate is a good design and can cut out messy wiring of pot grounds, while giving a durable, reliable base for wiring. Since they generally came in an era when 300k pots were used, swapping to long-shaft 500k's is worthwhile.

The plate doesnt help shielding much though, because a well-wired LP is virtually completly shielded anyway through the grounding of braids, pot cases, switch body and pickups ( bases at least). Even caps can be wired on the ground side of tone pots and with cylindrical types, you can arrange the outer layer to be grounded All that leaves only a few wire ends un protected, which pick up very little noise.
 
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