#1
I have an epiphone les Paul std which I'm in the process of working on.

I'm replacing the stock pups with a pair of tonerider alnico II, I'd like to coil split for some tonal variety. Can anyone recommend the pots and caps when I come to rewire the guitar?
#2
You will probably have to go with Alpha pots, as they are metric size and will fit in your Epi. If you want to enlarge the pot holes, then you could go with CTS which is supposed to be a better pot (have never tried them).

Also for humbuckers you will want 500K pots. As for caps, someone else will chime in, as I do not know the numbers for those.
#3
on my LP's I use Sprague orange drop .022uf tone caps.

Alpha pots are just fine. I have a couple guitars with them installed, I even have one of the 500k push/pull pots in a Tele. no issues at all.
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#4
CTS and Bourns pots are the usual better-quality pots most people go for, through yes, they do require you to drill out the top as the Epiphone is not made for such wide shafts. Alpha pots will fit fine. Objectively, CTS and Bourns are made better than Alpha, but when you're actually playing you'll never notice the difference other than CTS tend to be a little stiffer to turn than the other two brands. CTs and Bourns pots would also require new knobs while Alpha parts can take the stock Epiphone knobs.

If you want to use pots for splitting or other wiring then definitely stick with Alpha as they offer the widest range of push-pull and push-push pots.

For values, 500k is what most people use for humbuckers although the Gibson standard has always been 300k for volume and 500k for tone. You can use whatever taper you like; most people who use less gain like audio taper for volume and linear taper for tone and people who like to use a lot of gain tend to be better off with linear taper for volume and audio taper for tone, though really you should experiment and see what you're most comfortable with. Of course if you're the sort of person that leaves everything on 10 all the time then taper doesn't matter.

For capacitor, same thing. There are lots of types—some very expensive—and lots of values but when it comes to actually playing you'll never notice the difference other than between extreme changes. 0.022 is the most common for humbuckers but 0.033 and 0.047 are equally common, for P-90s and Fender single coils respectively. If you leave your tone controls at 10, it doesn't matter. Otherwise, think about how much treble you want to be able to roll off and how quickly you want it to disappear, and pick accordingly. If you think you'll use your tone control fairly often and use both humbucker and split coil sounds equally, 0.033 would be a good place to start.

Thin gis, other than adding the abillity to split coils, you won't be improving much. Epiphone already come with Alpha pots (or another brand of pots I forget the name of, JJ or something like that I think, which I believe are made by the same factory as Alpha) and mylar caps, which are as good as you can get in practical terms. The only real weakness Epis have is the toggle switch, but there aren't any aftermarket parts which will fit them. You can buy adapter rings to make a Switchcraft toggle fit in an Epi but the rear route still needs to be modified to take the larger switch.
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#6
You can always get a $5 T-handle reamer from a hardware store to enlarge the holes if necessary. Just be gentle, take your time, check often to be sure you don't get them too big, and you shouldn't have any issues.
#7
I am not sure why you would want to go linear taper over audio taper. Linear taper is designed for non-audio applications and tends to transition abruptly making fine adjustments tricky; however audio taper being designed for audio is a smoother transition that sounds better on the ears.

As for caps it all depends on how you want to do your wiring. From what I hear .022 is the most enjoyed cap, but tons of different ones have been used. If you do JP wiring it calls for .047 (I personally believe this is to really bring home the coil splits) Mostly what counts is what the cap is made of the cheapest crappiest ones are the ceramic disks, next step up would be your Orange Drops then from there you can get into vintage style paper in oil caps like vitaminQ's.

500K pots and paper in oil caps is the standard replacement for most Les Paul guys, then again these are the ones aiming for that vintage rock tone.
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#8
If you need to ream the holes a wooden dowel with sandpaper wrapped around it works well but just takes a little time and elbow grease.

Caps: I used .022 bridge and .015 neck PIO caps.



Wiring: I used 50's wiring scheme...changes the way the vol and tone pots interact with each other...others could probably elaborate how better than I. Sounds great though.

Switch: You can use the Switchcraft toggle, just make sure you get the short one, the long one won't fit the cavity.
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#9
Quote by ne14t
I am not sure why you would want to go linear taper over audio taper. Linear taper is designed for non-audio applications and tends to transition abruptly making fine adjustments tricky; however audio taper being designed for audio is a smoother transition that sounds better on the ears.
Because as you turn the gain up and everything gets compressed, audio taper becomes an on/off switch whilst linear taper continues to work consistently.

The best way to explain their uses and why you'd pick one over the other is thus:

Audio taper for a volume control.
Linear taper for an output control.

Got a high-gain tone and want to be able to roll your control back to get a lower-gain or even clean sound? Linear taper lets you accurately adjust your guitar's output to do this.
Got a low-gain sound and want to use your guitar's control to change how loud you are? Audio taper.

Audio taper matches human hearing's expectations of how volume will change, accuracy be damned. Linear taper gives us precise control over the actual nature of our signal, hearing be damned.
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#10
Sorry to hijack, but I want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly...

What exactly is the differences between a 25k, 250k, 300k, and 500k?

I recently had a guitar store tell me that leaving the EMG 25k pots in would be fine for passive humbuckers and I could definitely tell he was dead wrong when I plugged my guitar up (after I spent way too much having them work on my guitar) and had very little sustain, reduced attack, and clarity.
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#11
The easy way to explain it is the lower the number, the more of your signal is being lost. This is especially noticable with the highest frequencies. Also the lower you go the more fine control you get over the volume/tone (whatever the pot is intended to do).
So active pickups, which produce a really strong signal, use 25k pots because curbing their signal is actually really useful and that value gives you really good control. Passives get really muffled by this value, though. So you might try 250k for passive single coil pickups, or 500k for humbuckers since those have less high-end in the first place.

Technically the guy at the store isn't wrong because passive pickups do work with 25k pots, they just sound terrible.

This is the main reason why you can't mix active and passive pickups in the same guitar.
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#12
I have a PRS SE Tremonti Custom, looks like a Les Paul (and has 2V and 2T pots) but is a very bright guitar. I was wondering what the best way to tame the highs, as it sounds good, just would like bring it down a bit (and tone control doesn't seem to make much difference, sounds ok if I use middle pickup selection, and have bridge volume at 10, neck at 4.5 for a nice mix).

Would it be better to replace the volume pot with a 300K to bring down the highs possibly or better to replace the cap with a different value (and quality!) and if so what value would you recommend?
#13
Quote by MrFlibble
The easy way to explain it is the lower the number, the more of your signal is being lost. This is especially noticable with the highest frequencies. Also the lower you go the more fine control you get over the volume/tone (whatever the pot is intended to do).
So active pickups, which produce a really strong signal, use 25k pots because curbing their signal is actually really useful and that value gives you really good control. Passives get really muffled by this value, though. So you might try 250k for passive single coil pickups, or 500k for humbuckers since those have less high-end in the first place.

Technically the guy at the store isn't wrong because passive pickups do work with 25k pots, they just sound terrible.

This is the main reason why you can't mix active and passive pickups in the same guitar.


What are your thoughts on the 1 megaohm pots? Is there really that much more to be gained that the 500k can't do?

And do the pots act more like a compressor in that it equalizes the outputs of the pickups down to a certain level (such as taming a hot bridge down to a mild neck), or do they bleed off a certain amount of signal no matter the output of the humbuckers
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#14
Pots aren't an effect, they simply control how much of the signal is being run to ground and how much is actually being sent out to the jack. The lower the pot resistance goes the more signal is constantly being sent to ground, even with the control on '10'.

As for 1meg pots, I personally have found no use for them. Using a single 1meg pot by itself with no other controls gives you virtually the same sound as if you had no control pots at all. Two 1megs equates to one 500k - I could see some use in that, but not much. The main drawback of using 1meg pots, for me, is they have to cover a much larger range of control that it's had to be really precise with them. It's easy to roll them up or down too far.
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