The title sucks. I couldn't think of a better way to word what I want to do.

So here goes: I have a beautiful Epiphone Riviera that I just bought, and I love it. However, the 3 volume knobs seem to be a complete waste to me. They don't work the way one would expect multiple volume knobs to work. Then there's 1 tone knob. I was hoping to reverse that order, so that there's 3 tone knobs (one for each pickup) and 1 volume knob for the whole guitar. Can anyone send me in the right direction to the most efficient way of accomplishing this? Or, perhaps, is there any reason why I shouldn't do this?

Thanks much.
It's really easy to do. I'll have a diagram in a few.

Edit: Here you go. Enjoy.

The middle pickup is always going to be on unless you change out the switch to a different type.
Last edited by Invader Jim at Dec 1, 2013,
Please keep up with this and let us know how it works out for you...

I've got a P93 as well... I'm interested because I use the volume controls (especially for the center pickup) as a tone control... The way the guitar is wired stock, the center pickup is always on... Looks like in this drawing as well, the Pickup will be open and by pass the switch, so adjusting a little more of the center or a little less won't be possible.. You'll either have the bridge and middle, or the neck and middle.. no way to take out or reduce the punch of the middle pickup in relation to the other two. I've found that that middle pickup is pretty bright if it's turned up, and I get a lot of feedback if I've got it turned up to high... but if you want to mellow out the bridge, or add a little growl to the neck, it's a great adjustment for me to have.

I'm interested to hear how it works out...
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First of all, thanks a lot for that diagram. My electronics tinkering knowledge is fairly limited to automotive. It leaves me with a touch of doubt whenever I change a switch or resolder a connection. Solder is solder, though. :p I had no idea the middle pick-up was always on, and that fully explains everything I was unsure about with this guitar, so thanks also for that.

I'll take this on tomorrow. For now I'll be doing research on some new tone knobs/pots. How universal are these things, anyway? Big differences in resistence between brands, things like that?
Basically a pot is a pot. Making it a volume or tone pot just depends on how you wire it.

I avoid Alpha pots. They are the oem parts in all less-expensive guitars. I like pretty much anything but Alpha. Bourns is probably the best of the best. CTS is also great and is very commonly used as replacements (my Vex NV came stock with full-size CTS pots though).

I'm not aware of any issues with resistance tolerances between manufacturers but I feel like I should mention that a few years ago one of the resident UG-ers ordered a large batch (100 or so iirc) of. CTS pots and almost all had bad resistance tapers. I think he just got a bad batch; I haven't heard anything at all like that before or since.

Anyway, back to the wiring... For whatever reason (probably cost) they used a normal-style switch for that guitar. Other 3-pickup Gibson-type guitars use a special version of the 3-way that gives Neck, Bridge, and Bridge+Middle. The Bridge+Middle setting is also out-of-phase. To get just the Middle, you'd have to turn the Bridge volume down all the way.

If you are interested, here's the diagram for that. It shows how the special switch is made.
Last edited by Invader Jim at Dec 3, 2013,