#1
I've got an old guitar, a bit like a les paul (single cut, 2 humbuckers, 2 tone & 2 volume, 3-way pickup selector). I'm planning my first soldering / electronics work on it which will involve:

(1) Replacing the two humbuckers with two P-Rails.
(2) Adding two Triple Shot pickup rings (with the switches for the P-Rail modes)
(3) Replacing all four pots with CTS pots
(4) Replacing the two tone capacitors

I can find videos and articles on how to wire pickups or pots or capacitors, but I'm not finding a good breakdown of what order to wire things up when you change all this stuff at once. Or does it not matter?

Ken

p.s. In case you are wondering, I will be doing some practice soldering on some spare wire before I dive into doing the real soldering on this guitar.
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Last edited by krm27 at Dec 12, 2014,
#2
There is no right or wrong way to do it. You just need to be methodical especially as it's your first time.

Get a wiring diagram for what you are trying to achieve and follow it. It's better to have a sheet to reference and cross off wires after you have soldered both ends in my opinion, than trying to follow a video.

Watch the video to see what you need to do, but when you do it, follow the diagram.
#3
If its your first time and lack confidence take lots of good photos of inside the control cavity so you can undo if you make errors.

Do one bit at a time. Like change over one pickup then test the guitar with all the exisitng controls. If that works change other and test again. Then do one pot at a time while testing each change, etc etc until you get through the lot.
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#5
I have just the video for you actually.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoWWQvDsfsU

before you get started though design a little template to make wiring. Trace the backplate of the les pauls control diagram. Stack cardboard until it's bigger in height than the volume pots and then drill 4 holes for it. This saves a lot of time and frustration. This little "innovation" makes all potentiometers sit flat and you'll be able to do any wiring soldering without the electronics moving or buying some overpriced crap at radio shack or whatever you're only gonna use a hand full of times.
#6
What Phoenix said. Do it one thing at a time. That's the way I always do it, even after 30 years of working on guitars.

I'd change one pickup, check it. Change other pickup, check to be sure it works.. Change one pot, check it and so forth.

That way if anything goes wrong, you know it was the last thing you changed.

Do take pictures. Double check the color coding before you remove anything. If you have to replace any wires, try to use the same color replacement. Double and triple check the ground. That's the one that always bites me...
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#7
Quote by Paleo Pete
What Phoenix said. Do it one thing at a time. That's the way I always do it, even after 30 years of working on guitars.

I'd change one pickup, check it. Change other pickup, check to be sure it works.. Change one pot, check it and so forth.

That way if anything goes wrong, you know it was the last thing you changed.

Do take pictures. Double check the color coding before you remove anything. If you have to replace any wires, try to use the same color replacement. Double and triple check the ground. That's the one that always bites me...



This as well.
I've been playing (And doing it for pay) with soldering irons and electronics since 1981.

And do yourself a favor, if you plan on doing this often, get a Weller iron.