I am in the process of rebuilding an old 70's-80's les paul copy. Everything on it besides the body itself is parts from an old Ibanez artist. The original pickups i would like to replace. they are to warm sounding. They sound like a pillow is in front of the amp. im going to put some cheapo knock off pickups in that have gold covers just because it will look cool on the white guitar. The hardware is all gold so it will match. Ok point of story: The guitar right now is very poorly wired. i mean theres random wires sticking out that i dont even know what they go to. And its not properly grounded. after i get the new pickups, is it in any way possible that i can just completely rewire the entire guitar with new wires and not replace the pots or switch. Question #2: how do i know if i need to replace the pots? after all they are over 25 years old. they should still work fine shouldnt they?

- thanks
I would recommend taking this to a guitar shop if you're really serious about this, they generally know how to wire just about anything. The pots will probably need to be replaced; I just rebuilt an old guitar and replaced all the pots, pickups, switch, tuners, and jack. Fortunately, I have an engineer in the family who wired it up for me, but unless you're an expert in wiring diagrams, you should probably get some help.

As for putting in the gold covered pickups just because they look cool...that's probably not a good idea. Eschewing function for form is probably the dumbest mistake a person can make.

If the pots are sticking (hard to turn), make an audible sound when turned (through an amp), or there's no signal at all, you should probably change them out.