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50s or Modern wiring for SG Standard?

slammintone

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Jul 19, 2001
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I have a new 2016 Gibson SG Standard T model which I dearly enjoy playing and hearing and all. It's just superbly crafted all the way around, good woodworking, good nut, frets, bridge and tailpiece alignment etc. Every thing good but it does have a static-y noise problem when I move the guitar around playing through an amp. It's not the cable nor the amp as it only happens on this particular guitar so I'm thinking I'd like to just gut the PCB wiring harness and go with a more traditional setup. With that in mind I got to thinking, what would be the correct wiring for a 1960s-1970s SG? I kind of doubt it's like the 1950s Les Paul wiring. At the same time I want whatever would sound better either with the stock Gibson pickups or even some better PAF type upgrades later on. Has anyone experimented with different wiring types in their SGs? Thanks!

 

tjdjr1

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Mar 7, 2016
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50
Actually, the early 60s SGs used 50s wiring.

I had a strat years ago that if I rubbed the pick guard slightly it would create a static like sound thru the amp. I rubbed a dryer sheet on the pickguard and it helped. bizzare but it worked.. good like I hate gremlins like that..
 

efk

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Jan 8, 2009
Messages
519
I've always wired them up '50s' style, modern just doesn't work for me in any guitar, ever. Maybe it's dependent upon how you play and how you set the amp, because I like to generally just set an amp up fairly high and then use guitar volume over a wide range. Much easier than fiddling with the amp constantly.
 

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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I don't like and never have liked the 50's scheme. I use my controls a lot and like the modern way better.
 

tjdjr1

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Mar 7, 2016
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not to Highjack thread, but instead of starting a new wiring post I will ask in this one. I have a new 2016 Traditional and have grown to like the 57C+ pickup in the bridge, but the neck 57 is a bit too thick sounding, in this case would a 50's wiring on just the neck pickup help with clearing up as I turn down ? I did add a treble bleed, but it could use a bit more highs when rolled down), so which will clear up better the bleed or wiring change to 50's style ? thanks
 

Kris Ford

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Jan 6, 2007
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not to Highjack thread, but instead of starting a new wiring post I will ask in this one. I have a new 2016 Traditional and have grown to like the 57C+ pickup in the bridge, but the neck 57 is a bit too thick sounding, in this case would a 50's wiring on just the neck pickup help with clearing up as I turn down ? I did add a treble bleed, but it could use a bit more highs when rolled down), so which will clear up better the bleed or wiring change to 50's style ? thanks

You may MOST benefit from a 550K pot for that neck pickup, wired either way.
 

sonar

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Jan 10, 2003
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3,589
Sometimes it depends on the specific guitar, or more than likely personal taste. A friend who's ear I trust hates 50's wiring.

My LPSF sounds best with 50's wiring, but a loaner Norlin Custom might be getting choked by the 50's mod. It's not my guitar to muck around with, but I'd really like to hear it the way it was originally wired.
 

soma1975

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Apr 26, 2016
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I have exactly the same issue with my 2014 LP Standard and aside from gutting the whole thing have no idea how to sort it as it appears to be grounded properly.
 

Triburst

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Feb 12, 2006
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4,346
If you're happy with the tone of that guitar, and only bothered by the static, I would try using some easily applied RF shielding tape before you gut the control cavity. If you do this, be sure to get the side UNDER the pots, because that's what's facing outward when you play, looking for stray electrons.
 

BluesForDan

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Aug 31, 2002
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6,798
until I read about it on the internet, I've never heard this static-y sound that apparently is a plague all around me. Never heard it once in a live situation. What is a static-y sound? Cracking?

I was playing a 2016 SG at GC yesterday. If there was any static-y sound, I would never have heard it in all the din there. Are people just perceiving normal electronic noise that exists in primitive (let's face it, electric guitars aren't rocket science) circuits? Like hum, maybe crackle is just part of the package but you only hear it in your bedroom/music room with nothing else going on.
 

soma1975

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Apr 26, 2016
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For me if you were to lightly rest your thumb on the low e string and run it up the neck you'd get crackles the whole time.

It's nothing like the normal noise a guitar might make. It is exponentially louder than my Strat and it crackles like you expect to see sparks coming off it.
 
Last edited:

willqen

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May 27, 2016
Messages
14
I like the 50's wiring. Sounds better. More highs when turning down the vol controls. Really improves the neck pickup tone. Be aware, the response of the tone controls change a bit. Not the range, just the way the controls work.
 
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