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66' ES335 with rapid Volume taper (on, off below 8)

giogolf

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2024
Messages
40
Hey All,

I've seen a few threads on this but nothing that really answers or resolves the issue. My all original 1966 ES-335 TDC has really crummy volume taper on both pickups. With either the Neck or Bridge PU only, the volume basically is unsuable lower than 8. From 10-8 is okay, but as soon as you crack it to 7.65'ish its really drastic and begins to cut off quickly. For this reason, I rarely pick this guitar up.

I sprayed the pots with DeOxit, that did nothing.. The pots are smooth and not exhibiting any crackling or noise.

Considering this topic has come up with other owners of mid 60s ES335, is there a resolution or even a reason? Did Gibson wire these weird or used different taper pots? The Tone knobs taper perfectly BTW. I need to get my inspection mirror out to see how its wired, but could it possibly be that its because it has modern wiring and not 50s wiring ( I would need to confirm which I have)?

For reference my 66' ES330 tapers beautifully, I would have thought they both share the same wiring and pot types.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

TIA
 
Last edited:

garywright

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
15,753
are the pots in your 330 stock ? ..the reason I ask is a lot of vintage pots do exactly what you’ve described
..with having little activity 0-7 ..then packing a nice wallop 7-10
 

giogolf

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2024
Messages
40
are the pots in your 330 stock ? ..the reason I ask is a lot of vintage pots do exactly what you’ve described
..with having little activity 0-7 ..then packing a nice wallop 7-10

Yes, and all my guitars in my signature are bone stock, minus a refret or 2. They all operate with a lovely taper, even the 330 from the same year. Im really dreading it, but it looks like I will have to pull the harness out and see if someone rewired it or messed with it.

Should the 335/330 in these years have 50s wiring as stock or did they switch to modern wiring? I suspect, they are supposed to be 50s since my 330s controls operate like 50s wiring.
 

GlassSnuff

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Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Messages
3,715
Was there a smoker in the guitar's history? I had an amp where I always used the same settings so I never moved the knobs, and after living with a heavy smoker for ten years, the amp would quit if I moved a knob. :)

BTW, Gibsons were always wired with "modern wiring" as per Seth Lover's instructions. A few examples were wired differently. That made it "cannon" (thus allowable on a '50s Les Paul where treble bleeds are not) and it became a popular mod years ago. But there is no date when it changed.
 

giogolf

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Joined
Apr 27, 2024
Messages
40
Was there a smoker in the guitar's history? I had an amp where I always used the same settings so I never moved the knobs, and after living with a heavy smoker for ten years, the amp would quit if I moved a knob. :)

BTW, Gibsons were always wired with "modern wiring" as per Seth Lover's instructions. A few examples were wired differently. That made it "cannon" (thus allowable on a '50s Les Paul where treble bleeds are not) and it became a popular mod years ago. But there is no date when it changed.
I would say no. The original owner bought after he got out of the Navy in early 70s and babied it. He did play it out in clubs, but I wouldn’t consider him his smokey in anyway.

Im sorry but can you reword the wiring history that you stated above? Are you saying that Gibson only used what we call 50s wiring in 50s Les Pauls and everything else is wired in what we call Modern without the treble bleed?
 

GlassSnuff

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Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Messages
3,715
I'm saying Gibson only used the "'50s wiring" on a few Les Pauls. At least, that's what was reported back when this forum started and everyone was comparing notes.

If you look at the schematic Seth Lover drew, it's clear he intended "modern wiring" from 1954 on.

http://images.gibson.com/Lifestyle/Support/Files/Schematics/lespaul2.gif

My pet theory is that since using "'50s wiring" without a pickup leaves an empty lug for the pickup to be soldered to, they did it when the humbuckers fell behind in production.
 

giogolf

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2024
Messages
40
I'm saying Gibson only used the "'50s wiring" on a few Les Pauls. At least, that's what was reported back when this forum started and everyone was comparing notes.

If you look at the schematic Seth Lover drew, it's clear he intended "modern wiring" from 1954 on.

http://images.gibson.com/Lifestyle/Support/Files/Schematics/lespaul2.gif

My pet theory is that since using "'50s wiring" without a pickup leaves an empty lug for the pickup to be soldered to, they did it when the humbuckers fell behind in production

Ah, I understand what you’re saying now. Thanks for clarifying.
 

giogolf

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2024
Messages
40
So I pulled the harness out today, and took the oppurtunity to clean things up and properly DeOxit the pots. Its all stock and wired as "Modern" and not the 50s style. I put it all back together and still no dice.. Significant output drop from 7 and below on both the neck and the Bridge.

This is really unfortunate as I use my Volume and tone controls a lot to shape my sound. I was thinking of rewiring it to 50s style to see if that would do anything, or possibly swap the Tone pots for the volume as I know those 2 have a better taper. I just dont want to mess with it to much because it is all stock and nearly untouched from when it left the factory floor.

Ill think on it for a bit
 

Hamerfan

Active member
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Messages
795
First you have to determine what pots you have. Linear or Log. And when log what kind of log.
You need to measure your pots with a multimeter. First measure between lug 1 and 3 for full resistance. If turn the pot to 5 and measure between lug 2 and 3 it should be 50% of the full resistance for a linear pot.

Often you see also letters like A or B on the back. A stand for audio / log and B stand for linear.
 
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garywright

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
15,753
are the pots in your 330 stock ? ..the reason I ask is a lot of vintage pots do exactly what you’ve described
..with having little activity 0-7 ..then packing a nice wallop 7-10
Here’s a visual…look at 2:20 and don’t give the are my other guitars pots acting incorrectly comparison ? ..the norm for vintage pots are what is shown in this video …I’ve owned many 50s early 60s guitars and they’ve all behaved in this manner ..newer ViPots copy vintage pots and have a similar taper
 

garywright

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Aug 17, 2002
Messages
15,753
This is really unfortunate as I use my Volume and tone controls a lot to shape my sound.

Ill think on it for a bit
and you can still do that ..you just have less distance to dial …I prefer a pot that has the vintage dynamic 8-9 boom
 

GlassSnuff

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Jan 30, 2002
Messages
3,715
Most mix engineers will tell you anything -12dB down from the rest is basically "buried". You don't really need that much range on a volume pot.
 

giogolf

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2024
Messages
40
First you have to determine what pots you have. Linear or Log. And when log what kind of log.
You need to measure your pots with a multimeter. First measure between lug 1 and 3 for full resistance. If turn the pot to 5 and measure between lug 2 and 3 it should be 50% of the full resistance for a linear pot.

Often you see also letters like A or B on the back. A stand for audio / log and B stand for linear.
Not sure if this helps or if you can tell
 

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giogolf

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2024
Messages
40
Here’s a visual…look at 2:20 and don’t give the are my other guitars pots acting incorrectly comparison ? ..the norm for vintage pots are what is shown in this video …I’ve owned many 50s early 60s guitars and they’ve all behaved in this manner ..newer ViPots copy vintage pots and have a similar taper
So based on that video, my 335 is basically off past 7 on the volume. It si only tapering frrom 10-7.5 then its extremely quiet. My 330, LPC, JR and Melody maker all taper from 10-5 before it drastically reduces volume.

Why this is important to me: I dial my amps to break up at 10 on the volume on either pickup. Then I roll both volumes to about 7 or 6 for a cleanish tone, then roll my volumes up to bring back the saturation for a given song or part. The 335 kind of does this, but its ridiculous quick between 10-8 and playing live, I need to really pay attention so I don't cut it out to much..
 

Arch D. Bunker

Active member
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Messages
283
Original, ok - but when it's not working and causing performance issues, its gotta go.

Tech could try opening and repairing the pot, there are also NOS wiper tracks on the market if that would be the cause. Or you could swap out the volume with the tone pot you are using the least.
 
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