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Les Paul Classic Lite....can this be modded?

Cholo

New member
Joined
Apr 6, 2002
Messages
28
Hey there,
I purchased a 2020 Ebony Les Paul Classic Lite for a DEAL a few months ago. I really liked except for the smaller frets so I took it to a reputable luthier to have it refretted with Jumbo Stainless-Steel frets. Even with that expense, I'm still under what it would take to purchase new. Anyway, I'm really happy with that decision (done it on some of my other guitars) but I am not all that thrilled with the tone of the instrument. It came with Gibson Quick Connect pots/harness and the guy I bought it from had some Pearly Gates installed. Typically, I loved PGs but in this thinner guitar, they don't really do it for me. They are a bit hotter than I like. (I really love low winds SD Antiquities.) I'm toying with the idea of replacing the existing Quick Connect system and the pickups with something more to my liking.

I know some folks will say "it's makes no tonally difference to swap out the QC for another wiring harness" but I've done enough research to know it's a pain to buy the right Molex connectors and I just don't want to deal with that. Besides, I know the QC system was developed more for production ease rather than for the player. I'm perfectly fine with the standard wiring harnesses that have been installed in Gibbys since time began.

Anyway, on my other Les Pauls, swapping harnesses/pickups is a no brainer but on the Lite models, they are slimmer than your standard LPs and I'm apprehensive of buying everything only to find out they won't fit. I am having difficulty finding other folks who have done this so I'm trying here. On the Classic Lites, can I replace the QC system with a standard 50's wiring harness with long shafts? Do you think there would be any issues with standard pickups on this thin guitar? My guess is the pickups would be OK to swap out, but I do have concerns about the harness fitting in the thinner routing on the Lites.

I'd appreciate any insights.

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Ebony profile.jpeg
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
3,686
Nice guitar. I wish they made some for me.

Very good question, and post. Really, I don't recall specific knowledge being out there already. Hopefully, I'll be quickly refuted!

I know you are really looking for someone who's been there, done that, and that's not me. Sorry I don't have any metrics to offer you, just process. Hopefully taken in the spirit of, first do no harm, just to help clarify your thinking and decisions...

I would stick a ruler in the cavity down to the wood and measure the clearance to the 'deepest' or highest point from the wood, be that to the wires emerging from the Molex connector, or the wiring laying over the pots; then compare to the new harness in question. Whatever provider you will but from can surely help you out, and I wouldn't be buying from one that can't or won't communicate those specs.

Also, I think the biggest worry you identified will be the shaft length. I am not sure there's easy comparable, as those pots are raise mounted relative to the PC board assembly, and may well not fit into the typical 'Long vs. Short' post discussion you see offered on LP replacement wiring kits [these pots may well be something different altogether, unless the Lite body thickness accounted for that 'by-design' but then again, what about all the other QC/PC board builds?]. Are the Lite QCs the same specs as other similar era QCs? I dunno. Maybe an E-Bay or Reverb seller can give you some shaft lengths if no one hear has the data.

Another route you might consider is, again, revisiting changing out with QC pickups. So, the Antiquities aren't working for you but perhaps the original 57 Classics would work out just fine.

Finally, there's a recent Stainless Steel re-fret thread, you may want to share your experience there.

Best of luck to you!
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,344
Anything can be modded. Thin Gibson solidbody guitars are most common. SG, Firebird, L5S, L6S, Every model Melodymaker and others have thin bodies and their, hardware would work in a gutted cavity. Short shaft pots and switches, or L switch would all work.
 

garywright

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
14,714
back in the late 80s I had a pair of SD ‘59s put into a PRS ..the tech simply bent the legs shorter to accommodate for the shallower pup cavities
 

Grog

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
500
Here is a gut shot of my 2014 Les Paul Custom Lite. Standard wiring with the exception of the mini toggle.

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El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,321
Congrats on your fine new Les Paul . I would follow your instinct and get rid of the QC harness set up and restore it to a proper traditional wiring harness as Big Al said small shaft pots . For pickups I might suggest ThroBak https://www.throbak.com/paf-pickups-throbak-pre-t-201.html Pre T-301 P.A.F. pickups which have for neck output 7.5k and bridge 7.6k output . Best Wishes and Rock out !
 
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