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Need help with rewiring 3 way switch Les Paul Traditional - updated with pics

krik71

New member
Joined
Jan 23, 2023
Messages
4
Hi everyone! 1st time poster here. Have a Gibson 2014 120th anniversary Les Paul Traditional that was purchased used. Lately noticed that the bridge pickup wasn't working so started some troubleshooting.

Plugged a known good cable into the output jack and flipped switch measuring resistance with an ohm meter. Got similar resistance values on both pickups, between 7.5 and 7.6 kilo ohms. Moved the switch to the center and from what I've read, the pickups should be wired in parallel so the reading should be about half. Nope, the same.

Physically inspecting the switch, I can see that moving the switch to one side makes a connection between two contacts. Moving the switch to the opposite direction does absolutely nothing.

Ordered a Switchcraft long toggle from Sweetwater and looked at some YouTube videos on Gibson switch wiring. Well my switch wiring looks nothing like what is shown in the videos. The videos show thick braided wire. My switch shows thin white, red, green, and black wires within an insulated gray conduit. In addition to a thicker black jumper wire that is soldered to two lugs, on opposite ends of each other.

The electronics cavity looks pretty straightforward to what the 50s style wiring diagrams show online, except that there is a small yellow wire that looks soldered within the group of wires going to the switch that I am assuming is a ground of some sort.

Not knowing the history of this guitar, I cannot assume that everything is original ad it left the Gibson factory. Would anyone be able to help me wire up the new Switchcraft switch?

I know pics would be very helpful so I have taken some. Do I have to upload to a pic hosting site first or can I upload directly to the forum?

Thanks in advance!
 

Jethro Rocker

Active member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
92
Hi everyone! 1st time poster here. Have a Gibson 2014 120th anniversary Les Paul Traditional that was purchased used. Lately noticed that the bridge pickup wasn't working so started some troubleshooting.

Plugged a known good cable into the output jack and flipped switch measuring resistance with an ohm meter. Got similar resistance values on both pickups, between 7.5 and 7.6 kilo ohms. Moved the switch to the center and from what I've read, the pickups should be wired in parallel so the reading should be about half. Nope, the same.

Physically inspecting the switch, I can see that moving the switch to one side makes a connection between two contacts. Moving the switch to the opposite direction does absolutely nothing.

Ordered a Switchcraft long toggle from Sweetwater and looked at some YouTube videos on Gibson switch wiring. Well my switch wiring looks nothing like what is shown in the videos. The videos show thick braided wire. My switch shows thin white, red, green, and black wires within an insulated gray conduit. In addition to a thicker black jumper wire that is soldered to two lugs, on opposite ends of each other.

The electronics cavity looks pretty straightforward to what the 50s style wiring diagrams show online, except that there is a small yellow wire that looks soldered within the group of wires going to the switch that I am assuming is a ground of some sort.

Not knowing the history of this guitar, I cannot assume that everything is original ad it left the Gibson factory. Would anyone be able to help me wire up the new Switchcraft switch?

I know pics would be very helpful so I have taken some. Do I have to upload to a pic hosting site first or can I upload directly to the forum?

Thanks in advance!
Hosting site is easy and allows for larger files. I use Imgur. Gotta see pictures.
 

Jethro Rocker

Active member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
92
Physically inspecting the switch, I can see that moving the switch to one side makes a connection between two contacts. Moving the switch to the opposite direction does absolutely nothing
What that is supposed to do is short the pickup to ground that you are not using, so you only get one. The default is to have both pickups on and short out to ground the one you are switching off. Perhaps the bridge pickup is shorted to ground somewhere there at the switch or elsewhere.
 

PaulD

Active member
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
613
The previous replies contain incorrect information, you do not have coil tap options, your pickup wires are traditional two conductor wires and the switch is not meant to ground anything out, it should connect both pickups to the output in the centre position and break the connection for one pickup when it is flipped up or down.

The switch shown in your picture is the wrong switch for a two pickup guitar, it is the type that would be used on a three pickup Les Paul. The standard switch has two terminals on one side and three on the other. On the side with two terminals they should be bent inwards and connected together, this then connects to the output jack (the green wire on your guitar). The two outer terminals on the other side of the switch connect to the two volume control outputs (red and white on your guitar) and the centre terminal connects to ground (black wire).

The yellow wire in the control cavity is the braided shield around the switch wire and as you correctly say should be connected to ground.
 

krik71

New member
Joined
Jan 23, 2023
Messages
4
Thanks PaulD! I had a feeling someone mucked around with it in the past. I did purchase the proper switch as you've described above. Three terminals on one side and two on the other which I'll pinch together. I'll solder everything up tonight and see how everything goes.

I may be reaching back out to you in case I'm unsuccessful. Appreciate your assistance!
 

Jethro Rocker

Active member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
92
and break the connection for one pickup when it is flipped up or down

Admittedly it was not a Gibson but I had a guitar with a 3 way toggle that did indeed short the unwanted pickup to ground. My mistake here.
As for tap, I was guessing it may have as it had 4 wires from pickup.
 
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