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Replaced your vintage Varitone harness with what?

Brown Recluse

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Aug 11, 2006
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For those of you that have removed the Varitone from your vintage 345 or 355, what did you replace it with? Did you replace the entire harness? If so, did you use vintage potentiometers and capacitors? I have a '59 345 that I'm thinking of having de-varitoned and am curious what other people have done.
 

j45

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Jun 14, 2002
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Most of the ones I had converted were the entire harness. You can just keep the whole thing intact so not to break a bunch of solder joints for those who think they can tell the difference. It also makes it much easier for the harness replacement guy. I've seen several done in under an hour start to finsh.
 

Brown Recluse

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Most of the ones I had converted were the entire harness. You can just keep the whole thing intact so not to break a bunch of solder joints for those who think they can tell the difference.

Kerry, Yes, the solder police ramifications are a consideration. Did you use old parts for the new harness? Did Hogy do the work on yours?
 

danny2plus2

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Oct 19, 2002
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I can only hear the difference when they burn up the wipers or use Plumbers (acid core) solder and high heat. Lots of ways to damage old pots and stuff. Just more reasons to keep the harness in tact.
 

j45

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Kerry, Yes, the solder police ramifications are a consideration. Did you use old parts for the new harness? Did Hogy do the work on yours?

Yes, he did. He made a 335 harness from all modern parts. I think he's done five for me and another couple dozen for LPF members and othrs.
 

tooold

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Jul 31, 2006
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For those of you that have removed the Varitone from your vintage 345 or 355, what did you replace it with? Did you replace the entire harness? If so, did you use vintage potentiometers and capacitors? I have a '59 345 that I'm thinking of having de-varitoned and am curious what other people have done.

Given what a pain it is working on the harness inside the guitar, I'd go for replacing the entire thing. Use vintage caps if that floats your boat, but pull the thing as a whole, install the new one as a whole. As Kerry said, that way, if someone reeeellly wants the Varitone back in, it's a reasonably simple operation.
 

CDaughtry

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Hogy's done three for me, and the difference in tone is remarkable.
Your mileage of course, may vary.:jim
 

Brown Recluse

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Aug 11, 2006
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Hogy's done three for me, and the difference in tone is remarkable.
Your mileage of course, may vary.:jim

Charlie, Did Hogy build new harnesses for you with all new parts, or did he use any vintage parts in the replacement harnesses?
 

CDaughtry

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He built new harnesses, like he did for Kerry, and they sound great!:jim
 

BigsbyTracks

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Aug 4, 2001
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+1 - I built a harness for my '64 with all new parts, for all the reasons noted above.
 
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