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Pre-Wired Harnesses

posted Jun 30, 2014 10:14:05 by anantgururaj97
How reliable are these harnesses sold on eBay and how much of an upgrade are they compared to the electronics that are inside these Chinese Guitars.

Like this for example:
http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/NEW-Gibson-Epiphone-Les-Paul-Wiring-Harness-Pots-Switches-LKJB23-/151339704470?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item233c8ca096&_uhb=1

Thanks
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19 replies
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MichaelWamback said Jun 30, 2014 16:17:39
Good quality components are always a good idea.

The harness in your link is no better than what came in your Chibson, so don't spend your money on that.

Guys that sell wiring harnesses and so forth are basically the "used car salesmen" of the guitar industry, in my opinion. They will sell you a bunch of expensive crap you don't need, promising it will do wonders for your tone, so they can make enough money to keep the lights on and put the kids through school.

Instead of spending hundreds on a wiring harness, spend a few bucks on a good soldering iron. Wiring is not hard to do, and it will save you a fortune.

To quality pots (Bourns or CTS) sell for about $7 each - so about $25 for four of them. You can get a good set of capacitors for under $10. You can reuse the jack that came in the guitar (those things almost never fail, even the cheapest of them - they are 2 bent pieces of wire with no moving parts). If you want to upgrade to a top quality Switchcraft switch, they sell for about $15, but the one that came in your guitar will likely work fine for a long time. The rest of the cost is a couple of bucks worth of wire and solder.

Some of these guys will scare you by talking about burning up pots. Sure, it can be done - but it's not as easy to do as they would have you think. And you could burn up a heck of a lot of pots to make up the difference between $35 in parts and $100 harness.

I also think it's a great idea to invest about $20 in an inexpensive multi-meter. It's useful for checking circuit continuity, and for measuring pots values or checking to see if they are working.

And if you do your own wiring, you will have a new skill you can use - which can come in handy when you want to swap out pickups in the future. And let's be honest, Chibsons are like potato chips, so you know you will be getting more. :)
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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stanton.kramer said Jun 30, 2014 17:51:21
Did you notice that it is shipped... "from China"? A lot of Chibsons are wired that way already with the plug-in thing. So unless something is terribly wrong with a setup, there is no advantage to buying the Chinese one.

Learning to wire a guitar is not so difficult. It's like baking cookies. You have to know how to use your basic tools and which wires go where. There are step-by-step tutorials all over YouTube.
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anantgururaj97 said Jul 09, 2014 11:16:17
Hey guys thanks for all the help. I went down to a few guitar stores today to look for the parts you guys suggested but the prices astounded me. 15 Singapore Dollars (about 12 USD) for a CTS 500K Pot and about 30 for a switch. Seeing as I don't have enough money to afford all these parts (I intend to replace pickups also), do you guys know any online sellers (on eBay or otherwise) who sell the parts at more reasonable prices?

Michael, I saw your post on another thread about your eBay seller - The Art of Tone. He is selling kits for good prices but he doesn't ship to Singapore. Someone like that who does ship to SG would be perfect. Thanks for all the help!
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MichaelWamback said Jul 09, 2014 15:43:58
I'm sure you will find someone who will ship worldwide. Search on Ebay under "Bourns 500k" and check to see who ships worldwide. There are a few sellers who do.

You can also do the upgrades in stages. The most important thing is going to be a decent nut so you can get the guitar playing as it should. The electronics that come in it will work fine, the issue is that they will fail sooner than the quality parts - buy you might easily get a couple of years out of them.

Since budget it a concern, I would recommend Bourns pots for you. They are excellent quality - on par with CTS. The advantage is that you will be able to reuse the knobs that came with your Chibson. Most of the wiring harnesses and kits use CTS, which means you will have to spend another $15 (or more in your case) to get a new set of knobs to fit.

You also want a set of .022 capacitors. You can find those on there as well. Don't spend a lot of money on those. You can get good capacitors for about $3 each.

If you want, source what you can get local (wire, capacitors) for a reasonable price and then let me know what you need. I may be able to find you a seller.

Also, if you go to the Ebay website again and select the "Worldwide" option on the left menu, it should only display results from people who ship worldwide.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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vambostrausser said Jul 10, 2014 04:49:41
To anantguruai97
Locate SWIVELELECTORONICS on ebay they are based in Japan but mainly ship all items from Singapore.They should have all the parts you require,they ship very quickly and at great prices.I have personally used them about 5 to 6 times.
This is their UK Ebay page.Hope this helps
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/swivelelectroncs/
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT,THE GIRL IS MUCH TOO YOUNG TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
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MichaelWamback said Jul 10, 2014 06:51:22
Doesn't look like Swivel Electronics stocks Bourns pots - only Alpha or CTS.

Used Alpha in a guitar for a friend who was on a real tight budget recently. While the quality has gotten a bit better, still a big step below CTS or Bourns.

You also don't find Bourns as often, but you can get them if you search around a bit. They make some great stuff. Most of the "cork sniffers" would go CTS, mostly because Bourns won't fit the Gibson knobs. But I think the quality may even be a hair better than CTS. Both are extremely good pots though.

I realize that prices are higher overseas as well. We get spoiled with cheap parts here in the US. Their prices are about $2 higher than what we pay over here for pots.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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anantgururaj97 said Jul 10, 2014 12:13:04
Thanks for the link vambostrausser. I open the link you've put up and go the CTS pots. Then I change the address from ".co.uk" to ".com.sg". Normally this works and the currency and shipping changes to Singapore, but now the listings for all electronics disappear completely. Its like the pots, switches, caps etc. don't exist in the store. Ah well, the hunt continues :D
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vambostrausser said Jul 10, 2014 18:55:09
You could message swivelelectronics them and ask if they can make a order for you and ship them to you,worth a try.
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT,THE GIRL IS MUCH TOO YOUNG TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
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anantgururaj97 said Jul 11, 2014 11:48:53
I found a good deal on some used pots from a Gibson SG (YAY!). Quick question: Do the holes for the pots on these chibsons normally measure 3/8 inches or something else? Thanks for all the help again!
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ChibsonsandMore said Jul 11, 2014 14:32:32
The holes can be a little tight on the Chibsons, but nothing that's hugely different. At the most it took some working back and forth of one pots to get it into one of my builds.
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MichaelWamback said Jul 11, 2014 14:45:51
If you find the holes on the Chibson are too small, just roll up a coarse piece of sandpaper and insert it into the hole. Work it up and down a bit - test fitting the pot often. It takes a little time, but it's the most gentle way to do it if you don't have a reamer and very safe for the guitar finish.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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MustangJessie said Jul 11, 2014 15:32:08
I've had to enlarge the holes on every Chibson LP to fit CTS pots. I like to wrap sandpaper around a pencil, I feel I get a more accurate circle that way - these things matter to me :)
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MichaelWamback said Jul 12, 2014 16:42:31
If you are doing a lot of Chibsons - not a bad idea to invest in a reamer. In particular, the step reamers (prop reamers) from Great Planes are awesome. There are two of them, one in Metric and the other in Imperial. You can get both for less than what StewMac charges for their reamer.

The Imperial reamer cuts holes that are 3/16, 1/4, 5/16 and 3/8 in diameter.

The Metric version cuts holes that are 7mm, 8mm and 10mm.

It's also an essential tool if you need to enlarge holes in a headstock for new tuners. Many tuners use a 10mm shaft. The advantage to a step reamer (as opposed to a tapered) is that it will always cut a perfectly cylindrical hole - which is good for tuners. You may have to cut the front of the headstock and then flip it over to finish the hole from the back - particularly if the headstock is a bit thicker. But it will do a fantastic job.

If you decide to use a tapered reamer to holes, you will need to work from both sides to create a hole that isn't also tapered. Start on top, and enlarge the hole slowly until the tip of the shaft just fits into the hole without pushing all the way through. Then finish the hole from the back so the pot slides in. A time saver is to mark the reamer with a bit of tape once you've got the first hole the right size - similar to marking a drill bit for depth. You can then cut the remaining holes without stopping to check for size.

The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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drew said Jul 13, 2014 06:15:00
Steve at ApexJr.com sells Bourns pots, Teflon (PTFE) insulated wire, and other stuff that may be of interest. I haven't ever bought from him, but he has a good reputation in amp building circles. His website says he ships worldwide.

Closer to Singapore, you could try contacting Nik at ceriatone.com (Malaysia) and see if he'll sell you what you're looking for. Tayda Electronics in Thailand is a supplier that a lot of people who build stompboxes buy from, but I don't know if they stock the full-sized (24mm) pots.
[Last edited Jul 13, 2014 06:26:47]
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anantgururaj97 said Jul 16, 2014 09:00:04
Just out of curiosity, is it possible to fit long shaft pots into a Chibson or will they prevent the the cavity from being closed by the cover?
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