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can anyone suggest proper wire

posted Jul 08, 2014 10:09:05 by HtesJoseph
Went out and picked up some pots and caps,they only had kits with the wire,I am looking for decent quality,went on stew mac but really don't know what I am looking at, ie-pushback wire?? if someone could post me a link for wire and the solid copper ground,well... you know
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18 replies
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kaarel804 said Jul 08, 2014 14:12:57
Have you considered vintage braided wire? It's super easy to work with and you don't have to add any ground wires because the braid is the ground :) In my mind, the only way to go. Of course, you can use usual 4-conductor wire that any USB device has, it's also handy. It also takes a bit less space in your guitar.

link to the vintage braided wire: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Braided-Shielded-Cloth-Wire-for-Guitar-5-feet-/121062810526
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MichaelWamback said Jul 08, 2014 14:46:59
I always like to use a combination of vintage braid and vintage cloth push-back wire.

The nice thing about vintage cloth is it's super easy to clip a bit off, pull the wire out of the cloth cover and use the cover to insulate the leads for capacitors. Slides right on.

I tend to get my wire from a guy on Ebay that goes by "Art of Tone". He's in Ventura, and gives me really good service. I find he has a very good selection of wire, switches and capacitors at pretty good prices. Here's a link to his store: Art of Tone
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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HtesJoseph said Jul 08, 2014 16:30:38
Dig the art of tone guy, gonna redo the prless caps pots wiring, pickups , might as well do the jack and switch while I'm at it, guitars really pretty but man it's sounds HORRIBLE , plays ok, so quick question, a 3 way blade switch is a 3 way blade switch right, the quality of that will not affect the guitars performance to much will it? Or is there a higher quality one, the screw spacing should be standard? Fat chance of ANYTHING being standard with these china guitars, LOL!!
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MichaelWamback said Jul 09, 2014 06:52:28
Like most electronics parts, it's not so much performance as it is reliability. Quality parts are just going to give you years of trouble free operation.

The best "Fender" type blade switch are Oaks Grigsby. They are not too expensive. Just be careful wiring them, because they have a definite front and back.

What guitar (pickups) are you wiring? The reason being that there are some interesting wiring mods you can do with some guitars - in particular wiring a Tele with a 4 way switch. I would also think you could do the same with a 2 humbucker guitar to put the pickups in/out of phase.
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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HtesJoseph said Jul 13, 2014 21:45:18
Michael,I am looking into that oaks grigsby, I havnt actually gotten the pickups yet,I am not looking for boutique crazy $$ pickups,looking for something I can get good clean jazzy ,bluesy,tones from that are mid to lower range in cost,it is for a china prs that I got recently, this guitar will be my first real project, but I am pretty handy and have patience and will try to do all the work myself.

So far I have 2 CTS 500 pots and I bought a package of orange drop caps. I am ordering the wire today and researching pickups in my price range, I may as well replace the jack,My thinking is,that I want to put the best stuff ( reasonably speaking $$)into this guitar,because I only want to do it once
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MichaelWamback said Jul 13, 2014 21:53:32
Honestly, the jack is nothing more than 2 bent pieces of metal. There are really no moving parts, and virtually nothing that can actually go wrong with one. They aren't expensive, but in my opinion are probably not worth the upgrade cost. Unless there is something physically wrong with the jack, liked stripped threads.

The one exception to this (and it's not technically the jack that is at fault) is some of the Squire Teles. They use a very thin and flimsy piece of metal to hold the jack and bucket (for lack of a better word for the little metal cup it screws to) in place. I have a friend who is a serious musician that has one he loves, and the jack kept being an issue. Rather than try and deal with the problem, we just got one with the oval mounting plate that holds with 2 screws. Not technically correct for a Tele - but foolproof. And for him, it's much more important that the guitar works when he needs it to. (High end Teles use a similar system, but it attaches to a solid piece of metal that is fairly securely embedded into the guitar.)

CTS pot are top quality - but you will also need a new set of knobs. The shaft sizes and number of teeth are different from Asian guitars.

And orange drop caps are always a good choice. They should last you a lifetime.
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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HtesJoseph said Jul 13, 2014 21:54:07
these are couple shots of the guitar, I am going to keep the tuners for now,but,pots ,caps wire,switch,jack,bridge and pickups must go, I am definitely looking for suggestions on some of those wiring configurations that you were referring to Michael, and any other tips ,pointers,do's,donts,questions,comments,suggestions ,that you, Michael have for me ,as you seem to have a spring of unlimited knowledge on these type of things. And like I said.....I really havnt a clue as to what I am doing,;-)

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MichaelWamback said Jul 13, 2014 22:02:19
Unless you have purchased push/pull pots, you aren't going to do a lot of fancy wiring. Installing a 4 way switch can give you additional options, but I'm not sure out would be entirely necessary with humbuckers.

The biggest decision you likely have to make is vintage vs. modern wiring. They each have advantages/disadvantages.

With modern wiring, you will tend to loose treble when you roll down the volume. With vintage wiring, you will tend to loose a bit of volume when you roll down the tone. And of course, if you play with both knobs always on 10, none of this will apply to you. :)

Another option, if you want to use modern wiring, might be to install a treble bleed circuit. You can get them very inexpensive on Ebay or make your own. Just a small resistor and capacitor that solder on two of the lugs of a volume pot - that can help to retain the treble when you roll down the volume.
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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HtesJoseph said Jul 13, 2014 22:10:42
Yes, I am going for basic, useable tones , so just basic wireing, don't know if I have the skills yet for the treble bleed, I got the wife in a good mood so I am prolly gnna get to order a set of pickups also today along with the wire, lot of opinions floating around, what's a reasonable priced upgrade for clean tones. And as far as vintage vs modern... I dlosnt make a difference to me . I'm basically looking for the most straight forward approach to this whole deal
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MustangJessie said Jul 14, 2014 08:00:48
Tone rider pickups are a good mid market option.
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MichaelWamback said Jul 14, 2014 15:35:43
There is no real difference in skill required to do vintage or modern wiring - it's just a case of which tab on the volume pot you choose to wire to. In your case, do you tend to use your volume control or you tone control the most? That would be good way to decide which wiring would be better for you. Let me know, and I'll link you to a good wiring diagram. So long as you follow the diagram, you won't go wrong.
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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HtesJoseph said Jul 16, 2014 11:13:29
I was wrong, I kept saying "5 way" switch , it's a 3 way blade switch, I need to measure the depth for the replacement, the oaks switches look deeper than the shallow china ones, Michael, I use my volume mostly, so it is a 2 pot, Humbucker setup with the 3 way switch, thanks for your help, I have orange drops and 500 k (?) cts pots that. I bought, and I have a good solder gun and stuff to go with it on the way, haven't purchased the pick ups yet but I am very close
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MichaelWamback said Jul 16, 2014 15:15:08
If you tend to be using your volume pot mostly, then I would go with the Vintage wiring scheme. That way your pickups won't loose as much treble when you roll down the volume.



This Tele diagram is basically your wiring. It's done in Vintage 50's, where you solder the capacitor from the center lug of the volume pot to the outside lug of the tone pot. The only difference is that you can use the capacitor between the volume and tone pot, rather than running a wire and then soldering the cap to the pot. So basically your capacitor will replace the red wire in this diagram, and you will just solder the center lug of the tone pot to the back of the pot to ground it.

I'll attach a diagram of a Les Paul in 50's wiring as well, so you can see what I'm talking about.



The switch in the Tele diagram is the Oaks switch, so it will show you where you have to solder jumpers.

Since I'm repainting my Tele, I happen to have the controls out of it at the moment. I've measured my Oaks switch, and it is 35mm in depth (1.38 inches). Mine is a 4 way, but they should all be about the same depth. The mounting screw spacing is about 40mm - but I don't think that would be a problem. As I recall, the cheap Asian blade switches and the Fender/Oaks switches are the same basic length and mounting screw distance.

With the Oaks switch, there is actually a front and back, so it may not work properly if you have it in backwards (at least it won't with a 4-way switch.) If you are looking at the metal casing side of the switch, the left is the front (furthest from the pots) and the right is the back (closest to the pots in the diagram.)

Different types of 3 way switches may wire differently.
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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GrandSpector said Aug 30, 2014 15:57:58
Can anyone recommend a source for wire for Europe? Shipping from the US is more expensive than the wire itself...
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drew said Sep 01, 2014 08:04:27
A dead desktop computer power supply can be an easy and free source of moderate lengths of wire suitable for guitars, DIY stompboxes, and other small electronic projects.
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