Epiphone Les Paul Standard
I picked this up in a pawn shop for less than half its cost new, priced thusly primarily because it didn't have the control cavity covers.  Ha!  Those things rarely stay on my guitars for long anyway!


Modification: Chandler Tone X on-board preamp*
Control: Active circuit on push-pull potentiometer in place of the bridge pickup tone knob

Function: When you pull up on the knob, the preamp is turned on.  Rotating it changes the amplified frequency, just like with a wah pedal.  While you obviously can't rotate it while playing the way you can the pedal.  Instead, you set it to the "sweet spot" in your guitar's tone.  Joe Perry's original signature model Gibson Les Paul had this installed.

*Available through Gribblin Engineering.


(future) Modification: Phase switch
Control: Push-pull pot under the neck pickup tone knob.

Function: Throws the bridge pickup electrically "out of phase" with the neck pickup when the two are combined.


(future) Modification: Series/Parallel switch on the neck pickup
Control: Push-pull pot under the neck pickup tone knob.

Function: The coils of each humbucking pickup are normally combined in series.  This switch allows them to be combined in parallel in the neck pickup to produce a more glassy (i.e. Srat-like) sound.


(future) Modification: New pickups
I haven't decided which pickups to add in here.  Believe it or not, I enjoy the thick, smooth sound of the stock Epiphone pickups, but I would rather have something with more versatility

(future) Modification: Coil taps
Control: Push-pull pot under the neck pickup volume knob.

Function: New, 4-conductor pickups will allow me to tap the humbuckers and get single-coil sounds, which would be very nice, given all the other options I've crammed into this axe.



The Big Picture
The basic ("stock") LP only allows only 3 combinations of pickups.
 
Stock configuration:
  • Neck 
  • Neck + Bridge 
  • Bridge 
The configuration in this guitar allows 8 more combinations in addition to the 3 above:
 
with the coils tapped:
  • Neck (tapped)
  • Neck (tapped) + Bridge (tapped)
  • Bridge (tapped)
with the phase switch on: 
  • Neck + Bridge (out of phase... duh!)
with the coils tapped *and* the phase switch on: 
  • Neck (tapped) + Bridge (tapped) (combined out of phase)
with the series/parallel switch on: 
  • Neck (coils in parallel)
  • Neck (coils in parallel) + Bridge (standard series)
with the series/parallel and phase switches on: 
  • Neck (coils in parallel) + Bridge (standard series) (combined out of phase)

The schematic
Components pictured:
  • Two 4-conductor humbuckers
  • Three push-pull pots (500k Ohms)
  • Chandler Tone-X pre-amp
  • Three position pickup selector switch
  • Jack

If you aren't going to add a Tone-X or any other preamp, just ignore it in this schematic.  Basically, the output goes through it just before leaving the guitar itself.

Note: Different pickups will have different color codes for the wires.  Consult the manufacturer's website for which wires feed from which coils.

In this diagram, the red wires from each pickup represent the "hot" feed.  The blue wires from each go to ground.  The purple and green wires on the humbucker are the pair that are usually wired together (in series) in the standard humbucking configuration.



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