Wiring harness for a late 90’s Westerly Bluesbird

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I picked up a 2016 Les Paul Classic Gold Top back when GC had them.
8.8 lbs, Slim neck, looks like modern wiring.
This guitar has the best taper (volume and toneof any pots I’ve ever played.
Volume and tone controls are useable at every point between 1 and 10.

Did Gibson use custom taper pots on these? 🤔

I have a Guild Bluesbird (Westerly) that I would like to set up to operate like my Les Paul.
The taper on my Bluesbird pots are not good.
Any suggestions for a replacement wiring harness would be greatly appreciated.
 

SFIV1967

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Did Gibson use custom taper pots on these? 🤔
If you still have the guitar why don't you just look at the pot codes on all 4 of them? That way you know what they used. And you can order those Gibson branded pots if you like them and mount them in the Bluesbird (assuming you find them in the right size for the Bluesbird top).
I believe that Gibson you mentioned used a PCB:

1617866892376.png



I replaced the original low cost WD Music CGE Mexico made pots (they had 3/8”-32 (9.525mm) thread, 24 spline, 1/2" Bushing height, 1/4" (6.3mm) top legth which makes them 3/4" (.75") total shaft lenth with good Toneshaper CTS 450G pots (with 10% tolerance, 10% audio) but CTS offers all kind of tapers but it is very hard to find the correct site and taper!


1617867415570.png


1617867288308.png


Ralf
 
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If you still have the guitar why don't you just look at the pot codes on all 4 of them? That way you know what they used. And you can order those Gibson branded pots if you like them and mount them in the Bluesbird (assuming you find them in the right size for the Bluesbird top).
I believe that Gibson you mentioned used a PCB:

View attachment 17728


I replaced the original low cost WD Music CGE Mexico made pots (they had 3/8”-32 (9.525mm) thread, 24 spline, 1/2" Bushing height, 1/4" (6.3mm) shaft length) in my Bluesbird with good Toneshaper CTS 450G pots (with 10% tolerance, 10% audio) but CTS offers all kind of tapers:


View attachment 17730

View attachment 17729

Ralf
Thanks for the detailed reply Ralf!
My Les Paul is not PCB. Gibson branded pots with .022 orange drop caps. (I got a good one)
The specs will help me to source some new pots.
The gradual taper from 0-10 is what I’m looking for.
The Duncan 59 bridge is pretty bright. I always dial the bridge tone back to 6 or 7, volumes from 5-9.

I may indeed go with the Gibson branded pots.
 
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If you still have the guitar why don't you just look at the pot codes on all 4 of them? That way you know what they used. And you can order those Gibson branded pots if you like them and mount them in the Bluesbird (assuming you find them in the right size for the Bluesbird top).
I believe that Gibson you mentioned used a PCB:

View attachment 17728


I replaced the original low cost WD Music CGE Mexico made pots (they had 3/8”-32 (9.525mm) thread, 24 spline, 1/2" Bushing height, 1/4" (6.3mm) shaft length) in my Bluesbird with good Toneshaper CTS 450G pots (with 10% tolerance, 10% audio) but CTS offers all kind of tapers:


View attachment 17730

View attachment 17729

Ralf
Here’s my Les Paul cavity.
As far as I can tell, (I’m by no means an expert) this is modern wiring.
The pots taper suggests that they are linear taper and a Gibson customer service person said what I described about the taper is consistent with linear pots.
What he couldn’t confirm was if they are in fact linear... (You’d think Gibson would know)

I’m including the best picture I could get of the neck volume code as well.
What I see looks like 70034 1608

I’d really like to duplicate this wiring harness for my Bluesbird.
Thanks for looking
 

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Les Paul potentiometer codes are:
Volumes: 70034
Appears to be 300k linear taper
Tones: 71079
Appears to be 500k audio taper.
I’m not 100% certain of the wiring.
Can anyone confirm if this is modern or 60’s?
 

SFIV1967

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Lets look at your wiring. So they used a huge groundplate to mount all on, interesting... I marked the volume and tone pots with 1 2 3 to make it clear.

So the pickup active goes to pin 1 Volume and continues via the cap to pin 2 of the tone pot.
Pin 2 Volume goes to the switch.

Pin 1 Tone is open and Pin 3 Tone is grounded.

1618062876812.png


Now compare the diagrams:

Gibson 50ies:
The middle of the tone pots are grounded and the cap goes from one outside leg of the tone pot to the middle of the volume pot where the switch is connected as well.

-> no match to your Gibson or the Bluesbird!

1618063053537.png
1618064668808.png



Your Gibson wiring = Guild Bluesbird wiring:

Pins 3 of the tone pots are grounded and the cap goes from the middle leg of the tone pot to the leg 1 of the volume pot where the pickup is connected as well. The wire to the switch leaves from the middle leg of the volume pot.


1618063463903.png



So all the pots in your Gibson are from August 2016.

440-70034 is a long shaft volume pot, 300Kohms, linear taper.
The Gibson Ordering code is PPAT-300:


1618064344309.png
1618064430946.png


1618064477546.png



440-71079 is a long shaft tone pot, 500kohms, audio taper.
Spec: https://peerlesselectronics.com/pub/media/erp_files/files/440-71079B.pdf
The Gibson Ordering code is PPAT-500


They are be both made by CTS, at least in the past they had R137 on them additionally.

Mind that the long shaft is too long for a Bluesbird! The Bluesbird only needs a 1/4" shaft length.



The caps 223 means they are 223 = 22,000 pF = 22 nF = 0.022 uF

1618064600411.png


That is my new Bluesbird wiring (same like on your Gibson)

1618085816662.png


Ralf
 
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Lets look at your wiring. So they used a huge groundplate to mount all on, interesting... I marked the volume and tone pots with 1 2 3 to make it clear.

So the pickup active goes to pin 1 Volume and continues via the cap to pin 2 of the tone pot.
Pin 2 Volume goes to the switch.

Pin 1 Tone is open and Pin 3 Tone is grounded.

View attachment 17827

Now compare the diagrams:

Gibson 50ies:
The middle of the tone pots are grounded and the cap goes from one outside leg of the tone pot to the middle of the volume pot where the switch is connected as well.

-> no match to your Gibson or the Bluesbird!

View attachment 17828 View attachment 17836


Your Gibson wiring = Guild Bluesbird wiring:

Pins 3 of the tone pots are grounded and the cap goes from the middle leg of the tone pot to the leg 1 of the volume pot where the pickup is connected as well. The wire to the switch leaves from the middle leg of the volume pot.


View attachment 17829


So all the pots in your Gibson are from August 2016.

440-70034 is a long shaft volume pot, 300Kohms, linear taper.
The Gibson Ordering code is PPAT-300:


View attachment 17831 View attachment 17833

View attachment 17834


440-71079 is a long shaft tone pot, 500kohms, audio taper.
Spec: https://peerlesselectronics.com/pub/media/erp_files/files/440-71079B.pdf
The Gibson Ordering code is PPAT-500


They are be both made by CTS, at least in the past they had R137 on them additionally.

Mind that the long shaft is too long for a Bluesbird! The Bluesbird only needs a 1/4" shaft length.



The caps 223 means they are 223 = 22,000 pF = 22 nF = 0.022 uF

View attachment 17835

That is my new Bluesbird wiring (same like on your Gibson)

View attachment 17830

Ralf
Thank you Ralf!
So I need to find these pots with short shafts?
The pots that I removed from my Bluesbird are longer than a short shaft Gibson pot that I have...
 

SFIV1967

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So I need to find these pots with short shafts?
The pots that I removed from my Bluesbird are longer than a short shaft Gibson pot that I have...
No, the Gibson short shafts are definitely too short! So one version too long, the other too short....

I'm not sure what the Gibson part numbers (if any) are for the 1/2" bushing length and 3/4" or 7/8" total shaft length. I had great difficulties to find some pots that fit the Bluesbird!

The Bluesbird used 3/8”-32 (9.525mm) thread, 24 spline, 1/2" bushing length, 1/4" (6.3mm) length of the top part with the tooth. So the total shaft length was 3/4" or .75".
I could not find any pots with 3/4" shaft length (and .500" bushing length), so I got the next size with 7/8" = .875" shaft length:

1618081252327.png


That is exactly what I used, the Toneshaper CTS 450G pots (with 10% tolerance, 10% audio). I used 4 of them (there are packs of 4). I had to add various additional washers to have them all lined up the same, so the knobs sit low on the top.


You can try fitting the Gibson long shaft versions with various nuts and washers, maybe that is the easiest way as you like them and they are easy available I think! I did not look at Gibson branded pots and also not at the long shaft versions, maybe I was to focused finding something with 3/4" shaft...

Let us know what you are able to find that fits.

EDIT: I changed the last picture in post #6 of my Bluesbird wiring to show the wiring with the new pots.

Ralf
 
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