les paul wiring help needed

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by bill in kc, Aug 4, 2021.

  1. bill in kc

    bill in kc TDPRI Member

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    I have a 2008 Les Paul Standard - two humbuckers, no coil split. When I got it, two of the pots weren't working, and the wiring seemed a mess. I removed the wiring harness, thinking it easier to start over with the current (ProBucker) pickups, and a new harness. I have braided wire to connect the switch to the pots, and to the output jack. I wired the 3-way switch, with one wire to the output jack, one for the neck pickup, and one for the bridge pickup. Encased the three wires in shrink tubing to make it easier to thread thru the body. Here's the issue: I neglected to identify the individual wires. I don't want to pull all the wires out and start over. If I had not encased the three wires from the switch, I could just pull one, and see what moves at the other end. How can I identify which is the output wire, etc.? They have not been hooked up to the pots. The two pickup wires are also present, but I can identify them. Can somebody give me good advice? Signed, the 70-year old newbie
     
  2. Timbresmith1

    Timbresmith1 Tele-Holic

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    Go get a cheap volt meter with a continuity tester.
     
  3. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Afflicted

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    The three wires are connected to the switch, right?

    You'll need a multimeter or a continuity tester.
    1. Set your multimeter to check for continuity.
    2. Set the pickup selector switch to Lead.
    3. Start contacting any two wires from the switch until you find the pair that forms a circuit. One of those must be the central (output) wire and the other must come from the Lead side of the switch. The third, uncontacted wire comes from the Rhythm side of the switch.
    4. Flip the switch to Rhythm.
    5. Move either of your multimeter contacts to the third wire.
      1. If it completes a circuit, then the contact you didn't move is on the central wire.
      2. If it doesn't complete a circuit, then the contact you didn't move is touching the Lead switch wire.
    6. Mark the wires with paint or colored tape so you know which is which, and start soldering.
     
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  4. bill in kc

    bill in kc TDPRI Member

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    Thanks! Makes sense now. The grounds (braids) of all three wires are connected to a bus wire to the switch ground. I confuse myself sometimes, and my cat is not helpful.
     
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