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need more tonal variations

10/12/1997 10:06 PM
Brian Croston
need more tonal variations
Hi all, I have a Washburn Wing series Custom that  
I installed some Tom Holmes PAF's in it. These  
just like the original Gibson's, that is, they  
only have one wire each instead of the now-common  
four-conductor wiring. I'd like to get some more  
tonal options such as coil-tap or midrange cut,  
but don't want to cut up the guitar or replace  
the pickups. Any ideas? By-the-way, my guitar has  
two volume and two tone controls and a three-way  
pickup selector ala Les Paul. Any help would be  
greatly appreciated.
10/15/1997 12:48 AM
Steve Ahola

.. My favorite mod for a stock LP style guitar is to convert one of the tone pots to a Torres designed master mid-cut control and rewire the other tone pot so that it becomes a master "Eric Clapton Woman" treble-cut control. When set to 10, the mid-cut control is essentially out of the circuit and as you turn it down, it cleans up the sound and you can get some crystal clear tones with both pickups on. The EC tone control uses a .015uf /630v cap which doesn't swallow up all of the high frequencies like a .02 cap. These mods can be done quite easily on a Les Paul without having to remove any of the pots.  
.. My LP 25-50 came stock with a coil-cut switch which I found to be practically worthless until I rewired it so that it cuts out the outer coils to produce a humbucking effect when both pickups are selected (like on a PRS with a rotary switch). Why Gibson couldn't figure this out 20 years ago is beyond my comprehension!  
.. If you are interested in converting one of your tone controls into a mid-cut control, I'll post the instructions here. Let me know more about your guitar: is it like a LP with the controls mounted through the body and the selector switch up near the strap button? If so, does the cable from the output jack go direct to the selector switch, or is there a terminal strip mounted inside the control compartment? Are the controls mounted directly on the pickguard?  
.. So how do the Tom Holmes PAF's sound? Unless you plan on a major rewire along the lines of a PRS with series and parallel linkages, you don't really need four-conductors since a plain coil-cut switch doesn't really add that much to a LP-style guitar.  
Steve Ahola
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