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Author Topic: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)  (Read 25379 times)

Offline nalu

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2010, 08:48:39 PM »
is that electrical tape i see?  :roll:
anyway, what are the stock pots for MIC epi lp's?

actually, those are heat-shrink tubes that's supposed to bundle the wires or insulate the solder joints.
i will be posting the pictures and details of the pots in a little while.

Offline nalu

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2010, 09:55:36 PM »
Next one to dismantle is the control cavity. The very first wire that I desoldered is the ground tap connected to one of the tailpiece anchor.
This ground tap is the black wire, which I secured with a masking tape, as shown in the picture below:



At this point you can just take off the nut from the potentiometers and you can lift the whole thing off without desoldering anything... saves you a lot of time.
By the way, just to make sure you don't scratch the finish on the top, you might want to put tape around the pots like this:



It protects the finish from accidental slips while using whatever tool in removing the nut.

Here's a picture of the pots with some of the wiring still on:



I tried to "decode" the spaghetti loops and it looks like the guitar came stock with MODERN WIRING. That may be the main reason why it had a really bright tone with the volume knob maxed.

The volume pots are unbranded B500K pots which means that it has a linear taper... no wonder the volume knob was practically useless. It's like an on and off switch which doesn't give you a usable taper.



The tone pot on the other hand is an Alpha A500K pot which means it has an audio taper.



The brown thing on the next picture that looks like a chiclet is actually the capacitor. It's a 0.022uF (I think it's Mylar) with +/-5% Tolerance.


Offline Rmansh

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2010, 10:22:24 PM »




i also don't know why there's a wiring harness over there. I thought its like those non-solder emg's, makes you switch pickups in a snap but its not. Pickups are still soldered to the pots.
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Offline nalu

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2010, 10:30:46 PM »
i also don't know why there's a wiring harness over there. I thought its like those non-solder emg's, makes you switch pickups in a snap but its not. Pickups are still soldered to the pots.

Rmansh, does your epi lp have that 4-pin DC connector too?

Offline Rmansh

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2010, 10:51:01 PM »
Rmansh, does your epi lp have that 4-pin DC connector too?
yes, all of them have. Wirings, pots, switches are the same with yours. Although, your pickups looks dirtier  :-P  joke

by the way, you dont need to put tape on it, just wrap a handkerchief under the knobs and gently pull it upwards :wink:

edit:

Only on LP's. SG's dont have wiring harness
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 11:00:14 PM by Rmansh »
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Offline bryanarzaga

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2010, 01:08:30 AM »
yes, all of them have. Wirings, pots, switches are the same with yours. Although, your pickups looks dirtier  :-P  joke

by the way, you dont need to put tape on it, just wrap a handkerchief under the knobs and gently pull it upwards :wink:

edit:

Only on LP's. SG's dont have wiring harness

i use that as well..


Offline nalu

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2010, 06:19:55 AM »
yes, all of them have. Wirings, pots, switches are the same with yours. Although, your pickups looks dirtier  :-P  joke

by the way, you dont need to put tape on it, just wrap a handkerchief under the knobs and gently pull it upwards :wink:

edit:

Only on LP's. SG's dont have wiring harness

LOL. I see... this is my first time to fiddle with an epiphone LP. I'm more used to the insides of an Ibby.

I actually used the bottom part of my shirt in removing the knobs.
The tape was for protecting the top finish from my long nose pliers and my shakey hand while I take of the nut.  :-D
If i had a hex wrench I probably would not use any tape.
Learned it from my RG experience... never did take second chances after that.

Offline giftmones

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2010, 02:15:54 PM »
 :-o cool thread..:)

keep them coming ..:)

marami akong natutunan hehe :-D

Offline nalu

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2010, 09:08:33 PM »
Ok folks, sorry for the long wait...

Right now, all of the hardware, pickups, and electronics were taken off. I didn't have to change the tuners though since it already came stock with Grover's.



Here are more pictures of her stripped off of everything.






Offline nalu

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2010, 11:23:15 PM »
Now it's time try this baby on for size:



It's a RS Vintage Upgrade kit with Luxe Bumblebee Caps.

These are all the stuff included in the kit:



It comes with a nice glossy paper containing control cavity pictures of a 1959 Gibson Les Paul and a wiring diagram. It also has some history on the bumble bee caps. Notice that the caps are wrapped in paper.... wax paper to be exact.



There are two kinds of pots in the kit - 500KOhm RS Superpot and 500KOhm CTS Audio Pot. The RS Superpots are for the volume knobs and the CTS Audio Pots are for the tone knobs. Here's a photo with the pots side by side:





The one on the rigth is the RS Superpot and the one on the left is the CTS Audio pot. They both have the same dimensions and the same brass bushing.  However, the RS Superpot is neither a Linear nor an Audio pot. It has a custom taper that was developed by Roy of RS Guitarworks... they sent the values (the actual resistance curve) over to CTS to have them design it. Bottomline, their goal was to have a smooth and usable taper from 0 to 10. Notice the different markings between the two pots - "RSG1" vs "CTS500".

If we put the stock cheapo pots beside the RS Superpot, you'll easily notice that their bushings are of different sizes.



I expected this since an Epi LP was made in china (metric standards) and the CTS/RS pots were made in the US (English standards). They differ to an extent that would not make the CTS/RS pots a direct fit for the holes in the control cavity. If you force them, you'll most likely damage or chip some wood off the guitar. But trust me, there's a very affordable and convenient way to handle that...
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 12:16:40 PM by nalu »

Offline r_chino18

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2010, 11:36:06 PM »
I expected this since an Epi LP was made in china (metric standards) and the CTS/RS pots were made in the US (English standards). They differ to an extent that would not make the CTS/RS pots a direct fit for the holes in the control cavity. If you force them, you'll most likely damage or chip some wood off the guitar. But trust me, there's a very affordable and convenient way to handle that...

Now this thread is getting super interesting for me.. i'm curious how you'll go about fixing and doing this..
i'm also eyeing some RS kits for my guitar.. and for sure i'll have the same thing, smaller hole for the stock pots but bigger diameter for the RS and CTS pots..

Offline alvinratsim

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2010, 12:33:16 AM »
Very cool thread, i admire the step by step detailed pics.  \m/
"If you want to play like the big boys, you've got to play what the big boys play"

Online Boxedking

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2010, 09:42:53 AM »
Very cool thread, i admire the step by step detailed pics.  \m/
ditto! just keep 'em coming sir!
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Offline dantuts

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2010, 10:28:23 AM »
well documented !! nice !!
keep em coming.

one thing i noticed though, is that the string on the nut was buried deep in notches. maybe thats why you still have intonation problems. are your replacement nut from stewmac has slots?  cant see it from the pic
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Offline rjthemute

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2010, 02:55:20 PM »
Now this thread is getting super interesting for me.. i'm curious how you'll go about fixing and doing this..
i'm also eyeing some RS kits for my guitar.. and for sure i'll have the same thing, smaller hole for the stock pots but bigger diameter for the RS and CTS pots..

roll a bit of (fine) sandpaper, into a small tube (or tape/wrap around a pencil) and sand the insides of the hole...more control over using a drill.

Offline tsunamic

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2010, 03:48:10 PM »
i like this thread! nakakaatat tuloy ang mga susunod na kabanata! :)

Offline nibram

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2010, 04:11:36 PM »
nice thread! i'm watching..  :-)
Y

Offline r_chino18

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2010, 06:19:58 PM »
roll a bit of (fine) sandpaper, into a small tube (or tape/wrap around a pencil) and sand the insides of the hole...more control over using a drill.

ahh.. right.. that's what i had in mind.. i was wondering if the TS will do that or get a bigger drill bit and bore it bigger..  :-)

Offline nalu

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2010, 08:46:00 PM »
Now this thread is getting super interesting for me.. i'm curious how you'll go about fixing and doing this..
i'm also eyeing some RS kits for my guitar.. and for sure i'll have the same thing, smaller hole for the stock pots but bigger diameter for the RS and CTS pots..

Very cool thread, i admire the step by step detailed pics.  \m/

ditto! just keep 'em coming sir!

i like this thread! nakakaatat tuloy ang mga susunod na kabanata! :)

nice thread! i'm watching..  :-)

Thanks guys! I'm glad you like it.
If there are any suggestions, recommendations, or experiences you want to share... please don't hesitate to chime in.

Offline nalu

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2010, 08:52:16 PM »
well documented !! nice !!
keep em coming.

one thing i noticed though, is that the string on the nut was buried deep in notches. maybe thats why you still have intonation problems. are your replacement nut from stewmac has slots?  cant see it from the pic

the nut that i bought from stewmac is unfortunately not a direct fit for epiphones. you can read the full details regarding this on Reply # 13 of Page 1.
but I think you're right, the notches maybe too deep and sharp at the bottom providing too much traction between the nut and the string.
a little bit of sanding may do the trick... we'll see.

Offline gamer21

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2010, 09:05:13 PM »
Patingin!
"The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul." --Johann Sebastian Bach


Offline nalu

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2010, 09:09:55 PM »
roll a bit of (fine) sandpaper, into a small tube (or tape/wrap around a pencil) and sand the insides of the hole...more control over using a drill.

And... WE HAVE A WINNER! You're right bro.

There were actually 3 things that I had in mind the moment I discovered that the pots won't fit.
First option - Bring it over to a luthier with the right tools/equipment and let them deal with it. But then that would kill the thrill of DIY.
Secon option - Buy a cheap drill and a 3/8"(9.52mm) drill bit and pray that you don't mess up the fine looking top. I love to DIY but I'm not that crazy yet.  :-D
Third option - Roll up a small piece of sandpaper and ream the mounting hole. May take a long while and requires a uniform reaming motion.

Obviously, I went with the third option. Lesser cost and yet the most effective way.
With that, i'll be posting the pictures and some details in the next post.

Offline nalu

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2010, 09:51:06 PM »
Alright, moving on with the mounting hole issue...

The mounting hole diameter on a stock LP has an M8 spec - 5/16" (7.94mm) and the RS/CTS pots have 3/8" (9.52mm) bushings. Meaning we have to open up the mounting hole diameter by 1/16"... that's 1/32" around the hole.

I rolled up a piece of USED 600 grit sandpaper and started sanding the mounting hole.



I prefer USED sandpaper for this kind of job since you want a smooth and uniform motion that would not abruptly sand down your wood. You don't want your pot wiggling inside the mounting hole because you ended up having a non circular hole.  The key here is not to move the sandpaper in and out of the hole but do a REAMING motion instead. This would ensure that you're uniformly sanding off wood from the mounting hole. Also, you want to try and fit the pot once in a while to check how far along it is from a snug and tight fit.  It will be a somewhat slow process but it's safer and more affordable than using a drill bit.

There you go....



After the first one, you'll have a good estimate on how many rotations you have to do to get a good fit and the rest would be fairly easy.


Offline Rmansh

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Re: Giving new life to your axe (mods for your humble Epi LP)
« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2010, 10:08:46 PM »
cool tip nalu

 if im gonna do this, i'll draw a cardboard template first, then put all the 4 pots and solder them capacitors, wires etc. then put them all together and just solder the connections. its easier that way. But i bet you knew this already. :lol:

continue continue :mrgreen:
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