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AS73 Electronics Work
alathIN
#1 Posted : 7/20/2017 1:09:41 AM

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About to dig into my AS73 for a couple of electronics jobs:
1) the "50's mod" or "vintage wiring mod" where you move one pole of the tone capacitor over to the middle pole of the volume knob; supposed to help brighten/clarify the tone especially when you turn down the volume
2) install a pair of Seymour Duncan Seth Lover pickups I lucked into a sweet deal on.

This will be my first time doing wiring work on a semihollow so would appreciate any suggestions or tips.

I've seen a couple of youtube videos where people attach strings to the pots etc so they can pull them back into place.

I've also heard it's a good idea to use painter's tape around the f-holes to keep from scratching them up.

Let me know if there is anything else you can share that might help me!
Tracy Dae
#2 Posted : 7/20/2017 3:59:07 PM
Tracy Dae


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A better idea to retain the highs when the volumes are rolled down is to install a treble bleed circuit on the volume pots. The "50's wiring" addresses this issue to some extent but not as well as using treble bleeds. Also, 50's wiring can easily get messy for a semi-hollow body guitar. Good values to use would be a 330K Ohm resistor and .001uf cap connected in parallel across the wiper and output lugs of the volume pots.

Yes strings work best for fishing the pots back into place. I use a dowel that has one end whittled into the shape of a guitar plug to fish the output jack into place. Speaking of output jack, I do recommend replacing the output jack with a Switchcraft output jack. You will need the one with long threads for a full or semi-hollow body guitar.

Here is a pic of a harness I made for my AM93 and AM77. You can see the treble bleeds on the volume pots. If you click the pic it will open to a larger view.


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alathIN on 7/20/2017(UTC)
alathIN
#3 Posted : 7/20/2017 5:01:02 PM

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Originally Posted by: Tracy Dae Go to Quoted Post
A better idea to retain the highs when the volumes are rolled down is to install a treble bleed circuit on the volume pots. The "50's wiring" addresses this issue to some extent but not as well as using treble bleeds. Also, 50's wiring can easily get messy for a semi-hollow body guitar. Good values to use would be a 330K Ohm resistor and .001uf cap connected in parallel across the wiper and output lugs of the volume pots.

Yes strings work best for fishing the pots back into place. I use a dowel that has one end whittled into the shape of a guitar plug to fish the output jack into place. Speaking of output jack, I do recommend replacing the output jack with a Switchcraft output jack. You will need the one with long threads for a full or semi-hollow body guitar.

Here is a pic of a harness I made for my AM93 and AM77. You can see the treble bleeds on the volume pots. If you click the pic it will open to a larger view.




Seems like advice based in experience, thank you!

That is a very nice looking harness there. You're making me want to just re-do all my wiring.

Re; 50's mod getting messy - is this because you have to move all the pots around after things are soldered? I was kind of thinking to solder them in with flexible wires and use shrink sleeves to insulate them for this reason.

You are tempting me to try a treble bleed instead. It's often mentioned in the same threads/articles as the 50's mod.

Is there any reason to use music-specific resistors/caps for this, or can I just go to the local electronics store?

PS - I did order a switchcraft jack, and fortunately guessed that the long shaft was what I would need. Thanks for confirming I miraculously ordered the right thing!
Tracy Dae
#4 Posted : 7/20/2017 7:08:34 PM
Tracy Dae


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Originally Posted by: alathIN Go to Quoted Post
Re; 50's mod getting messy - is this because you have to move all the pots around after things are soldered?


Yes that is part of it. You will also need to be extra careful with the extra wires you will need to add in order to provide proper grounding when you do 50's wiring in a semi. It's not only easier to go with treble bleeds for a semi, treble bleeds achieve the goal of retaining highs during volume roll offs better than 50's wiring does.



Originally Posted by: alathIN Go to Quoted Post
Is there any reason to use music-specific resistors/caps for this, or can I just go to the local electronics store?


Not really. In spite of the hype of PIO and all that jazz, it's all just hupla. Just make sure to avoid ceramic disk caps and carbon comp resistors. Ceramic disk caps can change value with temperature and that can effect the tone. Carbon comp resistors are suseptible to picking up unwanted noise. It is best to use film/foil caps and metal film resistors. I just happen to like Orange drop caps. They are high quality film/foil caps. Sometimes I will use audiophile grade film/foil caps if the price is right.



Originally Posted by: alathIN Go to Quoted Post
PS - I did order a switchcraft jack, and fortunately guessed that the long shaft was what I would need. Thanks for confirming I miraculously ordered the right thing!


Your welcome. I have wired and rewired many a guitar in my years - and many of them were full and semi hollow body guitars. Haha
The mind is like a parachute...
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alathIN on 7/20/2017(UTC)
alathIN
#6 Posted : 7/20/2017 10:44:47 PM

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Okay I think I'm set to go here. The local electronics store did not have 330k resistors. They had 240k and 100k which I figure I can wire in series to get pretty close to the 330 k.
I've also seen where people fool around with slightly different values for the resistors and capacitors so I might be tempted to use the two twenties and call it good.

Thank you for your help again!
alathIN
#5 Posted : 7/21/2017 3:17:49 PM

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Project update:

Tracy you were RIGHT ON about the treble bypass mod being easier with a semihollow.

Everyone else complains about how the treble bypass requires you solder 6 times instead of 2 for the 50s mod.
But it is 10.5 kajillion times easier to get at the volume pots in my guitar. Even then, the bridge volume pot almost made me use a 4 letter word or two. Trying to get the tone pots out, and then back in again, would have made the job infinitely more difficult, and my kids would likely have learned some new swear words from me. Being able to make the mod without having to get at the tone pots was a WIN.

I did depart from your advice in one area, which I hope I do not regret. After reading some other sources, I decided to try the "Kinman" version instead of yours which people are attributing to Seymour Duncan. Some people said that the Duncan version changes the volume dropoff, and the Kinman version - wiring the cap and resistor in series - gives you a similar tone effect without affecting how the volume knob works.

Kinman suggests roughly the same cap value as you did, but a much lower resistance capacitor - but then again he seems mostly involved with Strats which apparently have 250k pots instead of 500k. So, somewhat randomly I admit, I decided to use the .001uf caps and 220k resistors in series.

I'll report back what it does. I hope I do not regret departing from the Sage Guru advice ;-)




Tracy Dae
#7 Posted : 7/21/2017 6:04:43 PM
Tracy Dae


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Resistor values are not set in stone. It's a matter of personal taste. DiMarzio suggests anywhere between 270K and 330K. I have seen much lower values suggested from other sources as well. I suggested 330K based on my own experience via experimentation. When you are working on a solid body guitar, it's no big deal to experiment with different values. If you don't like it you can easily change it. On a full or semi hollow body guitar, you can't change it so easily. So it's better to have some sort of base line to go from. I'm sure the 220K resistors will sound good to you. I've used that value before and it was fine. Yes there are a few different way to make a treble bleed circuit. Parallel just seems to sound the best to me.
The mind is like a parachute...
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alathIN
#8 Posted : 7/22/2017 3:40:46 AM

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Done!
For now at least.
Only got to play for about 15 min, but I am very happy.

The biggest change was the Seth Lover pickups from stock Ibanez. Before I was having to fight and scrape and claw to find any kind of brightness. Now I've got bright in abundance. Had to go set my amp back to more "normal" settings to avoid being TOO bright.

I don't think this is caused by the treble bypass mod, because when I put the pots all on 10 the mod shouldn't do anything at all.

But I do think the mod is working, because I don't notice any loss of treble when I dial down the volume.

The only thing I do notice that seems new and unexpected is a steep dropoff at the very low end of the pots - I could almost erase the '2' and just put 'off' instead. I don't remember it being like this before, but then again, I don't remember playing with the volume pots that low either, so it may not be a change. The volume pots do have a nice gradual, use-able drop off from 10 to 3, maybe even 2.5... and then it's just 'off.'



[img]http://www.meijerphoto.com/Albums/PhotoDetailedView.aspx?pi=FE682D726053F9FF556A085C1C6CEA8D83A6D18CAA4CBD575433121001CE6FD2&sa=D1628927E62FCC20D3CBC026369643400F7D322182E44B445F62B0011D8658DB[/img]

Tracy Dae
#9 Posted : 7/23/2017 3:39:39 AM
Tracy Dae


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Originally Posted by: alathIN Go to Quoted Post
The only thing I do notice that seems new and unexpected is a steep dropoff at the very low end of the pots - I could almost erase the '2' and just put 'off' instead. I don't remember it being like this before, but then again, I don't remember playing with the volume pots that low either, so it may not be a change. The volume pots do have a nice gradual, use-able drop off from 10 to 3, maybe even 2.5... and then it's just 'off.'


I don't remember if you planned to keep the original pots or not. The original pots Ibanez used for the volume controls were linear taper. I don't think they changed that. It sounds like they didn't change it and you used the original pots based on your description.

Ibanez used linear pots for the volume controls because that is another way to reduce the loss of treble when the volume is rolled off. It does not work nearly as well as either a treble bleed to going with 50's wiring but it does work better than if they had used audio taper pots for the volume controls.

When I build a new harness, I usually use all audio taper pots and put treble bleeds on the volume controls. However, I have one of my AR320's wired with 50's wiring. I figured I might as well since I have two of those guitars so one would be a little different from the other. LOL

BTW, what are your plans for the original pickups?

There is a guy who did YouTube videos on all this guitar electronics stuff and he did a really good job of explaining it. I made a YouTube play list of them and I will try to share it here. Not sure if it will work though. Give it a try and let me know if you can view the videos.


https://www.youtube.com/...Iz76007VLeH3lbURCdPbv9Zo
The mind is like a parachute...
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alathIN
#10 Posted : 7/23/2017 3:56:48 PM

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I kept the original pots.

No particular plans for the original pups, will probably go on eBay.

Yes, the videos work. Looks very interesting, will watch a couple of those.
Tracy Dae
#11 Posted : 7/26/2017 12:40:29 AM
Tracy Dae


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Ah I thought so based on your description.

I may be interested in the original pickups. PM me when you decide what you want to do with them. BTW, do you know what years your AS73 was made?

Thank you for letting me know the link worked. I wasn't sure if it would.


The mind is like a parachute...
...It only works when its open.
alathIN
#12 Posted : 7/26/2017 2:31:56 AM

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PM sent ;-)
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