This article covers the advanced Jimmy Page wiring
I made this custom electronic for the SG kit project using Entwistle HVN Vintage Humbucker Pickups.
This article is the fifth and last one of the SG Kit Project series
In the first video, I glued the neck and painted the guitar.
In the second video, I applied nitrocellulose varnish.
In the third video, I created and implemented a waterslide decal logo.
In the fourth video, I set the neck, the stetsbar tremolo, and the guitar intonation.
A quick update concerning the issue I had with the intonation setting in the previews video.
I had to reverse the saddles of the low E string and the G and B strings. The issue was certainly due because the kit wasn’t well made. When you buy a DIY guitar pack, a number must be penciled on the neck and in the neck slot, to prove that both pieces have been made to fit together. It was not the case with that one.
Also, the heel of the neck wasn’t perfectly straight. Usually, the set neck must fit perfectly without having to measure when the kit is of high quality. It’s either that or the four tune-o-matic holes were not drilled at the right place.
I tried to reproduce the humbucker rooting when I installed the neck. I measured the range when I glued it, and it was close. I assumed I would have plenty adjustment course with the bridge’s saddles, but I was wrong.
Anyway, now the problem is fixed, and the guitar is perfectly in tune. I just wanted to clear things out for those who are watching the entire series.
Back to the guitar electronic
The real Jimmy Page Wiring uses four push-pull pots. In his wiring, the neck volume pot splits the neck pickup and the bridge volume pot splits the bridge pickup when pulled.
Then, the neck tone pot sets the pickups out of phase, and the bridge tone pot is a master series setting when pulled.
My wiring, the so-called “Advanced” Jimmy Page Wiring, features four more setting to the original one.
Both tone pots are doing the same mods as the Jimmy Page Wiring, but the volume potentiometers are individual solo switches and the 2 three positions toggle switches are: series, split, and parallel setting for each pickup.
Also, I did a 50’s wiring for the tone pots and an independent volume wiring to counter the downside of regularly coupled volume pots pattern.
With a regular volume pot wiring, when both pickups are on, rolling down one of the volume pot shuts down the guitar completely. While independent volume setting allows both pickups volume to be set independently.
With a 50s wiring, the tone pot is attached to the volume pot. The tone pot wire is solder to the middle lug of the volume pot, which is the output of the potentiometer.
With standard wiring, the tone pot is attached to the input of the volume pot. The 50s wiring bypasses the volume pot and nullifies the signal to be filtered by it.
You have to understand that a potentiometer is a resistor as well. It’s like having a resistor wired to a dimmer. A 500k potentiometer is the same as soldering a capacitor in series with a 500k resistor. The resistor filters the sound, so the signal of the tone pot is different when you place it before or after the volume pot.
The tone control is more sensitive than a regular connection. It reacts more smoothly.
The 50s wiring delivers more flexibility and gives a bigger range. This is how I wire all my guitars, even Stratocasters. If like me, you don’t like having almost no difference in sound between 10 and five this is the way to go. But if you are the type of guitar player who leaves the pot on ten all the time, don’t bother with this.
The pickups used in this project are Entwistle HVN Neodymium Nickel Vintage Humbucker Pickup. I bought them on eBay.
They reproduce the early tone of the vintage PAF pickups. They have been updated with Neodymium magnets and overwound coils. It explains why those pickups feature a high output and a bright and punchy definition provided by the Neodymium magnet.
The pups own four conductors and a shield wiring. It is mandatory for coil splitting. They are fully wax potted and own a German silver baseplate.
To make this unique wiring, you need four long neck 500K push-pull potentiometers and two three position On-On-On DPDT toggle switches.
Total price of the project
paint & lacquer: $50
Stetsbar vibrato: $240
PlanetWave Locking tuners: $90
You can choose different locking tuners and microphones. It’s up to you.
I picked the Planetwave tuners because they are the cheapest of the established brands. They are also really good. I have already installed them on three guitars and they rock.
I opted for Entwistle pickups because of the price and the reputation. Seymour Duncan or Dimarzio pickups are excellent but way too expensive. I already compared them with more affordable brands, and I didn’t find a difference in quality. Once again, we are paying for the name.
GFS pickups are good. Wilkinson and Artec too. They are even cheaper than the Entwistle.
I bought those for this project because I already have many guitars sporting Wilkinson, Seymour Duncan, Belcat, Artec, Burns and GFS pickups so I wanted to give this brand a try. I am pleased with them and I am pleasantly surprised of the high volume output and tone definition.
Does it worth it? You bet it does! A real Gibson SG cost 1000s of dollars, and it doesn’t feature:
High-quality pickups ( even if Gibson pups are excellent they are far from the Entwistle pickups and other brands)
A top notch tremolo
An advanced electronic and shielding
As I say all the time. We are paying for the brand. My motto is:
Don’t buy guitars, make them
I confess, even if my painting is right, I’m far from the Gibson quality in term of art. But it is good enough for me. I’m really proud of my painting job.
One thing to keep in mind about guitar kits
Yes, they can be better than established brands. Depending on your painting skills, they might even look better than the real ones. But, if you intend to sell them, you are going to lose money. Custom guitars are harder to sell than a second-hand Squier or any known label.
People Are Addicted to Brands
Custom guitars are almost impossible to sell unless you are a renowned luthier. Kits or Partcasters are right for your use only. It is not a successful business plan unless you are making it for a friend or a customer who precisely knows what he wants.
If it’s your first project, you can start with the kit and some paint only. You can amend the guitar gradually according to your budget if you are happy with the look and playability of the guitar.
If you have any inquiries in mind, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll be more than happy to help. Don’t forget; I’m a geek, so I am never too far away from the computer. Even at the gym, I’m online with my android. lol
I am Hervé Senni, a pro musician and performer for quite some time.
My main musical instrument is unquestionably the electric guitar. Nevertheless, I also perform bass guitar, mandolin, Ukulele, and invented string instruments. I am also a composer as well as an arranger. Over the years, repairing and trying to further improve electric guitars that a majority of times did not have to be upgraded converted me right into a self-taught luthier.