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Modern Wiring – Les Paul

I like to support my customers as much as I can so here is my drawing of Gibson Modern Wiring – Les Paul.

The modern wiring is used in most Les Pauls and it’s great for players wanting to roll off some treble when the guitar volume is turned down.

The difference between the modern and 50’s wiring is in how the tone capacitor is connected to the volume pot. It’s a very simple modification if you have 50’s wiring and are curious.

Modern Wiring – Les Paul

Modern Wiring - Les Paul

I’ve linked below to my 50’s wiring diagram so you can see the difference.

Another thing to remember is that you can actually use both wiring methods on the same guitar. It is possible, for instance, to use 50’s wiring for the neck pickup and modern for the bridge. That way the neck pickup would retain some clarity as you lower the volume. The bridge pickup (with the modern wiring) would loose a bit of high end with the volume down a bit and therefor smoothing off the treble. It just depends on what you’re trying to get out of your Les Paul. Then there’s capacitor choice, pot value, coiltap or series/parallel, or even out of phase – the list goes on. I will be writing more blogs to cover all that at some point.

It’s always important to remember that here is no right or wrong, despite what you may read on social media. It’s all just a matter of personal taste. These wiring differences are all subtle too, the place to start is with great pickups.

I’ve used my humbucker colour code.

Here’s my diagram for the 50’s style wiring

Here are some demos of my humbuckers

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updated 3 April 2023

Modern Wiring – Les Paul

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Series Parallel switch

There are numerous ways to wire a humbucker but for me the most versatile is with a Series Parallel switch.

So what is series/parallel all about?

The standard way of wiring a humbucker is in series. PAF’s are wired this way and it gives the traditional full sound with plenty of mids and bottom end. Its simply one coil following the other, the end of one coil connected to the beginning of the next.

Wiring a humbucker in parallel is quite a different sound. It’s much more similar to a single coil sound but the pickups is still hum cancelling. There is a drop in volume though not as much as with a coil tap (switching one coil off).

This series parallel humbucker wiring diagram shows how to do it with a push/pull switch. With the switch down and the humbucker is wired in series (normal), pull it up and it’s in parallel. The wiring colour code is for Mr Glyn’s Pickups ( I use the same colours as Seymour Duncan).

Series parallel humbucker wiring diagram

I’m not sure why series/parallel isn’t more popular. Maybe it’s a little harder to understand than coil tapping, maybe it’s because its a little more complicated to wire up. I certainly prefer it.

I’m going to be posting a few more wiring diagrams in the near future. Keep an eye on this blog or my social media:

Mr Glyns pickups are individually made near Auckland, New Zealand. From low powered Vintage to powerful ROCK pickups. Designed combining experience, intuition and science. Road-tested by players on stage and in studios. Packaged with care for you and the planet. Food for amplifiers.

Mr Glyns Pickups is a small business which means I can communicate with my customers one to one. I’m always happy to discuss your requirements, answer questions and give advice. I want to know about the guitars my pickups are going in, send me pictures, send me recordings.

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For the full range of pickups

Series Parallel switch