Saturday, 14 June 2014

335 Semi-hollow Bass: 50s Vintage Wiring - Tweaked!

In the process of creating my wiring harness for the 335 bass, I have re-examined how to go about laying out the wiring harness for a semi-hollow build so that it is both simple, and will survive the installation process. For my other semi-hollow builds (the 12 String 335 and the Les Paul Florentine) I used the following circuit. It's a Gibson 50s Vintage wiring scheme, with the independent volume mod added for good measure.

While this orientation is perfect for wiring those big arse oil-caps into small Les Paul control cavities, when you are talking about mounting in a semi-hollow body those capacitors wired "inline" between the volume and tone pots are devilishly hard to secure. You end up attaching wires to one or both ends of the capacitor legs, and then lashing this to another of the joining wires for stability. All in all, it's a hack at best!

Instead, there is actually no reason why the capacitors couldn't be mounted to the back of the tone pots instead. You see this orientation very often in Fender wiring schemes, and in other single volume / single tone configurations. It's actually a very convenient way of mounting the tone capacitors, especially for semi-hollows! Taking the wiring diagram above, it's a simple matter of shifting the capacitor from before the variable resistance in the tone circuit to "after" it instead. The result is electrically equivalent and much easier to secure and install.

In this configuration we need only piggyback the tone caps to the back of the tone pots. No additional wires need be soldered to the capacitor legs, and no lashing is required to secure the capacitor in place. It's so simple and elegant, why the hell didn't I think of it before??

Anyway, the sucker is wired up. With the volume pots at the top and tones at the bottom the wiring harness is surprisingly neat.