Greetings! I have plenty to complain about with the newer generations of Gibson Les Paul guitars. The company has lost it way and despite spending tons of cash on high-zoot machinery, they have a great deal of difficulty with making a guitar with a straight neck and level frets. They also have trouble in the electronics design area and they load up their instruments with features that nobody wants (robot tuning) or by screwing up a good thing by installing printed circuit boards and push-pull pots in their revered Les Paul models.
Well, it is easy to fix a bad neck or salvage a bad fret job, but at least you can easily re-wire your Les Paul like god intended with a pre-wired harness kit. There are a lot of companies out there selling these, and one of the better ones is the Golden Age kit from Stewart-MacDonald.
These wiring kits are made right here in Athens, Ohio by first world workers that earn a living wage, not by shoeless little kids overseas that will never see the inside of a school or eat a hot lunch. And these harnesses are assembled using quality parts that you would pick off the shelf if you had a choice, not the crap that Gibson gets from their lowest bidders.
The Golden Age 1934 Les Paul long shaft pot kit includes:
- FourCTS 300k potentiometers
- Two Orange Drop 223K (022uF) capacitors
- A Switchcraft three-way toggle switch
- A Switchcraft ¼-inch mono output jack
- Push-back cloth wiring
- A neat wooden template that you can use in case you decide to build your own harness next time
This is all good stuff, and it is neatly wired and ready to be popped right into your guitar. If you can figure out how to attach it to your pickups, it is as easy as pie. It was for me, and I had it soldered to my Burstbuckers in no time flat.
There have been no problems with my kit. Everything fit well, and there was no added static or popping and everything worked exactly like it was supposed to. I like it a lot, and would not hesitate buying another.
By the way, they sell these for many different guitar and bass models, so if you have a project instrument that you need to rewire, these guys might must have the solution!
What is finally comes down to is the cost of the Golden Age pre-wired kit. The street price is $80 with standard length pots (pre-1978) and $91 for long shaft pots. If you do the math, you are going to be out of pocket for over $60 if you buy all of these parts separately to do the job yourself. To me it is worth an extra $20 to have a job like this done professionally, because it will look just right when it is installed.
See for yourself, and let me know what you think.