I'm constantly changing out wiring schemes and pickups. For the most part, it's strictly for functional reasons. I have a 1995 Gibson Les Paul Standard that in my pre-covid life was being used in a cover band. We played dance hits and 80's stuff so a typical LP setup wasn't going to work well if I wanted to use it in my guitar rotation, so I set it up with push-pulls and coil split humbuckers.
Due to Covid-19 I haven't been playing out, so I wanted to return this guitar back to a vintage PAF style. One thing, though. I don't now, nor have I ever liked using a traditional tone circuit or even a volume control circuit. I just have no use for the muffled, boomy, bassy sound that you get rolling back a typical volume or tone control. Lots of folks do like this, I just don't.
The answer? Time to UN-DARK.
No, un-dark is not a black metal band...although it could be...actually it should be. One of y'all should get on that.
Un-dark is my procedure for adding more treble into both my volume and tone controls. The best part? It's super-duper f'in easy, extremely cheap and totally reversible. In fact, this is easily the most affordable and simple way to DRASTICALLY change your tone on any guitar. Check out the video I made where I show how to wire it in and give you a cell-phone camera demo.
Here's what you need:
- For each VOLUME control: Cinnamon Drop High-Pass Treble Bleed Circuit
- For each TONE control: Cinnamon Drop .01uF Polypropylene Film Capacitors
- Soldering iron, a popped collar and a blasting radio
The Treble Bleed is a high-pass, so it rolls back way less treble, giving your tone a ton more clarity. Also notice that you retain much more of your volume. All it takes is a .001uF Cinnamon Drop cap wired in parallel with a Blueberry 150k resistor. You just wire this sucker into the in and out lugs on your volume pot. You have successfully un-darked your volume control.
The .01uF Cinnamon Drop cap gets wired in on each tone control. This capacitor is a value that you don't hear about much, but they're a real secret weapon. The idea here is kinda the same as the treble bleed. You get way more treble response across the sweep of your tone pot. You have successfully un-darked your tone control.
I really dig this. Honestly, this will be a mod that goes on all the non-vintage guitars I have.
Don't like your volume control? It's time to UN-DARK. Don't use your tone control? UN-DARK it. Join me, in the bright treble soundscape possibilities and UN-DARK your guitar and your life, LOL. Peace, love and rock & roll forever, you guitar legends!