I’m going to upgrade an Epiphone DOT Studio that I recently picked up and I’ll be putting two additional POTs in.. I have a request, would you please send me a link to your wiring diagram and would you PLEASE make a crude template showing where your POT and selector switches are positioned in relationship to each other on the guitar? I want the installation to look as stock (personal use but…) as possible. Thought about going to GC and making one but didn’t think they’d appreciate me pulling off the knobs. Haven’t been able to find a template in three days of searching 🙂 Thanks again
- Gear Diary
- Guitar Circuit Wiring
- Guitar Potentiometers
- Guitar Preamp Cable
- Guitar Tone Capacitors
- Guitar Treble Bleed
- Pedal Building
- Photo and Video
- Semi-Hollowbody Electronics
- VOX AC15
Back in 2009, I described my frustration with the Tune-o-matic bridge on my Epiphone Riviera P93. The retainer wire that holds the saddle screws in place is just a terrible design. A good choice to address this issue is the Nashville style tune-o-matic which has individual saddle retainer clips, while also increasing saddle-adjustment range for intonation. Another good possibility is a roller bridge, like the Wilkinson B33. I figured the roller may pair well with the Bigsby, possibly improving the Bigsby vibrato’s general tuning instability.
In this video, I show how to swap in the Wilkinson bridge, and then do a series of comparisons to see if there’s any difference in the overall tone, sustain, and tuning stability with the two bridges. More
Finally! Time to ditch the cardboard and reinstall the electronics into my Epiphone Riviera P93.
In this two-part video, I demonstrate the trick to getting it all back in though the f-hole. It ain’t easy, but trust me- you can do it. Just be prepared that it may take a few tries to get right. Expect to get everything half way in and then realize that something’s twisted or upside-down, requiring you to pull it all out and start over. It’s no big deal if you’re expecting it 🙂
And how sweet it is to have it all back together again.
In this video, I finally bring together the results of the last 20 or so videos, and demo the results of my Epiphone Riviera P93 electronics overhaul. I first demonstrate the original Epi setup, then swap in my new electronics, and then replace the pickups with a matched set of new Vintage Vibe Guitars P-90’s.
The new electronics include CTS 500k audio taper pots, no-load mod on the tone pot, an Orange Drop .01uF tone cap, all new shielded wire, and a new Switchraft L12A jack. So, if you’re wondering what it might sound like if you change out your pots and caps in your guitar, this should be a good example. (Note, I’m changing the jack for mechanical reasons, not to improve the sound). More
In part 3 of the video series on installing pickups, I select some screws and show some tricks for drilling the holes right where you want them.
For the screws, I chose some slotted silver 3/4” long #4 wood screws. Even though the Bigsby and tuners are finished in gold, I think these silver screws will look good with the polepieces.
Since the new holes will overlap a bit with the old filled holes, the drill bit will have a tendency to walk into the old hole. The bit always wants to take the path of least resistance. I’m using a Rockler Self-Centering Bit, which makes it really easy to drill precisely centered holes – it’s good for things like door hinges and cabinet hardware too. If you don’t have one of those, the next best thing is a brad point drill bit, which has a sharp spike to prevent the bit from shifting. With a brad point bit or regular bit, you’ll want to use something sharp like a drill punch or awl to give the drill bit a good starting point.
This is part 2 of the video series on Replacing Pickups in a semi-hollowbody guitar. Here, I show some common-sense tricks for properly positioning the pickups front-to-back and side-to-side on the guitar, without having to make lots of measurements, etc. To place the pickups parallel with the edge of the fretboard and parallel with each other, I use spacers. You can experiment with spacers of different sizes to find a good fit – I’ve used pens and pencils and scrap wood. Just make sure the spacer is equal in size along its entire length – avoid tapered pens. Here, I’m using drill bits wrapped in tape, since my bit set has so many choices in size. I also show a way to use the low and high E strings as a straightedge when aligning the pickup polepieces under the strings. Note, in the video, I didn’t realize the camera was slightly angled when showing the pole piece alignment, so it’s not as
Note to self: next time, set the camera to proper manual focus before doing those closeups!
I’m finally all set to replace the pickups on my Epiphone Riviera P93. I’ll be using a set of Vintage Vibe Guitars height adjustable dog-eared P-90’s. I’ll do a detailed review of these pickups later, but for now I’m focusing on how to do it.
In part 1 of this video series, I remove the old pickups, position the new pickups using a spacer, decide if the existing holes can be reused, and then show how to fill the existing holes in preparation for drilling new ones. I was planning to use a 1/8” dowel to fill the holes, but it turned out that the factory positioned some of the holes too close to the edge of routed recesses, and the screws had breached through the sides. So instead of dowels, I’m using Elmer’s Carpenter’s Interior/Exterior Wood Filler.
Next up in the series on guitar pots, I demonstrate how to enlarge the holes in your semi-hollow body top, to accommodate the larger diameter 3/8” pot shafts. Import guitars appear to use slightly smaller 8mm or 5/16” shaft pots.
This is part 1 of a new series on guitar electronics. In the video, I demonstrate how to get the electronics out of a semi-hollow body guitar, with some useful tips and tricks.
Once the electronics are out of the guitar, it’s relatively easy to try some experiments on the circuit to see how it sounds. I’m planning a number of upcoming experiments including:
- Experimenting with replacement pots
- Adding treble bleed to the volume pots
- Trying different tone capacitors to see how it changes the sound
- Replacing the jack with one with a longer bushing Switchcraft jack
- Replacing the pickups
- Putting all the electronics back into a semi-hollow body guitar through the f-hole
Every step of the way, I’ll be recording audio examples, how-to videos, and text writeup.
I look forward to hearing any comments or suggestions. Please let me know your experiences too!
What is up with the jacks on these semi-hollowbody Epiphone guitars. When I was shopping for guitars in the stores, I often saw Epiphone Dots and Sheratons with the jack missing inside the guitar. How can that be good for sales?! And when reading in the Epi forums, I saw folks complaining of this happening to them. Does this happen on the more expensive Elite Epi’s, or other semi-hollow body guitars?
I never thought it would happen to me. I made a point of periodically hand-tightening the jack when plugging in a cable, just to be sure.