A wiring harness can make or break your tone. Spend all the money you want on a boutique pickup. But lame components will be like a big wet nasty smelly blanket over your sound. LOL! You get the idea! Even more so in a Les Paul, where each pickup traditionally has a respective volume pot and tone pots.
What are you going to go about that? Especially if soldering isn’t your thing? You might remember the Mojotone Solderless Strat Harness that I use. They make a wide array of Pre-Wired and Solderless Harnesses for guitars and even bass. In this article, we are going to look at one of each for a Les Paul configuration.
Let’s start with the Solderless Les Paul Harness.
Solderless Les Paul Harness.
Here is what comes with the rig:
- CTS 500k vintage tape potentiometers
- Switchcraft 3-way toggle
- Switchcraft 1/4″ jack
- Mojotone Vitamin T oil-filled .022μF caps
The hardest part is removing the old harness. Yes, the new install is really that simple. Everything on the new rig goes in to the solderless connector. Even the connections from the 3-way toggle and your ground wire. I like to use a very small flathead screwdriver to depress the tab while inserting the corresponding wire. Release the tab, give the wire a gentle tug to ensure a solid connection, and on to the next wire. Bickety-bam! That easy!
On this Lester, I am going through a few pickup swaps for the sake of running through the process. Humbucker sets in play are a Bare Knuckle The Mule set, a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover set, and a Mojotone Premium Historic Limited 59 PAF set. Why so many? Well, that’s the whole point of the Solderless Harness! HaHa! If you’re always rolling pickups, it’s the way to go, as far as I’m concerned.
How does it sound? Excellent! If you are coming from generic capacitors on your tone pots, you will like these Vitamin T caps. Very natural and organic. And to give credit where it is due, the vintage taper CTS pots do some heavy lifting as well. What’s different about these pots?
Mojotone Vintage Taper Pots
Check out this video of Mojotone’s electronics guru David Shepherd discussing them:
7% tolerance?! Yep, that’s awesome. I am checking the pot values on the harnesses right away and all of mine are tighter than 2%! If you get a new guitar with a 500k pot that reads 450k, you know the significance of that variance.
Ready for more? Of course you are, so let’s keep rockin’!
Pre-Wired Premium Historic Les Paul Wiring harness.
As much as I’m digging that Solderless Harness, the Premium Historic knocks me off my feet! Let’s start with the components for this rig:
- CTS 500k vintage tape potentiometers
- Switchcraft long straight 3-way toggle
- Switchcraft 1/4″ jack
- Luxe repro Bumblebee caps (.015μF and .022μF)
- Vintage-correct braided wire
And yes, this bad boy drops right in place as easily as that previous harness. But this one will require a wee bit of soldering to complete the install.
How To Solder – Tips and Tutorial
If you’re new to soldering or would like to up your solder game, lay your peepers on this video for a primer before you start:
This one is going in to another Les Paul. Same year as the prior, with same features and setup. Tuning is E standard with 10-46 strings, the same as the other one. The pickups in this one is my other set of Mojotone Premium Historic Limited 59 PAF humbuckers.
And again, just at face value, this harness is going to up your game in relation to a stock wiring rig. So let’s look at the features that takes it up a few notches!
The repro Bumblebee caps are amazing. A very musical and instinctive synergy, especially with the Prem Historic PAF humbuckers. The sweep of the range is subtle in the way it deliberately compliments the tone. The selection of the .015μF for the neck is exemplary. These caps deftly avoid the typical extreme muffled nasally Charlie-Brown-Adult “wonk” you get from so many tone knobs.
Another fun feature of this wiring harness is the independent volume control. Some purists may scoff at the distinctive take on 50s wiring on this one, but what do they know? HaHa! Mojotone takes the benefits of 50s wiring and pushes the envelope with independent volume control in the middle position. Would you like to dial in more control over the blend of your middle position? Here’s your answer!
Les Paul players that relish in the benefits of subtlety cannot do without this Pre-Wired Premium Historic wiring harness. For all the times that guitarists chuckle at the Lester guys that obsess over all 4 of those knobs, this wiring harness is the payoff. As much as the Prem Historic PAF pickup set blows me away, adding the Prem Historic wiring harness raises the bar.
Pre-Wired Wiring Harness Q&A
Check out David Shephed going over more of the Mojotone Pre-Wired Wiring Harness selections:
Other cool things about the Mojotone Les Paul Wiring Harness selection is that you can find them with long or short pot shafts. And there is also just a regular Pre-Wired Wiring Harness kit, if you want the more traditional rig but with higher quality parts. You can also pick up an Un-Assembled Les Paul Wiring Kit to accommodate specific situations or if you prefer to do your own soldering.
What do you think about that? The super-simple solderless option or the aficionado-level premium alternative. Something for everyone! And you don’t even have to get a head full of solder fumes with either choice! LOL! Definitely get one for your guitar today!
For reference, this Mojotone Les Paul Wiring Harness evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. Real cabs in use are Marshall 1960B, Mojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.
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