Humbuckers of the Holy

By Miller, Scott | Guitar Player, June 2008 | Go to article overview
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Humbuckers of the Holy

Miller, Scott, Guitar Player

HOW DOES JIMMY PAGE GET SO MANY different sounds out of his Les Paul? --Christian Wheeler, Chesapeake, VA.

Jimmy Page has used a bunch of different guitars over the years: Teles, Les Pauls, Danelectros, and Strats to name a few. But live, he relies on a modified Les Paul for many of his tones. This, the mother of all wiring mods, comes as close as it gets to putting all of those sounds into one two-humbucker instrument. The individual wiring aspects of this mod are not particularly complicated, but there are a heap of them. For those of you with adequate soldering chops (and patience), have at it and have fun. The accompanying diagram has all the info you need to trick your guitar out. For the rest of you, bring this article and your guitar to a qualified tech.


You will need four 500k push/pull pots to allow the selection and combination of the different sounds this rood provides. Your pickups must have four-conductor lead wire to work in this configuration. One caveat: The color-coded wires in the diagram are for Seymour Duncan pickups, but this mod works with any four-conductor humbuckers. (For a wire-color translation chart for several pickup manufacturers, go to matics/color_codes.pdf.)


The push/pull Volume pots will be used for coil-split switches for each pickup. This alone will give you tons of tonal variety that stock LP's are not capable of, by letting you switch either pickup from a humbucker to a single-coil.


The bridge pickup's push/pull Tone control is a phase switch that, when pulled up, electronically reverses the phase of the bridge pickup.

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