VLPK-3 for Epiphones & Imports

Vintage LP 3 pickup-smallAssembled Price: $86.95

Unassembled Price: $62.95

Put some warmth and classic tone in your guitar! More body, fuller tone and letting the subtleties of your pickups come through; that is what to expect with the BCS Vintage. This kit is a complete electrical replacement for an Epiphone Les Paul, LP copy or any guitar with a standard LP layout that uses three pickups and the short shaft pots. To know if your guitar needs the short shaft pots you will need to remove one of your original pots and measure the bushing (the threaded part of the shaft). If the bushing is 3/8″ (9.53mm) long then your guitar takes the short shafts, if it is 3/4″ (19.05mm) long you will need the long shafts so see our VLPK-3G kit.

More Tonal Abilities: The Vintage 3 Pickup LP kit is wired to our own modified schematic allowing for the best pickup combinations available for this guitar. The standard Epiphone wiring for a 3 humbucker guitar is Bridge/Bridge & Middle/Neck but now with ours the neck and bridge pickups still operate the same with the 3-way toggle as a standard Les Paul and you can bring in the middle pickup just by turning up the volume in any of the switch positions.  So you have Bridge/Bridge & Neck/Neck and the ability to add the middle pickup in any position. The middle pickup needs at least one of the other volume knobs to be up (at least to about 1 or 2) for it to come through so you can switch it to the neck position, turn the volume up to 1 and then turn up the middle volume (which will operate to its fullest volume while the other volume is on 1) and it will drown out the neck and so you will only hear the middle pickup. So you end up with the combinations of Bridge-Middle/ Bridge-Middle-Neck/Bridge-Neck/Middle-Neck/Bridge only/Neck only/Middle only. That’s 7 combinations versus the standard 3. The controls have a bridge volume, neck volume, middle volume and a master tone control.

We use only high grade components in our kits to bring out optimum performance.

Bourns Potentiometers: The VLPK-3 uses 500K Bourns Pro Audio, short-split shaft pots with a standard torque. We chose the Bourns pots because we found them to have a superior taper and a smoother feel than the CTS pots we used to use. These pots have a 24 spline shaft so your Epiphone or import knobs will not fit without first pinching the top of the split shaft together a little and then slowly push them on. U.S. spec knobs will fit fine. Click here for our selection of U.S. spec knobs. Be aware that if your volume and tone pot holes are not 3/8″ in diameter then you will need to open them up for the new pots to fit. Don’t worry this is easier than it sounds and a step by step is included in the instructions.

Audio or Linear taper for your volume controls? You can choose between Audio taper or Linear taper for the volume pots but the tone pot is Audio taper only. What’s the difference and which one should you use? That depends on you. The Audio taper falls off rather quickly as you volume down with a clean tone (i.e. your tone will drop about 50% from 10 to 8.5 and then smooth out from there) but when using overdrive you can “clean up” your tone without losing volume. As you decrease the volume the amount of drive from your guitar decreases so your overdrive breaks up a lot less and you end up with a much cleaner tone and no real volume loss until you get down to about 3. The Linear taper acts more like you would expect from a volume control giving you a much more even taper as you volume down with a clean tone. When using distortion or overdrive with a Linear taper there is no real discernible volume drop as you turn it down until you hit about 3 and the amount of drive pushing the distortion does not change very much which results with a small amount of change to your distortion. If you like to use your volume pots to clean up your distortion then the Audio taper is for you, but if you want smooth volume control with your clean tone and run your distortion full open, or don’t use distortion at all, then go for the Linear taper.

Capacitor: Oil filled capacitors have a much smoother, more natural sound than the standard ceramic capacitors. While they sound better, they usually cost a lot more as well, but a higher price does not guarantee a better capacitor. Currently we are using the NOS Russian K40N .022uf/400v paper in oil capacitors. These capacitors (not shown in the photos, we need to take new pictures) use an aluminum foil conductor with an oil saturated paper for the dielectric that is sealed in glass and encased in a metal body that is painted with a red non conductive paint. We have used these capacitors in the past when our supplier was not able to deliver the caps we were currently using, so we know how these caps sound and perform. We decided to start using these capacitors as our first choice caps because not only do they sound great, but they are built like a tank and don’t fail. These caps are also reasonably priced so we can provide fantastic tone to our customers while keeping the price from going through the roof.

Switch & Jack: We use Switchcraft switches and jacks to provide reliable switching and rock solid connections for years to come. The VLPK-3 comes with a short shaft 3-way toggle switch and a cream tip (black or amber can be substituted on request).

Wire: For the Vintage series we use vintage accurate cloth covered wire that is encased in a braided outer shielding. This is the same type of 22 gauge thick stranded wire that was commonly used in the Gibson guitars of the 50’s and 60’s. Today most everyone else uses 24 to 26 gauge thin stranded wire in their guitars and that theoretically it gives you more electrical transfer because of the higher number of strands, but we have found that the higher gauge thick stranded wire (therefore fewer strands) lowers the resistance and changes the inductance which results in a more detailed tone. The electrical differences are very small but they are cumulative with the enhancements provided by the other components which results in a superior tone.

Click the links below to see the Installation instructions and our schematics so you will know what is involved in installing one of these kits.

Vintage 3 Pickup LP Installation Instructions

Vintage 3 Pickup LP Wiring Schematic

*NOTE: Each kit is assembled in our shop at the time of purchase so we can accommodate any changes needed for your guitar. If your guitar is not an Epiphone Les Paul and has a slightly different layout (maybe the volume and tone pots are a little further apart) your kit may require a custom layout to fit. The custom layout costs an additional $12.00 and we will need you to send us the measurements for your guitar. Click here for measurement and photo requirements for a custom built kit. Please measure all of the components from center to center. Here are the measurements that our kits fit;

  • Switch to Neck Volume:              11 5/8” or 295.27mm
  • Neck Volume to Neck Tone:         2 1/2” or 63.5mm
  • Neck Volume to Bridge Volume:   2 1/8” or 53.97mm
  • Bridge Volume to Bridge Tone:    2 1/2” or 63.5mm
  • Bridge Tone to Neck Tone:          2” or 50.8mm
  • Bridge Tone to Output Jack:        1 3/4” or 44.45mm
  • The wires of the switch harness have a total diameter of 1/4″ (6.35mm) and is designed to run through the channel that is routed in the body of the Epiphone Les Paul that runs under the pickups directly from the switch to the control cavity. If your guitar does not have this channel cut into it and uses small holes drilled in the side walls of the pickup cavities for your switch wires to run through you will need a different wire harness. Please email us for details.

This kit includes:

  • 4 – 500K Bourns Pro Audio, short Split Shaft pots with a standard torque.
  • 1 –  Russian K40N .022uf/400v paper-in-oil capacitor for a warm vintage tone
  • 1 – Switchcraft 3-way toggle switch (short shaft)
  • 1 – Switchcraft ¼” mono output jack
  • All shielded 22 gauge thick stranded wire (vintage accurate)
  • Assembly template

Unassembled kit includes:

  • 4-500K Bourns Pro Audio, short split shaft pots with a standard torque (24 spline)
  • 1- Russian K40N .022uf/400v paper-in-oil capacitors for a warm vintage tone
  • 1-Switchcraft 3-way toggle switch (short shaft)
  • 1-Switchcraft 1/4″ mono output jack
  • 3-500K volume mods (tone bleed mods)
  • 1-Assembly template
  • 8 feet of vintage accurate shielded wire
  • 1 foot of solid tinned ground wire
  • 1 foot of 1/4″ heat shrink
  • 2 feet of 1/8″ heat shrink
  • 1 Color strip (for wire identification)
  • Wiring diagram (available on our Instructions & Diagrams page) 

Options Available for this kit: Click here for options details and ordering

  • Push/Pull pots for coil splitting
  • Gold hardware
  • Volume mods
  • Left handed layout
  • Mini Pots

Attention: Due to the expansion of our customer base, our turnaround times have lengthened to 3 to 5 weeks from the time you order till it ships. This is not always the case but it can take up to that amount of time due to the number of orders we have recently received. We have recently picked up two guitar manufacturers that we are building wiring harnesses for, and the word of mouth about the quality of our work and customer service has expanded our customer base tremendously. Each kit is built to order, and in the order it was received. It will take some time for you to receive your kit, but it will be well worth the wait, guaranteed! – Bill Brown/owner BCS Guitars.

If you are purchasing one of our wiring kits you should seriously consider picking up one of our Professional Cables. Our  cables are the perfect compliment to a guitar outfitted with one of our wiring kits, together they deliver unrivaled tone and more volume from your instrument. They have a superior electrical transfer which delivers more volume, more defined details from your pickups and come with a lifetime guarantee.  Click here to check them out.

 

Turn Around Time

Due to the expansion of our customer base, our turnaround times are 3 to 5 weeks from the time you order. We have recently picked up two guitar manufacturers that we are building wiring harnesses for, and the word of mouth about the quality of our work and customer service has expanded our customer base tremendously. Each kit is built to order, and in the order it was received. It will take some time for you to receive your kit, but it will be well worth the wait, guaranteed! - Bill Brown/owner BCS Guitars.

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