VLPK-3G for Gibsons

Vintage LP 3 pickup-smallPut 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 a Gibson Les Paul, LP copy or any guitar with a standard LP layout that uses three pickups and the long shaft pots. To know if your guitar needs the long 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 3/4″ (19.05mm) long then your guitar takes the long shafts, if it is 3/8″ (9.53mm) long you will need the short shafts so see our VLPK-3 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-3G uses 500K Bourns Pro Audio Guitar, Long-split shaft pots with an Audio taper and a low torque (which means these pots turn VERY easily). We chose the Bourns pots because we found them to have a superior taper over the CTS pots we used to use. These pots have an 18 spline shaft so your U.S. spec knobs will not fit without first pinching the top of the split shaft together and then slowly push them on. Import knobs will fit fine. If your guitar is an actual Gibson then your new pots should fit in the pot holes of your guitar just fine, but if it is a copy or another brand guitar that is using a long shaft pot your volume and tone pot holes may not be not 3/8″ in diameter, if so 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.

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

Make Sure it Fits: Here are the measurements of our kits control layout. All measurements are from center to center. There is about 1/4″ (6.35mm) of slack between each of the components so the measurements can be close and the kit can still fit if it is within the amount of slack mentioned above. 

  • 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 Gibson 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 Guitar, long split shaft pots with a low torque and Audio taper.
  • 1 – Russian K40N .022uf/400v paper-in-oil capacitor for a warm vintage tone
  • 1 – Switchcraft 3-way toggle switch (long shaft)
  • 1 – Switchcraft ¼” mono output jack
  • All shielded 22 gauge thick stranded wire (vintage accurate)
  • Assembly template

Out of Stock

If you would like to be notified when one of these kits is available for purchase, you can send a request for notification to kitrequest@bcsguitars.com . Please include your name, email address and which kit you would like to be notified about when it is available for sale. When the kit is available for sale, everyone on the list for notification for that kit will all be emailed at the same time, and it will be first come – first served.

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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