VSGK-3

VintageSG 1 new 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 any SG, SG copy or any guitar with a standard SG layout that has three pickups.

More Tonal Abilities: The Vintage 3 Pickup SG kit is wired to our own modified schematic allowing for the best pickup combinations available for this guitar. The standard Gibson/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 SG 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 VSGK-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 an Audio taper. 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 VSGK-3 comes with a right angle 3-way toggle switch and a cream tip (black or amber can be substituted on request).

Wire: For this kit we use high quality cloth covered wire to guarantee optimum electrical transfer with a lower resistance so your tone will not be hampered in the least. We use 22 gauge solid core wire for the conductors and 18 gauge thick stranded wire for the ground. We know that everyone else uses 24 to 26 gauge thin stranded wire and that theoretically it gives you more electrical transfer because of the higher number of strands, but we have found that the higher gauge solid core wire and 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. Normally we use the vintage accurate shielded wire for the vintage series but due to fact that Epiphone does not always cut and drill their control cavities the same there were problems installing this kit with the shielded wire due to the way it was attached on the sides of the pot. That is why we switched to the cloth covered wire for this kit.

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 SG Installation Instructions

Vintage 3 Pickup SG 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:              2 3/16” or 52.39mm
  • Neck Volume to Neck Tone:         2 13/16” or 46.04mm
  • Neck Volume to Bridge Volume:   1 1/2” or 38.10mm
  • Bridge Volume to Bridge Tone:    2 13/16” or 46.04mm
  • Bridge Tone to Neck Tone:          1 1/2” or 38.10mm
  • Bridge Tone to Output Jack:        1 1/8” or 28.56mm

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 right angle toggle switch
  • 1- Switchcraft ¼” mono output jack
  • All cloth covered wire, 18 gauge stranded ground & 22 gauge solid core conductor
  • 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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