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Replace Gibson PCB for old school board

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  • Replace Gibson PCB for old school board

    Hi there,

    Despite having had a minor problem with my PCB (the connector broke) I'm all set now and have no problems with my guitar. I've heard about people gutting their guitars to replace the pots for 500k etc. My question is, do I get a difference in tone and is it worth the hassle of having my guitar undergo surgery?

  • #2
    Circuit boards get a bad rap. As long as all solder connections are good, (true even of point-2-point wiring), the absence or presence of a circuit board should have no impact on tone.

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    • #3
      I wouldn't take out perfectly good, working parts out of a guitar, unless you have a tradition fetish, or extra money to spend.
      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
        Circuit boards get a bad rap. As long as all solder connections are good, (true even of point-2-point wiring), the absence or presence of a circuit board should have no impact on tone.
        I’m glad there is still some sanity in this world.

        Is the connector on the PCB broken? You might be able to get a new PCB on eBay/reverb from people gutting theirs. On the other hand, if you replace all the electronics YOU get to choose the pot values, tapers, cap values, 50s/modern tone connection, dependent/independent volume and if there’s a treble bleed. So, it’s some work but a good way to customize an instrument for your preferences.
        Oh no.....


        Oh Yeah!

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        • #5
          +1
          Originally Posted by IanBallard
          Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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          • #6
            Agree with what's been said. No need to remove a perfectly good working circuit. There is zero difference between PTP and a PCB trace setup. There's still connectivity and signal flow from point A to point B.

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            • #7
              Still . . . my favorite circuit board printing of all time:

              Click image for larger version

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              • #8
                That's great. Is that for real?
                Originally Posted by IanBallard
                Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
                  Still . . . my favorite circuit board printing of all time:

                  Click image for larger version

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                  I bet this notice had several versions before he settled on this.
                  Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GuitarDoc View Post
                    That's great. Is that for real?
                    Yes. It is. Somewhere on their webpage, they have a write up about it. I think Aiken Amps did a similar thing. (I may have that brand name wrong.)

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                    • #11
                      That is awesome! I love that!

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                      • #12
                        To answer your question directly, No, IMO it's not worth the hassle to gut your guitar if you are happy and have no further issues.

                        For the sake of discussion, theoretically speaking.. the presence of a circuit board vs. point to point wiring COULD have a delta in tone. Not necessarily better one way or another though and we are talking about very minor differences WITHIN the tone circuit where you can dial in your tone anyways. So if you had each side by side, you could dial them in for your tone and, unless you have superhero OCD ears like Eric Johnson, no one will be able to tell a difference. (jk about Eric Johnson, I love EJ)

                        I think most of the "circuit board must go" arguments you'll see online are originating from fans' psyche, where customers have an issue with Gibson doing this as a matter of principle when selling a $3000 guitar with what is perceived to be "cheap" manufacturing techniques. Especially during an era where Gibson's QC has not had a good reputation even with it most loyal customers. And I TOTALLY get/understand that.

                        I own dozens of guitars and several Gibson guitars from many ears. A couple of years ago, on craigslist I snagged a used (but like-new condition) 2016 Les Paul Standard Mahogany Top. It has the PCB control board but it is honestly one of my favorite playing & sounding guitars.
                        Last edited by chrisplaysmusic; 08-13-2020, 08:28 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mincer View Post

                          I bet this notice had several versions before he settled on this.
                          Where can i get one? LOL

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                          • #14
                            VHT had others. More subtle.

                            Click image for larger version

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                            • #15
                              I did it in my 2017 standard. I put in a set of Pearly Gates . I didn’t really care for them split and out of phase with the push/pulls. I love them straight up though. I was sucked in to the internet “tone” talk of the crappy tone sucking Gibson PCB. So I wired it 50’s wiring. (With 50’s wiring , when you back off the volume, your overdrive cleans up. ) Other than that, there was no change in tone whatsoever. The Pearly Gates sounded great before and they sound great now. If I knew then what I know now , I wouldn’t do it, waste of time . Unless you want 50’s wiring or it’s malfunctioning , as everyone said previous, I’d leave it alone.

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