Installing P90s into your Gibson Les Paul is not very challenging and only requires a few hours. The components are not very expensive, and experimentation is possible without breaking the bank
Since Gibson Les Pauls are top-rated guitars, some of the most famous guitarists use them. The P90 pickup is the Gibson version of a single-coil, and it’s a popular style to use in the Les Paul. As a single coil, it’s subject to noise just as ordinary single coils are but because of its design, it sounds a little warmer. In this coverage of the Les Paul P90 wiring, we’ll begin with the code, take a look at a typical diagram, then review the required components.
Gibson Les Paul P90 Wiring Code
Because the P90 is a single-coil pickup, it should only have two wires. There are some modern versions of the P90 that feature hum-canceling properties, so if you’re using one of those, just use a humbucker wiring diagram to install it into your guitar.
To find the Hot and Ground wires, check your pickup documentation. If you do not have documentation or know the exact brand, you will need to use a multimeter. Since there are only two wires, you stand a good chance of guessing the Hot and Ground, if you have no other method. You will notice a slightly hollowing of your tone when the pickup selector is in the center position if the pickup is backward.
Gibson Les Paul Wiring Diagram
Let’s take a look at the typical Les Paul P90 Wiring Diagram in Example 1.
If you look at the third lug of both volume controls, you might notice the Ground wire going to the back of the pot. Most people bend the jug and solder it to the back without using a wire. You can use either method.
Here is a list of the components you might need besides the pickups.
- 4 Volume and tone controls are 500k pots. In the early days, Gibson used a 250k pot for the volume and a 500k for the tone. Modern guitars use two 500k pots. If you feel the guitar is too bright, you can warm it up some by using 250k pots. We recommend starting with audio taper pots, but many people like to use linear taper in the tone control. You may want to experiment after you get it running.
- You will need a three-way toggle switch but not necessarily the Gibson three-way toggle. Any 3-way switch with three tabs on one side and a ground on the other should work as long as it fits in the hole.
- Most older Les Pauls used a .047uf capacitor on each tone control (two total). A more common modern value is the .022uf capacitor. You may want to experiment by going even lower, to .01uf, as some people feel it gives a broader tone control range.
- The output jack should be the last thing you need, to get the guitar running.
NOTE: The links are only to show you how the components look.