MORE Fun with Push/Pull Pots:

Deaf Eddie's versions of the Jimmy Page Setup


Ah, the venerable Jimmy Page Les Paul wiring setup!

Many years ago, I was involved in a forum thread where a player was looking for a true and correct drawing for the Jimmy Page four-push-pulls wiring set-up, as is offered on the Gibson JP Signature Model LP. The poor guy had looked high and low and found several drawings, but none seemed correct. Sez he, he finally contacted Gibson directly, and received a schematic for the set up. He then turned that schematic into a simple wiring diagram, a copy of which he e-mailed to me, essentually to "check his work." I found his drawing to be a very good representation of this type of modification, and had posted it here for anyone else who wanted to try this four push/pull mod. Then it got sticky... Someone else claimed "proprietary rights" to the drawing, and since I could not confirm the origin of the drawing, to insure that I did not infringe on anyone's copyrighted materials, I removed that drawing from my website. And that's all there is to that story... That particular drawing is not available on this website.

If you check my drawings collection page, you will find some of my "original artwork" - drawings of examples of the type of mods that are included in the Jimmy Page mod - which is actually just three or four mods rolled into one scheme.

There are a few versions of the full "Jimmy Page" scheme available on the GuitarElectronics site.

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A few years later, I got an e-mail from a player who wanted to do the JP mod to his Epiphone. He bought some four-conductor pickups to replace the Epi's stock humbuckers, but the JP mod would not work with his original "import" three-lug pup selector switch (thanks to Scott Milligan for bringing this to my attention). I had never considered that, so I took another look at the scheme, did a little head-scratching, and came up with my own "original" version of the "JP mod" - or call it whatever you like, just don't go legal on me.

My rethink of the scheme will work with ANY 3-way pup toggle switch, and only requires that your pups have a coil-shunt lead - they do NOT have to be four-conductor. This is good news not only for the Epiphone crowd, but for many Gibson players who have standard brided-shield lead two-conductor humbuckers - while it's a pretty easy mod to get a coil-shunt lead off of that type of standard humbucker, it can be a messy, nail-biting horror to try to make them four-conductor.

What's the biggest difference between the schemes? My version lifts the ground of the neck pup (instead of the bridge pup), which puts the tones in a slightly different order on the p/p chart. That also means it also only shunts to the screw coil of the neck pup, never playing the slug coil.

However, aside from that difference in the wiring, it still gives you the 21 different combos that appear on the JP tone chart, and certainly captures the essence of the original Jimmy Page mod. This drawing shows a pair of four-wire humbuckers using Seymour Duncan color code, but as I said, it could be done with three-wire humbuckers (hot, ground, and coil-shunt). It shows a standard Switchcraft FOUR-LUG pup selector, but it's wired here as a three-lug - so this scheme will work with any "import" pup selector.

Deaf Eddie's redrawn JP mod for Epis and others, and the tone chart (in MS Word document format).

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The mind never rests...
From around 2003, here's one of my next re-thinks of the mod:

Deaf Eddie's New And Improved Four Push/Pull Scheme and the tone chart.

For this idea (which REQUIRES at least the bridge pup to be four-wire), I have made a few changes:
I put the coil-shunt for BOTH pups on the same switch (so, you lose the two single-coil-with-humbucker mix tones).

Then, I use the p/p switch that was freed up by that change to select between wiring the coils of the bridge pup in series (regular humbucker setup) or PARALLEL. I find that paralleling the coils in the bridge pup will still give you a nice single-coil-ish tone, but is a bit more colorful than a straight coil-shunt - plus, it's still humbucking (noise-canceling). So, replacing the two single-coil-with-humbucker tones, you get a bridge-coils-parallel, three coils-parallel (bridge plus neck in coil-shunt), and a bridge-coils-parallel-with-neck-humbucker tone. Good trade.

I also moved the phase reverse over to the neck pup, and wired ist so that when you pull the phase reverse p/p, it also changes which coil of the neck pup is active. Here's why I did that: when I play the neck pup on its own, I prefer to shunt to the screw coil, because I usually crank UP its polepieces so that the coil-shunt to the screw coil is less of a drop in gain from the full humbucker tone... BUT, I also know that the best "quack" is achieved when you play the (inside) coils, the two closer together. BUT, if both inside coils are the slug coils, they aren't a noise cancelling pair.. What to do?

Step one, rotate the bridge pickup so that its inside coil is the screw coil - so the slug coil is closest to the bridge. Now I have a noise-cancelling inside pair. So far, so good...

Step two, using this "phase reverse also switches the active coil on the neck pup" trick, when you play the neck pup IN phase and both pups coil-shunt, the inside coils are active (or, if the bridge is in coils-parallel, three coils close together are playing parallel) - very Fender-y. But, if you're on the neck pup only and in coil-shunt, if you reverse the phase, instead of no effect (as with the JP scheme) changing phase now also switches which neck coil you hear - so, you can select between the slug coil or screw coil. The difference in tone between the two coils is enhanced by adjusting the polepieces UP (as described above), so that they protrude above the top of the bobbin. I make that adjustment on most of my humbuckers, for reasons documented elsewhere on the site. This gives you one more subtle sonic shading in the palette.

I wired this scheme up for a test run in my Les & Leo Page-O-Caster. Although this guitar never got much play, the scheme certainly worked.

NOTE, 2011: I have since revisited this axe with yet another four push/pull scheme (and a new neck, and a few other tweaks). Hopefully, now I'll play it enough to develop an opinion of the new scheme, which trades the coil-shunt/coils-parallel p/p wiring on the volumes for Seymour Duncan's "P-Rails" scheme, which gives you series/screw coil/slug coil/parallel (yes, four) configuration options from the pickups. I'm liking it so far - stay tuned...

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2006: Another of my takes on the four push/pull idea was implimented here:

The ES-333 four push/pull scheme and tone chart.

This was my go-to gigging guitar, and I found the scheme quite usable. Lots of play-time on this scheme, and I have recommended it to a few other hot-rod lunatics, who agree that it's a goodie.

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