Updated: Mar 9
If you are looking to upgrade or modify a guitar in anyway, consider these options first: A new set of high quality pickups or a quality wiring harness. These two are some of the best game changing upgrades one can make to instantly modify the sound of an instrument. A quality wiring harness should be your first investment. Let’s dive into these benefits first: Quality wiring harness - This improves signal flow and current. Replacing cheap stock wires/electrical components can help give your guitar more bite, clarity and definition, improving overall fidelity. This helps in finding those ”in between sounds,” further expanding the tonal pallet of your guitar. If you want to experiment with a new wiring scheme or circuit, then you can find a whole new range of tones from your guitar. Quality components vs standard components Unfortunately, many import and domestic guitar manufacturers will cut costs to stay competitive in the modern mass production business of guitars. Factories manufacture thousands of instruments on a monthly basis with plenty of outside competition. Keeping production costs low is encouraged and usually comes at the expense of quality. A custom shop would never do this for a one of a kind order but we live in a world of mass produced guitars. One of the ways to achieve this is by using inexpensive electronics. Including but not limited to control wires, pots, switches or output jacks. With these parts hidden away inside the guitar, most people never bother looking for their quality. Quite often you will find messy, light gauge wiring, poor connections, questionable soldering, and very cheap parts inside “copy’ guitars or guitars manufactured over seas. A new wiring harness with quality components and controls will improve signal flow and tone in any instrument.
Quality wiring improves pickup dynamics Upgrading to fancy new pickups for your axe? That’s great! But have you given any thought to the wiring and electronics that carry your signal from those new pickups to your amp? Poor wiring and cheap electronics will dampen the tone from those new pickups. For only a fraction of the price of some pickups, it is definitely worthwhile making sure your wiring harness is the best it can be and will deliver everything those pickups have to offer. Even if you are using a guitar's stock pickups, upgrading the wiring harness can really breathe life into your guitar. We recommend upgrading your wiring harness before installing new pickups for the best sound. Sometimes the tone you were after can be achieved with just a few electronic modifications to your components, even with stock pickups. And if after installing an upgraded wiring harness you are still seeking more at least you know you have a solid base for those new pickups to play through! Quality components improve your tone control Inexpensive tone potentiometers and capacitors used in some guitars almost render the tone controls useless. While rotating the volume/tone control from 0 to 10, you may experience a random spike in volume. This is an indicator of a poor quality pot. A quality pot will have a smooth, dynamic volume swell. Installing quality pots like CTS and upgraded capacitors of proper value can make those tone knobs useful again and you will get some tonal diversity you never had before.