Guitar Wiring Upgrades: How They Can Benefit Your Guitar

Posted on October 19 2022

Have you been pining after a mesmerising siren song, melodiously wrapping its butter-smooth riffs around listening ears? Is there a struggle to animate or express that particular emotion you're writing music for? Maybe the sound you need is one of fluid urgency, like a broken-hearted man running from his problems down a dirt road, but the tones aren't full-bodied enough. If your guitar doesn't do it for you anymore, it may be a sign your guitar wiring loom isn't up to par. We know you crave a premium sound from your guitar. Your guitar should balance every tone and chord, blending beautifully into unabridged, stimulating, good vibrations. But is a wiring loom worth it, and when's the right time to chop your factory wiring loom for a guitar wiring upgrade?

What Is A Wiring Loom

The guitar wiring loom is the home of every electric element of an electric guitar. It's essentially the motherboard upon which all things exist, connect, and are built. Pickups responsible for the tone and volume controls or pots are linked to the loom. Their connections effuse the final sound drawn out of your amp from emitted signals. Guitar enthusiasts move to upgrades with urgency for that infinite sound that's a far cry from the drab tone that makes you want to cry from its muddied and lacklustre blah. 

Tones At Full Capacity

The number one reason–is tone. You want clean, crisp tones. Tone styles are created by the string vibrations magnetising from guitar pickups. It's essential for the chords to play their intended tones. Whether brights, darks, highs, mids, lows, or warm–deriving that rich sound has no better satisfaction. Fortunately, upgrades don't have to be complex or expensive; they are all in one's for convenient modifications. The best quality components of the loom will guarantee the maximum potential of each of those parts, which together make your guitar sound its best when it blasts through your amp. 

Mods Make The Heart Grow Fonder 

Why play the guitar with humdrum sounds that won't pluck up your inner musings and draw a new sound out of you? You'd be melancholic and uninspired if you can't create the tune and tone that sings your soul and leaves nothing on the table. Studies have found that playing musical instruments improves confidence and reduces depression, stress, anxiety and aggression. It's a good rule of thumb to fill out your guitar sound with a guitar wiring upgrade. The full range is the only way forward for the musician with a heart for the most authentic sound. Growth requires change, and that change can begin with finding your perfect tone.

When You Should Replace The Entire Wiring Loom 

You don't have to jump the loom on replacement. When you've got a gang of guitars in your collection and you're itching for the next best sound, it's tempting to rush for the finest loom. However, we urge you to set your guitar up fully before you decide it's already fallen short. We can help if you're not sure you've set it up perfectly.

After the setup, switch out your pickups; then, if you absolutely hate the sound of your guitar, splurge on your guitar wiring loom. In the case of pickups, you know, when they lack the fullness of their sound–it's something of a penny falling in a dry well–empty. Now, when you buy guitar wiring upgrades, consider the quality of the materials and makers you purchase from, or you could be back at one. Here's a quick overview of the components of a wiring loom and the DIY upgrading process. 

Parts Of A Wiring Loom

Many people aren't familiar with the anatomy of a wiring loom. Let's take a look!

Wiring Harness: The harness organises your wires and the necessary connectors. They include your wires, pots, 3-way or 5-way switches, jacks and all the small bits for tightening and connecting components to the guitar.  

Pickup: A guitar pickup is the communication system of the guitar. Together they receive and transmit vibrations that are reinterpreted into the songs you love. Generally, a pickup will help with tonal preservation, clarity and ultimate balance.

Neck Pickup: Contributes to a rich sound and well-pronounced sound. It's also responsible for grabbing the signals that emit from the neck. With less tension, the vibrations are bigger, fatter, and warmer as opposed to the bridge, which airs on a brighter, lighter sound profile. 

Bridge Pickup: The bridge pickup is at the lower end of the guitar, which helps increase volume with fuller and brighter sounds. It offers up twangy (classic of a country guitar vibe), fiery, sharper content. It digs in on the bass and offers up warm tones. 

Humbucker Bridge Pickup: This type of bridge pickup has a dual coil utilising two different coils for the wires. The composition serves as a type of noise cancelling caused by electric guitar interference. The magnetic fields associated with the electric guitar naturally will draw out a rather persistent hum; the humbucker literally kicks back against the hum for a quieter and, again, clearer sound regarding the hum running through at the amplifier end.

Switches: At any given time, you desire a sound; your switches are something of an a la carte sound or switchboard. Depending on the tone you want to emanate, you'll flick that associated switch that will wake up that pickup associated with the expression needed. They are set up in 3 or 5-way toggle switches and come in various sizes. Switches draw their vibrations from the neck or bridge wiring. Depending on your switch style set-up, an upgrade will introduce you to extra sounds your factory wiring didn't produce.

Capacitors: Capacitors are the fairy dust of a wiring loom. They add the elevating effect to tone, although they aren't the hypodermic needle of sound. Their filters change frequencies by allowing specific frequencies through and blocking others. They will help balance bass and highs–high frequencies in, and low frequencies are filtered out. You will experience a noticeable difference.

On the contrary, some musicians believe there is no difference in capacitors; others find the right caps add expansion you wouldn't otherwise have. We custom-make our own oil caps for bass and guitar. The reason being we couldn't get the durability and full soundscape we were looking for buying from others. With the custom oil caps, the sound is velvety, the response is matchless, and the tone is far-reaching. We found that our caps provide the type of verve you'd want from your guitar's sound whenever you roll back.  

Posts: Potentiometers or pots are volume and tone knobs but can be wired for an interface such that they affect one another. For instance, If you turn down the volume, you will still have the same full tone, so nothing is deficient when you play lower. Pots determine the difference between dark and light, bright and warm tones. 

Treble Bleed Network: No treble loss here; it's a small element with a big job. Treble won't leak out when you turn your volume down. We fused a cap and resistor, and they act as a sort of bandage to stop treble bleeding out. Our network is universal goodness, so your sound will be immaculate regardless of your set-up.

DIY Process

The process of upgrading your wiring looms starts with removing your old wiring and adjusting your pickups to receive the new wiring. You'll need a screwdriver, socket wrench, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, a loom, and pickups. Some aspects of the upgrade may require power tools. Remember when tinkering with the pickup ground wire that if you "ground" the wiring incorrectly, it won't sound right. If a ground wire becomes loose, it will create a very loud distracting hum that is quite distinguishable from the typical cycle hum, which never goes away. The whole guitar wiring upgrade process takes about 45 minutes or so after we, the highly skilled tinkerers, have completed your preset.

Types of Wiring and How They Affect Guitar Sound 

Pre-wiring loom configurations are designed for specific guitar types and sounds. Looms are connected to wiring harnesses for ease of upgrade without soldering worries. Each loom is handcrafted with a superior result that will no doubt make your guitar tone pregnant with purpose. Each wiring loom is sold with a wiring diagram and clear instructions. Our wiring loom styles are below. 

50's Wiring Loom for Les Paul  

The Les Paul wiring provides all the clarity without loss of volume and tone. This is because instead of the loom connecting to input, it is connected to volume pot output. Naturally, you'd expect to turn down your tone pot and experience a lesser sound as it interacts with the volume. However, the lively exchange between tone and volume provides a clear, crisp sound without the debris of murky vibrations that deaden musical quality. Range opens up and balances brights and darks into that smooth Carlos Santana bloom. The Les Paul is slightly customizable with long or short shaft pots and may include a switch and jack for a righty or lefty orientation.   

Telecaster 5 Way Switching Drop in Loom 

With the Telecaster 5-way, you can expand your sound even more. The result is a bountifully full sound due to the positioning and connection of the 5-way and the combined wiring. With a 5-way switch, you will want to grab the most premium switches, jacks, and jack sockets that can stand some roughhousing since you'll rely on switches for sound variation. Fortunately for you, we've already done that with this drop-in. Plus, no classic tele sounds are high-jacked with this guitar wiring upgrade. Our series wiring delivers it with impact for a super plumb, velvety, yet quick, punchy sound. You will no doubt expand your sound. 

Stratocaster Wiring Loom

Adaptability is the Stratocaster way. If you need a distinctive sound with complete tonal control and all the most high-quality bits, the Stratocaster 5-way switch with bridge or treble bleed fills the gaps with its mastered design. It's also available with a 3-way switch.

Telecaster Upgrade Drop in Loom

Less is more with the Tele drop-in loom. It's the uncomplicated upgrade that elevates your guitar playing to blissful heights. You'll get the same brightness control with volume and tone pot interfaces. We prefer you go with the 50's wiring because it's the best for the full tone most guitarists are after, whether they know it or not. You get to maintain the volume knob range with rapturous, new, and exciting sounds. 

50's Wiring Loom for 335

What do you know about pure sounds? Clarity is the key with a 50's wiring 335. You will hear every ounce of tone, crystal vibration by crystal vibration. They aren't as adaptable as the Les Paul, but its clarity is riveting. You can avoid all unnecessary sounds with this wiring set-up. 

Why Should You Buy a Wiring Loom from Monty's Guitars?

Buy guitar wiring upgrades from us; it just makes sense. We make them ourselves and thus are the connoisseurs of all things wiring loom. No, but really we have years of experience and have developed an ear for flawless intonation and fullest sounds, and we're tinkerers in our very souls. We can complete your loom install, so there is no need to worry about power drills and dangerous modifications you weren't ready to make. Sometimes soldering could end up running too hot; you could potentially mess up your loom. 

Other times, you find ill-fitting pieces that don't match your instrument sizes, like metric bits; these could require on-the-fly adjustments you may not be sure how to make. Our wiring is of premium quality. We can build out your loom with tailored customizations and provide preconfigured looms with the precision of sound, configurations, and treble you covet. Buy guitar wiring upgrades with us if you're tired of that dull, flat wiring loom robbing you of fat voluptuous tones. Have questions about what your specific guitar would need for a DIY set-up? Please get in touch with us; we're happy to help.

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