Rewire Epiphone Riviera

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by Tony Maniscalco, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Tony Maniscalco

    Tony Maniscalco New Member

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    I'm new here. I searched to see if this was already discussed but didn't find anything. I'm sure it in here somewhere. In any event, I need a little advice.

    I just acquired a 1995 Epiphone Riviera made in the Peerless factory. The body and neck are in fine shape but the electronics are really rough. I bought replacement parts from Stewmac: Parsons Street Humbuckers (on sale, saved $40!) and a wiring kit on the advice of their staff. The pots in the kit are made by Alpha. I wanted CTS pots but they advised that the Alpha pots were a better fit. I thought I would just follow the wiring on the existing harness I removed from the guitar but that won't work and the instructions provided by Stewmac leave a lot to be desired. My questions are:

    The pots each have three prongs or connectors and I'm wondering if these prongs are pre-assigned (ground, input, output)? There's nothing to indicate that on the pots themselves.

    Finally, there was a long thin white wire running in the direction of the end pin. I gently pulled on it and, without much effort, it came free. Any idea what that wire is for and where it connects?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
     
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  2. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome to Epi-Talk.

    I don't have a Riviera, but I'm guessing that you pulled out the ground wire going to the end pin. What was the other side of the white wire soldered to, the volume pot.

    The number of lugs (prongs) that you use depends on how you're wiring the guitar. Sometimes, only 2 lugs are used.

    What pickups does your Rivera have? There are lots of wiring diagrams on the web, just remember that the color codes differ from one pickup winder to another. Then there are some hand drawn diagrams like:

    http://www.planetz.com/riviera-p93-circuit-wiring/
     
  3. Tony Maniscalco

    Tony Maniscalco New Member

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    Thanks Davis. It's nice to know where that ground wire goes. That's what I assumed but i wanted to make sure.

    The Riviera I have has two regular sized humbuckers. It's not a P93 and it doesn't use mini humbuckers which I've seen a lot on these guitars. The replacements I bought have a shielded wire coming from each pickup. I'm assuming the inner wire is the lead and the shielded wire is ground. The pickups that came in the guitar (marked SAM) only had one thin copper wire.

    I've found videos and diagrams all over the internet but they all use CTS pots or other super high end pots. I think I could get through this with no issues provided I knew which lugs were which (ground, input, output) on my Alpha pots or if that even matters provided I stay consistent.

    Thanks again got your help. I hope to have this guitar up and running soon. I've wanted one for as long as I can remember.
     
  4. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    This ought to do it. If you only have two leads coming from the pickups, then ignore the taped-off wires in the diagram. It doen't matter whether the pots are CTS or Alpha, the operate the same way.

    [​IMG]

    I found this video very helpful when I re-wired a semi-hollow.
     
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  5. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    What's the deal with the taped off wires?
     
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  6. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    They are the connecting wires between coils. In a coil split set-up, all four wires would be assigned to tabs on the push/pull pot.
     
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  7. Supersonic

    Supersonic Well-Known Member

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    Oh ok, that makes sense.
     
  8. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Somtimes they're hidden in the insulation and you don't see them.
     
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  9. DPaulCustom

    DPaulCustom Well-Known Member

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    Nice choice on the Parson streets, lots of folks really like them.
    Just a tip, if you haven't done this a lot, make sure you turn the pots down to zero before soldering, less chance of burning the tract inside the pot from excessive heat.
    Good luck with the rewire, hollows, & simi hollows can be a challenge, I've yet to own one, so I haven't had the pleasure.
     
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  10. Tony Maniscalco

    Tony Maniscalco New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    Thanks for the advice and information. I've printed the diagram and committed the advice to memory. Now I'm off to start soldering. I'll let you know how it works out.
     
  11. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Active Member

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    Just a comment on pots. Think of the outside lugs as the two ends of a resistor. If it's a 500K ohm pot, then the resistance between the two end lugs is 500K ohms. Always. No matter how much you turn the post, the resistance between the two end lugs does not change. The center lug is a tap that goes up and down the restore with a "wiper" as you turn the the post. The resistance between the center lug and either end lug will vary as you turn. The resistance between the center lug will get greater between it and one end lug and less between it and the other end lug. When you've turned the post all the way, you'll have 500K ohms between the center and one end lug and 0 ohms between it and the other end lug. I believe that the pots in coil-tapping setups have two sets of resistive strips and two sets of lugs. Pushing and pulling the post will switch between the two sets. Somebody jump in here if this info is not accurate. I have a degree in electronics but have never had to rewire a guitar.
     
  12. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know this. Fortunately, I've only ruined one pot. Thanks.
     
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  13. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    I have no Riviera, but I did rewire my Sheraton, so allow me to share some thoughts:

    1) Yes, CTS makes better pots than Alpha - but a CTS might or might not require reaming the metric hole in your guitar (on mine the CTSs just barley fit, but I did have to ream for the Switchcraft switch. This can be risky, as the finish is prone to chip during the reaming. Yes, I know this for a fact.....) This is what the Stew-Mac folks were talking about. I decided the upgrade was worth the tight fit.

    2) Before you go any further, make sure the new pots will fit in your ƒ-hole; I had to go with mini-pots for mine (after trying every which way to get the full-size ones in), but other Sheri owners have gotten full-sized ones in no problem. Depends on the year & factory.

    3) If, on the SD wiring diagram above, you change the wire from the tone pot to the center lug on the volume pot, you can turn it up & down without changing the tone (this is how Gibson wired them until sometime in the '60s, IIRC)


    I did a thread on the rewire over on MLP, but, alas, a gremlin ate the pictures.
     
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  14. Tony Maniscalco

    Tony Maniscalco New Member

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    Thanks again for the advice. The one thing I still don't know for sure is if the function of the lugs is the same on all pots. From what I've seen, when looking at the pot from the bottom, lug 1 (on the left) is Output, lug 2 (middle) is Input and lug 3 (on the right) is Ground. Can anyone confirm that this is true for Alpha pots or is it even important?

    Thanks again!
     
  15. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    You're overthinking this.:) Solder first, ask questions later. I'm sure there are treatises on potentiometers on the web somewhere, but don't let your inquisitive mind slow you down.

    As the wise T-shirt stated: Knowledge is important. Playing guitar is importanter. :dude:
     
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  16. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Massively.
    Exactly.
     
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  17. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    I concur. Follow the diagram, solder it up, put it together, play.
    Work? Yes? Excellent!
    Sound good? Yes? Excellenter!
    Still wonder what makes it tick enough to put the guitar down & study it? Now's the time for the whys & whyfores.
     
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  18. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    That, and you can dink around with the takeoff parts.
     
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  19. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    And buy more guitars to wire up in different ways.

    "I know I just bought six guitars, dear. But it's academic research."
     
  20. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Yet another reason why I add features when I rewire, I'll never get the "didn't it do that before?" line of interrogation. :cheers:
     

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