Man, preparing the Pagey project has been a real eye-opener! Expect some surprising results! (Hint: There’s much of interest, even for players who have zero desire to sound like Page.)
I’ll be posting the first video and tech walk-through after the weekend, but in the meantime, I wanted to update you on the game plan, which, frankly, only became clear once I started soldering.
If you haven’t downloaded the relevant schematics, you can snag them here. (Reader Jeff pointed out pointed out a difference between the two versions of the four-push/pull wiring. I have no idea which version page used, but I went with the version from Scott Miller’s Guitar Player magazine article because it offers a bit more control — and this project is all about control!)
We’re going to tackle the project in two phases. First, we’ll look at the original Pagey wiring, using four push-pull pots and period-accurate pickups (I went with Duncan ’59s with four-connector cable). I’ve wired up my ’82 Les Paul in exactly this fashion, and it’s pretty dang cool. Yes, it’s a complicated job, but not as tough as anticipated. Amazingly (for me) it turned out great on the first attempt.
In Phase 2, I’ll rip all the painstakingly assembled wiring out of the guitar (wahhhh!) and try the even more extreme version, which uses a pair of Duncan Triple Shot mounting rings, but only two push/pull pots. This scheme offers all the original Pagey sounds, plus many others. I’ll be replacing the ’59 models with Duncan P-Rails, which manage to deliver excellent humbucker, single-coil, and P-90 sounds via a single pickup.
(Not to give too much away in advance, but one of my Phase 1 surprises is the quality of the ’59 Model’s split-coil sounds. It’ll be interesting to compare the results to the P-Rails, which unlike the P.A.F.-style ’59s, were specifically engineered for coil-splitting.)
Anyway, dust off your soldering irons and fire extinguishers — this one is fun! More soon!