The Pagey Project: Prelude

Double the sounds available from your axe!

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.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep the other two push/pull pots in the guitar, in case I want to add even more crap, like a Black Ice distortion or a germanium overdrive.

(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!

4 comments to The Pagey Project: Prelude

  • Bear

    The Trippleshots would let me do the Pagey switching without drilling a guitar I have that is set up with only two control pots.  Does this need dual volume / dual tone to be worth it?
    (It’s a blade pickup switch now.  I’m thinking one of those four-way Tele switches with the series position would be awesome for this.  Just one pull-pot for phase, then, and an extra pull-pot for what then?  Hmm.)

  • Jeff

    I found the original photo of Pagey that Joe obviously photoshopped the Hello Kitty Squire into. It clearly shows his Disney Hannah Montana Doubleneck he was so fond of.

  • Scott

    are you using linear or audio taper pots? Thanks

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