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I'm having issues wiring a 3 way toggle in my Les Paul that I feel might be a grounding issue. I took everything apart and soldered a pickup to one of the volume pots. I used a digital meter to check if it was giving me the expected reading of 12.5 which is did. I then soldered the 3 way toggle to the same volume pot and measured the resistance of the output wire on the toggle and it reads 12.5. The problem comes when I connect the ground wire from the toggle. If grounded, the meter will come in at 3-5. I'm expecting it to show 12.5 as long as the toggle is set to the right pickup. I feel like I removed any potential grounding issues as I've done this assembly outside the guitar with minimal components. I've new to all this so excuse me if I'm using the wrong terms or am being unclear.

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    Are you referring to any wiring diagram for this? When you say the meter comes in at 3-5, can you clarify the units? 3-5 Ohms? 3-5 kOhms? MOhms? Jan 12, 2023 at 19:59
  • I'm trying to use the original wiring but things I've looked up online has showed the same wiring. I believe its Kohm.
    – Brian
    Jan 12, 2023 at 20:10
  • What’s the setting on the volume pot when you take the reading? Jan 12, 2023 at 20:32
  • It's turned all the way up if that's what you mean.
    – Brian
    Jan 12, 2023 at 21:07
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    Please add a schematic and explain exactly what measurements you're referring to. Jan 12, 2023 at 21:26

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I figured it out. Turns out it was a bad 3 way toggle. There was continuity between ground and the other lugs. I appreciate the response from everyone!

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Here's the standard Les Paul wiring diagram [from https://www.northwestguitars.co.uk/les-paul-wiring-diagrams]:

enter image description here

If you want to replicate this, without the tone control circuits, it looks like you omitted the ground connection on the "low" end of the volume potentiometer.

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  • I actually had a similar wiring originally set up before I dismantled everything. I was able to get a signal but there would be a screeching sound anytime I touched the metal ring around the toggle. I'm trying to rebuild and test everything along the way hence why I only have 1 volume pot hooked up. I'm curious what the box in the bottom right is doing.
    – Brian
    Jan 12, 2023 at 22:51
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    “it looks like there should be no ground connection on the 3-way toggle” – 1. why shouldn't there be? 2. it explicitly says to solder all the braids to the toggle ground. Jan 12, 2023 at 23:14
  • Ah I see! Well, if you're keen to learn you certainly can this way though I'd focus on signal flow rather than resistances unless you're sure of what value you are expecting. The wiring diagram is shows wires comprised of a core and an outer braid, 2-conductor, using the braid as ground. The outer braid is soldered to the pot-shells, switch ground lug, the inner wire goes to the pot signal lugs. The braids are soldered together at the switch. This suggests the wring you have in your diagram is correct, but you're missing the ground coming back from the 'assumed' jack socket after the switch.
    – OwenM
    Jan 12, 2023 at 23:15
  • @leftaroundabout You're right-- It's shown no connect on the main diagram but connected to the shields on the detail. I've corrected the answer.
    – Theodore
    Jan 13, 2023 at 1:24

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