I have a 2003 Epi Les Paul Black Beauty, which I had modded with a Seymour Duncan '59 in the bridge slot and a Duncan SH-4 JB in the neck position.

However, I have always encountered an issue with both of the volume pots on the LP in that the volume of each pickup - regardless of the bridge or neck being selected individually on the 3-way toggle - does not gradually increase or lower as I turn the volume knob. Instead, it seems that the pickup selected is either "on" or "off", on full volume or turned all the way down.

Despite having had a US-made wiring loom installed, which featured CTS Bumblebee caps etc. in order to emulate the classic '59 Gibby LP setup, this problem has persisted. It is doing my nut in, especially as I require to turn the volume either up or down when playing quieter passages on ballads etc.

When I am playing the guitar, I can't find any difference at all, regardless of how much or little I have opened the volume up. It seems to be acting as simply an on/off for the respective pickups(s). I'm thinking of uploading a photo of the innards so that any interested parties could have a gander at it and give me their opinion.

Another thing that puzzles me is that when the guitar was being worked on in the stores I took the BB to in order to have the mods carried out, the guys in the stores who operated(;p) and then tested the guitar didn't report any problems whatsoever - all I got from them was "it has a nice sound", and "believe me, you'll definitely notice the difference".

  • Approximately where in the knob travel does the volume seem to jump up from off to on? Is there any middle ground at all, no matter how small? Jan 11, 2017 at 13:51
  • I have very little experience with this, but I am pretty sure that the pot specs need to be tailored to the pickup(s) in some manner. Have you checked for impedance mismatch (and audio taper) during your modifications?
    – Yorik
    Jan 11, 2017 at 17:32
  • I have included the comments you posted below. You are better off registering as then you can edit your own posts, gain reputation and privileges etc.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Jan 14, 2017 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


As the shop had no issue, this indicates a couple of possibilities:

  • The problem is with your amplification/effects
  • You are doing something differently to the guys in the shop

In either case, your next step should be to return to the shop, and plug it in there to see if it works. If it does, then my first guess is right. If it doesn't, then get the guys in the shop to plug it in. If it works with them then my second theory is right.

If neither works, you have something wrong with the guitar's wiring or components and while we could have a look at a photo to give a general idea if it is wired correctly, we won't be able to tell easily if you have short circuits or damaged components etc - so you'll need to take it to a repair shop.

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