Les Paul Wiring Diagram: A Comprehensive Guide to Wiring Your Les Paul Guitar

Hello readers! Are you a proud owner of a Les Paul guitar? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will provide you with a detailed guide on Les Paul wiring diagrams. Whether you’re a guitar enthusiast or a professional musician, understanding the wiring diagram of your Les Paul is essential. So, let’s dive into the world of Les Paul wiring!

1. Basic Overview of Les Paul Wiring Diagram

Before we delve into the specifics, let’s start with a basic understanding of Les Paul wiring diagrams. A wiring diagram is a visual representation of the electrical circuitry inside your guitar. It shows the connections between various components such as pickups, tone and volume controls, and switches. By following the wiring diagram, you can modify or repair your guitar’s electronics.

Les Paul wiring diagrams typically consist of two humbucker pickups, four potentiometers (two volume and two tone controls), and a three-way pickup selector switch. These diagrams may vary based on the specific model and year of your Les Paul guitar, so it’s crucial to refer to the appropriate diagram for your instrument.

Advantages of Les Paul Wiring Diagram

Understanding and utilizing the Les Paul wiring diagram offers several advantages. Here are a few:

Advantages Explanation
Customization The wiring diagram allows you to customize your guitar’s tone and sound by experimenting with different capacitor values, pickup combinations, and wiring configurations.
Troubleshooting When faced with electrical issues in your guitar, the wiring diagram acts as a troubleshooting tool, helping you identify and rectify the problem.
Repair and Maintenance If you need to replace a component or rewire your guitar, the wiring diagram provides clear instructions, making the process easier and more efficient.

2. Les Paul Wiring Diagram: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we understand the basics, let’s explore a step-by-step guide to wiring your Les Paul guitar:

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you begin wiring your Les Paul, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Wire strippers
  • Electrical tape
  • Les Paul wiring diagram (specific to your guitar model)
  • New components (if required)

Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with the Wiring Diagram

Take a close look at the wiring diagram and understand the various components and their connections. This will ensure you follow the correct steps during the wiring process.

Step 3: Remove the Guitar’s Electronics Cavity Cover

Using a screwdriver, carefully remove the cavity cover on the back of your Les Paul guitar. This will expose the internal electronics.

Step 4: Desolder Existing Connections

If you’re rewiring your guitar, desolder the existing connections by heating the solder joints with a soldering iron and removing the wires.

Step 5: Begin Wiring the Pickups

Start by wiring the pickups according to the diagram. Ensure you connect the correct wires to the appropriate terminals of the potentiometers and selector switch.

Step 6: Wire the Volume and Tone Controls

Connect the volume and tone controls to the appropriate terminals as shown in the wiring diagram. Make sure to follow the specific wiring instructions for your Les Paul model.

Step 7: Wire the Pickup Selector Switch

Connect the pickup selector switch following the diagram. This switch allows you to choose between different pickup combinations.

Step 8: Test and Inspect the Wiring

Once you have completed the wiring, carefully inspect all connections and test your guitar to ensure everything functions as expected. Make any necessary adjustments or corrections.

Step 9: Reassemble the Guitar

Put the electronics cavity cover back onto your Les Paul guitar and secure it with screws. Ensure all components are neatly organized and properly insulated.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Newly Wired Les Paul Guitar

Congratulations! You have successfully wired your Les Paul guitar. Take some time to experiment with different settings and enjoy the unique tones and sounds your guitar now offers.

Alternative Wiring Options for Les Paul Guitars

Besides the traditional Les Paul wiring diagram, there are several alternative wiring options you can explore to achieve different tonal possibilities. Some popular alternatives include:

  • Coil Splitting: This wiring modification allows you to split the humbucker pickups into single-coil mode, providing brighter and more versatile tones.
  • Phase Switching: By wiring your pickups out of phase, you can produce a unique, nasal, and “honky” sound that adds character to your playing.
  • Series/Parallel Switching: This wiring option allows you to switch between series and parallel connections for the pickups, offering different levels of output and tonal characteristics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Les Paul Wiring Diagrams

Q1: Can I use the same wiring diagram for all Les Paul models?

A1: No, different Les Paul models may have slight variations in their wiring diagrams. It’s crucial to refer to the specific wiring diagram for your guitar model and year.

Q2: Can I modify the wiring diagram to suit my preferences?

A2: Absolutely! The wiring diagram serves as a foundation, but you can modify and experiment with different components, wiring configurations, and capacitor values to achieve your desired tone.

Q3: Is it necessary to have prior electrical knowledge to wire my Les Paul guitar?

A3: While prior electrical knowledge can be helpful, following the wiring diagram and having some basic soldering skills are usually sufficient. However, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable, it’s best to seek professional assistance.


Understanding the wiring diagram of your Les Paul guitar opens up a world of possibilities for customization, troubleshooting, and maintenance. By following the step-by-step guide and exploring alternative wiring options, you can unlock unique tones and make your Les Paul truly your own. So, grab your soldering iron, refer to the appropriate wiring diagram, and start wiring your Les Paul!