Wiring Harness Info

50s Wiring vs Modern Wiring – What is the difference

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50s Wiring vs Modern Wiring – If you have been browsing some of my guitar wiring harness upgrades you would have noticed I offer you this as a wiring option when purchasing a wiring kit. So what is 50’s (aka vintage) wiring and modern wiring? Simply put, what you are selecting here is how you would like your tone controls to coincide with your volume controls. Both wiring options have different effects on your tone.

So what’s the difference between the 50’s wiring and modern wiring?

Both options have their ‘pros’ and ‘cons’. I put pros and cons in quotes as there is no right or wrong wiring style. Each style will suit different players depending on the style of music they enjoy playing, and the way in which they use their tone controls. Below is a simplistic breakdown of what you can expect with each wiring style.

50’s (Vintage) Guitar Wiring


When you roll off the volume, there is no effect on the tone. The tone stays consistent and there is no treble roll off.


You can lose a little volume when rolling off on the tone controls.

Modern Guitar Wiring


The tone control does not affect your overall volume.


When you roll off the volume you lose a little treble from your tone.

Which one should I choose?

As I mentioned earlier, this is purely a personal preference. Players that tend to not use their tone and volume controls too much and leave them ‘dimed’ won’t really notice any difference.

Players who tend to use their tone and volume controls a lot more while playing will really notice the difference.

I personally prefer the 50’s wiring and have used it in a number of my guitars. I prefer this wiring style especially in guitars with humbuckers as it helps combat a ‘muddy’ sounding tone when rolling off the volume.

If you are still not sure which option you should go for, I would recommend trying the 50’s style. Out of the two options it tends to be the more popular. And if you try it and decide you don’t like it, then it is a 10 minute job with a soldering iron to switch to the modern wiring.

50’s (Vintage) Wiring and Modern Wiring Diagrams

If you are not sure what wiring style your guitar currently has then check out the diagrams below and compare these to your guitar.

50’s Wiring Diagram

50's or Vintage Wiring Diagram
50’s or Vintage Wiring Diagram

Modern Wiring Diagram

Modern Guitar Wiring Diagram
Modern Guitar Wiring Diagram

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