Question for firebird/gibson afficianados

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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FrankRay
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Question for firebird/gibson afficianados

Post by FrankRay » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:44 am

So I've totally fallen in love with my non reverse firebird, and whilst I've always happily taken my Jags apart, I'm having trouble with my Gibson's electrics. My three way toggle switch is faulty, but when I bought a replacement it turns out to look exactly the same, except that it has five pins at the back for soldering, not 6. One earth and five black leads coming in, but with only four hoops and an earth hoop to solder to.
If anyone could help, either by suggesting where to solder the sixth lead, (or what the hell it's for) or by telling me how to get a 6 point three-way toggle switch for a firebird??? Stewmac doesn't seem to be any help.

I know it's not canonical, but it's *almost* offset. Sort of.

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mijmog
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Re: Question for firebird/gibson afficianados

Post by mijmog » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:35 am

Hi mate, having rewired my vintage Non Reverse 'bird about 6 times I may be able to help! (see profile pic for the struggle :D )

The wiring is quite confusing, you're not alone, it has kept me awake at night for many a week. The toggle switches are also really weak, I've gone through 4 of the things. It's really frustrating, they don't stay in the up and down position and you have to "crimp" the tension bars of the switch to make it work, but after a while it just goes through metal fatigue.

Here's my old post asking questions about Firebird wiring. Fellow forumite The Older Brother posted a wiring diagram showing a 6 lug switch that may help.

Image

Is the guitar a new reissue Firebird? Does it have 3 pickups or 2? I'm not familiar with the new ones, there is a 6 lug 3 way toggle available at Stew Mac here, and if your Firebird did use this originally, therefore the wiring will be different on your Firebird compared to the 5 lug switch "version", but only slightly, the 6 lug switch in that illustration has a lug thats not intended to be used, but we would need a little more info to help. Maybe take some pictures of the control cavity, the pots, the wires to the switch, the old switch lugs etc?

It could be an extra ground wire. Are you able to take off the all control plates and tug on this extra 6th wire, flip the guitar over and see where its pulling so therefore where it goes too? There's a ground wire from the bridge post on mine, and that originally grounded on the wiring harness, so maybe on newer Firebirds it has its own dedicated wire. I'm just guessing though, pics would help.

(I've also asked in the past whether it was offset and was told a distinct "no"! I feel its offset in spirit)

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FrankRay
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Re: Question for firebird/gibson afficianados

Post by FrankRay » Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:43 am

Hey! Thanks for the reply. It’s a 2002 firebird 7, originally tv white. Three mini humbuckers. I’ll post some pics later today. Maybe stripping the wires and starting again is called for. They’re all squeezed in really close in a silver knitted conduit.

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