Starting the modding process with a web page. I will illustrate how to use the variety of sounds the Seymour Duncan P-Rail pickups offer. And how a Les Paul offers all the right wholes for a good wiring giving me… giving me… well, let’s calculate the number of options together:

  • Each P-Rail gives me four sounds, using the rotary switch (in order of output volume):
    • Humbucker in series
    • Humbucker parallel
    • Single Coil P-90
    • Single Rail Coil
  • Using the P-Rails in bridge and neck position, gives me 4 times 4 = 16 sounds
  • The Les Paul toggle offers three options:
    • Neck (4 options)
    • Bridge (4 options)
    • Both pickups parallel (16 options)

This gives me a total of 24 different sounds. Not all of the will be hum cancelling:

  • Single coils don’t do the humbucker hum cancelling, so 4 settings (single coil P-90 or Rail Coil either neck or bridge) should be hum sensitive.
  • Using neck and bridge together when combining a P-90 and a Rail Coil should also not be wired to give me the humbucker hum cancelling. That’s another 2 buzz settings.
  • I am unsure what it does if I chose a humbucker in either neck or bridge position and a single coil in the other.

And, let’s be honest, not all 24 sounds will be remarkably distinctive. It might actually make more of a variety of sounds if I would also do phase switching - which I am not planning to do at the moment, possibly later on a push/pull poti might do that…

Playing the cards I am dealt: an old Les Paul copy

My starting point is an old Hondo body of a Les Paul copy. I have the wraparound bridge, but no neck. The neck I found and loved - and will make to fit - is bright wood with white inlays. So I plan to change all the hardware to pure (bright) white.

The P-Rails my brother gifted me for my birthday are cream white, not pure white. Not sure yet what this will look like in the end, but when I close my eyes, the pickups have a colour close to the wood of the body. And the white Gibson knobs, the white frames and chicken heads for the rotary switches might actually make a good blend. We’ll see.