Gibson Explorer Wiring Diagram & fitting Instructions Explorer

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2 x Humbuckers, 2 x Volume, 2 x Tone and 1 x 3 Way Toggle Switch

Complete Electrical Fitting Instructions


  1. Find somewhere safe, dry and secure to place your Explorer guitar while you work on it.
  2. Remove the control knobs x 3 and the switch cap.
  3. Remove the 3 x pot nuts and washers
  4. Undo the screws to the control plate at the back of the guitar.
  5. Undo the nut for the jack socket.
  6. In the control panel, cut the wires from the switch and the pickups closest to the pot as possible.
  7. The wiring harness should be free to come out and so should the jack socket.

Please note: if you are not replacing the pickups or the 3 way switch you will need to remove the strings and the pickguard at access them.


  1. At this point you may want to clean pot holes on the front of the guitar from where the old pots have been.
  2. You will need to check the size of the holes for the pots as on some guitars they are drilled small for cheap electrical components. If they are small, the best way to enlarge them to 10mm to fit CTS pots, is to use a round file.
  3. Fit the new harness into place.
  4. Solder the 2 switch wires to the pots and the jack socket (refer to wiring diagram)
  5. Solder the 2 pickups wires to the pots (refer to wiring diagram)
  6. Solder the ground bridge wire to the back of the pot (refer to wiring diagram)
  7. Once this is done, you should test to make sure everything is working. 
  8. You can now replace the control plate cover
  9. Re-fit the control knobs and the switch cap.

Tools & Equipment

  • Philips (Cross head) Screwdriver.
  • Flat headed screwdriver on some models.
  • Small adjustable spanner/wrench.
  • Good quality soldering iron.
  • Wire Cutters.
  • Masking tape for keeping things in place or out the way while working.


  • When soldering the wires to the back of a pot, do not overheat / cook the pot.
  • Keep wires tidy and neat and make sure all components are grounded.

Wiring Diagram

Download the printable PDF >

Gibson Explorer Wiring Diagram & fitting Instructions Explorer

Gibson Explorer Wiring Diagram & fitting Instructions

Gibson & Epiphone Explorer Wiring Diagram & fitting Instructions