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Unread 03-24-2008, 11:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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500k Pots Volume and tone

I recieved some new pots today 500k volume and tone and can't tell the difference. Which is which?
Also I've read alot about the 300k vs. the 500k pots. I currently have the
stock 300k pots volume pots and the 100k tone pot in my 1990 LP. Can I combined the 300k volume with the 500k tone? Or should I just go 500 all the way.
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Unread 03-25-2008, 03:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

let me see...
pots are the same whether you use them as proper pots ( VOL ) or rheostats ( TONE ). I'd use the ones with higher value to the vol pots though.
That 1990 LP came with 100k tone pots!!! My goodness! That is crazy! I´d change them to at least 300k at once!
300k vs 500k is along MLP debate. i personally like 500k volume pots but some guyas round here like Jeff ( Weeldar ) swears by his 300k. I'd say if you not that bothered about extra chunky, darkish tones I'd go with 500k....
But your opinion might be different and the pickups will have a massive influence on your decision.
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Unread 03-25-2008, 09:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Quote:
That 1990 LP came with 100k tone pots!!! My goodness! That is crazy! IŽd change them to at least 300k at once!
I know. I got the numbers from the bottom of the pots (71079A tone, 70034 vol) and cross referenced the numbers on the net to get those values. I had a feeling that having the 100k in there was not a good idea. Thanks.
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Unread 03-25-2008, 10:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

If they sound good, I generally do not mess with it, but for all my stuff, I go with the 500k. The pickup makers generally reccomend this, but you may find a difference in what you like.

If you guitar is trebly, I would not buy a treble tamer kit, I'd then look to put in a lower value pot.

Also note, I am not an endorser of a 500k plus pot, I think the challenge is getting an acutal 500k pot, not 525 or 485, just 500.

Good luck
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Unread 03-25-2008, 09:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

I'm diffinitly not happy with my tone. I'm changing my pots to 500k and putting in some vitamin Q's. I actually have some hovland caps but I think I'm going to like the vitamin Q's more. I'm trying to achieve a clearer thicker tone. I going to keep my 300ks to compare just in case.
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Unread 03-26-2008, 03:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozone View Post
Thanks.
glad to help
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Unread 03-27-2008, 09:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Good to see i'm not the only one that got 100k (stock) tone pots on their LP (mine is from 1984 and i'm the original owner). I have never seen this documented anywhere as to why this was done.
I always laugh when I see someone quote the Gibson propoganda that the original Silverbursts (which is what I have) are darker sounding because of the paint. Ummm, yeah, or could it be those 100k pots they put in

Now i'm running with 500k tone pots (and 1 meg volume which is probably overkill) and Vitamin Qs. I don't always like it that bright, but it gives me a lot more range to work with. The only reason in my opinion to go with something lower for a tone pot is if your sure thats the brightest you EVER want your guitar, and to me that kind of paints you into a corner. I even modded my neck tone pot to be No-Load at 10 (nice fat, but bright sound).

I would keep your original pots for resale value (I have all my replaced parts in a bag) just so you can say it comes with all original parts.

-Eddie
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Unread 03-27-2008, 11:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Quote:
I don't always like it that bright, but it gives me a lot more range to work with.
I agree. I like more options. Even though I don't ride my tone knob like my volume knob I can always adjust it on the fly. I'm getting my Vitamin Q's tomorrow. Can't wait!

Quote:
I even modded my neck tone pot to be No-Load at 10 (nice fat, but bright sound).
I'm not sure what this is and how did you do it?
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Unread 03-27-2008, 11:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

A No-Load pot breaks all connection to ground when set to 10, so that your cap has no affect. It's easy to do this mod:
Project Guitar :: Checking DC resistance on your potentiometers
I just did it for my neck tone because I was afraid it would make the bridge to brittle sounding.
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Unread 03-27-2008, 12:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Wow. That looks challenging. I don't have an ohmmeter. I'll keep that info just in case I want to do this. Thanks.
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Unread 03-27-2008, 05:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Quote:
some guyas round here like Jeff ( Weeldar )
Weldaar

Quote:
cross referenced the numbers on the net to get those values.
You can also check the values with a meter.
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Unread 03-28-2008, 05:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weldaar View Post
Weldaar
[/B]

Sorry Jeff, I sort of tripper over the keyboard
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Unread 03-28-2008, 08:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

I would gut the electronics, the 300ks are tone suckers and the 100k's just don't make sense. Find some decent 500k CTS pots and some good quality .022 Caps and then you will know what your Les Paul should really sound like.
General rule I follow, 100k active, 250k single coils, 500k P-90's and vintage humbuckers, 1Meg for Hot pu's over 15k ohms. Having the correct Pots will give you proper gain and tone, the larger pot values create less load so you get higher gain and a more "OPEN" sound...
Thanks, jonesy
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Unread 03-28-2008, 09:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

500k is a pretty arbitrary number when you think about it. I prefer my pots run a little less, and often use 300k pots in guitars that need a little compression. With p-90s I go down to 250k
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Unread 03-28-2008, 04:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesy View Post
I would gut the electronics, the 300ks are tone suckers and the 100k's just don't make sense. Find some decent 500k CTS pots and some good quality .022 Caps and then you will know what your Les Paul should really sound like.
General rule I follow, 100k active, 250k single coils, 500k P-90's and vintage humbuckers, 1Meg for Hot pu's over 15k ohms. Having the correct Pots will give you proper gain and tone, the larger pot values create less load so you get higher gain and a more "OPEN" sound...
Thanks, jonesy
yes, you will find you LP to sound bright as hell! LOL! Seriously that is me. I personally like 300k volume pots. I thikn the guitar sounds thicker and meatier with a 300k and warmer...not thin and trebly.
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Unread 03-28-2008, 07:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Well Gibson told me that 300 k pots were for my volume. But the overall Burstbucker pro sound I'm getting is very treble sound. I been thinking to darken the tone up a bit was to change them to 250k pots. I haven't done it yet but I'm still thnking about doing that, what do you guys think~!!!
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Unread 03-28-2008, 08:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Personally I wouldn't go as low as 250K. What value caps do you have in your guitar? What kind are they also?
I also don't care much for the BB Pro pups. If you like Gibson pickups, I would recommend Classic 57's. I can recommend much better pickups for your guitar but that depends on your budget.
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Unread 03-28-2008, 08:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Quote:
Sorry Jeff, I sort of tripper over the keyboard
No worries.
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Unread 03-29-2008, 02:27 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

I'm working with seymour duncan pups's. Pearly gates in the neck and 59's in the bridge. I'm replacing the stock capacitors with vitamin Q's .022uf for both. I did buy 4 CTS 500k pots but I don't know if they're 'true' 500k. I am going for a thicker, cleaner sound (which I'll distort latter with an overdrive TS808). I'll try both 500k and 300k for volume to compare. But I do need to dump those 100K tone pots for sure! Any suggestions of pots for the pickups I have?
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Unread 03-29-2008, 03:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

check the real value of those 500ks first....
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Unread 03-29-2008, 07:08 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

I agree, a 250k linear pot with a P-90 can be a really sweet set-up.
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Unread 03-29-2008, 10:00 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

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Originally Posted by richedie View Post
yes, you will find you LP to sound bright as hell! LOL! Seriously that is me. I personally like 300k volume pots. I thikn the guitar sounds thicker and meatier with a 300k and warmer...not thin and trebly.
Not True, I wire up and ship out dozens of 500k Les Paul harnesses to players
in over a dozen countries around the world and have gotten nothing but great comments on all of them. Of course the capacitors in my rigs make a huge difference compared to what Gibson uses. They are usually pleasantly surprised with the NEW TONE upgrades...just calling it how I see it Bro,
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Unread 03-29-2008, 11:59 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Keep in mind that a 500 Kohm tone pot can perfectly go what a 250 Kohm pot does. Just turn it to where it's reading 250 Kohm on an ohmmeter.

The same doesn't work for the volume pot. But if you want to know what a 250 Kohm volume pot would sound like if you have a 500 Kohm one you can just crocodile-clip a 500 Kohm resistor across the signal and you get the same thing (assuming everything's at "10", of course there is a difference in how they turn down and at what dial they give you what, but the sounds are the same).

(this info bases on passive guitars with standard control wiring)
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Unread 03-29-2008, 09:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

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Originally Posted by jonesy View Post
Not True, I wire up and ship out dozens of 500k Les Paul harnesses to players
in over a dozen countries around the world and have gotten nothing but great comments on all of them. Of course the capacitors in my rigs make a huge difference compared to what Gibson uses. They are usually pleasantly surprised with the NEW TONE upgrades...just calling it how I see it Bro,
Thanks, jonesy
Just joking around bro! Lots of guys, most prefer 500k....me and Jeff are weird. LOL!

So what type of pots and caps you use? I am usinf standard CTS pots and good quality Vitamin Qs.

Last edited by richedie; 03-31-2008 at 04:03 PM.
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Unread 03-29-2008, 09:48 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

300K pots were the norm 30 years ago. Just ask Seymour Duncan.
I'm not so weird, am I?
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Unread 03-30-2008, 07:14 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Quote:
Originally Posted by richedie View Post
Just joking around bro! LOts of guys, most prefer 50k....me and Jeff and weird. LOL!

SO what type of pots and caps you use? I am usinf standard CTS pots and good quality Vitamin Qs.
CTS 500XL longshaft Pots for all the thick top Les Pauls, lots of sprgaue and goodall oil caps and a constant hunt for the elusive 1950's bumble bee caps. I also make my own volume bleed kits. .0022 cap and 100k resistor. I also wire up the full blown Jimmy Page rigs(500k) 4 push pulls, dual coil taps, series/parallel and phasing....
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I am kind of new to this forum stuff, on my own most of the time..
thanks, jonesy
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Unread 03-30-2008, 07:19 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

I use 300K pots for my bridge and 500K pots for the neck. They are CTS pots that I get from Home Page Wymore Guitars Long shafts for the LP and short shafts for my Firebird and Epi Standard. I use Vitamin Q caps that I get from a friend, Hal.(HG)
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Unread 03-30-2008, 10:14 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixxxer View Post
Also note, I am not an endorser of a 500k plus pot, I think the challenge is getting an acutal 500k pot, not 525 or 485, just 500.
More like 425K to 570K!! :-)

Actually my ears aren't good enough to tell a 500K from a 525K but I can tell a 425K from a 500K for sure. I try to keep everything we sell between 495K and 535K. It's not so much the number though as much as it is finding a value that gives you the tone you want. I think 300K is right for some LP's and 1 meg with others may be the right answer depending on the pickups. Experiment until you find the right combination!! I have a guy that gets pots from me that I adjust to 700K. That's the sweet spot for him!!
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Unread 03-31-2008, 08:18 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

I can vouch for John (see above) - all the pots I've gotten from him have been spot-on. Never more than 10k variance. You want matched pots, call Wymore Guitars. Thanks, buddy!

Rob
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Unread 03-31-2008, 04:03 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: 500k Pots Volume and tone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weldaar View Post
300K pots were the norm 30 years ago. Just ask Seymour Duncan.
I'm not so weird, am I?

Sounds like they knew tone.

jonesy, your Page kit looks nice! Can you do just a series/parallel kit????

John Wymore is the man!
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