50s wiring or treble bleed?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Lizard Man, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Lizard Man

    Lizard Man Junior Member

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    I recently acquired a 2016 Les Paul Traditional. I love it, but with the modern wiring, things get a little muddy when I turn the volume pots down. I was thinking of having my tech put in 50s wiring, but I have also heard of a treble bleed mod that seems to do something similar. Is there an advantage to one over the other?
     
  2. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    A good 50's wiring harness is more versatile.
    A few vendors here have helped many members achieve better "tone" control.

    Jonesy,
    Martin Six Strings,
    etc.
     
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  3. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    50's wiring keeps the treble, but if you roll the tone down and then the volume then it acts differently again.

    Treble bleed is essentially a bright switch. You allow more treble through but disproportionately more compared to the other frequencies. Some circuits also kill the pot taper too.
     
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  4. Lizard Man

    Lizard Man Junior Member

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    Thanks for the replies, very helpful!
     
  5. Dilver

    Dilver Senior Member

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    Neither is better, just different. A treble bleed circuit with the right cap and resistor values can work really well and avoid the tone control weirdness that happens with 50's wiring. I don't find the way the tone and volume controls work together with 50's wiring to be intuitive.
     
  6. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

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    I tend to prefer treble bleeds (but not always) with a single or master volume pot. It depends on the guitar and varies from guitar to guitar, but not necessarily model type. I've liked TB's on some Strat's and hated it on others.

    Generally I prefer 50's wiring/no TB with a vintage style LP/PAF setup, although I'd at least experiment with a TB and modern wiring if I needed a hotter LP.
     
  7. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    As others have said, what's best depends on how you use your controls. For how I play -- most pots set midway, not dimed, modern wiring and a treble bleed (with resistor and cap values that suit my sound) work way, way better than the moving target of 50's wiring, where adjusting anything affects everything. For others, it's exactly the reverse. And for those who don't have optimum pot/cap values, neither will yield your own ideal tone. On a basic LP, getting things "right" for you is really worthwhile. I don't enjoy fiddling with parts, but time invested in choosing the right wiring scheme and component values for you is really worth it.
     
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  8. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    ^ Yep. Pot taper and values are very important. Just a volume pot upgrade to a Jr I had made the pickup so much more usable as the finetuning of the volume (something critical on that guitar) became much easier.
     
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  9. korus

    korus Senior Member

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    Search on treble bleed types. There is a 'Kinman type'. It is a capacitor and a resistor but in SERIES. Unlike common treble bleed, it does not alter the taper of volume pot and it does not sound like a bright switch if values of cap and res are well chosen. Use aligator clips and try different values. For LP start with 560pF cap and 150kOhm resistor. In SERIES. Try also greater value cap and lower value res. Cap determines which freq are kept as vol rolls off eg 270pF lets highs 'remain in tone' 1000pF lets also some high mids. Resistor determines how much is kept eg 100k will make effect subtle, 330k will make it pronounced. So, try different values, there is no one size fits all as rigs and ears differ.
     
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  10. Juan Wayne

    Juan Wayne Senior Member

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    I'm a bit late, but take a look at this.

    This tool has been of great use to me when dealing with treble bleeds: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B76ZAUwGSkrsR3ZqRGdjdXFvbEk/view?usp=sharing.

    Use it as a guide, but take your time to experiment since not every pickup in existence will be considered here. If you know the exact values of every spec or have at least a ballpark idea of its measurements, you can tweak the calculator to your specific pickup. However, I've found 150k parallel to 470pF to be a good ballpark to start with.

    That said, I would not recommend treble bleeds on anything other than master volume type guitars. LPs for example, become very unpredictable on the middle position (there's too much interaction between both sides of the circuit, in a bad way), and 50's wiring feels much more familiar in this case.

    Teles, Strats and other single volume guitars though, I manage to get amazingly flat responding with this chart as reference, and combining bleed and 50's wiring. Take into account also that the volume taper will change for some setups, but the calculator will show you that. It might even be beneficial in some cases.
     
  11. korus

    korus Senior Member

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    There is a solution which combines modern and '50 wiring. The idea is to leave tone pot and cap wired to input (leftmost lug) of volume pot (modern wiring part) and to add a cap and resistor from output (middlr lug) of volume pot to ground ('50s wiring part). That way tone pot works predictably and additional cap and res keep the highs with volume roll off. Again, trick is to determine optimal values - probably ideal option would be no-load 500k pot for tone with regular 22nF cap and additional res might be even 1MOhm with cap of 10nF. But even with regular tone pot it would have best of both worlds, with only slightly less highs when vol is on 10.
     
  12. ivan H

    ivan H Member

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    You might like the "modified modern" scheme, aka Black Rose after the company that kinda pioneered its use
     
  13. ivan H

    ivan H Member

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    Here is the scheme, sorry, forgot to include C__Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_INTERNETEXPLORER_Temp_Saved Images_wiringBlackRose(2).jpg . Cheers
     
  14. Juan Wayne

    Juan Wayne Senior Member

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    I might be looking at it wrong, but how does that differ from the regular "modern" wiring?
     
  15. ivan H

    ivan H Member

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    C__Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_INTERNETEXPLORER_Temp_Saved Images_image(2).jpg
    If you look at the modern scheme, the tone cap is taken from the input of the volume pot to the variable, or wiper (middle) leg of the tone pot. The tone pot's other leg is grounded. Now if you look at the "modified" modern scheme, the input of the volume pot is now connected to the tab on the tone pot that was previously grounded (& now isn't grounded) with a solid wire. No connection to the tone pot is grounded. The tone pot's middle connection has the tone cap attached to it, the other end of the tone "cap" is grounded. In the diagram its grounded at the volume pot ground, but any "ground" will do. This is the same scheme now used by many modern guitars, like Ibanez, (my Jackson uses it). Cheers
    Edit; this scheme came about because of the "treble loss" when turning the volume down with the modern scheme. Cheers
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  16. Juan Wayne

    Juan Wayne Senior Member

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    That's exactly why I asked. Based on the schematics and what you describe, Modern and "Black Rose Custom" are the exact same thing: a resistor (the pot) and a capacitor in series, shunting the hot lead of the pickup to ground (i.e.: a regular tone control connected to the third lug of the potentiometer).

    Since the order of passive electronic components connected in series does not alter the resulting impedance, there is no difference at all, unless I'm missing something else. But given that someone gave it a different name, it got me thinking and I still can't find the difference.

    Also, korus' described what seems like a fixed low pass filter that is on all the time. I don't get that one either. Does anyone have a schematic of that one? Sounds interesting, but I don't quite get it.
     
  17. garybaldy

    garybaldy Senior Member

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    The wiring diagrams for the modern and modified modern (and 50s) are pretty much self - explanatory.
    As regards your 'edit' , that suggests there is less treble loss going thru resistor (ie. the pot) first and cap second. Others say cap and resistor have same effect either way round. idk!
    I may try the modified circuit.
    BTW I have seen somewhere, a circuit based on the modified one where the connection from the vol. pot. goes to the tone wiper of a 1Meg pot. then two different value caps are attached to the outer lugs and grounded. This offers two different tonal options either side of the central position of the tone pot. Interesting?
     

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