Pots : 250k / 500k / 1 Meg ????

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by FLICKOFLASH, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. HolyGrail

    HolyGrail V.I.P. Member

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    Don,
    Have you tried lowering the pickup ( I'm sure you have :) )

    Ok so First try an .033 Cap ( Orange drop 715P ) If it's still too bright go to a .047 :naughty:
     
  2. lp59aholicDon

    lp59aholicDon V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Hey Bro, I went over and paid a visit to my fav tech wizard amp guy, He maybe joining us shortly I told em specifically about our convo on this, and he agrees, I cant drop the pickup much more without losing the close eveness of the volumes but I amg gonna try, I do think .047's may possibly make it too dark, and I will lose nearly all my high end treble end on my amp is also between the 12 and 1 o' clock postions, bass and mids straight up 12, Seems to be good
     
  3. HolyGrail

    HolyGrail V.I.P. Member

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    I won't steer you wrong. At least not on purpose . :)
     
  4. lp59aholicDon

    lp59aholicDon V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    I knew that Brother HG,. I got no worries at all man I do want a new set of Custom handwounds, which we discussed , Now which Les will they go in first, this is the $64,000 question :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  5. lexluthier

    lexluthier V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    You could always try it and see if you like it. The 1 meg tone pots might add back some of the highs lost by the 250K volumes. Personally (and this is just IMO) I like to stick with 500k for humbuckers, because they just plain work well. If I have a bright bridge pickup, I'll go to my friends shop where he buys pots by the sack, and maybe find a couple pots in the lower 400K area. If I have a muddy neck pickup, I'll try to find the highest reading ones, usually 575k is about as high as I've been able to find. FWIW, most old Centralab 500k pots read well over 500k, most of the ones I have had have been closer to 600k.

    My problem with dicking around with tone caps is, if you actually use your tone pot, using a .047 with humbuckers is going to sound like shit if you roll it back, total mud tones. I actually like a .015 cap for the bridge pickup, because it is more useable for me. With some overdrive going, you can roll it back and get the woman tones without the tone turning into farty sounding glop. I also like .022's if they are good sounding ones. They all sound different. Best cheap ones I've found are those Russian military surplus PIO caps you can get on Ebay.
     
  6. lp59aholicDon

    lp59aholicDon V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Lex, Thanks alot this and other info I have gotten really does help alot
     
  7. lexluthier

    lexluthier V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    You can also experiment with 50's style wiring and modern style. Both work differently, even though electronics experts will tell you there is no logical difference. I personally like 50's style wiring, it lets more of the highs through when rolling back the vol. pot without using bypass cap, which is another pet peave of mine. LOL

    I hate bypass caps, I find the highs they bleed thru sound artificial, and messes with the taper. Every guitar I buy that has them, they get clipped out pronto.
     
  8. lp59aholicDon

    lp59aholicDon V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    I am gonna get the meter out, Meter my pots and maybe heat up the soldering iron,
    On my Orville Les Paul I have three Jap Caps and one Gibson, I Believe that one is still modern wired , when you roll down/back the tone cap sometimes it also has a tendancy to clip volume a bit, can this also be fixed with 50s type wiring?
     
  9. BOBBO

    BOBBO Banned

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    A discussion about POT and I wasn't asked for my expert opinion ?? Ohh it's guitar pots !!! as Gilda Radner would say ... " Nevermind " !! :rofl:
     
  10. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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    I am more worried about it weakining the sound ,do you think i should convert them & do you know how ?
     
  11. Weldaar

    Weldaar V.I.P. Member

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    I've always used 300K audio taper pots all around in my LPGT. For this particular guitar they are just enough highs, mids, and lows.
     
  12. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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  13. jrnic

    jrnic Senior Member

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    I like to play Metal mostly and I have used 1 Meg pots in guitars I wanted to get a little more output AND brighten up. I found that some pickups in comparison with some body woods just sound to "muddy" for my taste. Those were the candidates for the 1 Meg pots. I also almost always use 1 Meg pots in Strat style guitars that only have 1 humbucker and 1 volume control. Makes life simple. A distortion pickup with a 1 Meg pot. Almost gives it an EMG 81 type sound which is of course what I like for the type of music I play.
     
  14. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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    Mean Gene's Guitar Chronicles



    July/August 2005


    Installing New Pots

    Here we are again for another episode of the Mean Gene Chronicles. This article is aimed at pots, their replacement, values... They don't make pots like they use to. While operating Baker Guitars I began a quest for what is the best sounding, best working pots available. Pots were our biggest warranty complaint so we used a wide variety which sometimes requires a guitar to have light modifications such as enlarging a pot hole to convert the instrument to a CTS style pot which is more readily available. Or convert a non coil splitting guitar to one with a coil tap push/pull pot. This requires reducing a 3/8ths hole to a 5/16ths hole or it can destroy the pull pot. See last month's headstock tuner hole enlarging procedure. We would do the same for pot conversion from 5/16ths to 3/8ths.

    A common mod is to install a push/pull coil-tap tone pot. But often there is a 3/8ths diameter hole. Most all push/pull pots have a 5/16th diameter shaft and basically get pulled apart if installed into a 3/8th hole. Tightening the nut folds the die cast hosing right up into the hole. A simple mod can be done to reduce a 3/8ths hole to a 5/16th hole. Simply take a 3/8ths wooden dowel and stick it into a vise horizontally. Next using a 5/16ths brad point drill bit, drill a hole on center into the end of the dowel @ 3/8ths deep, then cut to length with a band saw or hand saw creating a wooden sleeve. A few drops of thin crazy glue can keep it from falling apart before cutting to length. Finally, lightly sand to length if needed and insert the sleeve flush to the face of the guitar and apply of few small drops of thin crazy glue around the sleeve and let it dry. If trying this on a Strat type pick guard you can drill a 5/16ths hole into a scrap piece of pick guard plastic, cut it on a band saw to a small square and crazy glue it to the backside of the pick guard.

    Most pots today are no longer built of Carbon Composition style traces and are silk-screened. They boast this extends the life but I have yet to see them last. There are many details I look at while selecting pots, some for aesthetics i.e. how high a knob sits off the face of the instrument. Shaft type is another to match up with the knobs, there's standard and metric splines that don't fit all knobs. If my way everything would be a 1/4 solid shaft and all knobs would have set screws. Split shaft pots are most famous for their wobbly rotation of the knob or its loose fit and falls off, or you spread the spline with a straight head screwdriver (to hold the knob better) and it breaks the spline. I like the look of those shiny plastic Gibson bell/speed knobs most of all and their easy to read numbering, but they don't come with set screws!

    The way the shaft is shaped determines how far the knob will press onto the shaft, this can be aggravating making a knob stick high in the air. Or putting Tele metal dome knobs on a split shaft require sleeve adapters and more headaches.

    Then we have the type of housing, open or closed, or the type of terminals. Enclosed housings are smarter because there's often remnant buffing compound or dust floating around in certain style of guitars that love to dirty a pot. Solder terminals can be held on by a round eyelet that can spin while others are wrapped around the phenolic base for a much more firm grasp or pc board mounts. Some threaded housings are machined brass others die cast. Most important is how well it works, sounds and lasts, but getting all details right is much harder than it seems.

    There's been a rather long myth that 500K pots are to be used for humbuckers and 250K for single coil pickups. The only one that is right is what makes your ears say ³yeah baby². The best way to find out is in a test environment where you can A/B these sounds within a few seconds so we don't loose ear reference. After a minute then ³ear reference² can play tricks on you. If you're handy at basic electronics you could wire up a test box using rotary switches to select which pots are in the circuit. I would suggest the following pots in each of the volume and tone position using a 250K, 500K and 1 Meg. To extend the test you could even include another rotary to select one of 3 capacitors maybe a .015, .022 and a .033 on humbuckers, or a .05 to a .1 for single coils. There really is no law here so create your own, maybe you'll find something that works perfect for your application. Remember the guitar for this test must be wired very basic, switch to an output jack, no pots in the guitar.

    For me (on humbuckers) a 250K volume and a 1 Meg tone with a .022 cap has been it. What I like in a volume pot is a smooth taper from 1 to 10 and no alteration of tone. A tone pot should have a useable selection of colors. Playing a stock LP (all 500K circuit) in my teenage learning, I noticed the tone of the guitar would muffle (high end roll off) when turning down the volume from 10 to 8, sounding louder and woollier at 8, getting down into the 4-5 range would dull where it didn't work for clean picking. You can appreciate a 500K circuit for all the lumps/bumps where you find sweet spots. Also where you tap off the volume pot for the tone capacitor (lug #1 or lug #2 of the volume) will alter how your tone control operates when your volume pot is rolled down to lower settings. If you have a cap wired to lug #1 of your volume (going to the tone control) try moving it to the #2 middle lug (of volume) and notice the way your tone pot changes with volume interaction.

    While working at Fender I learned a lot about various networks using caps and resistors strung across the volume pots 1st and 2nd leg to change the pots taper and tone bleed characteristics. But these add in other changes at certain points of the pot range that I didn't care for so to me, simple sounded better. Hooked to your amp by cable or wireless can play a big role in what you may choose to be best.
    [​IMG]
    CTS with lug eyelet mounts
    [​IMG]
    CTS Allparts EP086
    [​IMG]
    Allen Bradley/Clarostat Carbon
    Comp sealed casing
    [​IMG]
    Alpha small bodied pot

    In my years of trial an error I know what I like but haven't been able to find it so I defaulted back to what parts are available like the CTS 500K being a Gibson, Fender, Allparts or other. My quest is still on and I have a set of Clarostat Carbon Comp pots that I am just getting ready to audition, I have heard great reports on them but at a cost of $20 each I hope their amazing.



    Any questions or comments visit New Page 1 or The Mean Gene Connection or email me at info311@verizon.net Fine Tuned Instruments LLC, home of Gene Baker built instruments.
    Return to:
     
  15. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Guest

    Tone and volume pots are wired as mirror images of each other. The a 500K volume pot is at 500K when set at 0, a 500K tone pot is at 500K when set at 10. The higher the value of a tone pot, the closer it is to grounding itself out of the loop. The difference between 500K and 1meg tone pot is less than the difference between a 300K and 500K tone pot. If you want the MOST brightness, use a HIGHER value tone pot. When you reach 0, it will be the LEAST resistance, and at that point different values will have less affect, but then that is where the value of the cap has the most effect!


    On the Volume side, when set at 10 it has the least resistance, and allows MOST of the signal through. As you turn it to 0 it sees the MOST resistance and virtually grounds the signal out.


    I like 300K volume pots. You get more of a useful sweep. (not as touchy) I like 500K+ tone pots, I want to hear the full value of the PUPs and if it is too bright, I turn the tone down to say 8 and have, in effect a 300K pot at that setting.
     
  16. lexluthier

    lexluthier V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Those eyelet lug CTS pots are not my favorite, as the eyelets are not of the quality as the old days. The new ones have a tendency to loosen up, the old ones had beefy rivets holding the lugs on. I like the crimp lugs better in this case.

    You can't solder to the case of those Clarostat pots, since the case is stainless steel. You would need to run a lug on the bushing for grounding, but then you would only have a mechanical connection there which could possibly cause problems in the future.
     
  17. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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    do I need to disconnect anything on a harness to get proper ohms readings of the pots. seems the 1M are reading just under 1 meg but the 250 K with the caps attached read into the 400's ..what gives ???
     
  18. lp59aholicDon

    lp59aholicDon V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Flick I think ya gotta do the readings with things disconnected otherwise you get a reading of the whole circut if they are attached to anything else
     
  19. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH V.I.P. Member

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    :cool::hmm:
     
  20. A-No.1

    A-No.1 Junior Member

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    Plus 1...That's been my experience too.
     

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