Suitable pot for Duncan single coil sized humbucker?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by morbidalex666, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. morbidalex666

    morbidalex666 Senior Member

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    So I found a lil Screamin demon in my parts drawer.
    I had bought that one some years ago and forgot about it.
    I'm thinking of slapping it in my partscaster and see what happens.
    This guitar has the Fender 250k pots in it.
    Do I HAVE to get a 250/500k dual pot?
    Has anyone tried a lil Duncan with a 250k pot?

    Cheers everyone!
     
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  2. LtKojak

    LtKojak Senior Member

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    The Lil' Screamin' Demon is a bright p'up.

    Even if I haven't personally tried out, my somewhat educated guess would say just go with 250K pots.

    HTH,
     
  3. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

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    They were more or less designed to drop right into a Strat with 250k pots, so you should be fine. I've always used 250k pots with the single coil-sized humbuckers.
     
  4. morbidalex666

    morbidalex666 Senior Member

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    Thanks guys!
     
  5. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

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    I'd go with 500k. The reason Fender pickups use 250k pots and Gibson uses 500k is not because of overall brightness, but to control the Q factor. The steel parts in humbuckers cause eddy currents, which in turn reduce the Q factor. Since most Fender single pickups have no steel in them, just AlNiCo poles and electrically inert fiber parts, they experience very little eddy currents, and therefore have a high Q factor. The 250k pots are used to lower the Q factor to a degree that sounds good. Too high of a Q factor tends to sound shrill, too low of a Q factor causes a pickup to become muddy. The "Little" humbuckers use steel blades / screws which reduce the Q factor. Combining the steel parts of the "Little" humbucker with the lower value of thr 250k pots is might dampen the Q factor more than you like.

    I don't agree that Seymour Duncan designed these little pickups to work with 250k pots, as I dont see anything in their design that specifically addresses eddy current damping. From a marketting standpoint, it's easier to sell pickups if you don't suggest to customers that they might also want to change the pots. That's your fellow guitarist's job. Since there doesn't seem to be many complaints about using them with 250k pots, I don't think the lower Q bothers customers much, either way. It's not unlike the difference in Q factor you'd get from removing the cover from a PAF; some people even claim to not hear a difference.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  6. morbidalex666

    morbidalex666 Senior Member

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    Thank you for your input!

    There are humbuckers out there that are painful to some people if used with the 500k volume pot.
    Bill Lawrence and t-tops come to mind.
    All I'm saying is (and this is an empirical conclusion) there must be more than one way to tweak the pickup's Q.
    I guess I'll find out lol!

    I just wanted to learn from people that had first hand experience before going into the hassle changing the pickup only to find out that I have to order for and change the pot also.
     
  7. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Member

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    I have four Strats with SC-HB's, two with DiMarzio sets, one with Little 59s and another with Little Screamin Demons, I use 500ks with them. If you want the Q factor associated with 250k pots, you can get that by just turning down the tone control slightly. I have a "global tone control" set though, where as a vanilla Strat has no tone control on the bridge, of course. In that case, if you install a 500k vol pot, you're stuck with it's effects on the bridge pickup. I think putting a tone control on a Strat bridge is a must, personally, especially if you're a fan of Tele bridge tones.

    If you have a global tone control, technically a 1 meg pot would give you the most flexibility, because you can lower the Q with that global tone control to any amount you like. The real benefit of a 250k or 500k pot is that if gives you a "maximum" that is reasonable, sort of like a sports car that has a built in "top speed" for the driver's safety. I think 500k gives a Q that is still very pleasant with SC HB's. With 1 meg pots, the maximum Q would be so high that the hassle of avoiding that top most portion of the pot sweep outweighs the few occasions where you'd want to use it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  8. morbidalex666

    morbidalex666 Senior Member

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    Again thanks for your input!
     
  9. darthphineas

    darthphineas Senior Member

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