Volume controls on my 2013 LPST: 10 is less than 9 ?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by camini, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. camini

    camini Member

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    Hi to all,

    I've been searching and reading a lot of threads on the volume & tone controls of our dear LPs, but haven't come to a conclusion on this topic.
    Sorry if it has been beaten to death already..

    Here's the story:
    - My 1995 LP standard (non push pull) has smooth, linear volume controls. In any pickup selection 10 on volumes give the maximum output

    - my 2013 LP standard (push pull), which I play most lately, has the following behaviour (which I don't like and don't understand):

    a) completely non-linear volume: very serious drop between 10 and 7, then nothing really useful to play with between 7 and 0

    b) when on both pickups, you need to have 1 of the 2 volumes NOT on 10 to get the maximum volume (& full tone), so 10 is less volume than 9 .. There's also a noticeable click kind of noise between 9 and 10

    Is this technological progress? Am I getting old? Or just poor electronics?

    I'd like to know if there is anything wrong with the setup (pots, pcb, whatever)?

    Can it be fixed without sacrificing the coils splitting abilities?

    Thanks already for your constructive comments!

    Have a great day,
    P-M
     
  2. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    a - this pot taper. There are a whole heap of different tapers when you consider the different pot makers all seem to have something different for the same broad descriptive type.

    b - In the middle position the tone is like that due to cancellation. Even volumes mean most cancellation. If the pickups get wired out of phase there is a serious volume drop with max cancellation, and a smaller fraction for in phase.
    If the volume pots are not giving you that odd phenomenon when selected individually, it has to be the way those particular pickups combine.
     
  3. camini

    camini Member

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    Thanks for the answer!

    So if I understand well,

    a) the non-linear aspect of the volume pots is due to the nature of the pots themselves. So I should try to find pots that are similar to the ones in my 1995 LPSTD, but with push pull.

    b) The cancellation you mention should happen both on my 1995 and 2013 - whilst it actually doesn't on my 1995 (did not on my Studio 1993 either).

    Anyway - I manage to get good tones, which is what matters, but I do find the overall precision/response of the controls to be a serious regression compared to the quality of the 1995 model I have.

    Maybe I should look for a replacement harness alltogether..

    Rgds
     
  4. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    The middle position depends on the pickups, but also on the guitar itself. I have swapped out an OOP middle position set from one guitar to another and the effect changed in nature after the swap.
    Its usually a tonal change in the middle. If you get a bit less of one pickup in this position then the tone will become more like 1 pickup....which usually has more mids push. This will cut more.
    If there is indeed a real volume drop then there might be something odd/wrong in the wiring. But its very hard to explain why there would be a volume drop from 9-10 when the middle position is selected if its not doing the same thing with an individual pickup.

    Values of pots and taper is one of the main reasons to switch out electric components. But as a comparison, someone who loves volume swells would find the 2013 to be a serious advancement over your 1995 - its impossible to satisfy opposites.
     
  5. camini

    camini Member

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    Late update, I travel too much for work ��
    Thanks for the extra info ARandall.

    You know, I should play more on amp and less on headphone.
    On amp, I can't hear a tonal or vol drop on middle position - in phase - when going to 10 on one of the volumes; cool.
    In OOP, it is there, which is no big deal as I rarely use it.

    So, it's different from my 1995 lp... and I think I should play both :applause:
     
  6. Kaicho8888

    Kaicho8888 Senior Member

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    ARandal's reply make sense!

    a) I don't know if there's a linear 500k push-pull. I tried to change mine years ago but only could find audio tapered push-pull. I haven't "googled" Borns lately.

    b) It sounds like your pickups are not in phase when both are selected (Peter Green sound)... that is, the volume lowers when in the middle toggle position; and when you lower one volume pickup from 10, the total output goes up. I assume you have the neck-tone pot pushed down for in-phase. Does it make a difference when pulled up? The neck tone potentiometer could have a defective switch.

    40+ years ago, I had this problem with one older LP, I finally check the pickups' magnets and found the bridge pickup magnet to be installed incorrectly...used my kid's toy compass.
     
  7. camini

    camini Member

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    Thanks for the info on the push/pull. One thing is sure, the effect I described is mostly present when in OOP. When in phase it's quite OK; i.e. only audible when on headphones that there is a small "glitch" at the end of the pot travel. As my tone controls are a little scratchy (very littel), I'll probably give them a little contact cleaning lube.
     
  8. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    ^ That sounds like the headphones themselves or the circuit for them has the issue.
     
  9. camini

    camini Member

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    And months later, the winner is ARandall and Kaicho8888 ;o) !
    The pickups were out of phase indeed.
    Why? I really don't know. Fact is that the bridge pickup had its polarity inverted, stock, not the wiring as it has 4 connector molex plugs.
    And when in midlle position, without the OoO 'pull' on the push-pull, it was out of phase, making for the drop in volume due to cancellation and its weird/mellow tone.

    In my quest for a better sound, I ditched the bridge BB pro and replaced it with a nearly not used 498T - now it has the sound that I had in my head (great), it is no longer OoO and is louder overall (much better balanced against the neck BB pro).

    Thanks for having let me discover what out of phase is!
     
  10. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Glad you got that one sorted out.
    The OOP is not for everyone. In fact most pickups just plain suck for OOP even if the player is normally a fan otherwise.
     

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