300K pots compared to 500K

shtdaprdtr

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Volume and Tone Controls
Just like the original Les Paul Standards, the Slash Appetite Les Paul uses an independent Volume and Tone control for each pickup. These consist of a quality 300k linear-taper potentiometer for each volume control, and a 500k non-linear taper potentiometer for each tone control, with .022mF Orange Drop capacitors on the tone pots for a smooth, natural treble roll-off.

This was pasted from the Gibson site on the AFD guitar.
Why 300K linear over 500K...what are the advantages/disadvantages? How does it apply?
 

Raz59

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The value of the volume potentiometers changes the overall brightness of the sound, lower being darker, higher being brighter.

What I don't understand is the linear-taper on the volume pots, because human hearing doesn't hear the mathematical straight line of the linear taper...a logarithmic (or audio) taper smoother than linear.

This is what I know so far, hope it helps.
 

shtdaprdtr

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The value of the volume potentiometers changes the overall brightness of the sound, lower being darker, higher being brighter.

What I don't understand is the linear-taper on the volume pots, because human hearing doesn't hear the mathematical straight line of the linear taper...a logarithmic (or audio) taper smoother than linear.

This is what I know so far, hope it helps.

Thank you...so if I have a Les Paul that is very tinny sounding...250K pots would give it some bass...what about the capacitors?
 

richedie

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I don't find capacitors make a darn bit of difference. Others will tell you differently. We tried doing comparisons with alligator clips.....ceramics, ODs, Hovlands, Mallorys, etc. Could hear no change in tone. In fact I thikn the stock ceramics are just fine. Some of the best sounding LPs in history were bone stock LPs, with linear volume pots and ceramic canps. The tone of the guitar comes first....pickups are important to. Guitar wood, acoustic, etc come first.

Why linear though I wonder. Whenever I have linear pots they seem to respond slowly to volume roll off. I tend to keep the values all the same in my LPs/SGs but I usually install audio tapers for the bridge pickup - 300Ks. Lately I have been keeping the ceramic disk caps in because I hear no difference.
 

Raz59

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I don't find capacitors make a darn bit of difference. Others will tell you differently. We tried doing comparisons with alligator clips.....ceramics, ODs, Hovlands, Mallorys, etc. Could hear no change in tone. In fact I think the stock ceramics are just fine. Some of the best sounding LPs in history were bone stock LPs, with linear volume pots and ceramic caps. The tone of the guitar comes first....pickups are important to. Guitar wood, acoustic, etc come first.

Why linear though I wonder. Whenever I have linear pots they seem to respond slowly to volume roll off. I tend to keep the values all the same in my LPs/SGs but I usually install audio tapers for the bridge pickup - 300Ks. Lately I have been keeping the ceramic disk caps in because I hear no difference.

The difference in capacitor materials is like splitting hairs...but as legend goes, the only changes you hear are when you roll off the tone knob. You'll have to try it for yourself because I can't vouch for this whole PIO craze, even those who sell capacitors refuse to help in this matter.

Now, the value of the capacitor affects how much high frequencies are filtered. Keep in mind that when the tone knob is on 10, there is no difference.
Higher value capacitors cut more high frequencies, so when the tone knob is on 0, you'll get a very bassy sound.
Lower value capacitors cut less high frequencies, so you can guess what it does.

Les Pauls generally have .022 uF rated caps. Some players generally replace them for lower .010 uF rated caps because some don't like how dark the guitar sounds when the tone knob is on 0 to 3. They say it makes it makes the tone knob more "useful".
 

richedie

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Well I play most of my time with tone and volume on ten! I tried PIO caps and thought they were the same as the ceramics.
 

Indyclone

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hell... you might as well wire your pickups from the switch directly to the output jack. Pots and caps only get in the way of good tone. :)
 

cynic79

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Well I play most of my time with tone and volume on ten! I tried PIO caps and thought they were the same as the ceramics.

If you don't turn the tone knob down, there's no need to get PIO caps. You're only going to hear a difference if you actually use the tone knob. Even then, the changes are pretty subtle. Still, a guitar wired up 50's style with good pots and caps can give you a variety of tones just out of the guitar.

My favorite personal tone of late was achieved using an Egnater Rebel 20 and a Les Paul with Guitarforce Lord of the Blues pickups and an RS Guitarworks vintage kit installed (with Luxe PIOs). With the gain on the amp at 1 o'clock and the bright switch on, I could get a pretty gritty tone with the guitar volume on 10, and a cleaner tone at 9 and under. I found that when I rolled the tone back to about 3 with the volume down it actually had a clarifying effect on the tone, thinning the high mids a bit and reducing perceivable gain while not affecting overall volume. Very cool clean tone.
 

SkunkWorks

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Interesting to see a couple of people state that the caps don't really matter when you play with all your knobs dimed. I've been trying repeatedly to get a straight answer on this and hadn't had any success. I have some parts on order from a guy and got him throw in some Sprague orange drops just for the hell of it. I guess they won't "hurt" even they don't help, and they were cheap. I'll do a recorded A/B test when they come but I'm betting I'm not going to hear any difference at all between them and the stock ceramics with everything dimed.
 

weirdotis

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Well I play most of my time with tone and volume on ten! I tried PIO caps and thought they were the same as the ceramics.

There will usually be some capacitor bleed, but generally you only hear your capacitors when you roll down the tone. My PIO caps are a major improvement over stock, much smoother and a more useful taper.

I generally set my amp with my bridge tone pot on around 8 or so, that way I always have more treble accessible for rhythm playing. I almost always roll my tone pot down for soloing.
 

richedie

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If you don't turn the tone knob down, there's no need to get PIO caps. You're only going to hear a difference if you actually use the tone knob. Even then, the changes are pretty subtle. Still, a guitar wired up 50's style with good pots and caps can give you a variety of tones just out of the guitar.

My favorite personal tone of late was achieved using an Egnater Rebel 20 and a Les Paul with Guitarforce Lord of the Blues pickups and an RS Guitarworks vintage kit installed (with Luxe PIOs). With the gain on the amp at 1 o'clock and the bright switch on, I could get a pretty gritty tone with the guitar volume on 10, and a cleaner tone at 9 and under. I found that when I rolled the tone back to about 3 with the volume down it actually had a clarifying effect on the tone, thinning the high mids a bit and reducing perceivable gain while not affecting overall volume. Very cool clean tone.


Nah, I tried tons of pots and I do turn the tone down to 6-7 on many songs so I guess I was not truthfull there. I never notice a difference with caps ever.
 

superpotato_30

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Hi guys im new here.

Just asking, i was told by my local guitar tech that its better not to mix the values of pots if i were to change them.

Meaning if i intended to change my pots to 500k i'd have to do it for both tone/volume.

Is it alright to have a mix?
 

Darkness59fr

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Volume and Tone Controls
Just like the original Les Paul Standards, the Slash Appetite Les Paul uses an independent Volume and Tone control for each pickup. These consist of a quality 300k linear-taper potentiometer for each volume control, and a 500k non-linear taper potentiometer for each tone control, with .022mF Orange Drop capacitors on the tone pots for a smooth, natural treble roll-off.

This was pasted from the Gibson site on the AFD guitar.
Why 300K linear over 500K...what are the advantages/disadvantages? How does it apply?

My point of view is that 500K works better to my hear with my gear. Better clarity, no muddy sound. The sounds gains in clarity, richness, the low is more precise, well balanced. I was first hesitating doing it on my Slash Signature (see my other thread about it), because 500K load on the pickups instead of 300K must affect the tone of the pickup, and it does, but in the end, IMO it does it in a good way and the guitar remains its true voice.
 

vmjoe

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I like the 300K in bridge with a 500K in the neck. The pickups are more balanced this way.

I'm not sure if you are talking about tone or volumn pots here, but I also get better balance using 300k bridge and 500k neck tone RS audio taper pots. I can still get enough high end from my bridge pup. I also use a RS 280k volumn Super Pot.

What works for me certainly doesn't work for everyone I know, but I have tried every conceivable combination and this is the tone I like most.
 

loneleigh

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Of course it's OK. Your tech is an idiot.

I think what he was asking is if it's cool to mix the vol & tone for one pickup. Is this correct? if that's what he was asking, I would say no too. And probably what his tech meant. But I believe it's OK to do this: 300k (vol/tone)for your bridge pup and 500k (vol/tone) for your neck pup.
 

SkunkWorks

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I think what he was asking is if it's cool to mix the vol & tone for one pickup. Is this correct? if that's what he was asking, I would say no too. And probably what his tech meant. But I believe it's OK to do this: 300k (vol/tone)for your bridge pup and 500k (vol/tone) for your neck pup.
Why would it not be ok? This is all subjective personal preference stuff here. There are no rules when it comes to this stuff. To be honest, there are alot of "upgrades" alot of people do to their guitars that are accepted as gospel that I happen to think sound like ass... for the particular style of music I do and tone I desire.

I think that tech is doing people a disservice to be telling people stuff like that.
 
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