Don't like the way my tone rolls off (modern wiring). Suggestions?

thrashmetl

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I recently bought a 2011 CR8, stock wired 50's style with the newer Gibson Historic pots. Don't like 50's wiring and as 50's wiring goes it wasn't great. As I backed off the volume, the treble rolled off along with it. I don't like the volume/tone interaction with 50's wiring and the volume drop when you back off the tone drives me nuts.

I have modern wiring with a treble bleed in my other LP and it works great so I converted the CR8 to modern wiring and swapped out Gibson's cheap fake Bumblebees for some caps James at Rewind Electric gave me with a set of his pickups a while back. The treble bleed works perfectly on the volume pot, but the way the tone rolls off isn't so good. I like it to go a jazzy direction when the tone rolls off, my other LP which has Standard 500k CTS pots does this, but these Historic pots do not. The way they roll off is sterile and not musical and when you roll back to about 1-0 on the knob it gets a cocked wah type sound.

So what would you guys recommend? I'm open to suggestions of other pots or a modern wiring kit from someone.
 

scovell001

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Hi Thrashmetl,

It's a shame you've had a poor experience with 50's wiring. You haven't given a massive amount of detail about your 50's wiring prior experiences (other than stock Gibson pots), however, I run a Martin Six String Custom 50's wiring harness (now made by Electric City Pickups). I'm finding 50's wiring a 'thing of beauty' for that jazzy cleanliness.

Anyway, based on what you've written below pots seem to be the issue for you & I'd suggest either putting together a calibrated set of cts pots (or similar). Or, having James at Rewind, or Bill at ECP, or Jon at Throbak or Jonesy Blue spec you up a wiring harness.

Others will chime in with similar suggestions I'm sure & there are various vids on YT (if you so wish) - I found one with a respected builder recently that suggested a 0.47 cap in the neck with standard wiring.
 

thrashmetl

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Turns out it's the caps. I tried a few different ones and came back to the Gibson's. They effected the tone roll off in the most positive way, not to say it's decent, just the most acceptable for the time being. I'm going to go for a kit, the Mojotone Vintage CTS's sound great. I've never had a problem with how CTS's worked so I think I'll like them better.
 

grayd8

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Don't mistake 50's wiring with the crappy taper Gibson put on those pots.
50% of the volume adjustment on those pots is between 8 and 10.

The WD CTS 550k pots Jonesy uses in his premium harness are so good
I have slowly started migrating all of my guitars towards using those pots.
I have even put a set of the 275k ones in my Tele.
 

thrashmetl

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Don't mistake 50's wiring with the crappy taper Gibson put on those pots.
50% of the volume adjustment on those pots is between 8 and 10.

The WD CTS 550k pots Jonesy uses in his premium harness are so good
I have slowly started migrating all of my guitars towards using those pots.
I have even put a set of the 275k ones in my Tele.

I didn't know the 550k's he used were from WD. I know he uses the Mojotone Vintage Taper 500k's and I've heard a lot of good things about the taper on those and I'm not sure I need the extra 50k, may go over the top since I'm throwing Tom Holmes in my LP and they're said to be pretty bright. Have you tried the Mojo Vintage Taper pots?

Also, what caps are you using? I was thinking of getting some of the K40Y-9's everyone seems to love. And what pickups do you use?
 

C.J.

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Don't mistake 50's wiring with the crappy taper Gibson put on those pots.
50% of the volume adjustment on those pots is between 8 and 10.

The WD CTS 550k pots Jonesy uses in his premium harness are so good
I have slowly started migrating all of my guitars towards using those pots.
I have even put a set of the 275k ones in my Tele.

THIS ^

Taper. Taper. Taper. CTS pots have some of the most inconsistent tapers going too. Really rustles my jimmies.
 

Ant

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There are many different tapers available for certain ohm value pots, hope this chart helps explain.
Some boutique cts pots such as WD, mojotone, and Emerson have a letter A, J, etc after the pot ohm value stamped on the bottom to determine the taper.
 

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moreles

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IMO, the value of the pot, its taper, and the value of the cap all make a big difference and as they are interdependent, and what sounds good to your ears with one pickup might such with another, it can take a lot of tinkering to dial things in. I really don't like wiring, but I patiently work through this stuff on each of my guitars. Even so, I have yet to find a tone pot with a taper I really like. Finally: Don't let the 50's wiring advocates browbeat you into submission! There are advantages and disadvantages to both 50's and modern wiring, and having used both -- a lot! -- I definitely prefer modern wiring, with the right treble bleed, and of course with the right pots and caps. I strongly dislike the interactivity of 50s wiring, and also dislike the excessive knob twiddling required to dial in tones in real time. I find modern to be more accurate, predictable, and not distracting. I completely get it why some love the vintage wiring. I'm in the minority group on this forum -- I don't favor it.
 

ivan H

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As was said above, its the taper of the pots. Just because they are CTS 500k pots doesn't mean they are suitable for guitar. CTS make several different taper logarithmic or audio taper pots. The ones suitable for guitar are 30% taper (or 28%) like the ones Mojotone sell. They are a true 30% taper, 7% tolerance pot like the one Gibson used to use. If you are just going to grab any old CTS pots (for volume), you'd probably be better off with linear, rather than a 5% or 10% taper. Cheers
 

Jason Taylor

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THIS ^

Taper. Taper. Taper. CTS pots have some of the most inconsistent tapers going too. Really rustles my jimmies.

True!

After trying so many different brands, I like my RS Superpots to be honest.

Jason
 

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