Pots - change volume, tone, or both?

Musha Ring

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One of my Les Pauls recently had a set of Whole Lotta Humbuckers in it along with 500k pots all around. It seemed to suit because of the A5 mags I guess, and those pickups are a bit dark/lo-fi.

I recently swapped them for a set of 57 Classics and I find the bridge position a bit too bright. The neck is heavenly.

So my question is; should I swap just the bridge volume pot, just the bridge tone pot, or both - for maybe 350k - to take off some of the harsh brightness? I don't want it dark, but I don't like always having to turn down my tone knob with it being as bright as it currently is.

Any suggestions?
 

ARandall

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I mean your controls are there for a reason. Why is there such an issue with using them for their express purpose in being fitted in the first place.
And unless you fluke the ideal brightness with your new pot values you'll be doing the same thing afterwards too.

The volume pot value interacts with the pickup to change its response over all frequencies (but with the most effect being in the higher registers). So there is a fundamental response shift with the pickup that you cannot compensate for using passive tone controls.
The tone pot is merely a filter - so 350K at 10 or turning down the pot down to 7 to get to the same resistance makes no difference.
 

Musha Ring

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I mean your controls are there for a reason. Why is there such an issue with using them for their express purpose in being fitted in the first place.
And unless you fluke the ideal brightness with your new pot values you'll be doing the same thing afterwards too.

The volume pot value interacts with the pickup to change its response over all frequencies (but with the most effect being in the higher registers). So there is a fundamental response shift with the pickup that you cannot compensate for using passive tone controls.
The tone pot is merely a filter - so 350K at 10 or turning down the pot down to 7 to get to the same resistance makes no difference.

Well, I figured that would be the answer I would get. I just wondered if there was something else I could try as I don't always want the loss of fullness/change in sound that comes with rolling back the controls.
 

Roxy13

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Try the higher value cap first. It's easier to change a cap than the pot since the pot also involves the ground wire.
 

Roxy13

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Here is an inexpensive kit with several caps of different values and some alligator clips. This will let you easily try different cap values until you find the right one for your guitar and pickup:

 

JohnnyN

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You don't need to change the tone pot. You can convert a 500K pot to 300K by adding a 750K between hot (same lug as cap) and ground. Try with a 1M resistor, that will give you a 333K pot.
 

paul-e-mann

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One of my Les Pauls recently had a set of Whole Lotta Humbuckers in it along with 500k pots all around. It seemed to suit because of the A5 mags I guess, and those pickups are a bit dark/lo-fi.

I recently swapped them for a set of 57 Classics and I find the bridge position a bit too bright. The neck is heavenly.

So my question is; should I swap just the bridge volume pot, just the bridge tone pot, or both - for maybe 350k - to take off some of the harsh brightness? I don't want it dark, but I don't like always having to turn down my tone knob with it being as bright as it currently is.

Any suggestions?
Replace the volume pots with 330k, 57 Classics are awesome with the right pots.
 

GermHerm

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I use '57 and '57+ in two guitars (LP Custom '81 and Ibanez Artist '76). In both gutars I have 550k Vol and 500k Tone pots but 33nF capacitors instead of 22nF. This works fine for me.
I would not dampened the Pickup by changing the Vol pot to approx. 300k — you will loose the 'interesting' mids.
 

GBLEV

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There's a lot of great things mentioned here to try that should get you all kinds of results without having to change your pot. Do a little of all of them and don't stop tweaking until you get the sound you want. At least if you leave your 500k pot in, you will always have the extra treble response if you ever need it, or if your ears start to go bad from playing too loud ;)
 

IGRocker

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Keep in mind, changing the capacitor only affects the sound once you start to roll the tone down. At 10, it should not make a change if everything is in working order.
 

cooljuk

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If you like that dark neck pickup, you'll need a really dark bridge pickup, if you expect the two to balance each other in output and bass when your controls on 10. That limits you to how much treble and clarity you'll ever get our of the guitar in any rig / situation, though.

The neck sounds good now the way you have your rig dialed in, I understand. If the neck pickup was a cleaner and brighter design, and you adjusted your rig to compensate for that, would you end up with less noise and more of a detailed and interesting sound, when you brought our those mids and warmth you like? Just another way to approach it.
 

spudz

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You don't need to change the tone pot. You can convert a 500K pot to 300K by adding a 750K between hot (same lug as cap) and ground. Try with a 1M resistor, that will give you a 333K pot.
But that will change the taper of the pot (which may or may not suit you :)
 

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