Shame on you Gibson. Shame.

KenG

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Back to pots and caps

I love watching Peter Green, Eric Clapton and others - when they are playing they are using the middle pickup selector and rolling volume back and forth to express the music they are playing even more

When I started trying to emulate the tone they were getting [tone=for want of a better word] I found when rolling off the volume it would dive... it took me a while to research why this was happening - leading me to this forum funnily enough.

Once I bought a soldering iron and started pulling pots I did find that the CTS pots even had different ranges, so matching them up really does make sense for example, say one volume pot reads 510 and the other 370 [it does happen] you'll find the tolerences are messed up enough to cause irritation at the most I guess, that's what I found.

So I started matching tolerences with volume pots and found that when they are very close the adjustment I make when playing are consistent.

I guess this is what we are looking for = consistency.

I probably would have easily spent 50 - 100 dollars on pots in the end, from Ebay and stewmac etc.. so to find someone who specializes in them and is matching them up etc, and providing the readings, to me is enticing. Certainly with capacitors too already soldered is just easy - specially if recommended - personally I do a lot of soldering myself these days - but for the person who buys stuff cheap they might find it hard going and end up making a mess [I know I did at first] - also caps is a subjective thing , I had the Russian caps and they were great, in the end I went for the repro bumble bees - same tone, but I admit I thought I was getting a real reproduction, not an encased 5cent cap... but that's another topic :)

Tone pots i'm not to fussed about, as I rarely touch them, but I can see that some people would want both pots on a Les Paul tone controls to be matched - makes sense to me.

Does Gibson tightly tolerate the pots they wack in?
1st of all a 500K pot will have a tolerance rating on it 5%, 10%, or 20% typcially . In the old days the tolerances would likely less stringent due to manufacturing processes (ie more drift from the ideal). With today's modern processes, ISO certification and qualification testing done it's unlikely there's much drift.
So that being said a 500K pot with 20% tolerance can range from 400K to 600K, with 10% it can range from 450K to 550K. With 5% it's 475K to 525K. If it's outside of thoser ranges it's defective, period.

Gibson should not have to screen electronic components, that is a component manufacturer's job and is a normal expectation in the industry (I know, I'm in the industry we make Miltary Communicatiosn Equipment and it has to perform with tight specifications).

I did a quick search and surprisingly the CS Models show 500K 5% tolerance in the specs. (Couldn't see anything on my quick look at the THs and I've no idea what was spec'ed in years past) But that is certainly a decent pot. as far as tolernace goes provided they come from a good manufacturer.
What they don't show is the taper! Example - CTS 450G series guitar pots have 8 options to choose from.
I'd suspect this is more important than actual resistance values for adjustment. Especially if you like the "middle" position as it puts all four controls (2 DC & 2 AC)in parallel! The volumes would be 250K DC resistance across the pickups instead of 500K (at full volume) and paralleling would reduce the amount of total deviation from the readings between the two controls.

In the good ole days there wasn't much control on amplifiers except by playing with the amp's panel mounted controls, so many guitars had to use the contrtols on their guitars because they had no other option.
Today you can do a lot with your feet as well with remote controls available.
The input impedance of the amplifier is important as well, it is in parallel with your guitars controls. If the amps impedance is much greater than 1Mohm (solid state input) the effect of the controls will be different that of a old style tube amp that often has DC load across the input of a few hundred Kohm to 1Mohm.
 

freebyrd 69

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Ok. Admit it. You just pulled that percentage outta your butt, right? I mean, like I'm 89% sure you did...

Over the last 5 years alone, I have probably owned close to 60 Les Paul's....all Custom Shop. CC's, R8's, R9's, R0's, R7's, artist runs, etc.. I will be the first to tell you I'm not the greatest player, but, I do gig regularly, and I use them.

So as far as coming up with percentages via anal extraction, I'll leave it for you to decide who's guilty on that one. :laugh2::wave:
 

guitarcase

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It's both ,imo . a 10% tolerance can be substantial on a 500K pot . 50Ks either way . I can hear the difference of a pot that far out. Imo big difference in sound between 550K and 500K .
I don't recall seeing many as far out of spec as 350K-400K from Gibson in the last few years .And not since using 550K pots . IIRC there was a time when the tolerance used was 20% . that's a HUGE gap ,that leaves built in room for Junky pots.

Quality Control is and still is an issue with Gibson's pots , , It's improved the last few years , But some pots still get through that have that "dreaded Bump" at about 8 1/2 - 9 . Which ,IMO sucks . Worth spending $10.00 to replace the pot and get a better made quality controlled (watched) pot .
Consider turning torque as 1 of the QC /spec'd issues too . Gibson ,until very recently wasn't so good ,imo . All pots are not made the same even when their Ohms #'s are similar .



Fenn , Some Don't / can't, or don't have the tools on hand for the job and might never get soldering skills to the point where it's good enough ,or are not so inclined to do work like this . Best thing , least costly thing for them is to just buy a pre-made harness . Add up all the costs to get set up and then buy all the parts needed , It's more then $80.00 + time lost + parts used getting to the point of having a harness that could go into the guitar 1st.

After spending K's on the guitar , then New Pups. And Then Starting trying to learn to solder ? when all they want (most times) is to play the damn guitar .
After getting all the Plastics changed to the "correct 1's " that is :lol:

Alpha Pots =generally suck:laugh2:
So if you can't solder, how do you attach pups to the pre made harness ? Pay a tech. Change pickups, pay a tech. Good cts pots within tolerance are nowhere near 80 bucks, and you still have to take old harness out and put in new. You also need time to take your guitar to the tech and lose it for a few days. So where does least costly come from? Soldering is not replacing frets. It's quite easy in the scheme of things. So learn to solder on some old pots and save money for all the future pickup changes etc. That is the least costly in time and money other than leaving guitar stock.
 

guitarcase

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Here is your first problem...."harness hype is one of the biggest snake oils in the aftermarket business". Insulting.

"some people claiming that 10% tolerance makes a huge difference? Nah, not to me at least". Well if it does to others, they are wrong?

" I really do think that most people do not use all 10 notches on a tone knob, if you can get three or maybe four usable positions over a tone knobs range, that would cover most peoples needs for sure."

Where is your poll on this? I use mine.....all 10 positions, quite frequently. But because YOU don't, then neither do most, right? WRONG. I will also counter that most people who don't use the majority of the tone knob sweep aren't the one's buying the harness's.



"I wasn´t referring to the vendors products, it´s more the customers reactions that to me sound like they´ve been snakeoiled (no matter if they put the idea into their own heads or the seller did)."

The definition of getting "snakeoiled" is getting scammed, or suckered. If a customer hears a distinguishable difference, and is happy with the price and service where he got the product that did that for him/her, then they have not been "snakeoiled".



"What bothers me is that stock harness is crap and xxx product is heavenly.".

Why does that bother you? I know within 10 seconds of plugging in a given guitar if the harness is crap or not. I do try them, and if you read MY post, I have stated that about 40% of stock Gibby's are just fine. But, maybe you have a reading problem. :laugh2:

The OP has a good point. Again, to that end, I would say, why are some factory guitars just fine, and others completely useless concerning harness's? If some are so good, it can't mean they are using cheap crap to assemble them, can it? All I know is, my MSSC products have worked 100% right. Before I started dealing with Martin, I used RS guitar works...same thing, every one perfect. So...........
Soooo. If your stock harness is in tolerance, what makes a better harness? If your pots are slightly under value, it does not screw up your tone. It can actually make it better depending on the guitar itself and the pickups. I'm am baffled by people like yourself a who think if it's dead on 500k it's perfect and under 10% under or over is crap.
 

jenton70

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I'd like to please combine this thread with one on "is relic cool or not"?
 

Crotch

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I'd like to please combine this thread with one on "is relic cool or not"?
Also is there a difference in tone between maple and rosewood fretboards :thumb:

Sub Cat. "The good wood years"
 

freebyrd 69

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So if you can't solder, how do you attach pups to the pre made harness ? Pay a tech. Change pickups, pay a tech. Good cts pots within tolerance are nowhere near 80 bucks, and you still have to take old harness out and put in new. You also need time to take your guitar to the tech and lose it for a few days. So where does least costly come from? Soldering is not replacing frets. It's quite easy in the scheme of things. So learn to solder on some old pots and save money for all the future pickup changes etc. That is the least costly in time and money other than leaving guitar stock.
Soooo. If your stock harness is in tolerance, what makes a better harness? If your pots are slightly under value, it does not screw up your tone. It can actually make it better depending on the guitar itself and the pickups. I'm am baffled by people like yourself a who think if it's dead on 500k it's perfect and under 10% under or over is crap.
First off, i have zero desire to learn how to solder. My tech is local and reasonable. Same day if i need it. Yes, I pay him to swap harness's, pickups, setups, whatever i need done. I have worked with him long enough, he knows what i want. Again, as far as soldering goes, I don't want to screw with it, easy to you, great, not to me. I race motocross. Jump on my bike sometime. There is a 50' double jump at my local track......it's easy. I can do it with my eyes closed. Care to try it?

Second....I don't even know what you are talking about with pots being under value or dead on 500k, so please spare the "people like yourself" comments. I am not one of those people who care how the watch is built....i just want it to let me know WTF time it is.

All i DO know is, about 4/10 of my Gibson's don't sweep evenly on the volume and tone pots. Many times they are dead on volume from 0-6, and from 9-10 is a ridiculous jump. Same with the tone pots. When I put a new harness in, low and behold, problem solved. I don't care why or how.
 

bossaddict

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I'd like to please combine this thread with one on "is relic cool or not"?
I propose a whole new subforum called...

Things You Don't "Get"

Topics to be discussed: relic/aging, aftermarket plastics, harnesses, etc.

Also is there a difference in tone between maple and rosewood fretboards :thumb:

Sub Cat. "The good wood years"
There are no good wood years.

Only one. It's 2007.

:laugh2:
 

Crotch

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Please don't make me start posting Scott Grove videos
 

KenG

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First off, i have zero desire to learn how to solder. My tech is local and reasonable. Same day if i need it. Yes, I pay him to swap harness's, pickups, setups, whatever i need done. I have worked with him long enough, he knows what i want. Again, as far as soldering goes, I don't want to screw with it, easy to you, great, not to me. I race motocross. Jump on my bike sometime. There is a 50' double jump at my local track......it's easy. I can do it with my eyes closed. Care to try it?

Second....I don't even know what you are talking about with pots being under value or dead on 500k, so please spare the "people like yourself" comments. I am not one of those people who care how the watch is built....i just want it to let me know WTF time it is.

All i DO know is, about 4/10 of my Gibson's don't sweep evenly on the volume and tone pots. Many times they are dead on volume from 0-6, and from 9-10 is a ridiculous jump. Same with the tone pots. When I put a new harness in, low and behold, problem solved. I don't care why or how.

As I mentioned earlier this may be the aftermarket harnesses have a different taper chosen that works better for "fiddlers" than whatever Gibson chooses.

It would be interesting to check a few Gibson pots out. All you'd need to do is map out the taper by slowly incrementing the control while measuring the resistance. I wonder if anyone has done this?
 

freebyrd 69

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As I mentioned earlier this may be the aftermarket harnesses have a different taper chosen that works better for "fiddlers" than whatever Gibson chooses.

It would be interesting to check a few Gibson pots out. All you'd need to do is map out the taper by slowly incrementing the control while measuring the resistance. I wonder if anyone has done this?
I hear you. I can tell you who won't be doing it! :laugh2:
 

calieng

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Wow...I got through all this back and forth and all I can say is seriously? $250 for 4 pots and two caps.

If your pot measures well below 500k or the taper is not what you like then go spend $5 for a good CTS pot. And the Orange Drops or Mallory 150 caps for a buck each sound just as good as anything I have heard.

I own 6 True Historics and none of them need anything changed save the pickups simply for personal preference. But the Custombuckers are fine. I just prefer Throbak, Wizz and OX4. If I have a pot go bad I'll spend $5 to fix it.

Here's one interesting article from a few years ago...

http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/auditioning-tone-capacitors-part-ii-1
 

KenG

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Wow...I got through all this back and forth and all I can say is seriously? $250 for 4 pots and two caps.

If your pot measures well below 500k or the taper is not what you like then go spend $5 for a good CTS pot. And the Orange Drops or Mallory 150 caps for a buck each sound just as good as anything I have heard.

I own 6 True Historics and none of them need anything changed save the pickups simply for personal preference. But the Custombuckers are fine. I just prefer Throbak, Wizz and OX4. If I have a pot go bad I'll spend $5 to fix it.

Here's one interesting article from a few years ago...

Auditioning Tone Capacitors, Part II

Hey people have spent big bucks on plastics, aged tuners or PUs whose main claim to fame over others is the shape of the corners on the PU cover!
Different strokes.
 

tdarian

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Wow...I got through all this back and forth and all I can say is seriously? $250 for 4 pots and two caps.

If your pot measures well below 500k or the taper is not what you like then go spend $5 for a good CTS pot. And the Orange Drops or Mallory 150 caps for a buck each sound just as good as anything I have heard.

I own 6 True Historics and none of them need anything changed save the pickups simply for personal preference. But the Custombuckers are fine. I just prefer Throbak, Wizz and OX4. If I have a pot go bad I'll spend $5 to fix it.

Here's one interesting article from a few years ago...

Auditioning Tone Capacitors, Part II
A guy who owns 6 True Historics is questioning the concept of over spending?
 

FKO

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Wow...I got through all this back and forth and all I can say is seriously? $250 for 4 pots and two caps.

If your pot measures well below 500k or the taper is not what you like then go spend $5 for a good CTS pot. And the Orange Drops or Mallory 150 caps for a buck each sound just as good as anything I have heard.

I own 6 True Historics and none of them need anything changed save the pickups simply for personal preference. But the Custombuckers are fine. I just prefer Throbak, Wizz and OX4. If I have a pot go bad I'll spend $5 to fix it.

Here's one interesting article from a few years ago...

Auditioning Tone Capacitors, Part II

Have to applaud your first post entry:
Instead starting off with your 6 TH or boutique pickups experience; you start it off with a "$5 fix" :applause::laugh2:
 

calieng

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Here's your best capacitor for a Les Paul:

150223J630DB Cornell Dubilier - CDE | Mouser

Less than a buck if you buy it in quantity.

And the $5 Mojo pots look good with the brass shafts and C clips and apparently a decent taper.

Ya I would rather spend on the quality of the work done making a TH guitar than be fooled into spending $250 on $20 worth of parts that sits inside a control cavity!

There's a sucker born every minute I suppose...

Has anyone every clued into the fact that the guitar is an extension of your amplifier and amp builders all rave about Orange Drop and Mallory but no mention of PIO....wonder why. Because they are not as good.


P.S. The comment about 6 TH was just to say that after owning several I see no reason to change the electronics. I have not found any defective or out of spec parts. They are all consistently good. I bought them not for historical accuracy but I just happen to think they are the best Les Pauls Gibson has made. And thanks to a good dealer I got very good prices on them so the argument about them costing too much does not apply.

And for that matter I do not recall any issues with electronics on the Les Paul models I have owned from the last 10 years or so. That last time I actually needed to replace pots was those 330k long shafts from way back when...not sure when they stopped using them in early 2000's maybe?

I think the one big scam is Gibson's ridiculous price on aftermarket Bumblebee's. It borders on fraud. There is nothing wrong with these capacitors if they charge $5 each for them and say they look like the originals. They do work perfectly fine. But there is certainly no need to replace them.
 




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