Top Secret Wiring of the Pros !

dpgumby

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The more technically minded of you guys may be very interested in this:

GuitarNutz 2 - GuitarFreak - guitar frequency response calculator

I don't know whether it's ever been posted before, but its a very interesting tool that you can download (free). Basically it shows you what effect changing values of components and different wiring configurations has on the frequency response of the guitar circuit. It includes both series and parallel treble bleed circuit options, so you can play with the values to see what it does. To understand its output though, you do have to:

(i) Be able to interpret a bode plot - that is not rocket science though; its just a graph of gain against log(frequency) (not as bad as it sounds)
But more problematic perhaps is that you then have to
(ii) Be able to predict what a particular response will sound like if you were to try it in the real world. I liken this to reading contours on a map - i.e. like visualising the landscape just from the paper - the more experience you have, the more accurate your guess will be.

Unfortunately, the tool does not have a 50s configuration option - I am thinking of modifying it to include this, as I'd like to see the curve so I can see why 50s sounds and behaves like it does, particularly how it compares against modern with a treble bleed. All very academic I realise, but I find it interesting and useful.

Oh, and Quill - the guy who wrote this tool reckons that (based on the curves this tool produces) the best treble bleed circuit is a combination series/parallel: a 33K resistor in series with a 0.68nF capacitor, all in parallel with (a 220K resistor and 0.33nF capacitor in parallel). This is all rather academic though, as he himself has never tried it, and neither have I, but as you're doing some experimenting.....
 

Ilya-v

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This thread is useless without sound clips - before and after.
What exactly do you want to hear?

How nice and smooth my volume taper is?
Or how the effect of the bleed cap is slowly diminishes when I smoothly roll the tone down ? :laugh2:

You already know that the bleed cap works.
You also know that a parallel resistor to the pot changes its taper.

Why do you need any further proof of those basic facts, when its been prooven a million times?

P.S.
I have tested the harness and it works great and sound great.
You don't have to wire yours this way, you can stick to the ol' 50's
wiring and a million $ Caps if works better for you. :thumb:

Million
 

Ilya-v

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R1 Taper resistor Test.

I measured every step (1-10) of the pot, then did a quick
precentage convertion of the max resistance and the steps resistance.

The result was this graph:


As you can see the Japanese Log pots from my Edwards behaving like your
typical "log" pot.
When I added a 220k (don't have 150k) resistor across the measured lugs
the result was closer to a linear pot.
As you can see on this graph, the resistor effected more the lower end of the pot 0-6.
 

siore

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This is really cool. Seems it's a good addition to the ways we can wire up our guitars. :cool: Would love to see others try it, and post results they hear.
 

Raz59

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R1 Taper resistor Test.

I measured every step (1-10) of the pot, then did a quick
precentage convertion of the max resistance and the steps resistance.

The result was this graph:


As you can see the Japanese Log pots from my Edwards behaving like your
typical "log" pot.
When I added a 220k (don't have 150k) resistor across the measured lugs
the result was closer to a linear pot.
As you can see on this graph, the resistor effected more the lower end of the pot 0-6.
You're really set on using a resistor to change the taper, aren't you? Personally, I'd rather do what dpgumby suggested: find a pot with a taper you like and then apply this new style of treble bleed.

The tone capacitor (C2) acts before the volume pot, so you won't have to worry about the funky taper variations and gain drops of 50's wiring.

I'll probably gives this concept a go in my stratocaster. What would be the ideal values for the treble bleeds? Considering that I'm using 250k audio pots, 47nF caps...

And to dpgumby: the author of the frequency response calculator did test 50's and modern wiring. He posted a few graphs and wrote his thoughts in this thread.
 

Ilya-v

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And to dpgumby: the author of the frequency response calculator did test 50's and modern wiring. He posted a few graphs and wrote his thoughts in this thread.
This is exactlly why I avoid 50's wiring like a plague. :D
And why Gibson left it in the 50's. :thumb:

I'll probably gives this concept a go in my stratocaster. What would be the ideal values for the treble bleeds? Considering that I'm using 250k audio pots, 47nF caps...
Great Raz59.

R2 and C2 have to go together in series.

The best value for R2 would be Half the pots value or a little higher
for the best and most balanced response over the entire frequency spectrum.


For 250k - 125k to 150k.
For 500k - 220k to say 330k.

If you like a little sharper sound when lowering the volume, Lower the resistor.
Or if you like the effect of the sound getting thiner with lowering the volume, leave R2 out.


A good starting value for C2 would be .001uF/1nF/1000pF.

Lowering the C2 value moves the bleed frquency higher resulting
in a sharper sound.

A typical 1000pF cap will bleed highs & a little of the mids too.
A 100pF cap will bleed only the very high frequencies.

The bigger cap will sound like a cocked wah pedal when on full.
The smaller will sound like a mosquito.
(This is without R2 to balance thigs out.)

Cheers.
 

dpgumby

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And to dpgumby: the author of the frequency response calculator did test 50's and modern wiring. He posted a few graphs and wrote his thoughts in this thread.
Thanks Raz59, that's a great piece - the guy has gone into this in a lot of depth, and I'm glad to see that what he says pretty much backs up the conclusions I have come to regarding modern/50s wiring - following my own practical experience, and what I can remember of my theory.
 

dpgumby

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I'll probably gives this concept a go in my stratocaster. What would be the ideal values for the treble bleeds? Considering that I'm using 250k audio pots, 47nF caps...

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Raz59, I think Ilya-v's suggestions are a good starting point .

To tune it up I suggest the method I used - for R2 I wired in a spare tone pot I had as a variable resistor, and I just used two 1nF caps, and I tried them in series (500pF) in parallel (2nF) and one on its own - if you've got more caps to choose from you will have more options.

I messed around with this arrangement and tweaked it until I found a good sounding value (based on sweeping the volume pot with the tone at various settings), then put in fixed components closest to the best set up I found.
 

redlir

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What is up with the "this thread is useless without soundclips" crap.

Get out a soldering iron and make the 2 minute mod. See what it does for YOUR ears in YOUR environment with YOUR gear. Make your own mind up.
 

Raz59

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Raz59, I think Ilya-v's suggestions are a good starting point .

To tune it up I suggest the method I used - for R2 I wired in a spare tone pot I had as a variable resistor, and I just used two 1nF caps, and I tried them in series (500pF) in parallel (2nF) and one on its own - if you've got more caps to choose from you will have more options.

I messed around with this arrangement and tweaked it until I found a good sounding value (based on sweeping the volume pot with the tone at various settings), then put in fixed components closest to the best set up I found.
Ah! Yes, very ingenuous, using a potentiometer to vary the resistance of R2!
I've been thinking also of using a linear trimpot and add that between the volume pot and its ground lug to see which value sounds best, but that's another side-project.

I lucked out and found a 150k resistor (brown, green, yellow), but the capacitor is going to be troublesome...the lowest values I have here are 10nF and 33nF, putting them in series would give me 7.8nF which is well above the suggested 1nF.

This will have to wait a few days until I buy some more capacitors from the local electronics shop.

Thanks for the info!
 

Ilya-v

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What is up with the "this thread is useless without soundclips" crap.
Some people just too opinionated and biased (too brainwashed) to try something new even if its better.



Korus, I think you should join now since you've been away for few days.

This should be fun. :D
 

korus

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sorry I'm a bit late for the party... but better late then never

Raz59, I think Ilya-v's suggestions are a good starting point .

To tune it up I suggest the method I used - for R2 I wired in a spare tone pot I had as a variable resistor, and I just used two 1nF caps, and I tried them in series (500pF) in parallel (2nF) and one on its own - if you've got more caps to choose from you will have more options.

I messed around with this arrangement and tweaked it until I found a good sounding value (based on sweeping the volume pot with the tone at various settings), then put in fixed components closest to the best set up I found.
For the testing purposes instead of one fixed value cap I usually connect Super/Mega switch (4P5T) connecting 5 different values e.g. caps. Working with pot/trim pot instead of one/fixed value resistor this can help fine tune values for R2 and C2 relatively fast.

This solution promises a lot on paper, but now I have to hear it through my rig, and A/B it with my current series treble bypass/bleed. Be back ASAP.
 

Quill

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Just a thought about the soundclips: there have been a few posts (the thread is around in here somewhere) people put up that compared the results of the same guitar and components all connected "modern" style with that of "50's" style; I guess the point there was to show the difference with the pots wide open and rolled back. And it was helpful for some people - lots of people could hear a difference between "modern" and "50's" in those clips, enough to want to try the comparison for themselves. So, you know ... it's really just a case of being a bit spoiled! :laugh2:

But there is no way to demonstrate the difference in taper, the way it feels in the hands, and for me, that's the key thing - I love to sit at my table and try out caps of different materials and this or that type of potentiometer, as well as different ways of connecting them (when I have time for that sort of tomfoolery), but what matters to me when I'm actually playing some music is how the taper works, both on the volume and on the tone pots, and how they interact with the pickup-switch settings. We can always work the actual tone of the guitar to suit the room we are in and the other musicians we're working with, but if the pots have a tricky volume jump in them, or they're too slow to respond or too fast for what we want to do with the guitar, then it's a struggle.

And how a wiring scheme works in one guitar can be very different from how it works in another guitar, for all kinds of reasons.

The last wiring set-up I tried was the Black Rose scheme (it's in the Wiring Library thread), and while I really liked the sound of that wiring, with the parts I have, I didn't care for the way it felt in my guitar. So it's pretty cool to have these new options - and there seem to be a lot of ways to tune up the harness in the wiring schemes detailed here. Especially the bits about adjusting the taper - that's very interesting.
 

Ilya-v

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Quill:
Agreed about the sound clips, but i think its better just to try it like redlir sayed.
Its basicaly just a modern wiring with tone dependent bypass cap and modded vol taper.

*
As far as i'm concerned black rose wiring is just a basic modern wiring.
I can ground my tone cap to my low E string and call it Ilya-v wiring :D.

korus:
Damn, your ASAP takes to long. :)
 

MrRhoads

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Some people just too opinionated and biased (too brainwashed) to try something new even if its better.



Korus, I think you should join now since you've been away for few days.

This should be fun. :D
It´s always nice to see people posting a video were they demonstrate their wiring and shows how it sounds and work.
And also, don´t you think that it would have been cool if would have done a video demonstration of it?
It would have been apreciated :)
 

korus

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Quill:
Agreed about the sound clips, but i think its better just to try it like redlir sayed.
Its basicaly just a modern wiring with tone dependent bypass cap and modded vol taper.

*
As far as i'm concerned black rose wiring is just a basic modern wiring.
I can ground my tone cap to my low E string and call it Ilya-v wiring :D.

korus:
Damn, your ASAP takes to long. :)
Ok, first - test rig. Tested in MIJ LP copy, SD JB in bridge, Ibanez Super70 in neck. Vol pots RS Superpots (so no R1 for altered vol taper), tone pots CTS 500k audio taper from RS. Tone caps cheapo ceramic 22nF, treble bleeds R2=220k for both, C2 for bridge 180pF, C2 for neck 330pF, treble bleeds IN SERIES (some mosquitos, lol). Fender Hot Rod DeVille modded for almost no clipping on clean channel when cranked, some Planet Wave cables ...

First impression : while I did not played at full volume neither clean nor dirty, I'm positive there is some improvement when compared with regular treble bleed in series - highs are more consistent through usable vol pot range (1.5-10 on RS Superpot). My only issue with simple bleed in series is - if you adjust values of R2 and C2 so that highs are the same for volume on 10 and on 2 then highs in range ~ 4-8 are lower, they drop a little. This dependent modification makes that drop smaller, or at least it looks/sounds like that to me after this first test. Whether I like the effect of this modification when tone is on 0 - tomorrow I'll be able to crank it up, and also test this wiring in some proper Rx LP with PIOs ... so more to come

Ilya-v, you're right, this might be the end of search for optimal wiring regarding these 'trivial' guitar controls and bleeds ... at least for me. I was already pretty much solved with simple treble bleed in series, but this is most probably even better. Sure need to check it on single coils (Tele and Strat) also, some other valve amps ...

Stay tuned, I will stay tuned also ...

note: regarding sound clips - I'm currently trying to make some proper environment for my friend and tech, (we are trying different setups), and his demo video clips - guitars, pickups, pedals ... so once we make it right I'll use it for these various wiring demos. I do hope it will be in a week or two ...
While I agree that one should play it (any mod, wiring included) since every signal chain (both guitar AND player included) is different, clips can push a player to experiment with new things he would not even try without them (clips).
 

korus

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Tested it cranked.

Ilya-v: yes, you are right. I agree to

Treble loss by lowering volume? FIXED.
Weird Volume & Tone interaction (50's wiring)? FIXED.
Volume does nothing below/above/between X (Taper problems)? FIXED.
Still too bright (Sheen) when lowering the tone pot with the regular Treble Bleed method? FIXED.

completely. This is the best treble preserving wiring so far.
Treble bleed of cap and res in series was not bad at all. But this alteration ironed out even those rather small issues series treble bleed have. That 'tapering' of treble bypass with unused part of tone pot is a strike of genius. It really made series treble bleed really consistent throughout the whole vol pot's range. And you're right also regarding no additional treble with tone pot on 0.

Now, PITA part is that there are at least 4 guitars I have to adopt this into ... But it's worth it.

Regarding altering vol pot's audio taper with resistor I'll try to find my excel file I made couple of years ago ... might be useful to someone.

OTOH I doubt that many will even try this. Guitarists and luthiers are very conservative part of human population. Guitar making companies even more so. But we should try to spread the word, regardless. At least I will, with all the honorable mention of people involved.

I am sure that this info should be made 'sticky', but OTOH the new thread named something like 'Treble bleed/bypass in guitar wiring - everything there is to know about' would stand a better chance. I am kind of half way there to start one like that, and yes - with clips. It will take some time though to make it right ... so, we'll see.
 

Raz59

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OTOH I doubt that many will even try this. Guitarists and luthiers are very conservative part of human population. Guitar making companies even more so. But we should try to spread the word, regardless. At least I will, with all the honorable mention of people involved.
It's not just being conservative, it's the romance behind the concept of using something that the rockstars of the 50's/60's used. The fact that it uses two extra components is enough the scare away the less savvy and the companies that care most about profit, even if it turns both controls into true tone/volume controls.

After that lengthy report, I personally can't wait to try it in my strat. I don't think it'll be feasible in my Les Paul, the wiring there is already a finely tuned beast, having normal treble bleeds as an essential part.
 


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