Tried a no load tone pot

boola1

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I just installed a no load tone pot into my beloved Flying V.

The guitar didn't really get much brighter, it just changed in a way you would expect with a shorter signal path. The improvement in clarity, detail and harmonic content was surprisingly great.

I highly recommend this to the kind of person who appreciates short signal paths/ going straight into an amp.

Tomorrow night the R8 will get the same treatment!

Here's a pic because pics make threads better :) 1994 Flying V, the best guitar ever (probably).

388616
 

freefrog

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+1 about the tonal benefit of no load tone pots: I've such controls in various guitars (including my own Gibby V) and that's something that I'd recommend too. :)
 

ARandall

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The changes you note is just what I would describe as 'brighter'

And the signal path is just the same length. The tone a is parallel path to ground, not a series connection that your signal ever goes through.
 

boola1

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The changes you note is just what I would describe as 'brighter'

And the signal path is just the same length. The tone a is parallel path to ground, not a series connection that your signal ever goes through.
I don't think it's what most people describe as brighter. To me, brighter means less bass and more treble which is really not what I was trying to describe.

The signal path is shorter. It goes just through a volume pot rather than a tone pot + a capacitor.
 

ARandall

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Your signal never goes through the cap and the tone pot.....ever. You will get more signal though the volume pot with no tone circuit in there.The tone circuit is simply a parallel load on the pickup. Remove it and effectively the pickup will produce more signal. Turn the tone down and you filter out more above the shelf frequency as well as a greater load on the pickup as well.
But the path the signal that forms your guitar tone out of the speaker is no shorter or longer than before.
 

Stevie 202

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Always been a big fan of them.
I put them on my Fenders but I’ve never tried one on an LP :hmm:
 

Tweeedman

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The tone pot is not in the signal path, that means it is not between the pickup and the amp. It is a parallell circuit that bleeds off more or less treble to ground. So it affects the signal and sound, but it's noth in the real signal path.

Rolf
 

sonar

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Yes, it’s the load that effects the signal. Kind of self-explanatory.

I like no load pots on Gretsch guitars with tone controls, less so on Gibson style Humbucker pickup guitars.

btw, you can easily Diy a CTS pot to be no load.
 

KelvinS1965

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I recently re-wired my Telecaster as an Esquire and this gives the 3 way switch a choice between volume and tone knob (250K and 0.022uF in this case) or volume only (ie like a no-load tone pot). I was surprised how much brighter the volume only option sounds. I tried no load tone pots in my Strat, but found it made it too bright, so did another mod to put a mid boost kit in it instead, I guess that's another story though.

Keep meaning to try a 0.015uF tone cap in my Epi LP (which has Bareknuckle Mules and CTS pots with 50s wiring), just in the neck position. I ordered some Orange drop caps of different values for the Esquire project above, but will do a temp fix to try and compare in the LP.

Pots and caps are cheap enough changes if you can solder yourself, so it's worth an experiment.
 

cnote

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A push pull on the tone to take it out the circuit completely is very useful. You can just go from your favorite tone setting to out of the circuit with a quick movement.

I like rolling the tone all the way off, using a .01uf cap to get the resonant peak to shift down and boost the mids a bit. Then, go from rolled off/mid-boost to out of the circuit with a pull of the pot.

This way you can also really hear instantaneously the difference. In a word, more.
 

boola1

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A push pull on the tone to take it out the circuit completely is very useful. You can just go from your favorite tone setting to out of the circuit with a quick movement.

I like rolling the tone all the way off, using a .01uf cap to get the resonant peak to shift down and boost the mids a bit. Then, go from rolled off/mid-boost to out of the circuit with a pull of the pot.

This way you can also really hear instantaneously the difference. In a word, more.
I had some no-load pots spare, otherwise I think I would've gone with push-pull.

Anyway, I have put no-load pots into my R8. I'm happy with the results.

For those that care about these things (not me), this mod adds brightness that is missing from the custombuckers if you're looking for a more a more authentic PAF sound.

If you play clean, this mod is a no-brainer IMO, it 's a great improvement. I was a bit worried it might be overly bright with my Marshalls - this is where push-pulls would be great - but it's not the case. I must say that my R8 is quite a dark and fat sounding guitar, it might not work for everyone for higher gain stuff.

Here's how the guitar looks with the new pots ;)

393304
 

DHart

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Don't buy no load tone pots. Choose what value you want your pots to be, then make your own tone pots into No-Load pots. Takes about 2 minutes and is soooo easy to do.

Pry up the four prongs holding the pot together and lift off sleeve and cover


turn over the piece with the terminals and track on it and, with a razor blade, gently scrape off the black surface in the area indicated by the pointer in the photo below. Just remove a small section where indicated - that's where the wiper sits when the pot is turned up to "10".


In this photo, I have already scraped the track clean where indicated. This is what the track should look like when made into a No-Load tone pot!


Put back together, test it to confirm with a VOM (slowly dialing the pot from 10 down to 0) and you're ready to use your No-Load tone pot!

I use No-Load tone pots in all of my Fenders and on the Neck tone pot of my Gibsons. Makes a world of wonderful difference! Try it - you'll like it!
 
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boola1

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Don't buy no load tone pots. Choose what value you want your pots to be, then make your own tone pots into No-Load pots. Takes about 2 minutes and is soooo easy to do.
The problem with doing this is that you reduce the range of your pot.

For example, if the pot was 500k, you'll reduce it's max resistance to ~400k.

If you buy a 500k no load tone pot, the taper starts at 500k, just like a regular pot.
 

DHart

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The problem with doing this is that you reduce the range of your pot.

For example, if the pot was 500k, you'll reduce it's max resistance to ~400k.

If you buy a 500k no load tone pot, the taper starts at 500k, just like a regular pot.
It's a non-issue. After conversion to No-Load, my 530k tone pot goes from No-Load state to 510k . Not a problem whatsoever. Try hearing the difference between 530k and 510k on a tone pot. :laugh2: Your ears are not that sensitive.
 

boola1

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It's a non-issue. After conversion to No-Load, my 530k tone pot goes from No-Load state to 510k . Not a problem whatsoever. Try hearing the difference between 530k and 510k on a tone pot. :laugh2: Your ears are not that sensitive.
OK fair enough, I assumed it would take more off but that was an assumption.
 

sonar

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OK fair enough, I assumed it would take more off but that was an assumption.
Yeah, my resistance kicks in around 480k with my diy no-tone pot. Unfortunately, I didn't read original load, but it was a standard CTS, +\- 10% spec'd pot.
 

Stevie 202

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I prefer to buy them ‘cause they have that little ‘detente’ when the pot cuts out.
 

freefrog

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Yes, no load pots are easy to obtain from regular pots visited by a cutter. :)

FWIW, Fender TBX controls include a no load 250k side with center detent AND a 1M side ready to welcome addtional components (not limited to the resistors shown in the stock Fender schematic: this 1M side can be used to add parallel pickups, coils, passive diodes circuits, inductors and/or capacitors, and even to create a series/parallel connection: imagination is the only limit here when it comes to obtain new tones to such a "special" tone control).
 

DHart

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Yes, no load pots are easy to obtain from regular pots visited by a cutter. :)

FWIW, Fender TBX controls include a no load 250k side with center detent AND a 1M side ready to welcome addtional components (not limited to the resistors shown in the stock Fender schematic: this 1M side can be used to add parallel pickups, coils, passive diodes circuits, inductors and/or capacitors, and even to create a series/parallel connection: imagination is the only limit here when it comes to obtain new tones to such a "special" tone control).
Getting up into the wild wiring zone now... above my experience level! o_O
 




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