Volume controls not working properly

shangp

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Hi,

Am new to the forum here. Thanks for all the great info posted. I've done some searching but couldn't find an answer to my question, so here is a new post.

I have an 89 LP custom black beauty, modified to 50s wiring. the volume controls for both neck and bridge pickups don't do much from 2 to 10 on the dial. but from 2 to 1 it goes from full volume to mute. I have read somewhere before that this is a common issue among some of the LPs. is that right? I used to own a 2001 standard and it didn't have this problem. How can I fix it so the volume control is more even from 1 to 10?

thanks all!

Mike
 

MJH

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There will be people here who can tell if there is a real issue with that guitar, but from personal experience I would say that actually the volume control on guitars doesn't seem to control much actual volume at the top end of the controls. Instead it tends to lower the gain in the tone, therefore leading into cleaning up the tone from distortion. When I roll the volume down on my guitars about half way, the volume itself is not really affected that much, but the gain in the tone tends to disappear (Note that this is much more evident in tube amps than in SS amps).
Do you get this with your LP, or is it simply that nothing happens when you roll back on it?
 

shangp

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thanks for the reply. yes, i have tried that and was hoping to control my gain with the volume knob as well, but nothing seems to happen when i roll back the volume, until it's almost down to 1, when it just cuts to mute. I have a tube amp as well (Peavey Classic 30).
 

MJH

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Sounds like there might be something wrong with the pots then. I'm guessing it can't be the wiring as it does still mute the guitar at nil setting.
Try searching for topics on cleaning pots, I think there will be loads. Otherwise you might have to just change them.
 

Jakeislove

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The pots may need cleaning or have been damaged when switching to 50's wiring. RS guitarworks and Jonesy are your friends.
 

dpgumby

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It sounds like it's wired up incorrectly to me.

We need pics of your control cavity to diagnose it though.
 

180gROC

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When I was doing a lot of pedal builds I read up on pot construction and how they taper the resistor material. It's not always an exact science. I managed to customize the taper on some pots that behaved the way you've described. In the end it was a ton easier just buying some better pots.

If it were me, I'd start by swapping out to some volume/tone pots from a reputable manufacturer. I'm pretty sure that would fix your problem
 

Raz59

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You seem to be describing linear taper pots...check out this video.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdfIZEB2rdM"]Comparing audio/linear tapers[/ame]

At 1:03 you can hear how all the action of a linear taper happens at the beginning of the rotation.
 

Mookakian

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Some new pots may help, but firs try this, might save some dough

Check no solder blobs are touching hot leads/lugs, but sounds like a grounding problem to me, those joins look a little scary too so id say bad earthing/short may be your problem.

Also check all pots to see you haven't had some solder run inside a pot as you made the joins, its a good idea to keep sloder joins to the back of pots away from the cases open seam where solder can melt and enter the delicate internals causing bad news.

If you have a multimeter you can check the taper of your pot, jonesy has a neat vid on how to here: http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/tonefreaks/92691-video-how-measure-total-resistance-potentiometer-multimeter.html

Hope that helps, wiring schematic looks fine, in this cavity...
 

eddie_bowers

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Try swapping your input/pickup and output/switch wires on the volume pots and see if it performs better.
You currently have it configured for "Independant" volume control which I have heard similar complaints about (but I have honestly never tried).
In fact, since your configuration has the caps on the input side, it's really "Modern wiring with Independant volume", swapping the input and output wires will put you in standard "50's" wiring (and the cap will be on the output going to the switch)
 

Mookakian

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Correct, you need to do a little wire shifting to obtain 50's style wiring



But this wont solve your problem, the effect this mod will have has more to do with retaining highs when you roll your volume back.

My money is on a short or wrong taper on the pots.
 

Mattdive

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From the photo, it looks like the solder on the back of the volume pots is discolored. This might result from a too-hot iron. If that's the case, you may have overheated the pots, causing damage. You may need to replace them. You could remove one and test it with a DMM to see what readings you get across the sweep.
 

shangp

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thanks all! looks like i've got some work to do. i will let you know how it works out. In the mean time i'm back to playing my made in mexico tele!
 

dpgumby

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Try swapping your input/pickup and output/switch wires on the volume pots and see if it performs better.
You currently have it configured for "Independant" volume control which I have heard similar complaints about (but I have honestly never tried).
In fact, since your configuration has the caps on the input side, it's really "Modern wiring with Independant volume", swapping the input and output wires will put you in standard "50's" wiring (and the cap will be on the output going to the switch)
From what I can see, I think this is correct. (To check - when you have your selector switch in the middle position, does turning down one volume kill both PUPs or just that one? If it just kills the one PUP, then it is wired as independent/modern; if it kills both, it is wired dependent/50s).

Dependent is bar far the most common wiring - so just swap the red and white wires over on the volume pots. Leave the caps connected where they are and you will end up with 50s/dependent. I wouldn't bother changing the cap wiring on the tone pots, that is just cosmetic.

I also agree with Raz59 - from you description I think you may well have linear vol pots. See if there is a code on the pots - A=Log (audio), B=Linear. If after doing the wiring checks/changes you still don't like the way the pots taper, then you could change them for audio tapers.
 


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