What are these pot values in my early 90's Les Paul Studio please?

Larry Mal

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Hello all- this is probably a simple question. What are the pot values on my early 90's Les Paul Studio? I seem to be reading that they would have been 300k on the volume pots and 500k with the tone, does anybody know for certain?

Thanks and happy New Year!

 

RocketKing

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Hmm... Might even be 300k all round.
You'll never really know unless you measure them.
True values typically differ from advertised spec.
I swapped out the harness from my traditional, spec says they were 500k all round.
They were way off in real life.
 

RocketKing

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Are those tone pots stock? Don't seem so to me... Has the guitar always been yours?
 

Larry Mal

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Hello- thanks for the reply.

No, I bought the guitar used, and I did put in the PIO caps, but that's all the wiring changes I've done. I don't know what those pots are or what value they have.

I always assumed they were stock, but I don't know.

It's kind of weird that they don't have the value on them, but I've never pulled them out any further to see if they might be on the other side, either.
 

AJK1

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Hello all- this is probably a simple question. What are the pot values on my early 90's Les Paul Studio? I seem to be reading that they would have been 300k on the volume pots and 500k with the tone, does anybody know for certain?

Thanks and happy New Year!

Why do you need to know ?
 

ARandall

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None of those pots are stock I'd guess.
I'm pretty sure much of the 90's era had pots with Gibson embossed on the base.

So its time to break out the multimeter.
 

CB91710

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And while you're in there, that copper tape isn't doing anything if it's not connected to the ground wire.
At least run a strip from the side to below the plate at one of the pots so the pot shaft can clamp it solidly.
Intermittent contact from the bridge ground can be worse than having no shielding.
 

MooCheng

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looks as if the tail from the tone cap' might be touching the grounded lug on the pot ( bottom right pot in the pic)
worth checking just in case


300k vol pots were very common back in the day,
maybe using 500k's for both vol and tone came about for simpler inventory and stock control
 

Larry Mal

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The shielding is all good- the body cavities have shielding paint in there, which I assumed had been done at the factory but now I'm wondering if that was done later when the pots were changed out.

That being said, though, the paint is old and spotty in places so there is room for improvement.

I had debated pulling the wiring and putting in more full shielding, although it's a quiet guitar now. But if I was doing that, I thought maybe I would make sure I had 500k pots all around. But there's no reason to replace pots that are already the correct value, so I thought to see what they are.

But it seems we don't know! The guitar sounds good, so I might leave it alone. Maybe the person who owned it before me already did that.

Kind of weird if they did... there was nothing about this guitar that indicated that it had been taken care of very well, among other things it had been left on a stand that melted some of the nitro on the back of the neck. Nothing I care about, it doesn't affect playability, but it's odd to think that someone would have been that sloppy and yet put in new pots and shielding paint.

There could have been more than one owner, of course. I got it in 2010 or so.
 

CB91710

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Measure and document what is in there.
"Correct" is what is correct to your ears and style... 500k pots will brighten the tone if you have 300k in there now.
It sounds great now... don't mess with it in the name of "correcting" a part that even Gibson was not consistent on.
 

Larry Mal

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Got you. I've replaced the electronics in various guitars and I know what the change will make- if there is a change. I was just curious what the values were if anyone knew.
 

HogmanA

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My early 90s lp standard (bought new) had/has 300k volumes, and I believe the tones were the same if I remember right, except they were all more like 270ohms.

The pots in mine were plain, unbranded cts, and there was the black paint from the factory in the cavities.
 

Larry Mal

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Thank you- that's great information there. I might invest in a new set of pots if I can't find the values. I'd like to brighten the guitar up a little bit if I can.

I see The Art of Tone sells a set of long shaft pots that are valued at 525k, with a +/- of 5%, so they'll be at least 500k according to them.

I may splurge on the $20, and give myself a little project. Get the shielding a little tighter. This is a guitar that I only use for recording, so it being as versatile and quiet as possible helps it compete with my other guitars.

I like it, though. Those 490r/498t pickups have really grown on me over the years, I know that not everyone likes them, but I've realized they are actually very cool pickups in their own way.
 

HogmanA

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I did replace all pots with 500k, push pulls on the tones for splitting.
I couldn't get on with the taper on the volumes though, so my neck volume is back to the original 300k pot for now.

I too really liked the 490/498t pickups. I still miss them, as I put in 4 conductor for splitting instead.

Some people are going to call me wrong, and I may well be! but I melted out most of the wax of the original 490/ 498s and they came alive, with something of a Fender edge to the sound, though still not microphonic.
Maybe it was really the de coupling of the cover?
Who knows?
 


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