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Author Topic: Noob question - 500K pots  (Read 5270 times)

ailean

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Noob question - 500K pots
« on: August 26, 2007, 09:58:17 PM »
I saw a discussion in another thread about using 500k pots instead of 300k pots, however I couldn't discern what effect this would have. How does changing the resistance of the pots effect the sound (i assume we are talking tone pots and not the volume).

How much of a difference is +/- 200k going to make? And what is the effect?

On that same theme.. what are caps used for? I know what they are used for on a circuit board, but I can't see how it applies to tone.
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HTH AMPS

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2007, 10:12:31 PM »
People generally change the value of the volume pot.  Increasing the resistence value will give a brighter edge to your tone.  I find 300k pots with humbucker too mushy - 500k is perfect.

 :twisted:

smudger123

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Re: Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2007, 09:25:44 AM »
Quote from: ailean
I saw a discussion in another thread about using 500k pots instead of 300k pots, however I couldn't discern what effect this would have. How does changing the resistance of the pots effect the sound (i assume we are talking tone pots and not the volume).


I have a simlilar question, I want to fit a dual concentric tone pot to my American series Tele fitted with country boys to give me independant control over the tone on the neck and bridge. As I have a 500k unit lying around in a draw that I was going to use on a humbucker guitar, what would be the implication of using 500k tone pots rather than the 250k fitted as standard to the tele?
Bare Knuckle Pickups:- Country Boy set, Mule Bridge, Stormy Monday Neck, Riff Raff set.

maverickf1jockey

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2007, 10:01:39 AM »
Do NOT do that. Teles are bright at the best of times and upping the pots would be very unnecessary and the sound would probably be unmanageable.
Your guitar would probably end up sounding like fingernails down a chalkboard.
I too use chicken as a measurement.

ailean

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2007, 10:08:52 AM »
Ok, that pretty much answers my question about the pots, but what about caps? What is their role in the electrics?
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maverickf1jockey

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2007, 10:19:27 AM »
I've been curious about that too...
I too use chicken as a measurement.

Philly Q

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2007, 12:01:00 PM »
The value of the capacitor determines how much treble/brightness will be rolled off by the tone control.

The higher the cap value, the darker the tone will get when the tone control is turned down. The cap on old Strats and Teles was 0.1mF (so they could get really muddy), later ones had 0.047mF, most new guitars use 0.022mF as standard.  

When the tone control is on 10, the value of the capacitor has very little effect, but it does have some effect as the cap is still part of the circuit.

The construction of the cap also has an effect.  You can get anything from ceramic caps which cost a few pence, to polypropylene Sprague Orange Drops, to Hovlands which are about 10-15 quid each, to vintage paper-in-oil caps which cost a fortune.  

It's worth experimenting with different values of caps, but try the cheap ones before shelling out big bucks!
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ailean

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2007, 12:05:31 PM »
Great answer, thanks Philly!
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HTH AMPS

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Re: Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2007, 12:15:13 PM »
Quote from: smudger123


I want to fit a dual concentric tone pot to my American series Tele fitted with country boys to give me independant control over the tone on the neck and bridge. As I have a 500k unit lying around in a draw that I was going to use on a humbucker guitar, what would be the implication of using 500k tone pots rather than the 250k fitted as standard to the tele?


It'd make 'em brighter for sure at 500k.  Simple solution... solder a 500k resistor across the pot to bring it down to 250k and you're sorted.

 :twisted:

_tom_

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2007, 12:21:23 PM »
Well this is on topic so I hope you dont mind me semi-hijacking this thread a bit, if you do mind I'll edit/delete my post :P

I've notced that my les paul is actually much brighter than my strat (must be the BKs with scatterwinding?), I guess the strat just has dark pickups (bg pickups v60). Is it worth changing the strats volume pot to 500k to brighten it up a bit? Or would I be better off changing the tone pots to 500k?

smudger123

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2007, 12:38:34 PM »
Quote from: maverickf1jockey
Do NOT do that. Teles are bright at the best of times and upping the pots would be very unnecessary and the sound would probably be unmanageable.
Your guitar would probably end up sounding like fingernails down a chalkboard.


OK rather than moding the pot does anyone know where I could buy a 250k concentric tone pot from?
Bare Knuckle Pickups:- Country Boy set, Mule Bridge, Stormy Monday Neck, Riff Raff set.

smudger123

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2007, 03:04:40 PM »
Quote from: maverickf1jockey
Do NOT do that. Teles are bright at the best of times and upping the pots would be very unnecessary and the sound would probably be unmanageable.
Your guitar would probably end up sounding like fingernails down a chalkboard.


I've been thinking about this and I'm a little confused. The American series tele has a 'deltatone' tone pot which has a notch in the control when tone is in the 12 o'clock position. This effectively by passes the tone pot. Would a 500k pot be brighter than by passing the 250k tone pot?
Bare Knuckle Pickups:- Country Boy set, Mule Bridge, Stormy Monday Neck, Riff Raff set.

maverickf1jockey

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2007, 03:12:54 PM »
Quote from: smudger123
Quote from: maverickf1jockey
Do NOT do that. Teles are bright at the best of times and upping the pots would be very unnecessary and the sound would probably be unmanageable.
Your guitar would probably end up sounding like fingernails down a chalkboard.


I've been thinking about this and I'm a little confused. The American series tele has a 'deltatone' tone pot which has a notch in the control when tone is in the 12 o'clock position. This effectively by passes the tone pot. Would a 500k pot be brighter than by passing the 250k tone pot?

Didn't know that... Perhaps if you don't use the tone pot much the sound would actually become a bit darker but if you were to roll it off completely the effect wouldn't be as much as using the 250k.
I had no idea that telecasters were so oddball. I always though they were like a table offcut with guitar bits stuck to them (not disrespecting the design but I never would have thought such effort went into the design. It makes sense now I think about it as it is a direct descendant of the Broadcaster/Nocaster lineage...).
I too use chicken as a measurement.

Philly Q

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2007, 03:14:58 PM »
Quote from: smudger123
The American series tele has a 'deltatone' tone pot which has a notch in the control when tone is in the 12 o'clock position. This effectively by passes the tone pot. Would a 500k pot be brighter than by passing the 250k tone pot?

No, the 500K pot doesn't add brightness, it just takes less away.  So for maximum brightness, don't have a tone control at all - which is (sort of) what the Delta circuit in US Strats and Teles does.

To quote from http://www.guitarelectronics.com:

"The rule is: Using higher value pots (500K) will give the guitar a brighter sound and lower value pots (250K) will give the guitar a slightly warmer sound. This is because higher value pots put less of a load on the pickups which prevents treble frequencies from "bleeding" to ground through the pot and being lost. For this reason, guitars with humbuckers like Les Pauls use 500K pots to retain more highs for a slightly brighter tone and guitars with single coils like Stratocasters and Telecasters use 250K pots to add some warmth by slightly reducing the highs."
BKPs I've Got:  RR, BKP-91, ITs, VHII, CS set, Emeralds
BKPs I Had:  RY+Abraxas, Crawlers, BD+SM

smudger123

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Noob question - 500K pots
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2007, 04:28:17 PM »
I guess I should just try the 500k and see what its like. I would still be interested if anyone knows were I can get hold of good quality 250k stack pots....
Bare Knuckle Pickups:- Country Boy set, Mule Bridge, Stormy Monday Neck, Riff Raff set.