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question about pots?

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  • question about pots?

    Ok so I don't really know too much about pots, their values etc. so could someone please help me out on this. First off I have an Epi SG with a Custom(sh-5) in the bridge. I believe the pots in the guitar are 500k(since it as humbuckers), but that's just a guess (Is there anyway to check, if so please fill me in). Anyways, I was thinking about changing them because I think this pickup is a little too dark sounding. If I changed the pots would this help, or do you think I should consider swapping out the pups? Thanks in advance!!


    Epiphone G400 w/Duncan Custom
    Vox VT15
    Washburn D10SCE
    Getsch Electromatic Junior Jet Bass

  • #2
    Re: question about pots?

    Hey StratTom; Hope this isn't too long-winded.

    A potentiometer is a resistor, that has a sliding component, that allows you to select any resistance from zero to the pots maximum value. The way a pot is used in a guitar is a bit different than how its used in any other application.

    For example, in a home stereo, the pot, or volume control, is simply an input valve. The resistance of the pot is of not relevant to the sound quality of the stereo. It just determines how much of the input signal gets into the amp.

    On a guitar, its different. The pot has two distinct functions.

    1. An output "valve". Controls how much of the p'ups signal makes it out to the amp.

    2. The total resistance of the pot acts as a "load" on the p'up. A pickup is a small AC generator. The pot's value determines how much current the p'up tries to "push", and subsequently, the strength of the magnetic field surrounding the coils. The lower the pots value, (or resistance), the more current, and the stronger the magnetic field - up to a point. Obviously, the p'up has a maximum value above which it won't go. So lowering the pots value too much will start to "kill" its output. Finding the "sweet-spot" is as much an art, as a science.

    If your guitar sounds "dark" now, changing to a 250k pot will probably make it darker. The pot itself should have an indication on it somewhere that says its value. It may be something like "SES250CTAK", or some other cryptic number. The key is to find the "250" or "500" number buried in the part number.

    Or, you can simply measure the outside two lugs with a multimeter to see what the value is.

    Hope this helps.