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  • Pot values

    Hey guys, I read somewhere having a pair of 500k volume + 500 k tone is the same as having a single 250k volume, is this right?
    I'm planning to remove the tone of my Jazz neck humbucker, since I never use it and I find it muddy sometimes with overdrive.
    If I do this, does it means I'll have the equivalent of 1M volume + 1M tone in the Jazz neck?
    Thanks in advance.
    Ltd Viper SD Phat Cat set
    Ltd Viper SD JB + 59
    Fernandes Strat SD Hot Rails (b)
    Vintage V6 SD SSL-1 set

  • #2
    Definitely not. While, on the surface, it might seem like it's two 500k resistors in parallel, the tone pot impedance is frequency dependent, because of the cap. It's not the same.

    Well, wait a sec. I read that too fast. You said a "pair" of 500k's. I believe that would be similar if both pups were on at the same time. But not the same when only one pup was engaged.

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    • #3
      Yes, the guitar has only 2 pots, with the JB and Jazz set.
      Ltd Viper SD Phat Cat set
      Ltd Viper SD JB + 59
      Fernandes Strat SD Hot Rails (b)
      Vintage V6 SD SSL-1 set

      Comment


      • #4
        So basically, strats that have
        Volume - 3 pickups
        Tone - Middle
        Tone - Neck
        The bridge Pickup sounds the same as 500k volume + 500k tone ?

        Ltd Viper SD Phat Cat set
        Ltd Viper SD JB + 59
        Fernandes Strat SD Hot Rails (b)
        Vintage V6 SD SSL-1 set

        Comment


        • #5
          Ok, if I understand this correctly, a 500k volume pot with a 500k tone pot is not the same as a 250k volume pot.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
            Ok, if I understand this correctly, a 500k volume pot with a 500k tone pot is not the same as a 250k volume pot.
            That is correct.
            Originally Posted by IanBallard
            Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Pedrogas View Post
              Hey guys, I read somewhere having a pair of 500k volume + 500 k tone is the same as having a single 250k volume, is this right?
              I'm planning to remove the tone of my Jazz neck humbucker, since I never use it and I find it muddy sometimes with overdrive.
              If I do this, does it means I'll have the equivalent of 1M volume + 1M tone in the Jazz neck?
              Thanks in advance.
              You find the Jazz muddy?!!
              Originally Posted by IanBallard
              Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GuitarDoc View Post

                You find the Jazz muddy?!!
                Yeah mate, and I lowered the humbucker and raised the poles already...
                Ltd Viper SD Phat Cat set
                Ltd Viper SD JB + 59
                Fernandes Strat SD Hot Rails (b)
                Vintage V6 SD SSL-1 set

                Comment


                • #9
                  I found this

                  Does the number of control pots used affect the sound?
                  Yes: Since the load on the pickups is determined by the total parallel resistance of all pots that are being used at a time, using fewer pots will reduce the overall load and give a slightly brighter sound. Also, connecting more pots is the same as using lower value pots, two 500K pots will loose or "bleed" the same amount of treble frequencies as one 250K pot. To lessen the effect, switching should be designed (when possible ) to remove pots from the circuit when the related pickup is not selected. An example of this is the Les Paul: bridge controls are out of the circuit when in the selector is in the neck position and the neck controls are out of the circuit when the selector is in the bridge position.

                  https://guitarelectronics.com/guitar-wiring-faqs/

                  Now I'm confused...
                  Ltd Viper SD Phat Cat set
                  Ltd Viper SD JB + 59
                  Fernandes Strat SD Hot Rails (b)
                  Vintage V6 SD SSL-1 set

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That is partially true. The thing is, the 500k is in series with a cap. So the pickup "sees" 500k at very high frequencies, and then that load gradually increases to infinity as the frequency drops. The slope of that drop depends on the value of the cap. The math gets complicated.

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                    • #11
                      If you use a no load tone pot (or a switch or something), you can hear the difference between resistance and capacitance in real time. With the tone pot on 10, it's out of the circuit and you only hear the resistance from the volume pot. It's a little more top end edgy. Now turn the tone down to 9.5 where it engages. There's a very subtle difference it sounds slightly more muted and supple. Now alternate between turning only the volume pot down or only the tone pot down and the effect is exaggerated. Turning the volume pot down to where there's a lower resistance to ground, the entire signal is dampened. Turning the tone pot down, only the highs (and mids) are cut above the cap's cutoff.
                      The things that you wanted
                      I bought them for you

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                      • #12
                        with the usual cap values (10n to 22n or higher) 500k volume + 500k tone is the same as one 250k volume + No tone.
                        Only if you use small tone capacitor values there is a difference!

                        the lower frequencies are not damped by the lower pot val and for the relevant frequencies in the resonance range of the pickup the cap is more or less a short. So the highs see 250k with both 500k pots on "10".

                        i also ran a spice simulation on this.

                        the cutoff frequency of a 8.5k wind and a 22nF cap is around 851Hz. So at the Resonance Peak of the PU the Tone Cap is more or less a short -> So 2x 500k in parallel -> 250k

                        Originally posted by Pedrogas View Post
                        Hey guys, I read somewhere having a pair of 500k volume + 500 k tone is the same as having a single 250k volume, is this right?
                        So: yes, more or less
                        if anything 250k vol no tone should be brighter because the lows get attenuated a wee more (doubt you can hear that) but the height of the resonant peak is the same
                        Last edited by ToneFiddler; 08-11-2020, 01:33 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ToneFiddler View Post
                          with the usual cap values (10n to 22n or higher) 500k volume + 500k tone is the same as one 250k volume + No tone.
                          Only if you use small tone capacitor values there is a difference!

                          the lower frequencies are not damped by the lower pot val and for the relevant frequencies in the resonance range of the pickup the cap is more or less a short. So the highs see 250k with both 500k pots on "10".

                          i also ran a spice simulation on this.

                          the cutoff frequency of a 8.5k wind and a 22nF cap is around 851Hz. So at the Resonance Peak of the PU the Tone Cap is more or less a short -> So 2x 500k in parallel -> 250k


                          I use 22 in SC, P90's and HB...
                          Ltd Viper SD Phat Cat set
                          Ltd Viper SD JB + 59
                          Fernandes Strat SD Hot Rails (b)
                          Vintage V6 SD SSL-1 set

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            you should be fine with 22n...
                            Originally posted by Pedrogas View Post
                            If I do this, does it means I'll have the equivalent of 1M volume + 1M tone in the Jazz neck?
                            that'S also a correct conclusion by the way. 500k vol + No tone equals 1Meg vol. + 1Meg tone.

                            the jazz neck PU is not muddy, but it can get boomy in some guitars. lower the height on the wound string side.
                            if that's not enough, maybe add a series cap to make a highpass.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ToneFiddler View Post
                              you should be fine with 22n...

                              that'S also a correct conclusion by the way. 500k vol + No tone equals 1Meg vol. + 1Meg tone.

                              the jazz neck PU is not muddy, but it can get boomy in some guitars. lower the height on the wound string side.
                              if that's not enough, maybe add a series cap to make a highpass.
                              Thanks a lot, pal.
                              For me the neck pickup is never bright enough!
                              Ltd Viper SD Phat Cat set
                              Ltd Viper SD JB + 59
                              Fernandes Strat SD Hot Rails (b)
                              Vintage V6 SD SSL-1 set

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