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Pots is pots?? (pic)

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  • Pots is pots?? (pic)

    Fixed my digital multimeter so I was able to go through my old parts box and look at discarded and leftover parts.

    I thought a bunch of these were leftover from my EMG days, but only one of them was a 26K. There was a "250K" Dimarzio pot, and a handful of "500k".

    What I was surprised about was the range of values (in pic).

    Another thing I remember is that for a long time I thought that large pots "sounded better". Come to find that two of my most used "500K" (large) pots, the ones with the most soldering remnants, were .580 and .609. These were my favorite pots.

    None of the mini pots were much above 500K, with a couple considerably lower.

    Could I have heard a difference between these pots and the other ones? Is it possible that they "stood out" to my ears, or was I just using them because they were larger? IDK.

    Can I use these pots to "tune" the high end of guitars? Are pots that are off spec a good thing to have?

    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20200815_133704.jpg Views:	0 Size:	50.9 KB ID:	6009860


    Last edited by Top-L; 08-15-2020, 10:54 AM.

  • #2
    Louder and brighter usually translates as "better". At least until your ears get tired of it.

    A 600K pot will make your guitar slightly louder and brighter than a 500K pot.

    “Practice cures most tone issues” - John Suhr

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lewguitar View Post
      Louder and brighter usually translates as "better". At least until your ears get tired of it.

      A 600K pot will make your guitar slightly louder and brighter than a 500K pot.
      I have a new guitar with a single 500K (I think) pot which is very aggressive. I've been wondering if I should replace it with a 250K pot so it is more similar to my 500+500 guitars, or... if the new guitar is just brighter and more aggressive.

      OTH, I've been reading its possible to add resistance to a pot, so maybe I can just solder a resistor to the 500K to make it darker.

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      • #4
        609k is 42% higher than 428k, you’d definitely hear a difference if you swapped between them.
        Oh no.....


        Oh Yeah!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Top-L View Post

          I have a new guitar with a single 500K (I think) pot which is very aggressive. I've been wondering if I should replace it with a 250K pot so it is more similar to my 500+500 guitars, or... if the new guitar is just brighter and more aggressive.

          OTH, I've been reading its possible to add resistance to a pot, so maybe I can just solder a resistor to the 500K to make it darker.
          Either one will work. It's helpful to tune ur resistance for no tone guitars.
          The things that you wanted
          I bought them for you

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          • #6
            You put a resistor across the outer lugs of a tone pot and get a lower value but with a volume pot it won't work as intended because the volume pot is a voltage divider at that point. A resistor across the outer lugs creates a very weird taper that does not work well.

            Most manufactured pots have a standard deviation of 20%. Better ones have 10%. The best ones have 5% or less.

            Some humbuckers I like 250K volumes, like the Screamin' Demon. Others I like 500K, like the Jason Becker model and Super Distortion.

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            • #7
              Just put the resistor across the jack.
              The things that you wanted
              I bought them for you

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ErikH View Post
                You put a resistor across the outer lugs of a tone pot and get a lower value but with a volume pot it won't work as intended because the volume pot is a voltage divider at that point. A resistor across the outer lugs creates a very weird taper that does not work well.

                Most manufactured pots have a standard deviation of 20%. Better ones have 10%. The best ones have 5% or less.

                Some humbuckers I like 250K volumes, like the Screamin' Demon. Others I like 500K, like the Jason Becker model and Super Distortion.
                You're right, unless I did it wrong. I tried this on a pot outside the guitar and it didn't work as intended.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Clint 55 View Post
                  Just put the resistor across the jack.
                  That might be the best way to do it, although I was able to scare up a 250k.

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                  • #10
                    Wow... just wow.

                    I bought a guitar a few weeks ago that came with a SD Jazz/Custom 5 combo. Which I wasn't happy with. This was also my first guitar without a tone pot.

                    Over the next couple weeks I tried six different pickups, including some stock pickups, and some magnet swaps. All of them sounded too aggressive or nasally. Even my fallback Evolution was out of sorts. I settled on a D-sonic which is a thick lead guitar pickup.

                    This guitar is a maple neck, mahogany body and has a bright aggressive tone, I figured it was just a temperamental guitar.

                    Come to find that it has a 500K volume pot. Reading through threads here, learned that a 500K volume pot alone is like a 1M vol + 1M tone.

                    Today I swapped it with a 250K volume and it has transformed the guitar. It now sounds similar to my other 500+500k guitars.

                    I dont know what they were thinking, shipping it with a 500K. Now my faith in Seymour Duncan pickups is restored. They are not "fundamentally different" than Dimarzios, I was auditioning them with the wrong potentiometer. I had no idea that deleting the tone pot would have such an impact on the tone, would cause the guitar to sound so aggressive and bright. Maybe some people like it like that, but I consider the 500K in this guitar just wrong. I can turn up the treble/presence and craft a thick top end that is not too aggro.

                    I'm not sure if the 250K vol alone is the same as 500+500, but this guitar is now roughly interchangeable with my other guitars. Considering the difference was so much, I think there is alot of value in experimenting with different pots and resistors to find the exact right value. Ive been swapping pickups for 25 years and had no idea.



                    Looking forward to hearing what the Custom 5 and Jazz sound like with proper potentiometer.

                    I wasted many days experimenting and swapping pickups because of this. Many hours. I surely won't forget this lesson.
                    Last edited by Top-L; 08-15-2020, 03:43 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Clint 55 View Post
                      Just put the resistor across the jack.
                      What do you mean? Between the POS and ground on the jack?

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                      • #12
                        You don't have to put the resistor across the outside lugs of the volume pot and screw up the taper. You can literally put it between anywhere that carries the full signal and ground. The output at the switch, the output at the volume pot, the hot and ground at the output jack.

                        Edit: wait outside lugs is between hot and ground. Hmmmm. Would it be bridging the input and output at the volume that screws up the taper? Now I'm confused.
                        Last edited by Clint 55; 08-15-2020, 08:26 PM.
                        The things that you wanted
                        I bought them for you

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Clint 55 View Post
                          You don't have to put the resistor across the outside lugs of the volume pot and screw up the taper. You can literally put it between anywhere that carries the full signal and ground. The output at the switch, the output at the volume pot, the hot and ground at the output jack.

                          Edit: wait outside lugs is between hot and ground. Hmmmm. Would it be bridging the input and output at the volume that screws up the taper? Now I'm confused.
                          Yes. Exactly. That is why is screws up the taper. A volume control is not playing as a resistor at that point like a tone control pot is. It’s a variable voltage divider. Pots aren’t expensive. I’ve tried the resistor on the terminals thing and it was not what I expected at all.

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                          • #14
                            Well I don't get why you can't get it to work. I use a 4 way switch as a varitone. 1 side of the switch I have caps and the other side I have resistors. So it's actually a varitone/varivolume. So I can turn my no load tone up to 10 and get it out of the circuit and then switch between just the 500k volume and then resistors bringing it down to about 250k, 150k, and 80k. It doesn't mess up the taper at all, it just kills a little volume with each smaller resistor on the switch positions.
                            The things that you wanted
                            I bought them for you

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                            • #15
                              https://www.fralinpickups.com/2018/1...n-guitars-101/

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