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Upgrading to Gibson 57' pups... do I need to change the pots to 300K?

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  • Upgrading to Gibson 57' pups... do I need to change the pots to 300K?

    Hi there

    My uncle gave me a Chibson Lee Paul he purchased over 10 years ago, it's actually a decent axe: good neck (+scarf joint), good frets, low action, great sound acoustically, pups are not horrible but I want to change them. Saw a pair of Gibson 57's online today at a nice price.

    Now, I know Les Pauls have 300K pots, this axe has 500K pots, so i assume the 57's will be too bright?


  • #2
    I wouldn't waste time or money switching to 300K personally, if you already have 500's installed and wired up. You'd probly not notice a whole lot of difference to be worth your effort , and plenty of people use Gibson pickups with 500k just fine. I threw a set of Gibson burstbuckers into my friends guitar with 500k pots and it sounded wonderful. I didn't even know Gibson used 300k. At least try them with the 500's and see if you like it.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

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    • #3
      Uh okay, I'll see then. Don't have any 300K pots lying around so I asked. We'll see.

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      • #4
        Yeah, I agree; start with the 500K pots.

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        • #5
          500k all the way. It's uncommon to use 300k. Regardless, I would make sure they are quality pots, if not it won't matter how much of an improvement the 57 Classics are over the originals.

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          • #6
            You can turn a 500K down to 300K, but you can't turn a 300K up to 500K.

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            • #7
              I don't think it is worth trying. You can always turn the tone knobs down a tiny bit if it is too bright, but I doubt it will be.
              Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DonP View Post
                You can turn a 500K down to 300K, but you can't turn a 300K up to 500K.
                That's not really how it works. The 500k or 300k, refers to the pickup "loading." It has some affect on the pups character. Turning down the pot doesn't affect that. A 500k pot, turned down to the 300k output range, is still seen to the pup as 500k.
                Last edited by ArtieToo; 01-25-2021, 06:14 AM. Reason: Spelling.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by skud707 View Post
                  500k all the way. It's uncommon to use 300k. Regardless, I would make sure they are quality pots, if not it won't matter how much of an improvement the 57 Classics are over the originals.
                  +1
                  Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                  Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
                  http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

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                  • #10
                    People routinely complain about Gibson using 300k, and they "upgrade" them to 500k. Unless there's something wrong with your current pots, there's no reason to change them.

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                    • #11
                      Ok thanks guys!

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                      • #12
                        I have an 86 Les Paul Custom- the original pots were supposed to be 500k, but loose tolerances that year made them lower, resulting in a dark, muddy mid-rangy guitar, no matter what pickup I installed. I replaced them with high tolerance custom CTS 500k wiring kit from RS Guitarworks, and it really opened the guitar up, making it brighter, airier , clearer, solving the problem

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post

                          That's not really how it works. The 500k or 300k, refers to the pickup "loading." It has some affect on the pups character. Turning down the pot doesn't affect that. A 500k pot, turned down to the 300k output range, is still seen to the pup as 500k.
                          And that's not how that works, either.

                          Because a volume pot of any value set to "10" has a resistance of (almost) zero. So you literally cannot turn a 500k to a setting to mimic "wide-open 300k" any more than being wide open itself


                          Closed 300k? Sure, that's about "2" or "3" on linear, "1" on log.
                          Last edited by Adieu; 01-26-2021, 08:12 AM.
                          "New stuff always sucks" -Me

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Adieu View Post

                            And that's not how that works, either.

                            Because a volume pot of any value set to "10" has a resistance of (almost) zero. So you literally cannot turn a 500k to a setting to mimic "wide-open 300k" any more than being wide open itself


                            Closed 300k? Sure, that's about "2" or "3" on linear, "1" on log.
                            Sanford: "The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware."

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                            • #15
                              This seems to create a lot of confusion around what should be one of the easiest things to understand. Let's use as an example the simplest configuration: like a Tom Delonge axe. 1 pup, 1 500k vol pot, 1 output jack.

                              On it's own, the pickup will always "see" the 500k load, regardless of where it's dialed to. But in the real world, you'd be plugged into an amp which typically will have a 1 meg input impedance. So, at "10", the pickup will see approximately 333k. As you roll the volume down, the "load" slowly increases back up to the full 500k. The pot load is never "zero" ohms.

                              My red arrows aren't placed ideally. They refer to what the pickup is seeing.

                              Click image for larger version  Name:	Guitar_Pickup_Pot.png Views:	0 Size:	11.6 KB ID:	6051656

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