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WhyNot 1MOhm pots and beyond??

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  • WhyNot 1MOhm pots and beyond??

    Im getting somewhat agrivated by the lack of precice explanations as to how higher variable resistors effect output of my pickups.
    My addiction to false harmonics has got me wanting for forum memebers here to talk me into using 1MOhm pots with my various setups.
    Are there manufacturers who can provide resonably priced (Knerled-i belive it the term)pots in 250/500 and or 1MOhm or above.
    Every damb technical webpage ive located fails to define their terms when describing what takes place durring "signal bleeding to ground". Or simply ambiguous terms,
    I want to start a discussion on this . Please refer me to other posts as well.
    thank you
    Seymour Dunkan Performer Series Scortchers for Strat

  • #2
    Re: WhyNot 1MOhm pots and beyond??

    Hi clownmanus2000; welcome to the forum. Its really sorta simple. I wouldn't call it "bleed to ground". Its a question of "load". In the context of a guitar, a pickup is a small AC generator. Like the Alternator in your car.

    Although, an easier analogy to visualize, is the flywheel on an engine. No flywheel at all, (no load - no pot), would tend to vibrate and shake the car apart. A real heavy flywheel, (100k pot), would smooth things out at the expensive of acceleration. Its a balancing act.

    Here's where the technical aspect starts to get, well . . . technical. The value of the pot also controls how much current flows through the pup. The current controls the strength of the magnetic field thats generated by the strings vibration. Not to be confused by the magnetic field created by the magnet. The current that flows through the coils influences the output and frequency response of the pup.

    So . . . you can somewhat alter the character and output of the pup just by what value of pot you use. 250k for singles, and 500k for 'buckers are good starting points, but ultimately, personal experimentation is the best way to hone in on what you like.

    In just a moment, I'll add another post showing how to make a dirt simple pup load tester. BRB.


    • #3
      Re: WhyNot 1MOhm pots and beyond??

      Ok, here's a simple pot test that anyone can perform to answer this question for themselves. Using this diagram, the pup is at full volume all the time. The only thing the pot does is change the effective value of the pot load.

      The lower limit is simply the value of R.
      The upper limit is the value of R plus the pot value.

      So, using a 100k resistor and a 1 meg pot, the load would vary from 100k to 1.1 meg.

      Using a 250k resistor and 250k pot, the value would vary from 250k to 500k.

      And so on, and so forth. This is a real simple way that folks can decide for themselves what pot value best suits their needs. Hope this helps.


      And remember, this works with any pup installed in any position.

      Edit: Add the resistor and cap shown at the bottom to simulate a tone control on "10". Or, simply add a true tone control so that you can hear the affect in real-time.


      • #4
        Re: WhyNot 1MOhm pots and beyond??

        If you have a meter, and make a simple cord that consists of a standard 1/4" guitar jack on one end, and a pair of "banana plugs" on the other, (all available at Radio Shack), then after you dial in your perfect pot setting, plug the cable into the guitar jack, and the bananas into the meter, on ohms, and "snip" the black wire that goes to the pup.

        Now you have your perfect pot value. You will, of course, have to match it to the closest "standard" pot value.


        • #5
          Re: WhyNot 1MOhm pots and beyond??

          If you're looking at this thread, and its around 8:30 EST Sunday morning, hit F5 to refresh your browser. I corrected a mistake in the drawing.


          • #6
            Re: WhyNot 1MOhm pots and beyond??

            Nice info, Artie. Vault-worthy, imo.
            Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
            My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.