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View Full Version : The standard issue pots on my Gibby LP suck!


JGarofalo3
08-25-2013, 06:43 AM
I have several Gibby LP's but after modding a yard sale Gibby swapping out all the guts and electronics I have come to absolutely HATE the standard issue pots on my LPJ, Studio;s and mid priced LP's.

The new pots I used in the mod are CTS 500k and are sensitive and responsive, the standard issue Gibby pots barely acknowledge touch up to "5" and then have a bump at 7 and 9 but man, I am really disappointed in these.

Is it just me or do others have the same experience? I would think Gibson in their infinite market share and supremacy would QC something that otherwise is making a great guitar pedestrian at best and otherwise not a very good piece of equipment.

Am I doing something wrong or should I Just prepare to swap the pots on my newer LP's (which pisses me off) like I did on my project one?

JG3

Blue-moon
08-25-2013, 06:50 AM
I did that on my 2003 Standard. The stock pots suck. I put in a prewired harness by RS Guitarsworks.

semi-hollowbody
08-25-2013, 06:56 AM
Well what do you expect, its a $2500 starter guitar...;)

JGarofalo3
08-25-2013, 07:05 AM
Well what do you expect, its a $2500 starter guitar...;)

My point exactly. Now LP purists get all wonky when you talk about "disrupting Gibsons integrity" by modding stock equipment, but we buy guitars for their looks and their sounds.

I love Gibson but am no longer enamored by them. My modded yard sale LP (all new electronics including pickups - SD Duncan P-Rails with Triple Shots) sounds better than most of my standard issued LP's. I have several of the old Guild DeArmond guitars (that you can buy on the secondary market quite well if you know what you are looking at) with the original DeArmond pickups that sound more bad ass than the Gibson and the pots (both vol & tone) are highly sensitive from 1-10.

I love all my guitars, but am just really disappointed with Gibson

Chonny
08-25-2013, 07:08 AM
Did you change the taper?

JGarofalo3
08-25-2013, 07:09 AM
.......I have an Epi LP I picked up in the 2ndary market with hsc for @ $350 that is stunning and after a full electronics swap I am "all in" for @ $525 and it is an ass kicker.

chrismellotron
08-25-2013, 07:09 AM
If it's a Gibby LP Classic, it definitely sucks...period.

JGarofalo3
08-25-2013, 07:13 AM
Did you change the taper?

Yes I did.....mostly linear tapers but also did a logarithmic too which I believe has greater sensitivity and sweeps more consistently from 1-10 than the linear but both when buying well made are a vast improvement. I also as part of the full on swap out did the capacitors as well.

Chonny
08-25-2013, 07:27 AM
From what I can see Gibson actually started making improvements on their guitars maybe starting last year, or this year? I don't know. But in the past I have usually done a full electronic swap. It sucks but whatever. If its gotta be done its gotta be done. In the past I have always wanted lower output than the stock pickups. That actually bothers me a lot more than the pots.

JGarofalo3
08-25-2013, 07:35 AM
Agreed. "Making improvements" if true is honorable after the fact and except for their price point in the market.

ToneBrokerBill
08-25-2013, 07:37 AM
I recently had to do the same thing on a Custom Shop 335, and it made a huge improvement. The stock pots were awful.

MadFrank
08-25-2013, 07:39 AM
I did that on my 2003 Standard. The stock pots suck. I put in a prewired harness by RS Guitarsworks.

I did the exact same thing on my 04' Standard. The RS prewired harness was/is a real eye-opener. The new wiring, pot's and great Hums (Wolfetone) have really made such a night and day difference. It's incredible how much clarity and responsiveness to vol-knob changes it's brought. Sweet, sweet tone

Gibson, I fear, cheap out on the gut's of a lot of there guitars and cut corners where they can.

JGarofalo3
08-25-2013, 07:45 AM
Good old American capitalism and QC at its finest.

jbright44
08-25-2013, 08:01 AM
Gibson cheaps out on all the hardware. Pots suck across the board as well as the tuning machines, bridge, nut work, setup, etc.

It's appalling that a guitar in that price range needs so much work to play like a guitar in that price range.

Fatboy666
08-25-2013, 08:34 AM
I go with Epi LP and I gut it and change electronics, saves me in the long run of changing disappointing components one by one.

Very rarely do I get a new guitar anymore that doesn't have crappy pots and especially pickup selector switches that suck.

I nope you're not talking about your green sunburst LP, John - that's my fave of yours

Classic09
08-25-2013, 10:08 AM
Try Retrospec TVT pots. They have a good sweep and are closely matched to the 500K they are supposed to be.

JGarofalo3
08-25-2013, 11:25 AM
I go with Epi LP and I gut it and change electronics, saves me in the long run of changing disappointing components one by one.

Very rarely do I get a new guitar anymore that doesn't have crappy pots and especially pickup selector switches that suck.

I nope you're not talking about your green sunburst LP, John - that's my fave of yours

LOL @ Fatboy! Nice to see you my friend! What is hilarious about that guitar that EVERYBODY loves (and she is a beauty) is that she is a Chibson; a LP Custom shop knock off I paid $350 shipped with a HSC for. My "mistake was that I didn't take the mod "all the way" though. I swapped out all the electronics including SD buckers and CTS pots and switches but I should have kept going and replaced the crappy nut and tuners at the same time. I will be doing that soon along with another "Chibby" ES335 that everyone loves as well........then those will be truly spectacular players and "all in" I will be less than $700.

SonicBoom
08-25-2013, 12:01 PM
Gibson cheaps out on all the hardware. Pots suck across the board as well as the tuning machines, bridge, nut work, setup, etc.

It's appalling that a guitar in that price range needs so much work to play like a guitar in that price range.

Aw, c'mon. They have a lot of marketing overhead and govt. fines to pay for. :roll

Seriously, it seems that Gibson's belief is that a mid-range guitar is $5K.

drbob1
08-25-2013, 01:03 PM
I checked the pots in my recent Epiphone purchase, and they measured out at 496k with decent taper, no change needed. I did switch the wiring to "vintage style" and that's all that was required. So, I hesitate to blanket condemn Gibson, each guitar needs to be evaluated on it's own. Still, for those prices you'd like to see them sort the pots and at least use 500ks for the volume pots!

walterw
08-25-2013, 01:10 PM
gibson does not cheap out on their hardware! the stock pots are also CTS, just like the ones you're buying to replace them with.

the difference is that the gibby volumes have been linear taper for a while now, which has a terrible sweep into a crunchy amp. many are also 300k, which dulls the tone a little.

changing them to 500k audio taper (like the '50s and '60s classic instruments had) is a routine mod.

just within the last year or two gibson has finally relented to what everybody has been saying for decades now, and gone back to the classic all 500k audio taper setup.

ooofest
08-25-2013, 02:25 PM
I suppose the pots on my LP Studio could stand for a bit more non-linear taper feel, but they work for my playing style well enough, honestly. Regardless, I really like it's overall feel and the finish meets my expectations. The BurstBucker Pros are swell, too.

Although, I'd expect more subtlety from the pots and better tuners if this was anything above a Studio grade LP.

- ooofest

walterw
08-25-2013, 03:25 PM
I suppose the pots on my LP Studio could stand for a bit more non-linear taper feel, but they work for my playing style well enough, honestly. Regardless, I really like it's overall feel and the finish meets my expectations. The BurstBucker Pros are swell, too.

Although, I'd expect more subtlety from the pots and better tuners if this was anything above a Studio grade LP.

what does "subtlety" mean in this context?

if you have linear volumes then you get that big jump from "off" and not much difference between like "7" and "10" when the overdrive is on.

audio taper volumes will smoothly come up from "off" to "clean" to "cleanish" to "crunchy".

it's not like audios cost more than linears, it's just been another of gibson's kind of odd design choices from the '70s that stayed around until just a year or two ago.

(now if you play clean, like "jazz gig" clean, then the linear taper volumes are actually better, and roll up smoothly from off to full.)

also, this subject is better off in the guitar and bass tech discussion forum, it's a well-explored topic.

ooofest
08-25-2013, 04:06 PM
what does "subtlety" mean in this context?

if you have linear volumes then you get that big jump from "off" and not much difference between like "7" and "10" when the overdrive is on.

audio taper volumes will smoothly come up from "off" to "clean" to "cleanish" to "crunchy".

That's what I mean by "subtlety" and did mention a more non-linear response being something I'd favor. Then again, I don't change my volume much on the LP via its pots while playing.

- ooofest

macmax77
08-25-2013, 04:24 PM
maybe the little flaws are what make some guitars unique.

Some years ago i started "improving" my Strat Ultra (by TGP Specs) which sounded beautiful and unique when i did not had it "fixed"

Now it just sounds like every other strat and i don't like it like i used to.

walterw
08-25-2013, 08:12 PM
That's what I mean by "subtlety" and did mention a more non-linear response being something I'd favor. Then again, I don't change my volume much on the LP via its pots while playing.

yeah, it sounds like the 500k audio volumes are indeed what you'd need. with those, you could start working the controls more and getting useful variations out of them.

i can't use a guitar that won't let me control the clean to crunch range with its volume knob, so the audio 500k volume was an immediate mod for my R8; (of course, i can't deal with multiple volumes either, so converting to a single volume control was also an immediate mod for mine.)

BTW, the tone pots on anything from the mid '90s on are already 500k audio and don't need to be changed.