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View Full Version : 250k 0r 500k for a P-90?


plexivibe
02-05-2007, 12:35 AM
Hi all, i'm new to the board...got a question...i'm going to try a P-94 humbucker sized P-90 in my LP...should i also switch my pot to a 250k or will a 500k pot sound ok? Thanks!

GDSblues
02-05-2007, 12:40 AM
the P90 in my Tele has a 250K tone and volume pots. It sounds amazing. In your case, I would leave the pots alone and see if you like the sound. If your not happy with the P94 tone, then look at changing the pots. To me thats the logical thing to do.

plexivibe
02-05-2007, 12:47 AM
the P90 in my Tele has a 250K tone and volume pots. It sounds amazing. In your case, I would leave the pots alone and see if you like the sound. If your not happy with the P94 tone, then look at changing the pots. To me thats the logical thing to do.

Yes, that makes sense, i've heard that single coils were better with 250k pots but i don't know what Gibson traditionally puts in their p-90 guitars. Thanks for the reply.

hipfan
02-05-2007, 05:09 AM
Yes, that makes sense, i've heard that single coils were better with 250k pots but i don't know what Gibson traditionally puts in their p-90 guitars. Thanks for the reply.

P90's are BIG, FAT single coils, and 500K volume pots sometimes are needed to get the most out of them. Not always though, depending on the guitar.

plexivibe
02-05-2007, 05:59 AM
Thanks hipfan, this P-94 i'm getting reads near 9k and is going into a thick mahogany body. I've had a 69 SG Jr, a newer SG Classic and 2 Hamer Specials that all had P-90's, so i'm quite familiar with the p-90/mahogany body tone. But i never paid attention to what values the pots were in any of them...i just played em. :dude
Does the 250k/single coil, 500k/humbucker "rule" have anything to do with the output of the pickups or is it a single coil vs double coil issue? If it's a pickup output issue, i'm thinking that the 500k will be ok for a P-90 that reads near 9k. I don't want it to be too bright but don't want to dull it up with a 250k either. A little experimenting will tell. :AOK

John Phillips
02-05-2007, 06:49 AM
It's not to do with the single- or double-coil aspect - it's the inductance of the pickup which matters.

Inductance is sort-of like resistance in that a larger number of windings produces a higher inductance (so one is a rough guide to the other), but higher inductances also block high frequencies more in relation to the plain resistance of the volume pot. So the higher the pickup inductance, the higher the volume pot value you need in order to give enough top-end. A P90 has an inductance much more like that of a humbucker than a Fender-type single coil, so generally they sound best with 500K pots.

(That said, I'm beginning to like the tone of even humbuckers better with 250K pots, and it's really down to taste...)

HarryJ
02-05-2007, 06:56 AM
500K will simply allow more highs through than the 250K
There is no rule, just a suggestion.
It is amazing how a simple pot change, or even the use of a 50 cent resistor in conjunction with pots can improve the tone of a guitar!

An interesting compromise mod to add a small touch of presence to a otherwise darkish guitar with 250's, is using a 250K vol and 500K tone.

This would be equal to a 333K pot, similar to Gibson's usage of 300K's

Personally, if a 250K is to be used paired with a 500K, or even 1 meg, I prefer the volume to have it, as the taper tends to be a bit smoother on 250's. They also tend to not get as dark as you turn the volume down, thus requiring a treble bleed circuit

Harry Jacobson
www.harryj.net (http://www.harryj.net)

disaster
02-05-2007, 01:14 PM
so, to analogize, is a pot with a bigger value like a bigger door (IE, letting more frequencies through), or does it accentuate different frequencies?

HarryJ
02-06-2007, 07:54 AM
Makes sense, The higher value lets more of the highs pass through while the lower number sends more highs to ground