300 or 500k pots for your Les Paul???

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by papersoul, Feb 19, 2006.


  1. papersoul

    papersoul Supporting Member

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    Lately I went with 500k pots all around in my LP Standard after for years of using 300k volume pots. I kept coming back to using a 300k volume pot in the bridge but after installing some WCRs and now Wolfetone Marshallheads......I felt I should bump em up to 500k to allow the pickups to breathe which is what I also found with the WCR Goodwood. The thing you have to consider is that some guitars are naturally dark and some naturally bright so could it be best to have a 300k bridge volume pot in a naturally bright LP? It is interesting because I have done this and also had a 520k pot in my McCarty which my LP still sounded a bit brighter. Goes to prove how important the primary tone of the guitar happens to be in the end. But, I just find it important to let the pickup breathe with the 500k pot and I can always roll back the tone knob if needed. I did notice my other guitars with 500k bridge pots sounded louded than my LP when it had the 300k volume pot. Anyone else go through a similar experience or have a preference?
     
  2. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Interesting timing on your thread, papersoul, as I brought my Reverend Rocco (w/pair of replacement Z90s) to my luthier, Phil Jacoby, to change the stock 500K volume and tone pots to 250Ks. Upon describing what I had in mind and why, Phil convinced me to first try a 300K volume pot with the 500K tone pot. He said that will smooth/tone down the guitar overall without sacrificing any of the tone pot's overall range.

    This was Friday. I've been playing the other guitar he worked on (my Jerrycaster Garcia tribute axe) non-stop since then so I haven't yet plugged in the Rocco to hear it but will do so soon and post again if there's anything new to report.
     
  3. GTRJoe

    GTRJoe Supporting Member

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    I recently changed the pickups in my Les Paul Studio that I use for slide to a pair of Dimarzio Virtual PAF's. The stock pots were 300K volume and 500K tone. I experimented and tried all 500K's. That made the guitar to bright. I then tried 300K volumes and 250 tones. Too dark. I ended up where I started 300K volumes and 500K tones. That seems to work best. I did not reuse the stock Gibson pots. I replaced them with CTS pots.
     
  4. emjee

    emjee Supporting Member

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    Anyone happen to know what value pots are in my Hamer FM studio, or for that matter my Bakers? I have looked but they arent marked "250K" or anything like that. Any help would certainly be appreciated!

    MG
     
  5. papersoul

    papersoul Supporting Member

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    I thin it really depends on the guitar in question. I just went back to a 300k volume pot for the bridge pickup in my LP Standard and prefer that. I think I prefer a 300k volume for the bridge in all LPs...smooths out the highs which can almost have too much bite in a Les Paul. Basically now I have CTS 500k audio taper pots in my LP with the exception of a 300k for the bridge volume. The neck is fine all 300ks. One thought, the volume is a bit lower when I plug in the LP due to the 300k...but not much.

    My McCarty sounds much better with a 500k volume pot since it is a naturally dark and warm/smooth guitar.

    My PRS CE-22 which has more of a bright edge due to the bolt on maple neck and thinner body works fine with the stock PRS volume pot which is probable about 450-500k since PRS keeps their pots lower than 500...but quality is good so no need to change.
     
  6. JDouglee

    JDouglee Member

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    I get a headache just thinking about Burstbuckers with 500K pots.

    Ouch.
     
  7. omboy

    omboy Member

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    i'm with you, papersoul. 300k bridge volume in a Les Paul with a paf-ish pickup still has plenty of sizzle and gets rid of the ice-picky thing, imo. i do like 500k for the neck, though.
     
  8. papersoul

    papersoul Supporting Member

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    It must be something about the characteristics of the highs in a Les Paul that can be harsh or have a ton of bite. Either way, I now have a 302k CTS volume pot in the bridge and it is staying. It even worked with a Rio Grande BBQ and Duncan JB. I did however get good tones with a 500k using a WCR Goodwood and WCR Shredder.

    Weird though....because I could run the same pickup in a PRS with a 500k pot and it can be darker!
     
  9. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    I prefer the 500K pots on both positions.

    I've got stock Classic 57s, JB+Classic 57, and Duncan Custom P-90s.
     
  10. papersoul

    papersoul Supporting Member

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    After doing some research and talking with Jack Briggs of Briggs custom guitars...I found I like a 500k volume pot and 300k tone pot on the bridge pickup. Jack said it best...."You don't want a wide spread on the tone control for even response, but you do on the volume."

    Sometimes you might find a meatier sound with a 300k volume pot......but I guess someone could go with 300k in both slots.
     
  11. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    I'm interested in Jack's 500/300 setup myself. I could see how that would work nicely. Now I just need a guitar to try it out on :D
     

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