How does tone change when changing pot values?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by archtopjazz, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. archtopjazz

    archtopjazz Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    If I change the pots in my Strat from 500K to 250K, will the sound get brighter or darker?

    TIA,

    Jim
     
  2. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    I'm curious to what kind of pickups you have in the strat right now, most strats I've seen come with 250k pots.
     
  3. archtopjazz

    archtopjazz Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    It's an American Deluxe Strat HSS. Fender lists these as the pickups:
    Pickups:
    • Bridge: Fender DH-1 Humbucking Pickup
    • Middle: Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Strat Pickup
    • Neck: Hot Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Strat Pickup
    The bridge PU sounds good but the 2 single coils sound muffled and I want to make them a little brighter without changing the bridge pickup tone.
    I was told that these guitars come with 500k pots but I'm not sure.
    One guy is telling me to put 1Meg pots in and another is saying go to 250K.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  4. monstermike

    monstermike Member

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    It's going to be hard to do what you want with just pot changes, because the same pots affect all three pickups. In general, higher value means brighter, louder and edgier, so you'd be moving up to 1Meg, which seems awfully high.

    Maybe a no-load tone pot for the neck and middle? That'll take the tone pot out of the circuit for those two and won't affect the bridge...
     
  5. archtopjazz

    archtopjazz Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    If I was to wire the guitar so the middle tone pot controlled the 2 single coil pickups and the end tone pot just controlled the humbucker, and then lets say the stock pots are 500k, if I changed the middle tone pot to a 750k or 1 meg, would that give me more treble in the single coils?
     
  6. Festus

    Festus Supporting Member

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    Possibly. You'll hear the biggest difference if you change the volume pot, you should notice some with a higher value tone pot. Doubt if you can find a 750k, though.

    I'm surprised the neck and middle sound muddy while the humbucker is fine. With 500k pots, the singles would usually be too bright while the hummer is just right. Fender may have put a resistor load on the singles to darken them up. You'll probably have to open it up and see for yourself what value pots are in the guitar, then go from there.
     
  7. tonezoneonline

    tonezoneonline Member

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    If your guitar has a humbucker in the bridge then it's an American Deluxe Fat
    Strat.It has 1 meg pots for the volume and first tone and 500k on the humbucker.It has a cap on bith tone controls so you may want to play with the value of the cap on the first tone control.
    I have a wiring diagram.Email me if you want it.
     
  8. archtopjazz

    archtopjazz Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I'll email you when I get home for that diagram. Thanks.
    A few guys have told me that these Fender SCN pickups are on the dark side. Does anyone know if this is true?
     
  9. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    The last time I played a strat with those pickups I don't seem to recall them being overly dark really; at least through the amp I was playing it through.

    If you really need a different hum-cancelling single I have had good results with a Dimarzio virtual vintage in the past, and my really old Duncan classic stacks work great too, even quiter than my full bridge humbucker! But I'm expecting there are even better ones on the market currently.

    Have you used EMG's before?
     

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