Is there a tone difference between using 500k vs. 250k pots with humbuckers?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jpervin, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. jpervin

    jpervin Member

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    If so, what are the differences?
    Better with 500k?
     
  2. sparrow1133

    sparrow1133 Member

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    many other TGP members can explain it better than I . but ..

    Yes.

    it's not so much the "tone" .. but the OUTPUT that the pots give the pickups .
    typically . the 500k will produce more output/ gain, and treble etc.
    and, the 250k will produce less output/gain/treble.
    some pickups will sound clearer/better with certain pots.

    it's best to let people know what guitar and pickups you're using. to find the best answer.
     
  3. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    Oh my, yes.
     
  4. sparrow1133

    sparrow1133 Member

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    ^ what
    Farnsworth

    said.
     
  5. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    Hell yeah there is huge tonal difference.
    With humbuckers a 250k vol pot will sound like there is a heavy blanket over the tone compared to a 500k pot.
     
  6. XmasTree

    XmasTree Member

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    absolutely
    a lot of Gibsons have had 300k pots for a Long, Long time...
    A lot of people thought their guitars sounded muddy, even after a pickup change.
    including me

    Humbuckers with audio 500k is "the standard"
    especially since pots are only 5 bucks

    300k or 250k with humbuckers will sound like poopie-pie ...and you'll (unknowingly) blame the pickups....
     
  7. SFW

    SFW Member

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    As a general guideline for my taste, I prefer 500k with Humbuckers and P90s. 250k for Fender style single-coils.
     
  8. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Supporting Member

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    Higher pot value leads to brighter clearer tone. Lower pot value leads to darker more muffled tone. The "normal" starting point is 500K with humbuckers and 250K with singlecoils - there's a reason for that. If your guitar is too bright with its existing pots, try lower pot values, if it's too dark with existing pots, try higher pot values. None of this costs more than a few dollars if you can solder.
     
  9. Jef Bardsley

    Jef Bardsley Member

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    After years of experimenting with pots and caps, I think it's more about the dynamics than the tone. My maple-necked Les Paul is Telecaster bright, but I prefer 500K pots as with 250K pots it sounds limp and lifeless, and still too bright.
     
  10. Drak

    Drak Supporting Member

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    Quote:
     
  11. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice explanation, Drak. Thanks for that!

    What about the tone control? What happens to the output/sound when you change from 300K to 500K?
     
  12. Gnarlly

    Gnarlly Member

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    Depends on the pickup. For a very bright pickup, a 250k pot will warm up the tone nicely. That is what i do with my SD JB pickups in my HSS guitars (no tone controls though, which can rob treble/output); also makes the single coils sound like "normal" Strat single coils instead of overly bright. I had read that Seymour Duncan himself prefers the JB with a 250k pot, and after trying it out, I am a believer.

    Also, with the bright Burstbuckers in my SG, I would not even think about using 500k pots. They are bright enough as is with the Gibson 300k pots.
     
  13. JP~)

    JP~) Member

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    love them in the bridge position with my T-tops....The neck however needs the 500k or it's muddy
     
  14. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Anyone care to comment on the effect of changing resistance of the tone pot?
     
  15. Amplite

    Amplite Member

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    What is best to use for a full size humbucker bridge and a single coil in the neck configuration?
     
  16. Gnarlly

    Gnarlly Member

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    Depends on the pickups . . .
     
  17. Amplite

    Amplite Member

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    A low output humbucker and a dimarzio Injector noiseless single in the neck. I was thinking 300K volume pot?
     
  18. Gnarlly

    Gnarlly Member

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    I just read Dimarzio's description of the Injector. Sounds like it is warm for a single coil position pickup. As long as the humbucker is not too warm, a 300k volume pot would probably work well.
     
  19. 3of5

    3of5 Member

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    I have a Dimarzio 36th anniversary in the bridge of an SG type of guitar with a Bridge-type Injector in the neck position. I use 500k for volume and tone and all is well. These two pickups pair nicely in this particular guitar.
     
  20. Bikedude

    Bikedude Gold Supporting Member

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    I just stuck a set of Fralins in my RW Tele. Routed out the neck for a Fralin Un-bucker, and a Fralin Blues in the bridge. Set up uses a Tonestyler 5 way which gives you a 500K pot with the "Unbucker", then you can split the Unbucker and a 250 kicks in for the other 4 positions. This set up sounds freakin fantastic, and I'm very satisfied with the whole deal. You can check this out over on the www.acmeguitarworks site, they have a couple of vids. Check out the Road Worn Tele demos. NIICE.
     

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