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Mixing Volume Pot Values

Stringmaster

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,499
I have two 2-pickukp guitars, set up with 2 volumes and 1 tone control. When changing pickups, I have to re-adjust the tone control--rolling off treble when going to the bridge p/u and vice versa. Would putting a higher value (say 500k) volume pot for the neck volume and a lower value (say 250k) for the bridge volume make enough of a difference that I wouldn't have to mess with the tone knob so much?
Thx
 

Keyser Soze

Member
Messages
1,472
Do you know what value pots are currently in the volume positions?

Assuming they are both 500 k audio then one set at '10' will equal about 500 k (resistance to ground) and at somewhere between 8 - 9 the resistance will be about 250 k, or close enough for govt. work.

Try setting the two pots to somewhere in those ranges and see if it does the trick when selecting pickups.

But I doubt it will.

The other option might be to change the wiring to two tone pots and a master volume.
 

Stringmaster

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,499
Thanks. Volume pots are 250k audio (single coil pickups). 1 volume, 1 tones is not really an option as I have an out of phase option with both pickups on, and the two volumes are needed to dial in the right blend. Was thinking of trying a 500k neck tone pot, or a 50k bridge pot, but the wiring is pretty complex so it's not an easy sub and try.
 

Kyle B

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,115
When changing pickups, I have to re-adjust the tone control--rolling off treble when going to the bridge p/u and vice versa.
This is a rather odd thing to say, generally one would go to the bridge pup to get a brighter sound. So I'm interpreting this to mean your bridge pup is ALWAYS too bright, yes???

Is it a problem when both pickups are on?? Or only individually???
 

Stringmaster

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,499
Yes, the bridge pickup is brighter than I like when the tone knob is set at the same position as my preferred setting when using the neck pickup, for example if the tone is set at about "8" when using the neck pickup, I have to turn it down to about "4" to get the bridge pickup where I like it.
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
Yes, the bridge pickup is brighter than I like when the tone knob is set at the same position as my preferred setting when using the neck pickup, for example if the tone is set at about "8" when using the neck pickup, I have to turn it down to about "4" to get the bridge pickup where I like it.
I had that exact same "bridge pickup always too bright" problem with my Explorer. Two humbuckers, 500K pots, phase switch.
Replaced the bridge volume with a 300K, and it was just right.
It also changed the degree to which the two pickups were out of phase with each other when they were both wide open.
Not 180, so fuller and also just right to my ear. I can still get the thinnest 180 out sound by turning one pickup down, but I don't have to hunt for the sweet spot.
The pot value change put the out of phase sweet spot right where I like it.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,356
for my money, i want a set of pickups that actually both sound good at the same amp settings.

if you try to "fix" a too-thin bridge pickup by rolling off its treble, you just reduce its overall output even further, throwing off the volume balance with the neck pickup even more.
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
for my money, i want a set of pickups that actually both sound good at the same amp settings.

if you try to "fix" a too-thin bridge pickup by rolling off its treble, you just reduce its overall output even further, throwing off the volume balance with the neck pickup even more.
Excepting your preference for sets that sound good at the same settings, which I share, your remaining points are either arguable or untrue.
A rare non-bullseye for WalterW infotainment, the first I think I've ever seen!:omg
 

JL75

Member
Messages
603
Ive been experimenting lately with moving the pups closer and further away and Ive been surprised, especially with humbuckers how much the tone changes with very small adjustments to the bridge pup height.
 

Stringmaster

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,499
I had that exact same "bridge pickup always too bright" problem with my Explorer. Two humbuckers, 500K pots, phase switch.
Replaced the bridge volume with a 300K, and it was just right.
It also changed the degree to which the two pickups were out of phase with each other when they were both wide open.
Not 180, so fuller and also just right to my ear. I can still get the thinnest 180 out sound by turning one pickup down, but I don't have to hunt for the sweet spot.
The pot value change put the out of phase sweet spot right where I like it.
Thanks, this is the info I was looking for. FWIW, the guitar has vintage Dearmond Hershey Bars, so it's not a matter of just switching out pickups like an off the shelf p/u. That, and I tend to like my bridge pickup rolled way off anyway. Thanks all..
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,356
Excepting your preference for sets that sound good at the same settings, which I share, your remaining points are either arguable or untrue.
A rare non-bullseye for WalterW infotainment, the first I think I've ever seen!:omg
ha, you can't win 'em all!

i guess i'd call it more "personal preference" than "advice". i like to have a bridge pickup that sounds good on "10", rather than having to always choke it down in some fashion.

as for the output level balance thing, i'm thinking more about pickups where the neck and bridge are identical, and the bridge is as a result not just too bright, but kinda too weak in comparison. rolling off its treble leaves you with even less output relative to the neck. (don't get me started on neck humbuckers in teles!)

come to think of it, i don't play guitars with more than one volume knob, so i guess i need my pickups to "already" balance with each other.

not at all arguing that "bridge with the tone knob eased back" isn't a useful sound, i just wanna use it because i want to, not because i "have" to.

again, more "i like" than "you should"...
 

Atdi2000

Member
Messages
855
What about a stacked tone pot, then dial them in to taste? I use volume a lot, but my tone knobs are set and forget unless using different amps.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
34,676
Pop in a resistor to ground, parallel to the bright pup, to change the load vs changing the pot. You will lose output but may find a better tone.
 






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