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No Tone Control....

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by robbieboyette, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. robbieboyette

    robbieboyette Member

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    Need some advice. Charvel Model 6, modified like crazy. Have a Duncan JB in the bridge and JB Jr in the neck position. Middle pup position empty. Replaced the three mini toggle pickup selector switches with one 3-way les paul style switch.
    Sound is bright. In another post there was a discussion about caps on the tone control and it was brought up that if you don't have a tone control at all the sound would be almost shrill. So I replaced the 500k volume pot with a 300k. Then I put a 470k resistor parallel with the pickups to ground.
    It's still just a tad bright. Can I put a second resistor on there? Or is there some kind of cap or something that I can put on the volume pot to simulate a tone control with a cap?
    thanks!
     
  2. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    I would stick with just a resistor. The cap in a tone control only affects the response significantly at low settings of the pot.

    To find the right resistor value, what I would do is temporarily wire a 500k pot instead of the resistor (take the middle and one of the other lugs), adjust till I find the tone I want, then measure it in that position and replace with a fixed resistor. If you don't have an ohmeter, just try with lower resistor values till you find the one that works for you.
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    You can replicate a wide-open tone control with a resistor in series with a cap - for the normal 'humbucker' values a 470K resistor and a .022uF cap will do it.

    I do actually find it makes quite a noticeable difference - it's not so much that it changes the overall tone balance, it just takes a little bit of shrillness or harshness off the top end, more a textural thing than an actual EQ change. I find it quite significant.

    You can use the simple resistor too, just that when you start to load the pickup too heavily it can make the sound get a bit muffled and flat, as well as less bright. I would use the two methods to solve different problems - the resistor to compensate for the different inductance of a single-coil vs. a humbucker in a guitar with both, and the resistor+cap to compensate for the lack of a tone control - because they do slightly different things.
     
  4. robbieboyette

    robbieboyette Member

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    John, how should I wire the cap in with the resistor?
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Connect them in series between the top tag of the volume pot and ground - ie one lead of the resistor to the pot tag, the other to one lead of the cap (this connection shouldn't touch anything else) and the other lead of the cap to ground. Basically exactly the same as a normal tone control except that you have a fixed resistor instead of a pot.
     
  6. robbieboyette

    robbieboyette Member

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    When you say "top" tag...does that mean the one that the lead from the switch goes to? Or the one that goes out to the jack?
     
  7. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    The switch.

    Top = top end of track, input
    Middle = rotor/wiper, output
    Bottom = bottom end of track, ground

    ... same as it's drawn in the circuit diagram.
     
  8. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    I've done the same thing John is talking about to several of my guitars, including one of my Thorns, which is equipped with P-90s. It's not shrill at all. Far from it, actually.

    The last guitar I did it to had single coils in it, again - not shrill. If you use good components, you'll get good sounds :)

    --chiba
     
  9. robbieboyette

    robbieboyette Member

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