P-90 neck/Tele bridge cap/pot options

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Crazyquilt, Jan 28, 2006.


  1. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    So I've been reading all the recent threads on caps & pots & mojo & snake oil & Excel with much interest. Over the past few months, I've been trying to tune the sound of a guitar, and been consistently frustrated. The guitar is an Aerodyne Tele -- P-90 neck. Tele bridge. Right now, it's sporting Lollars (the bridge is a Vintage Lollar.) The pots are 250K CTS, the cap is a .047uf Orange Drop 716P. Basically, I used the standard Acme Tele kit, but I had to substitute .375" shaft pots, because the guitar is rear-routed & that's what fits.

    It seems I am happy with either the neck or the bridge, but not both. Right now, the bridge sounds great, but the neck is just too thick & muddy. I'm not really hot on the idea of switching pickups AGAIN, so I'm wondering if messing with the pots & caps will help.

    I was considering trying a 500K tone pot, but I'm concerned that will make the bridge just criminally shrill. I do work the tone pot quite a bit, and maybe a smaller value cap might help. However, my ears are far ahead of my knowledge, and I don't know how to get what I want, which is a good balance between the neck & bridge, wit great tone from both pickups that doesn't accentuate the downsides of both. That seems to be what happens; the contrast in pickups seems to make the bridge sound too shrill and the neck sound too muddy. Or, like I said, I can get one to sound good, at the expense of the other. There must be a solution!

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    Switch to 500k pots and solder a 240k or 270k resistor between the bridge pu hot wire and ground. That will give you the equivalent of having 250k pots in the bridge and middle (both pu's on) positions and 500k pots in the neck position.

    If that's too bright for the neck pu, replace just the tone pot with a 500k and use a 470k or 510k resistor on the bridge pu instead, so you will still have the equivalent of 250k pots for the bridge and middle positions and 250k vol + 500k tone for the neck position.

    Once you're happy with the basic tone (tone pot on 10), experiment with different cap values. The value of the cap only affects the tone significantly when you turn the tone pot down.
     
  3. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    Let me see if I understand this correctly. To do the first option, solder a resistor between the hot pu wire & the switch that "forks" the signal, running the value of the resistor to ground. The circuit, then, would look something like this:

    [​IMG]

    If I did option #2, the volume pot would be 250k, and the resistor would be 470k/510k, but the layout would be the same.

    (crosses fingers that I am with clue...)
     
  4. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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  5. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    Who'd a thunk it?

    Thanks a lot, Carlos.
     
  6. fatback

    fatback Member

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    A very simple mod for this issue is to bypass the the tone circuit for the neck pickup. This will allow you to mellow out the bridge tone to taste to better blend with the neck when in the middle position. This will ony work for you if you normaly leave the tone all the way open in the neck pu. I have done this mod in my parts tele with a Z-90 in the neck and love the convenience of having the bridge tone preset and a balanced tone in the middle position.
     
  7. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    That's another good option (as long as you don't mind not having a tone control on the neck pu) and very easy to implement. Stick to 250k pots and you will have that loading for the bridge and bridge + neck positions and the equivalent of using 500k pots for the neck position.

    In your previous diagram there is a wire going from the tone pot to the vol. pot. Simply remove the end that goes to the vol. pot and connect it to the bridge pu hot wire (where you had the resistor before).
     
  8. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    Yet another simple question:

    Very few of the guitar parts sites seem to have resistors; Guitar Parts Resource has some, but not in the values I need. Can I just pick up resistors from, say, Radio Shack and, if so, is their anything I need to be aware of other than the resistance value?
     
  9. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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