Potentiometers : Is a 250k warmer and sweeter than a 500k ?

Messages
344
Hello ,


In a December 2013 thread by someone wanting a warmer , sweeter PAF pickup , more than one reply mentioned this tone could be achieved by using 250k pots instead of 500k pots.

I had been assuming a 500k pot has all of the tones of a 250k pot, but also capable of dialing in additional tones so is more desirable than a 250k pot. If anything I would have assumed the 500k would be sweeter than a 250k or 300k because of allowing more high frequencies to pass through.

How is a 250k pot warmer and sweeter than a 500k pot ?

Thanks,
d l x r e v e r b
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
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18,128
Probably depends on your personal definition of "warmer" & "sweeter". However, all else equal, a 250K tends to roll off the top end moreso than a 500k. Better, worse?...only your ears know for sure ;).
 

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
I wouldn't say sweeter.

Warmer, to me, means less treble.

You'll have more treble loss with a 250K pot than you will with a 500K pot.

So if you're trying to lose some treble, go for 250K.

As an example, Fender Strat pickups sound like they have to much treble when used with 500K pots.

So Leo Fender chose to use 250K pots for Stratocasters and Telecasters.

On the other hand, Gibson humbucking pickups usually sound like they need more treble with 250K pots.

So Gibson chose to use 500K pots so the humbucking pickups had more treble.

The pot doesn't add treble. It removes treble by allowing treble to leak through the pot and go to ground.

Even when the pot is turned all the way up, on "10", 250K pots allow more treble to leak out of the guitar's volume & tone circuit then 500K pots do.
 

Jason_77

Senior Member
Messages
7,209
The most simplistic answer I can give you is that, as a volume control, a 500k pot amplifies the resonant peak of a pickup more than a 250k pot. Each pickup has a resonant peak, but at which frequency depends on the the make and model of the pickup.
 
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EADGBE

Senior Member
Messages
12,338
It's warmer but it also has less output. And that translates to less overdrive and sustain. I don't like it. To me 250K is good for single coils. Not good for humbuckers.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
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24,130
Probably depends on your personal definition of "warmer" & "sweeter". However, all else equal, a 250K tends to roll off the top end moreso than a 500k. Better, worse?...only your ears know for sure ;).


Yes, I would say "darker", not warmer.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
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24,130
Well "less treble" does not always equal warm.
There are other frequencies blended well involved in that.
 
Messages
344
Original poster checking in.

A further question :
Does a 500K tone pot provide everything and more than a 250K tone pot does ?
Can a turned down a 500k tone pot create the same tone as a 250K tone pot turned up to 10 ?
 

lemonman

Silver Supporting Member
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1,091
Original poster checking in.

A further question :
Does a 500K tone pot provide everything and more than a 250K tone pot does ?
Can a turned down a 500k tone pot create the same tone as a 250K tone pot turned up to 10 ?
Yes, a 500k tone pot performs the same as a 250k, when turned down to where it measures 250k (averaging around 7-8 on an audio taper pot). Note again, this is *not* true of the volume pot.
 

gulliver

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,438
With a single pot and single pickup (not in between position), you will not hear a difference. People argue with me on this, but none of them have hard wired a switch to get a real time comparison. Try it and see.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
I tend to prefer 250K for most everything. Even lower output humbuckers. Warmer and nice taper with audios. I'd imagine not good for a hot humbucker.
 






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