Tele tone pot/wiring questions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by LowWatt, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. LowWatt

    LowWatt Member

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    I need to replace the tone pot in my Tele (not digging the TBX circuit in there right now). I know I need a 250k pot, but I'm not sure if I'm better off with Audio or Linear taper.

    I popped in a Gibson pot (measuring 258k) that I removed years ago from my 61RI SG, but the rolloff between 10-2 is incredibly gradual and from 2-0 very dramatic.

    Is the issue the type of pot?
    If so should I be using Linear or Audio taper (not sure what this one is)?
    Could it be with how the rest of the guitar is wired?
    I've got new pickups enroute (JS Moore vintage style). I don't mind rewiring the whole thing while I'm installing the pickups. Please post pics or links of whatever wiring diagram you prefer for standard Tele wiring.

    Any other Tele electronics tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. dahl

    dahl Member

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    Audio taper pots should ensure when it is at the half way point it sounds like it is half as bright. or so says wikipedia.

    I just purchased some CTS 500K's for my Tak GX-200, along with a pushpull 500k vol , and some sprague 0.022uF. SHould be interesting. Ill let you know how the log tapers work out in the tone controls.
     
  3. LowWatt

    LowWatt Member

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    Thanks Dahl. Anyone have any Tele wiring diagrams that they believe are best. I see seevral on the Seymour Duncan site that look similar (volume, tone, 3-way switch with bridge, both, neck) that I'm not sure why I should pick one over any other.
     
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Here is the standard Tele wiring for all non-vintage spec teles where position 1 is bridge, position 2 is bridge + neck in parallel, and position 3 is neck with a master volume and master tone.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    The above diagram appears to be correct. Good job!

    A deviation from the original 50's wiring would be the inclusion of the .022 tone cap...not a bad voicing for that control. As always, if one uses this control, the type and value can be easily adjusted to a custom need. It is easy...no mystique worries or rocket science required. Vintage experts, pls correct me but...it seems that a .05 was the original '50's spec. Experts pls call me on that if my memory has failed (not unusual for a 51 year-old!)

    Anyhow, playing around with the value and type of a tone cap is really fun, and really easy!
     
  6. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    The .022 cap can be a bit bright. I use the .047 orange drop with the above diagram and it has been my favorite and only setup I use.
     
  7. Jef Bardsley

    Jef Bardsley Member

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    Terry, for a youngster, you got a good memory! :BEER

    Let's see.... you definitely want an audio taper for the tone pot, you'd actually prefer a steeper taper if you could get one.

    Teles are wired in what an LPFer would call the 'modern' fashion, you can move the cap wire on the volume pot to the center lug and try '50s wiring. Might be too much on a Tele, might be outrageously good.

    Keep in mind the value of the capacitor makes no difference on '10', it just starts working as you go lower than 5, really. I think a .05 or .047 sound wonderful right at 5, but are too muffled on "0". A .022 sounds a bit more open on "0", and starts to produce a honky peak in the mids. Personally, I like the upper mid honk of a .015 for "woman tone", but YMMV. Ain't no right or wrong here, if you not restoring something.

    On last suggestion - in the '80s, Leo started adding resistors to some tone pots, between the pot and ground (in the diagram above, that would be between the cap and the volume pot). This keeps it from really going to "0" (despite what the knob says), and relieves the muffled effect. Try a 50K resistor and see what happens.
     
  8. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I prefer audio taper pots for passive electronics, including tone controls.
     
  9. LowWatt

    LowWatt Member

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    Thanks guys. I just picked up a set of 250k CTS audio taper pots and a Mallory 0.047 cap. I'm going to use that wiring tomorrow. at the same time I'm popping on a set of JS Moore Alnico 3 Broadcaster style pickups to replace the Japanese originals. Should be a good show.
     

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