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Treble-Bleed on a Stratocaster

Treble-Bleed Mod on a Master Volume

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Silver Supporting Member
I need at least one Strat with it...but I like to have one without as well. Different tools for me.

Ron Kirn

like I said, hook up a couple of wires running from where the bleed circuit connects to the volume pot... that's 2 wires.. let them hang out of the pickguard... now hook the circuit to the two leads.. it really doesn't matter which way... and if you're feeling adventurous, throw a simple switch in there, that way you can cut it in and out instantly.. while you're playing. You DO have three hands don't ya? :p if not, have a friend flip the switch...

now ya know definitively if it does the trick for ya.. that beats guessing every time..


Windup 43

Silver Supporting Member
As some others have said, absolutely invaluable in conjunction with a good fuzzface...opens up a world of varied overdriven and fuzzy tones, and beautiful sparkling cleans.


I wanted to add, I used the treble bleed to get away from my fuzz face/guitar volume knob trap I was in, to make other dirt pedals clean up the way a no treble bleed guitar does with a fuzz face. My experience is that a fuzz face circuit already does guitar volume clean up bright enough without a treble bleed and is too bright with a treble bleed.


I have one Strat without treble bleed and then I bought an AmPro Strat with it. In theory, the treble bleed was something I looked forward to, but in reality, my playing style and use of volume to roll-up for solos and occasional fuzz did not quite work out with the bleed. I did a complete overhaul of that pickguard and built a new assembly, including pickups. I set all my tone adjustments from guitar to effects to amp set to sound great with the guitar volume at 7~8. Then I roll it up for brighter-toned solos. I also have my 2nd tone pot attached to the bridge pickup (both Strats) to take a bit of sting out of the tone.
I like having the treble bleed in my new AmPro Tele with CS Nocaster pickups, though. Go figure.

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
I can't live without one but I use a Germanium fuzz as my main drive.
As some others have said, absolutely invaluable in conjunction with a good fuzzface...opens up a world of varied overdriven and fuzzy tones, and beautiful sparkling cleans.
I use a germanium fuzz as my main drive and avoid treble bleeds because I don't like how they affect the sound when I turn the guitar down to clean up.


^^^ I made this guitar^^^
The only real negative to the treble bleed is fuzz faces and treble boosters get way too bright when you turn the volume down. If you don’t use a pedal that “cleans up” its a great mod.


Silver Supporting Member
I think the problem of the guitar being too bright with a treble bleed comes from using stock values for the components. A properly done treble bleed, where you test different values of cap and/or resistor to find the right one for your needs, will not sound BRIGHTER when turned down than when full up. You can tailor the brightness of the turned-down sound to whatever you want with the right component selection, and get a natural-sounding retention of treble as you reduce the volume. I like to use test leads with a variety of cap/resistor values to find just the right combo that gets the response I want from the volume control. Alternately, the vintage "50's" wiring can be done even on Fenders, which never had that wiring historically, which will also retain some treble when turning down the volume. There are wiring schemes out there for Teles and Strats for the vintage wiring.


With a Strat I run a couple of leads from the volume pot into the jack socket cavity so I can quickly experiment with values over a few gigs without having to pull the whole scratchplate. Make sure it's taped up and out of the way of the incoming jack.

My default is a 330pf cap with no resistor. It cleans up nicely but doesn't mess up the pot taper.


My main guitars are active and buffered and need no bleeds, but the passive ones I gig all have them.
For single coils (both Strat and Tele), I have had the best results with a 250K 10% audio taper pot (the common 'modern taper'), 150K resistor with a .001uF to .002uF cap in parallel. The resistor does slightly flatten the taper a touch towards linear, which is why I make sure I get a 10% audio. However, the resistor keeps the tone from getting too high pass/shrill at lower settings.


Never understood treble-bleeds in strats. They seem to retain way more highs than humbuckers, even with the volume way down. I've never felt the need for one with single coils.

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