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Two x TBX pots in a Strat, why not??

StuRdesign

Member
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1,977
I was recently given a Strat copy at a charity gig. I've never owned a Strat before so this gives me chance to try out some pickups I was given 20+ years ago by UK luthier John Birch. They were experimental and as far as I know never went into production; he called them "Full Range".
I plan on keeping the Strat wiring options as standard but to maybe try to take the pickup name at face value, to see what they are capable of; I'm planning on switching out both of the tone pots to Fender TBX pots, since I already had two of those in my bits box too. Does anyone know of any reasons for or against the idea??
I know that Fender put one TBX and one normal tone pot into the mid-90s "Contemporary Strat" but I don't know if there was a sound reason for that.

I haven't measured the pickups but I believe they were low imp intended for a MIDI application, so making the guitar "active" might be a future option if the sound ends up disappointing.

This job is just something to keep myself busy with during Corona lockdown, so no great shakes if it doesn't work. I've already discovered that I'm good with a Dremel by making the pot area cavity bigger with a seamless join to take in the much bigger lower TBX.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
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39,550
TBXs wired as regular tone pots are really just 1M pots with a detent in the middle. all the way up is about the same as no tone pot at all, so extra bright. down halfway to the detent puts you in the ballpark of a regular 250k tone pot full-up, so a bit darker.
 

StuRdesign

Member
Messages
1,977
TBXs wired as regular tone pots are really just 1M pots with a detent in the middle. all the way up is about the same as no tone pot at all, so extra bright. down halfway to the detent puts you in the ballpark of a regular 250k tone pot full-up, so a bit darker.
Apologies for the late response and thanks for your reply. Any ideas what will gain - or not - for going past the detent the other way?
I'm so far planning a variation on standard Strat wiring by having the first tone pot cover the neck & middle pickup, and the lower tone pot for the bridge pickup alone. I'm not sure if I'll get much use out of that. I'm also considering having the middle pickup going straight through to see how it sounds as uneffected as possible.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
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39,550
I'm also considering having the middle pickup going straight through to see how it sounds as uneffected as possible.
that will sound about the same as the TBX on "10", that's the point.
Any ideas what will gain - or not - for going past the detent the other way?
you mean down from the halfway point? it'll act like a regular tone pot, making the sound darker.
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
6,900
If you really want to have some fun, there are little mods to the TBX that can give regular tone control action from 0-detent, no load at the detent and then bass cut from detent-10. This is how I have a TBX set up on a Tele. Bass cut can be quite useful with series wired pickups and when hitting a fuzz pedal to tighten up.
 

EL34

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,333
If you really want to have some fun, there are little mods to the TBX that can give regular tone control action from 0-detent, no load at the detent and then bass cut from detent-10. This is how I have a TBX set up on a Tele. Bass cut can be quite useful with series wired pickups and when hitting a fuzz pedal to tighten up.
That sounds really interesting. Do you have a wiring diagram from this setup? Thanks.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,550
If you really want to have some fun, there are little mods to the TBX that can give regular tone control action from 0-detent, no load at the detent and then bass cut from detent-10.
the silly thing is i think that was the original purpose for it!

fender apparently did it just this way when they first introduced it in the early '80s or whenever, then they quickly reconfigured it to essentially be a regular no-load tone pot. i've never seen one in the wild actually wired up for bass-cut stock, i guess they abandoned the idea pretty much immediately.

in essence the "mod" is to rewire the pot to do what it was originally built for.
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
6,900
the silly thing is i think that was the original purpose for it!

fender apparently did it just this way when they first introduced it in the early '80s or whenever, then they quickly reconfigured it to essentially be a regular no-load tone pot. i've never seen one in the wild actually wired up for bass-cut stock, i guess they abandoned the idea pretty much immediately.

in essence the "mod" is to rewire the pot to do what it was originally built for.
Well, isn't that cheeky? It's much more useful in the modded state, but the way they do it 'stock' insures that those who like to see their knobs all on 10 still have a 'typical' sound.
 

tazzboy

Member
Messages
3,948
I've done the 2 tbx tone knobs with the Fender Custom Shop 69's pickups and 3 way selector. It was very nice sounding. YMMV.
 

StuRdesign

Member
Messages
1,977
If you really want to have some fun, there are little mods to the TBX that can give regular tone control action from 0-detent, no load at the detent and then bass cut from detent-10. This is how I have a TBX set up on a Tele. Bass cut can be quite useful with series wired pickups and when hitting a fuzz pedal to tighten up.
That sounds like the way I'd want to go. As per my OP, the pickups were described as "Full Range" and were experimental but didn't go anywhere due to the builders demise. I'm really interested in what he would describe as "full range" - in either direction.

Thanks again for all replies!!
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
6,900
In my personal experiences, pickups like the G&L Jumbo MFD Singles, Peavey Super Ferrite single coils and EMG SA or T (alnicos) are pretty darn full range, relative to "typical" single coils. Much more extended and deeper low end, the highs are also a bit extended, too.
 




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