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Which pots for '95 Gibson LP standard?

David Collins

Member
Messages
2,246
You would need long shaft pots, and you actually have those reversed. Linear taper is used for volume, and audio taper for tone. You could use audio taper all around if you like (lot's of prior discussions on this if you search), but you can't use linear for a traditional tone circuit. Well, you can, but it will act like an on/off tone switch at around 2-1.

Of course, your LP already has 500k audio tone pots, so unless there's something wrong with them you may not have to replace these.

Edit: Simultaneous posting. Yes, those are the ones (Jef's link) you would all need all around if you want to switch to 500k audio volumes, which is probably the most common conversion.
 

Arjan

Member
Messages
298
You would need long shaft pots, and you actually have those reversed. Linear taper is used for volume, and audio taper for tone. You could use audio taper all around if you like (lot's of prior discussions on this if you search), but you can't use linear for a traditional tone circuit. Well, you can, but it will act like an on/off tone switch at around 2-1.

Of course, your LP already has 500k audio tone pots, so unless there's something wrong with them you may not have to replace these.

Edit: Simultaneous posting. Yes, those are the ones (Jef's link) you would all need all around if you want to switch to 500k audio volumes, which is probably the most common conversion.
David and Jef, thank you for the info and for the link. I'm gonna get two of these pots for the volume and leave the tone pots as they are for now. I'll order some Orange drop caps as well. Would you suggest going with .022 or .047mf? And should I get the 200V version? As I understand, the 600V version is for amps. Thanks for your help!
 

Jef Bardsley

Member
Messages
2,951
You definitely don't want .047 caps in a Les Paul.

Now, for my opinions... bigger caps are more toneful, but ODs are basically neutral, so 200V should be fine. Anything but ceramics! I strongly recommend .015 caps, you get a much cooler "woman tone" with them rolled way down. The .015 for the neck has become pretty standard (see RS's offerings), but I like them for the bridge as well.

And, personally, I'd replace the tone pots. I don't have lot of experience with recent Gibson offerings, (other than replacing them, but that's not really using them) but the number of people on the LPF that rave about replacing them with CTS pots does impress me. That is, it seems the Gibby pots suck in some way. Might not be true, but for the slight cost....
 

andrekp

Member
Messages
5,736
Linear taper is used for volume, and audio taper for tone.
I think you have this reversed. You use audio taper for volume because your ear doesn't hear volume drops linearly. The audio taper pot compensates for this. Tone changes, however, should be linear.
 

Arjan

Member
Messages
298
I think you have this reversed. You use audio taper for volume because your ear doesn't hear volume drops linearly. The audio taper pot compensates for this. Tone changes, however, should be linear.
Ok... now I am confused. I was planning to order 4 long shaft 500k audio pots to use for both volume and tone. So should I get linear pots for tone? By the way, it seems that the only long shaft 500k pot at Allparts is audio taper. They don't have a long shaft linear taper 500k pot...
 

David Collins

Member
Messages
2,246
I think you have this reversed. You use audio taper for volume because your ear doesn't hear volume drops linearly. The audio taper pot compensates for this. Tone changes, however, should be linear.
Nope, I'm right. Try it. I have, dozens upon dozens of times. Linear won't do squat on a traditional tone control until you get down to around 2 or 3. Pretty much all the control ends up between 2 and 1. If that works for you, then you can use linear for tone. If you want the usable tone adjustment spread out over a greater range, use audio.

Again, linear or audio for volume, audio for tone.

Jef is right that as long as you're getting in to it, you might as well swap out the tone pots as well. Yours would have CGE pots which are usually okay in a so-so sort of way, but not as reliable as CTS.

No comment on the caps....;)
 

mistercoffee1

Member
Messages
708
Regarding Audio taper on the tone - that is correct.
I've measured on my two CTS pots that the resistance just gets to 100k around 5.5 on the dial, and up to 500k at 10 on the dial.
Most of the real tonal change happens at 6 and below on the dial, which is between 0k and ~100k on the resistance. Between 100k to 500k of resistance (or between 5.5 to 10 on the knob), the tone change is very subtle.
If you tried to use linear, then the usable tone range would be between 0 and 2 on the knob, as David Collins states.
 

andrekp

Member
Messages
5,736
Maybe so on the tone (I usually just use what's available for tone - and I think all of mine happen to have audios in both places in fact), but you DO want audio taper on the volume, not linear, which was my main point.
 

David Collins

Member
Messages
2,246
Maybe so on the tone (I usually just use what's available for tone - and I think all of mine happen to have audios in both places in fact), but you DO want audio taper on the volume, not linear, which was my main point.
More than half the guitars made and sold today use linear pots for volume (including Gibson), and they seem to work just fine for most players.

Some prefer the action of linear, some prefer audio. The audio-only rule for volume is a very, very common (and therefore understandably repeated) myth that has been around for decades, and is very frequently brought up on forums like this. In practice however, you can use either. They both work fine, but just act a little different.
 

Jef Bardsley

Member
Messages
2,951
The boutique pots, RS and Dr. V for instances, have a taper somewhere between audio and linear. It depends on how you use your volume control.

If you mostly set your level with your amp, and just adjust where you sit in the mix with your guitar, or if you just use you guitar volume to tweak your distortion, then linear will give you more control.

If you do volume swells, roll back to clean up, or actually play at low output levels, then audio will work better.


Mistercoffee1 nailed the thing with tone pots. If you use a 250K or less, then perhaps a linear might be workable, but with a 500K it's a long way down to where the cap does anything. Thing is, the resistive value where the cap is 'neutral' is the same for all values (pickups and caps) I've tested - around 80K, give or take a bit. Above that, you're just modifying the value of the volume pot's load.
 

Arjan

Member
Messages
298
The boutique pots, RS and Dr. V for instances, have a taper somewhere between audio and linear. It depends on how you use your volume control.

If you mostly set your level with your amp, and just adjust where you sit in the mix with your guitar, or if you just use you guitar volume to tweak your distortion, then linear will give you more control.

If you do volume swells, roll back to clean up, or actually play at low output levels, then audio will work better.


Mistercoffee1 nailed the thing with tone pots. If you use a 250K or less, then perhaps a linear might be workable, but with a 500K it's a long way down to where the cap does anything. Thing is, the resistive value where the cap is 'neutral' is the same for all values (pickups and caps) I've tested - around 80K, give or take a bit. Above that, you're just modifying the value of the volume pot's load.
Thanks for the info! I'm leaning towards a linear pot for volume, since I like to use the guitar volume to control how much distortion I get from the amp. In a lot of the online shops however, I can't seem to find a linear long shaft 500K pot. Does anyone have any suggestion where I can look for this? I'm located in Europe by the way, so this further complicates things...
 

David Collins

Member
Messages
2,246
If you want a linear, long shaft volume pot, it's in your guitar right now. Only difference is that it's 300k.

Perhaps it's best to go back to square one, and clarify exactly why you're changing your pots to begin with. People often jump to "upgrade" their electronics, simply because they have heard that switching to non-factory, 500k pots is an "upgrade".

It is not. It's a change. It's something you do if you want to affect a particular difference in your tone. So rather than going by what is often reputed to be "better" or "worse", you first need to clarify exactly what you want in the end that is different from what you have now. What is it about your current wiring that you don't like, or wish to improve?

If you want to brighten the tone up a bit when the volume is on 10, then that is reason to switch from 300k to 500k volumes. If that's not a priority, then there's no reason to switch from the 300k you currently have.

How do you like the way the volume pots currently fade in and out? The linears you currently have should pan back nicely when you're playing clean, and allow a broad range to control balance in the middle position before killing the overall volume, but they probably don't clean up an overdriven sound very quickly, and you may have to roll back quite far to clean up from heavy overdrive. If you like how they work now, stay with linear.

If you want a quicker cleanup as you roll back, then you should go with audio pots. They will also give you a smoother swell at the bottom, as your current linear pots will have a more rapid fade out between 1 and 0. If this is what you want, then switch to audio volume pots.

So don't go by blanket recommendations as to what constitutes an "upgrade". Listen to your controls as they are currently laid out. If there is any specific feature you would like to change, a clear description of those intentional end goals can help us better recommend which components could help you achieve those goals.

Or, if you everything is working fine right now, and you can't really pinpoint anything you really want to change, then leave it. Maybe there is a specific change you want that just hasn't been made clear here, but I also find people often tend to "upgrade" just because they've heard modifications so often recommended as such. Change for the sake of change won't always be an improvement, unless you have a clear idea of exactly how you would prefer something to be different.
 

Arjan

Member
Messages
298
If you want a linear, long shaft volume pot, it's in your guitar right now. Only difference is that it's 300k.

Perhaps it's best to go back to square one, and clarify exactly why you're changing your pots to begin with. People often jump to "upgrade" their electronics, simply because they have heard that switching to non-factory, 500k pots is an "upgrade".

It is not. It's a change. It's something you do if you want to affect a particular difference in your tone. So rather than going by what is often reputed to be "better" or "worse", you first need to clarify exactly what you want in the end that is different from what you have now. What is it about your current wiring that you don't like, or wish to improve?

If you want to brighten the tone up a bit when the volume is on 10, then that is reason to switch from 300k to 500k volumes. If that's not a priority, then there's no reason to switch from the 300k you currently have.

How do you like the way the volume pots currently fade in and out? The linears you currently have should pan back nicely when you're playing clean, and allow a broad range to control balance in the middle position before killing the overall volume, but they probably don't clean up an overdriven sound very quickly, and you may have to roll back quite far to clean up from heavy overdrive. If you like how they work now, stay with linear.

If you want a quicker cleanup as you roll back, then you should go with audio pots. They will also give you a smoother swell at the bottom, as your current linear pots will have a more rapid fade out between 1 and 0. If this is what you want, then switch to audio volume pots.
The main reason for my wanting to upgrade the pots is because I also have an ES335 that has 500k pots and I love how the high end sounds on that guitar. I'm looking for that on my LP as well, which I find is slightly "muffled" compared to my ES. I like the linear volume pots on my LP, but I do not play a lot of high gain. I use my volume between 4-6 for clean playing, around 7-8 for a nice just overdriven sound and full on for (still low gain) solo playing. I use the tone knob for smoother sounds. I rarely play with the tone knob fully open. I like the sound I get on position 6-7. For lower volume, I may turn the tone up full to get a very clear sound, but only on the neck pickup.

I still think that linear pots would suit me best, but as I mentioned earlier, I cannot find any 500k long shaft linear pots in online shops. If you have a suggestion where I can find them, I'd love to know. I might try a audio pot, to see what it does. They're not that expensive. In any case, thanks for your detailed reply. It has really helped me focus on what I need.
 

pfrischmann

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,415
I have a set of Dr.v's in my r8. What a difference!
The taper is cool on the volumes and they really took the mud out.
The gibson pots in there were 500K's too. The classic set up is with .022's possibly a .015 for the neck to keep some of the mud out.

The DR.v route was expensive compared to getting a couple of pots from allparts but the results were worth it.

The volume pots were 535k btw and the pickups are 57 classics.
 




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