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Old 01-16-2018, 02:22 PM   #11
St.Fill
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Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
Are tone and volume pots the same thing? Do I want 250 or 500?
On the pickguard material, if i was able to get it cut is there a way to smooth out the edges?
Tone and volume pots can be the same as long as they are both audio taper. Most vendors that sell pots will specify the taper of their pots, and if they dont, its a good bet that they'll be audio taper. Electronically, its "more correct" to use audio taper volume pots and linear taper tone pots.

As far as smoothing out the edges, thats real easy. Simply duct tape the ends of a piece of an appropriate grit if sandpaper on a piece of wood, and take your time smoothing out the edges of the guard on the sandpaper. I like to put the plywood/sandpaper down on the work bench and slide the 'guard on the sandpaper, but it can be done anyway you're comfortable with it.

You might end up doing it more than once if this is your first time cutting and smoothing the 'guard, but its an easy job. Simply trace the old guard out on the new guard material, and leave just a bit to be taken off with smoothing. The nice part is that the edges typically dont get beveled on .060 pickguard material. Thats vintage Fender thickness, so the edges are perpendicular to the 'guard face.
Mark and drill your control holes (carefully!!) and you're good to go!!
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Originally Posted by Silimtao View Post
For humbuckers, 500k is typical. If you use 250k, you'll lose some high end. I think in theory the pots are the same, but I think for a volume pot, you'll want a linear taper. Google it. Since I've worked only Fenders for the most part, I just have on hand 250K "for tone or volume," but I've read there's a difference.
Gotta correct that one, Slim... as I mentioned above, audio taper pots can be used for volume or tone. Linear taper pots should not be used for volume. A linear taper volume pot will cause the volume drop off to be very abrupt.

And as far as the correct resistance (500k vs 250k), you're right, its much more typical to use 500k with full size humbuckers, and 250k with single coils, but neither way is technically wrong... its simply a rough match to each pickups inherent output and tonal range. Any pot can be used with any pickup to achieve various results. However, not all combinations are optimal. I'd never use 250k pots with a low output full size humbucker, like a Duncan Alnico Pro II, or a '59. It'll work, but folks use those pickups to emulate an early Gibson PAF, and its not gonna have the right 'cut' with 250k pots.
In actuality, very early humbucking equipped Gibsons ('57 to '62 or so) used 500k audio taper volume pots and 300k linear taper tone pots.

If I was putting something like a Duncan Vintage Broadcaster Tele in a guitar, I would use 250k pots to keep the pickup from being too shrill.
If I was installing Tele a pickup with very output, like Duncan Quarter Pounder (17k), or something with ridiculous output, like a Duncan BG-1400 (which is approx 29k!!), I'd definitely use 500k pots. Those pickups would sound muddy with 250k's.

Actually, I have a Duncan BG-1400 in a "lab Tele". Its strong, but it sounds very similar to a Duncan Pearly Gates. Its a really nice pickup!!
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by St.Fill View Post
Gotta correct that one, Slim... as I mentioned above, audio taper pots can be used for volume or tone. Linear taper pots should not be used for volume. A linear taper volume pot will cause the volume drop off to be very abrupt.

In actuality, very early humbucking equipped Gibsons ('57 to '62 or so) used 500k audio taper volume pots and 300k linear taper tone pots.
No problem, Fill, that's how I learn too.

In your 2nd paragraph, that's what explains the sudden dropoff in volume in vintage Gibbys, right?

Should Coblat have to use caps or anything? I didn't put one in my CV DiMarzio mod; I thought it might make it sound to shrill, and love the tone as is. Plus, the tone/volume "kit" I got from Fender, didn't tell me the value of the cap, and I didn't want to just blindly put it in. The soldering in the CV is a hot mess, but I can't see it, and the thing works, haha.
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:22 PM   #13
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Slight side-track.

The first MiM I got, the one with noiseless pups, was a heavily modded strat, and I had it delivered to my office. I get this 16" x16" square box. The guy sent it to me with the neck detached. I was like, WTF??

I get it home, screwed it on, plug in, no sound. He didn't solder the output! I was pissed, and sent the guy another message. He called me, and walked me through on how to solder the output. BTW, for Strat-style output cavities, the jack has to be oriented a certain way, or it won't go in.

The strat was otherwise fantastic. Locking tuners, Fender noiseless pickups that sounded great- to a point imo, aged knobs. I won the auction at something like $280. Fender noiseless pups (new, worth $200). He did a great soldering job on everything. I sold the pups on ebay for $80.

So, that was my first real foray into soldering on guitars. It's not something I love, but at least I can do it. The GFS pups I have in the MiM sounds fantastic. I really wish everyone would stop making staggered poles for strat-type pickups, or give us a few more options.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:14 PM   #14
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Question... I already put in my new pickups and circuit into my plywood baby. It seems that my rail humbucker on bridge doesn't drive as much as my P90 neck. I used a meter on it and it is way less than advertised. Does it mean it is defective?
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:09 PM   #15
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Question... I already put in my new pickups and circuit into my plywood baby. It seems that my rail humbucker on bridge doesn't drive as much as my P90 neck. I used a meter on it and it is way less than advertised. Does it mean it is defective?
I guess you can say it's defective in that it doesn't have the output of the advertised output.

See if you can negotiate a swap with the seller. He sends you properly rated pups, you return the one you have, both of you are happy, and no one gets burned. Go for the win-win.

Or, you can simply put in a return request. You'll get your $ back- but you won't have a pickup, and have to start over again.

I just went through some nonsense with an ebay buyer. He messed with the truss, changed the saddle, had a tech look at it. Ebay has already ruled in my favor.

What is "way less?"
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Old 01-16-2018, 10:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Silimtao View Post
In your 2nd paragraph, that's what explains the sudden dropoff in volume in vintage Gibbys, right?
Honestly, I've never noticed a sudden volume drop off in a stock vintage Gibson guitar. The combination of audio taper pots for volume and linear taper pots for tone is electrically correct.

If a guitars volume pots range seems to all be crowded in from "10" to about "8", and then drops the volume off very suddenly at around "8" and the guitars volume seems extremely low between "8" and "0", its very likely that its a linear taper pot.

Volume attenuation is not heard by the ears in a "linear" fashion. Thats why an audio taper pot is used for volume.

Frequency attenuation IS heard by the ears in a linear fashion, which is why linear taper pots work better than audio taper pots in a tone circuit.
Again, audio taper pots can be used for both, but linear taper pots should not be used for a volume pot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silimtao View Post
Should Coblat have to use caps or anything? I didn't put one in my CV DiMarzio mod; I thought it might make it sound to shrill, and love the tone as is. Plus, the tone/volume "kit" I got from Fender, didn't tell me the value of the cap, and I didn't want to just blindly put it in. The soldering in the CV is a hot mess, but I can't see it, and the thing works, haha.
Well, Coblat said he does want a volume and tone control for each pickup, so I'd say yes, he does need a pair of caps.

There are a few ways to get what YOU'VE got (the tonal response, and high end "boost" of having no cap):

One is to use a 1meg tone pot. That puts a LOT of resistance for any signal to get to the cap, and unless the tone control is used, the guitar will sound very close to not having a tone control at all.

Another way would be to use a push/pull tone pot, and wire the switch to either take the tone control OUT of the circuit when its pulled out, or (my personal favorite) having the tone circuit come IN when the pot is pulled out. In that case, the tone circuit is completely disconnected with no tone control load on your signal unless the pot switch is pulled out.

Another way to keep the guitar ultra simple in appearance and function is to use a volume pot only, but with a push/pull switch that engages a small cap between ground and the hot lug on the volume pot. In THAT case, its like having a "stealth", single position tone control that only comes in when the volume pot is pulled out. The cap should have a small value, since its directly connecting the hot lug to ground thru the cap... essentially, anytime the pot is pulled out, it would be the same as immediately turning the tone control fully to "0".
A .0047uF cap works great, and I dont think I'd go with anything more than .01uF.

I dont know if a PRS SE One uses a push/pull, but since that guitar only has a single volume pot, it would make a very cool mod to that guitar, or ANY guitar that you'd want to be super simple.

Any of those methods work very well to have your "tonal" cake and eat it too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebadboy View Post
Question... I already put in my new pickups and circuit into my plywood baby. It seems that my rail humbucker on bridge doesn't drive as much as my P90 neck. I used a meter on it and it is way less than advertised. Does it mean it is defective?
I'd bet a buck that you've got it wired wrong.
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:08 PM   #17
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That's some dizzying info Fill, but thanks.

Heh, "Coblat."
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:49 PM   #18
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Heh, "Coblat."
Our dear friend, Coblat!! Its a great name!!
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:24 AM   #19
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Our dear friend, Coblat!! Its a great name!!
Do you know the story behind that???
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:36 AM   #20
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Do you know the story behind that???
No, I thought it was just Slim rearranging the L and A in your forum name. 'Cobalt' is a cool name, and Coblat has a funny sound, so it seems to be a "term of endearment" for a forum friend... like the way most call him Slim.

It has an "inside" meaning?? Do tell.
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