Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups darrenriley.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

500k pot for vol. -or- tone, -or- BOTH

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by DHart, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. DHart

    DHart Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    I recently went with 500k pots for both volume and tone in my Standard Tele... and really like enabling the full range of high frequencies from the pickups to be available (and then moderated, as needed, by using the tone control with a .047uF cap.)

    Previously, I only used 250k pots in the Tele, and left the tone control at 10 all the time. Now, I am really putting the tone control to good use and finding the enhanced highs especially nice with the neck pickup!

    What I’m wondering is, which 500k pot (the vol. or the tone) is providing the most benefit with this approach? How would it change if one of the two pots was 250k and the other was 500k?

    If I only had one 500k pot and one 250k pot available, which pot should be used with vol and which with tone - to enable the full high-frequency range of the pickups to be available?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018

  2. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    I would use the 500k as volume and 250k as tone. In many cases, such as mine (but I guess it depends on the impedance of your pickups and other stuff), 500k is overkill for a tone pot; not much is gonna happen at the top of its rotation. One of my Teles has 500k pots, and I can't hear the tone control's effect until its resistance is down around 300k.
     

  3. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    I think this is the first time I've seen someone edit his question after it's been answered.

    It's still answerable, if you're interested.
     

  4. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Depends on the pickups. 500 volume and 250 blend volume for neck has worked for me, as I to generally have tones sll the way up. So I eliminate it, and blend the neck up or down on middle switch position.
    This works well for a fairly hot or bright neck pup. Treat the neck blend as tone.
    The bass rolloff mod is also one to consider.
     

  5. DHart

    DHart Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    ?

    I clarified it; didn't change anything. I edit my posts all the time, if they would benefit from additional information or more clarity.

    Always interested in further replies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018

  6. DHart

    DHart Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Interesting, but without a Tone control, no ability to moderate the bright bridge that goes along with a 500k Volume?

    I probably need to just try the 500 Vol 250 Tone and see what happens!

    I have 500/500 in the Standard Tele and really like having access to the greater range of highs available from the neck pup, though I may more often roll off the bridge pup a little.

    If I substitute a 250 in for the Tone (but keeping 500 for Vol), it will be interesting to see what highs, if any, are lost.

    With a Strat I'm putting together, there will be two Gibson '57 Classic humbuckers. I'm going to try 1M pots for both vol and tone, with a 473J cap (.047uF). That'll let all the available highs from the PAFs shine through. Should be interesting to hear.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018

  7. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    I think you might want to look into the 'howard roberts/ bass rolloff ' option.
    But my way, middle switch position , IS the way I moderate a bright bridge.
    Treated like a tone, but more musical to me than just ' mudding up ' rolling off a tone pot.
    It enhances the bridge tone, wired opposite, it would enhance neck tone.
    The idea can from a Gretsch country gentleman schematic.
     
    DHart likes this.

  8. DHart

    DHart Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Yes, I like the middle position a lot. I like 'em all, really, depending on circumstance. And I really appreciate sparkly highs. A sparkly bright neck pickup is such a joy to hear, full, rich, and bright.
     

  9. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Tele-Holic

    509
    Nov 16, 2014
    Albany NY
    I'd concur with the other advice on a 500K volume. If you want even more extra sparkle you might try a no-load tone pot, so that when it's set wide open, it's entirely disconnected.

    I seldom roll back the tone at all for neck pickup, but d like to be able to go very warm once in a while. Some players feed their tone control from the bridge pickup lug on the switch so it doesn't affect the neck tone at all.

    I've sometimes been tempted to try a dual-concentric tone pot, with .047 on the neck and a lower value cap for the bridge, so I could roll off the highest highs without losing too much of the snarl. Something like .022 or even .015. Haven't done it yet though.
     

  10. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    You changed it enough to invalidate my first answer.
    OK. Use the 500k for volume, and convert the 250k to no-load and use it for tone.
     

  11. DHart

    DHart Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    I changed nothing. I added paragraph breaks for ease of reading. And added the last half of the last sentence to clarify my question. That threw you for a loop? Sheesh. NYC gettin’ to ya, perchance?
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.

  12. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    That "clarification" changed the parameters of the question and rendered my answer incorrect, because without additional electrical components or modifications there is no longer any correct answer.

    Anyway, a no-load tone pot or a "blower switch" should get you where you want to go.
     

  13. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Given the stated desire for sparkly highs, lots of range, I prefer both a blower, and noload tone. I can ride the volume, yet have tone out of the circuit. Or I can remove both.
     
    DHart and LutherBurger like this.

  14. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    You'll need a super switch to make this work. Otherwise you'll have both caps and pots active, really loading things down. Even then, in middle position, you'll need to choose to wire one or the other. In a passive system it's not possible to have two independent tones, with one volume pot.
     
    eclecticsynergy likes this.

  15. DHart

    DHart Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Just a matter of curiosity to me: Assuming one starts with both vol and tone controls being 250k, then just one of them is changed to a 500k pot.

    Which control, the vol or tone, when changed from a 250k to a 500k pot, will have a more noticeable effect on allowing highs to come through?

    500k Vol with 250k Tone? (Both pots running at “10”)

    Or

    250k Vol with 500k Tone? (Both pots running at “10”)

    Or, would the result be about the same either way, since one or the other of them is still limiting highs more than the other allows?

    =====================
    Another scenario...

    250k Vol pot with No-Load Tone pot set to “no load”

    Vs.

    500k Vol pot with No-Load Tone pot set to “no load”

    Would the latter be brighter than the former, because with the former, the 250k Vol pot is restricting more highs, in spite of the tone control being in a “no load” state?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018

  16. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Tone control calculation is pretty simple, since it's wired as a variable resistor. Volume pot calculation I don't fully understand, since it's wired as a voltage divider, and overall pot value changes the resonant peak of the pickup.

    This thread has some interesting stuff...

    https://www.seymourduncan.com/forum...-of-a-250k-pot-vs-500k-pot-effect-performance


    One summary I read in there was that there is more effect by changing the volume pot, if you are only changing one. So, for a subtle change, you might want to change the tone pot instead.
     
    DHart likes this.

  17. DHart

    DHart Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    moosie... thank you for that, Doctor! You have directly answered THE question I asked in my first post and which prompted this thread to begin with!

    From what you're saying, for more subtle enhancement of highs, bump the Tone pot from 250k to 500k. For more significant enhancement of highs, bump the Volume pot up to 500k. And to preserve even more of the highs coming from the pickups, bump them both up to 500k (or perhaps even to 1M, for darker humbucker pickups - which I am planning to do in an upcoming HH Strat build).

    I bumped all three pots up from 250k to 500k on one of my HSS Strats last night and WOW, what a change; it's like getting all-new pickups. I can really hear the sparkly highs from the neck pup and the sparkly 'quack' in the 2 and 4 Strat positions. The bridge position PAF humbucker also benefits nicely from the 500k pots. Plenty of natural, sparkly highs (inherent in the pickups to begin with) are fully available now; I love it and can easily moderate the highs (if and when desired) with the tone knobs and orange drop capacitor.

    For my taste, I'm going with 500k pots on all of my guitars, except I will be trying 1M pots in the HH guitars.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018

  18. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I just installed 500K pots on both volumes and tone controls of my Ibanez Artcore. I'm not sure if 500K is necessary for tone pots, but I had them and I was working on the guitar anyway, so in they went. They operate as any normal tone pot would.
     

  19. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I'm always doing this if I catch typos in my original post.
     

  20. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    It doesn’t really allow the full range of frequencies so much as it raises the resonant frequency.
    But, if you like it, it ain’t wrong. You’d see more using it as the volume.
     
    LutherBurger likes this.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.