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250k Vs 500k pots...???

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Laylas Daddy, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Laylas Daddy

    Laylas Daddy Banned

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    What's the difference in the tone between the two...?

    When would you use one over the other and why...?

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. orcslayer

    orcslayer Senior Stratmaster

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    500k are for a brighter sound & are typically used with Humbucker equipped guitars to reduce the middy sound & brighten it up.

    Single coil pups usually have 250k pots to add warmth & get rid of too much "ice pick" treble.
     
  3. Laylas Daddy

    Laylas Daddy Banned

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    Thanks!!!

    Is a volume pot and a tone pot the same thing...? It's in how you wire it...?
     
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  5. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

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    A lot of stacked Noiseless pups recommend 500k pots too. Volume and Tone pots are the same, except a Tone pot has a capacitor soldered into it to reduce high frequencies when you turn it down! 250k pot with 0.022uf cap', gives you almost the same sound as a 500k pot with a 0.047uf cap'. 500k pot with 0.022uf cap= "Very Trebly".
     
  6. MrMerino

    MrMerino Strat-Talker

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    Generally speaking, tone and volume Pots are interchangable. But um, a Lot of Times, Pots with Audio (logarithmic) Taper are used for Volume While linear Pots are used for tone Control.
     
  7. Laylas Daddy

    Laylas Daddy Banned

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    What cap and when....?

    Is it a personal thing on what cap to use on a 250K pot...?

    I have some Fender Tex Mexs pickups coming. What cap (if any) would I use with them...?
     
  8. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 Dog Whisperer. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    hey, man
    I have Tex mex's in my Strat now...I think because they are overwound and punchy sounding, then an in between value would be better...022µF prob. :) .
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  9. Laylas Daddy

    Laylas Daddy Banned

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    Good Deal, Thanks!!!
     
  10. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

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    022uf is one of the BRIGHTEST capacitors! If you want less 047uf is the one to go for, but with slightly overwound pups like Tex Mex an 022uf cap' with a 250k pot is what you need. Same advice, different reason. [​IMG]
     
  11. Laylas Daddy

    Laylas Daddy Banned

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    022uf cap it is!!!
     
  12. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 Dog Whisperer. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    ahh, I see...I wordeed it a bit clumsily..I meant an in between value in that range with 250K so the Tex Mex wouldn'tn't sound muddy?

    how would a .1 cap affect the Tex Mex?
     
  13. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Hey Randy, these Tex Mexes are VERY bright and punch through the mix very well. I have a set in my "San Diego" 1979 tribute. Mexican Body, American neck.
    I love the way they sound. I think you'll like them, especially as an upgrade to the MIM standards. I recommend that you run the 2nd tone to the bridge, because the bridge is way ear piercing on these sets to me. If you find the bridge to be too much, you can put back in the MIM bridge pickup.

    And also, the Tex Mexes' wiring colors are a little different. Usually the middle is yellow, but I think it's different on the Tex Mexes. Should have labeled them for ya, sorry bout that. I know the one with the shortest leads is the bridge, if that helps.
     
  14. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

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    In the words of Dirk Wacker of Premier Guitar, "completely dark and clinically dead”.
     
  15. Laylas Daddy

    Laylas Daddy Banned

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    Thanks, I will look you up if I need help.
     
  16. kgbeast

    kgbeast Senior Stratmaster

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    You can dial the 500K pots to 250K and get exact same volume and or brightness (on your tone) as you can with 250K maxed out. That is all.

    500K pots will just give you more range. A little louder a little brighter., or you can roll down both to about 7-8 to make it the same as the same guitar with 250K pots.

    Volume pot is usually audio taper, the tone some prefer linear, so they can be the same, but can be different (a little). I think audio taper on both is pretty good start.

    And by the way, going with 1M pots, will not produce any audible result comparing to 500K
     
  17. Bandit

    Bandit Strat-Talk Member

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    Am I reading this right? If I've got a bad (defective) audio taper 250k volume pot (in a Telecaster), and I replace it with a 500k audio taper, you're saying that I'll be able to get ALL of the performance typical of a 250k pot, and then some?

    And if a 500k pot will do ALL of what a 250k pot does with added benefits, and a 1-meg pot "produces no audible difference from a 500k pot" (as you've said here), then why wouldn't all manufacturers simply choose 1-meg pots?

    I don't know what it is, but something just doesn't seem right about this.

    Anyone?
     
  18. kaludjerko

    kaludjerko New Member!

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    No, this is not really true. Volume pot is wired like a voltage divider, so guitar sees 500k or 250k input resistance on the pot only. Now, if you connect it to e.g. Boss type pedal, you' have 166k (almost twice less).
    Another point which is often overlooked is that if you decrease volume pot and stay at 50% resistance than your pedal sees guitar as electrical source with 250k internal resistance for 500k pot and 125k resistance in case of 250k pot. I don't really know how this might influence sound, but electrically is rather different than original situation where your pickup of roughly 5k drives the pedal.
    I've chosen boss pedals as they are typically 500k input impendance, for good amp it would be in range of 1M, but similar reasoning applies.
     
  19. Aquaflan

    Aquaflan Strat-Talker

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    You use pedals with 500k input impedance? That would just make a guitar a little darker if it's the first device you plug into. Personally, I'd tune things to the 1M input standard.

    You can use 500k audio taper pots and just put the tone at ~7 to change the total guitar load to ~125k, like with 250k pots. The only difference is, the higher the pot value, the less linear and fine will be the tonal adjustment with audio taper pots. That matters when you get to about 4 or 5 on the pot and you like to adjust the sound very finely. In which case, a low capacitance cable will further help with the subtle differences in that range. It is worth it, IMO. If you are trying to get more highs, a low-C cable will produce better sounding results than 500k pots will.

    An average Strat PUP has a ~9db average resonance peak at the point determined by the interaction between the pickups and the total C-load (Capacitance load), in this case, cable C-load. If that C-load drops to ~100pF or lower, the resonance peak starts to disappear, and the high end comes up significantly.

    Depending on the Q-factor of the pole-piece materials, some pickups have even higher peaks, +12dB. That peak is less pronounced in a higher inductance version of the same design. Badly constructed high inductance (~8H+) pickups can sometimes require 1M pots to have enough bite and high end.

    The resistance load serves to moderate the gain on the resonance peak. With 250k pots on an well constructed average Stat, it's a nice round ~3dB. It's as much as ~8dB with 500kpots, and much sharper in shape. If the peak is ~9dB with no load, you can see how 1meg pots wouldn't make much difference. Before you change pots, consider a lower-C cable with the pots you have. When the resonance is at the right point with 250k pots, you can't ask for a better Strat tone.
     
  20. kaludjerko

    kaludjerko New Member!

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    Interesting answer. If I understand correctly, resonance peak appears only because of the cable capacitance? So for traditional sound you'd actually want to have non-perfect cable, to give peaky frequency response ...
    I just checked, actually Boss specifies most of their pedals as 1M (only DS1 is 470 Ohms???). My bad, sorry for misinformation, I had in my mind 500k as typical for pedals and 1M for tube amps.
     
  21. Aquaflan

    Aquaflan Strat-Talker

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    Not really. The total C (Capacitance) load interacts with the L (inductance) of the pickups to form a the resonance. The values of each determines the frequency of that resonance. The cable is essentially a capacitor. It's total value depends on it's rated C/per foot. Wilde BL-150 low-C cable is 20pF/foot. Tone caps work the same way, but their C-value doesn't come into play until below ~4 on the tone knob (for an audio taper pot). The total R (Resistance) load (normally determined by pot values) moderates the gain of the peak and the frequencies above it.

    As far as good sounding resonances go, most speakers roll-off highs at ~4 - 5kHz, so tuning the resonance above ~6kHz is pretty useless. 4.2-4.5kHz on the lead pickup is an ideal "bell tone". Above ~5.7kHz pretty much eliminates any peak, which can be more useful for post-eqing. Who can say which you'll prefer?

    Yeah, the Boss site shows 470 Ohms on the DS1 input. That can't be right. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a 470pF cap on the input of the distortion section, but I’d think it would be a much higher value than that, like 2 - 3nF.
     

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