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Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Old Mojo, Apr 9, 2011.
Anybody tried it?
I have it several stratocasters and it is probably my favourite mod since you can really get so many tones. Love it.......
I've had a blender pot kicking around in my parts box for a while, I think it
must have been from a trade deal. anyway, I've never been able to think
of a use for it. same thing for a no-load pot.
ANYHOO: I have a project ready for wiring and I was thinking of trying
something completely different: middle pup wired to a center volume
pot - independent of the switch - using a 3-way, which will be bridge/
bridge+neck/neck with volume & tone controls for the two.
in a nutshell, I'm taking the middle pup out of the switching process
and putting it back in there as controlled by a dedicated volume pot.
this Strat has a mis-matched set of pickups, BTW.
SD Nashville bridge, Fralin vintage middle, Tokai Silver Star neck
so my question is, could I use either of these pots I already have
on-hand for this project, or maybe that should be SHOULD I use
one or both?
thaus, can ya elaborate as to how you use the blender on yer Strats?
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I tried it and found it rather clunky. I did find the tones somewhat useful...but also found myself hanging out with the neck/bridge combo. Yeah the combo sounds better than the bridge or neck alone, but I also dont wanna live there. All 3 pickups at the same time sounds ok...but in the end I just found it clunky, and "clunky" will make no sense until you do the mod. I noticed you had to not only use the switch, but you also have to use the blender to turn off or on the neck or bridge...and then the master tone pot certainly needs a lil adjustment to compensate...to fidgety to be practical everyday.
IMO it sounds better on paper.
Although it is a popular mod and other people seem to appreciate it...Im just sharing my own observations.
I guess I just think there should be an easier way to do this via push button or whatnot, I dunno.
AND also Id like to add...it doesnt really sound like a Telecaster. There, I said it.
Sure, the 2 tone knob is the blender,
switch in position 1, tone knob on 10 is all bridge.
Dial it towards 1 and you slowly begin adding the neck pup. At 1 both pups are full on.
Switch in position 2, tone knob on 1, all pups are on , dial it up to ten to get just middle and bridge.
Middle position is middle position.
Position 4 same as two except you are dialing out the bridge pup as you turn to 10.
Position 5 and when knob is on 1, you have both the neck pup and the bridge. Dial towards 10 and you add more neck until at 10 you have all bridge. The first tone is master tone for all positions.
Hope that explains it!! I love it since you get so many useful tones.
I use it
I also really like it. I made a no load pot and use it instead of a 2nd tone to dial in a bit of neck when on the bridge and vice versa. I pretty much only use it in the 1 & 5 switch position when I want it. I then set my tone as a master tone control with selectable 0.022uF and 0.047uF caps via a mini toggle see n between the tone pots. Here's a pic I snapped just after completing the build with the Smokin' Joes pups.
Do you need a Blender Pot to do this mod or a regular no-load pot, like the one on my bridge tone, can do the same trick?
I think that's the case 'cause from what I read, a blender pot IS a no load pot but WITHOUT the locking at 10.
If that's trully the case then I thing that a no load would serve me better.
But, is it?
There are several wiring setups that are called blenders. The basic one (which I think most people are referring to here) only requires a regular pot. Using a no load pot is a bonus, since it makes sure that the pickup being blended in is completely out of the circuit when you're not using it.
Here's the drawing:
The other type of blend is where you use a blend pot (dual gang pot with a center detent like a stereo balance control) to pan back & forth between 2 pickups.
Here's an example of that:
Here, let me help. You replace a tone pot with it!
I'm copying from
250k Blender Pot, CTS (.250" Bushing; Split Shaft)
So, you can see that a regular pot could never be applied as a BLENDER pot because you will always have "some" of that blending pickup.
It's not that I don't understand what the blender pot does. My original question was if a no-load pot would be as good as a blender pot, plus the ability to stay firmly in the non-blending position, when in 10.
Look at the drawings I posted.
You can use a normal or no load pot to add or blend in a pickup with another one. You will always get the one pickup & you can add the other pickup.
The true blender pot is used to pan back & forth between 2 pickups. One or the other or both together.
Never mind. I answered my own question.
Okay another question. If a standard pot is used and is wired as a blender control won't it short the pickup that is wired to it when it is rolled off to zero?
For example, Say the selector switch is in the bridge position and you have the bridge pickup wired to the blender. If the blender is rolled off to 0 it'll short the bridge pickup to ground and there will be no sound. Even when the bridge pickup is the only pickup selected. I don't like this possibility of making a mistake.
Is a special blender pot with center stop dropping the connection at the center stop to prevent a problem like this? And do the blender pots have no resistance when rolled full up and full down? If not it seems a switch to activate either the bridge or neck pickup is the best option.
The way most blenders work on a Strat is like Phostenix's 1st diagram above. The blender graduslly connects the 2nd pickup to the main selected pickup. Nothing gets shorted. A normal pot like a spare tone pot, works quite well but never quite removes the second pickup. A no load pot works better, ensuring there is no blending effect at 10
Thanks John, I am blind so I have to have my wife describe wiring to me. I was thinking the blend pot was wired like a volume pot. I am gonna have to see if I can find a description of how the pot is blending the pickups because I am not understanding it. I understand the effect, but I want to understand how it works the way it does.
So does the blending occur with the pot on 9 or on 0? I understand how a no load pot breaks the connection on 10, but I am not understanding how the pot is blending the unselected pickup in.
Does the wiring in that pic' you refered to blend the bridge when the neck is selected, then blend the neck pickup when the bridge is selected?
thaus wrote above,
"Position 5 and when knob is on 1, you have both the neck pup and the bridge. Dial towards 10 and you add more neck until at 10 you have all bridge."
Did thaus miss speak? Shouldn't the last word be neck? Like this.
Position 5 and when knob is on 1, you have both the neck pup and the bridge. Dial towards 10 and you add more neck until at 10 you have all neck.
Shouldn't it be that way?
Yes, that must have been a typo. And you are NOT adding more neck when you roll the blender control UP from 1 to 10. You are increasing the resistance in series with the bridge pickup so you are rolling DOWN its volume. If it's a no-load pot then you eventually shut off the bridge pickup entirely leaving only the neck (like a stock strat) when on 10.
A "blender" pot and a "no-load" pot are identical except for the fact that no-loads USUALLY have a detent so they click into place when you reach the end of the track. There is no electronic difference.
And the reason a blender doesn't short your entire signal is because it is not connected to ground (other than grounding the back of the pot for shielding). It functions as a variable resistor that jumpers the bridge and neck pickups together. No signal gets sent to ground.
Thanks Fumbler, you wrote, "Yes, that must have been a typo. And you are NOT adding more neck when you roll the blender control UP from 1 to 10. You are increasing the resistance in series with the bridge pickup so you are rolling DOWN its volume. If it's a no-load pot then you eventually shut off the bridge pickup entirely leaving only the neck (like a stock strat) when on 10."
I knew it was rolling off the bridge pickup instead of adding the neck pickup in, but thanks for that description. That explains it perfectly. However, I have one question. This blender wiring, is it series or parallel. I can't see the diagram to see how the wiring connects, but it seems that it is parallel.
"And the reason a blender doesn't short your entire signal is because it is not connected to ground (other than grounding the back of the pot for shielding). It functions as a variable resistor that jumpers the bridge and neck pickups together. No signal gets sent to ground."
Since I'm blind I thought the blender was being wired like a volume control. That is why I thought it was shorting to ground.
I don't ground the pots with the wires anymore like Fender does. I let the shielding ground the pots to prevent ground loops.
Yes, it jumpers the bridge and neck pickups in parallel.
And there are no such things as "ground loops" in simple, passive guitar circuitry. Ground is ground. Any connection made anywhere to ground is fine. And there's no need to "star ground" in a guitar with passive pickups.
Now ground loops certainly DO exist and need to be avoided in active/powered circuits like an amp where there are various gain stages. The "ground" for one stage may be the "hot" for another stage.
And you may be making a mistake by just bolting your pots to the shield and assuming that's a good connection to ground. Metal parts can oxidize and lose connectivity. A soldered joint is more reliable.
I've also seen the work of some clever techs who will solder a HEAVY GAUGE copper wire as the ground bus along all three pots on a strat. This makes for a very stable setup where the pots can't rotate even if their nuts loosen up.