No-load tone pots & treble-bleed vol on MIJ strat

shunter

Strat-Talker
May 25, 2009
110
London
I’ve bought a mid 80s MIJ contemporary strat with a system 1 trem for £300. The tone controls work in the traditional manner on the neck and middle pickups.

frankly I only really need a tone control for the bridge pickup and I don’t like the treble loss on turning down the volume.

so I was thinking:
1. Treble bleed on the volume
2. No-load tone controls: one for neck/middle and one for bridge.

I was thinking this would give me the best options for bypassing all the tone controls and for flicking between an open neck pickup and a tamed bridge, but would still allow say position 2 with the treble rolled off the middle pickup as a substitute for bridge Humbucker tone.

is this a common set-up? Sounds sensible but my knowledge is limited. And where might I find a wiring diagram?

many thanks in advance for any help/advice.
 

AngeloEvs

Strat-Talker
Jan 5, 2020
315
Norfolk, UK
My Strats have no load tone controls and its not that difficult to modify a standard potentiometer to auto disconnect the capacitor in the fully clockwise position but you can purchase them from CTS.

Like you, the bridge pick up is the most important one to have a tone control. The second tone control is connected to either the neck or middle via mini toggle switch but my other Strat uses a tone control with a push pull switch to achieve the same function and a three pole Mini toggle switch coil taps the Seymour Duncan hot rails and cool rails.

Also important to me is the value of the capacitor for the bridge tone control. 0.022mf is a tone killer on humbuckers, hot rails, etc, and I have always used 0.005mf as these warm the highs and give what is referred to as 'womans tone' ( no idea why its called that).

I have always fitted a treble bleed cap across the vol pot wiper and hot connecton but I only fit the capacitor but no resistor - if you google you will see it is very simple to do.
 

ThebiggestJerk

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 26, 2018
1,807
Home
Around 180pf to 270pf is my choice.

Personally I like the smaller values best, but feel that unless you gig or play with a band, having a treble bleed is superfluous.
Ever notice how in a 3 piece, when the guitar solo starts up and the bass is the only one holding down the bottom end? The bulk of the sound mass is significantly reduced when that rhythm guitar component disappears. Not losing the treble when you turn down (because of other instruments playing) was the intent of the treble bleed. Playing Solo at home or at bedroom levels would not require a treble bleed.
I have no-load pots in most of my stage guitars but I feel now that they’re not necessary and possible even borderline as a gimmick. Audibly, again at bedroom levels - the difference between in-the- circuit and out is negligible. I’ve been accused more than once of having “great ears” and I can’t really hear any difference. I’ve learned that “on stage” the tone knob is often times your best friend especially on rhythm to tame that ice pick quality.
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
17,040
KC
I mod all of my strats to the Eric Johnson wiring scheme. I move the middle tone pot to the bridge position and run the middle wide open. I really like it when playing in the quack positions. Though I read a post on another thread that I may try soon where a member mods his to have the top tone wired to the neck and bridge and the bottom pot to the middle so he can have individual control over all three p'ups in any given position.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

shunter

Strat-Talker
May 25, 2009
110
London
You’ll have to excuse my ignorance, sorry. Is it the case that the no-load pot is simply the replacement of the existing pot and the only effective change on moving the tone is moving one lug along?
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
17,040
KC
You’ll have to excuse my ignorance, sorry. Is it the case that the no-load pot is simply the replacement of the existing pot and the only effective change on moving the tone is moving one lug along?
No worries at all bud. You will just be changing the tone pot and either moving a wire to the bridge. If you want all three p'ups to have tone control then you will need a jumper wire on the switch from either the neck lug or bridge lug...depending on which pot you want to control the middle.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

shunter

Strat-Talker
May 25, 2009
110
London
Oh ok! The guy I’m going to get to do this asked for a wiring diagram so I assumed there was some nuance I was missing.

thanks for your help
 

AngeloEvs

Strat-Talker
Jan 5, 2020
315
Norfolk, UK
......no load pots are better suited to lower values such as 250k and I can certainly hear the treble content lift in the no load position. The effect is hardly noticeable with 500k values and probably not worth the extra expense over standard potentiometers.
 

shunter

Strat-Talker
May 25, 2009
110
London
Is that the one? Bridge has one pot and middle-neck share a pot? And the fact it’s a no-load pot is ireleva
That will get you N/M on the top tone pot and bridge on the bottom. Perfect layout.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Great thanks.

And if I’m looking for no-load pots, on eBay am we looking at cts 250k pots, or maybe fender, and cheap good ones?
 

Stephen James

Strat-Talker
Vendor Member
May 30, 2016
458
Iowa City

shunter

Strat-Talker
May 25, 2009
110
London
Not sure I follow. Aren’t treble bleeds and no-load pots essentially addressing 2 separate issues: one loss of treble at lower volumes and the other loss of treble at any volume due to having a tone pot in the circuit?
 


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