Pots and wiring upgrade

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by liam_66, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. liam_66

    liam_66 Strat-Talker

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    Hey experts! Question for ya. I have a MIA Tele and and MIM strat. Both 90s. What upgrades do I need to do to be able to crank my amp, control the volume via my guitar volume, but not lose any tonal quality as I dial down guitar knob volume. Also appreciate recommendations on the preferred pots to use. Then end goal is to have actual 1-10 audible difference using the tone knobs, not just basically bright or dark, but a gradual tonal change with the tone know and also not lose quality when controlling the overall volume via volume.
    Thanks!!
     
  2. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

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    Hi , @liam_66

    look into whether a linear taper CTS tone pots would give a more gradual sweep on them.

    You usually want an audio taper volume pot like it has now .
    Though wiring the Strat volume pot like a 50’s Les Paul might help retain clarity when you roll it back.
     
  3. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    On standard wiring, as you turn down there is some loss of treble. Some people use this as part of their sound--BB King's "strangled humbucker" sound largely comes from playing a cranked amp and a dialed down volume control. If you don't like this effect, you want a treble bypass/treble bleed/bright cap on your volume pot. That's a cap (and sometimes a resistor for fine-tuning--sometimes in series with the cap and sometimes parallel) that bypasses the volume control, so that some of the highs are less effected by volume. Different people prefer different values. This goes between the input and output lugs on your volume pot. There's a pretty good explanation here: https://octavedoctor.com/treble-bleed-circuit-what-is-it-and-do-i-need-it/

    For the MIM, the stock pickups are pretty dark when paired with the stock 250k pots. A 500k pot will brighten it up considerably (when full up). A 500k pot set to 250k (about 7 on an audio taper pot) will sound exactly like a 250k pot set to 250k.

    I like a 500k tone control with a big cap (I use .1s) which means I can go from too bright to too dark with everything in between. For tone, some people prefer linear taper. Very very few people like linear for a volume pot.
     
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  4. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    Take a look at the G&L PTB tone circuit for an elegant, yet simple solution.
     
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  5. liam_66

    liam_66 Strat-Talker

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    Forgot to mention the MIM strat has Texas Specials so maybe 500k would be too bright?
     
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  6. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    If it's already bright enough for your tastes, you don't need to change the value.
     
  7. soulman969

    soulman969 Most Honored Senior Member

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    To get a more gradual transition on tonality I use lower value caps like an .010 or an .015 with a 250k pot. That will give you a more nuanced control of the tone pot.