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Should new pots wires and jack accompany pick up upgrades?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by diverse379, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. diverse379

    diverse379 Strat-O-Master

    Feb 8, 2011
    i have been hot upgrading and customizing guitars and pickups for a long time.

    Tinkering and trying to get the best possible sound for how I play out of my guitar or Bass has always been a passion and hobby

    However I never paid any attention to the rest of the electronics until I dropped an Obsidian. Wire product into one of my projects, I closely followed this with something I bought from the tone guy

    And most recently a combination of rewiring from a brand new fender with some other pickups

    I am considering the opinion that in order to get the most of your build upgrade or project especially if your are working on a guitar over twenty years old. And you are putting in. Wa pickups
    That this should be accompanied with a new set of pots jack and caps.

    Probably not necessary but new is just less hinky and should prove to be more reliable and feel better as you dial around. Not to mention better wiring may just assist in more tone Getting to your amp.

    I’m just musing here but I would like to hear from some of the more serious
  2. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 22, 2016
    Pots, caps and wires don't really matter as long as:

    1. The ones yoy have are OK, no scratchy noises, stiff or loose movement etc.

    2: You use the same values. A 250k pot will always do what a 250k pot does, the same goes for capacitors. Tolerances may vary quite a bit but if they measure the same, there will be no difference between a cheap cap and an expensive cap. Same with pots, same with wires.
  3. AncientAx

    AncientAx Still hacking .... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 24, 2010
    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it .
    Tuner Sandwich and Cerb like this.
  4. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Back In Blighty
    I must admit I've never changed anything but the pups when upgrading. I changed a 5 way switch on an Am Std many years ago that had become faulty, but apart from that I stick with the pots, caps,and wiring. I stand to be corrected here, but there's many a 50 year old Fender that's still being played with the original pups and wiring, so unless something goes wrong I personally see no need to change.
  5. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue All roads lead to Stratocaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognita
    "Probably not necessary but new is just less hinky and should prove to be more reliable and feel better"

    "especially if your are working on a guitar over twenty years old"

    "Not to mention better wiring may just assist in more tone Getting to your amp."

    Ask yourself, does this hypothesis hold any water when exchanging the guitar in question to another object? Say for example a Car that needs it's flat tire fixed. Would you say that it needs a new engine? Suspensions, steering wheel or how about new break discs?

    If everything is already in a working condition, why would you change it? Because newer is better? Doesn't the fact that the parts are in working condition mean that they're in fact reliable?

    "Better wiring would may assist in more tone getting to your amp" you say, with all due respect I can say that you have no idea how electronics work judging by that sentence.
    Dave Harmon likes this.
  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014

    Remember that 250k is fifty percent of 500k ... And any of those pots you get have a twenty percent tolerance range.

    Pot selection matters. Bright dark.

    Caps matter. Tone even when dimed.

    Once I figured out how much the pots and caps push the tone around I stopped swapping pickups unless I want a style change. $5 pot or $100 pickup? Sometimes a guitar only needs a cap swap, for under a nickel.

    Don't ignore your pots and caps.

  7. Rich b in tempe

    Rich b in tempe Strat-Talker

    Jul 3, 2016
    Tempe az
    I totaly say Cerb has never heard the difference one guitar can have if you change out cheep pots for CTS 250k, & have all the pots matching, also use cloth push-back wire, just like a vintage strat & your guitar WILL SING!!
  8. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 25, 2016
    Newer pots are crapier than the old ones.

    You can see that the wiper and carbon layer are thinner than on the old stuff.

    If the old pots are frozen or crunchy, I spray them out with techspray.

    If they are still crunchy or unresponsive, only then do I swap the guts out, keeping the valuable original dated cans/solder joints.
  9. AngeloEvs

    AngeloEvs Strat-Talk Member

    Jan 5, 2020
    East Anglia UK
    If changing from SC to Humbuckers then changing from 250k to 500k for Vol, Tone etc is the norm.
  10. Estibi

    Estibi Strat-Talk Member

    Dec 10, 2018
    There are two kinds of pots, audio taper and linear taper. It effects how quickly the highs roll off as you turn the pot.Linear ones roll off consistently across the whole range, so at 5 the pot is 50% of the resistance, at 1 it's 10% of the resistance, etc. Audio taper pots are non-linear - logarithmic - meaning they don't do much for most of the pots rotation and then they do a lot at the very end. At 5 it could still have like 80% of the resistance and at 3 still 50%, then between 3 and 1 it all rolls off. It turns out that the human ear hears that way so they are great for volume pots but for me, the linear taper ones give me more control on the tone knobs. Different people like different types though, some like the tone control to be condensed into that small area so they can rapidly roll it on/off, for example. Just something to take into account if you change pots.
    Cerb likes this.
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