Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

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Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby hogan » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:33 pm

that is to say they only effect the tone in the last 10% of the turn. I'm curious to see how many folks are suffering w/ this. Thanks ~MJH
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby strumminsix » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:56 pm

hogan wrote:that is to say they only effect the tone in the last 10% of the turn. I'm curious to see how many folks are suffering w/ this. Thanks ~MJH


Mine is effects tone very much in the top 25% and bottom 25% but the middle not so much which is okay.

My pickups on my main axe: neck darkest, bridge brightest, parallel blend so I dial in my amp in parallel with volume and tone on 9 and it works like a charm every time!
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:56 pm

Which 10% of the turn is where you hear all the action? Nearly all the way clockwise, like 9 to 10? Or the nearly all the way counter clockwise, like 0 to 1?

Brad
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby waldo041 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:44 am

"i've found a way to use the extreme bass end of my tone controls to get a kind of a horn-like sound." Guitar Player Oct. 1978


i get this asked often. this is exactly how jerry liked it. we now know what the values were for the caps and tone pots, so the results are identical. for the majority of it's travel the tone control cut the highs. at lower volumes this will most likely not be all that noticeable until you hit that extreme bass side at the end of the pots rotation. then you will notice the highs completely drop out.

i'm sure brad can explain it a little better.

peace,
waldo
"Tone is in the instruments. Technique in the hands. Do what you will." ~ quote from some guy at the TGP forum
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby Laytonco » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:32 am

Depends on the Guitar;

1) Alembic Tribute: The changes are noticeable at every point in the range. Super Sensitive.
2) Gibson SG: Very noticeable changes at the ends of the ranges. Not so noticeable in the middle.
3) Schecter CS/H-1: Crappy tone pots IMO. At 100%, very nice tone. ANYTHING 99% or below sounds completely muddy. I call the tone pots on the Schecter the shit switch. 100% = great, 99% or below = crappy.

Peace,

Gil
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby Laytonco » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:36 am

...oh and I must add, the Schecter is my favorite guitar right now playing through a Heritage Patriot, Bobby Effects, into a Hartruckers 2x12 Cab with Jonarobb JBL E120s. I WISH I knew someone who could mod the guitar = New Pickups, New Tone Pots, wiring, etc. If you know a good guitar tech, I'm interested!

Gil
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby tigerstrat » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:15 am

Pretty sure that means you are using too high a value tone pot. If you are using a 500k, try a 250k or maybe 300k. My original Fender Japan pots are rated 250k, but test at 320k, and that turned out to be just the ticket for me.
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby Maybeck09 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:44 am

I've had this problem and in my last move I put in a linear tone pot, not audio. I was told this might help in that the linear backs down the tone from 10 to 1 in a linear 1 by 1 way, the audio shapes it more like what you are talking about. Too early to tell just now. I just put a whole new pickguard in my strat- Fralin Blues Specials with blender pot, with this linear tone pot. There are so many new variables now that I'm sorting out what works and why-but this linear idea sounded worth a try. The pots cost the same as audio. I too like to play like jer with with tone clamped down, around 3-4, and sometimes lower to get that "horn" like deep quack like a good Althea or West LA Fade. Good luck- its an ongoing search! The tone quest!
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby Pete B. » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:17 am

Re: Schecter tone pots...

I have a Schecter Omen 7 EX (EX=26.5 scale)...
Two humbuckers... One Volume, one tone.
The tone pot is the (pull-up) split-coil switch.
All the treble-to-bass tonal transition occuurs in the 3-0 range... from 3 to 10 is like pretty much all the same-ish.
I called Schecter and talked to a very-enthusiatic-to-help (seriously) tech, who said I must have the A-model pot, and I need the B-model... sure enough he sent the part for free, and it is sitting next to the soldering iron but I haven't swapped it yet.
I've gotten used to using it like that, and it otherwise works fine and I like playing it.
My other guitars are all pretty much a steady tonal transition througout the range of pot travel.
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby waldo041 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:11 am

Pete B. wrote:I must have the A-model pot, and I need the B-model


he was giving you the standard U.S. codes
A= Logarithmic / Audio
B= Linear

most guitars will have log/audio tone pots. jerry specifically dialed in this circuit and it's reflected in both the wolf and tiger cavities. most players will find it useless, but jerry sought it out. i find that extreme bass side useful with a distortion and the mu3.

here is Brad Sarno's explanation of how and why it does what it does. i am sure he would probably recite this verbatim anyway.

Keep in mind that a linear taper pot used in an audio situation will have a lot of action in the very earliest 5% to 10% of the turn. Also a guitar tone control is unique. For most of its travel, it's a shelf type filter because it's a resistor in series with a cap to ground. But when that resistance goes away and the pickup sees pure capacitance, you suddenly get an actual shift of the resonant peak of the pickup. That's where you're not just cutting highs but all of a sudden the pickup's inductance sees the capacitive reactance of the cap itself, and the whole thing becomes a filter network. This only really shifts the pickup's general resonant frequency as that tone pot resistance approaches zero. Now typically there's an audio taper pot there, so that bottom 3% gets spread out over maybe 20% to 30%. But with a linear taper pot, it's all right there at the bottom. For Jerry, his tone control was two kinds of things. Most of the time it was used, it seems, to temper the high treble tone, but sometimes, he'd back it way down to get that frequency shift we hear as that real weird "horn" kind of sound, especially with distortion it was almost like a strange french horn or something. So the control is either used to tame highs, or to go to that extreme for the voicing shift


peace,
waldo
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby ronster » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:49 pm

I have a Schecter C1 classic and the both the tone and volume pots work at 100% and sound like crap at anything else. So I leave them alone and adjust tone and volume on my amp. I plan on swapping them out at some point but not worth the effort at this point. That aside, I highly recommend the guitar as I am finallly getting the sound I want with good sustain and small fast neck that fits my hands.
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby waldo041 » Thu May 28, 2009 8:58 am

just found the article explaining jerry's view on his tone controls.

Guitar Player July 1988 - pg 98

GP88 - You get a very wide range of tones and colors. Do you have ways of organizing them?

JG - I have basically the clean sound and the fuzzed-out sound. Those are my two basic colors. The rest of it has to do with the way I have my knobs set and my effects. My guitar’s treble cuts are not normal. They have capacitors in them so that when I roll the volume back, the tone stays the same. I have a unity-gain amplifier in my guitars, and that’s the reason I have it- so I can change volume without changing tone. The capacitors also serve as resonance boosters, so when I roll the knob all the way back, I get kind of a hollow horn-like quality with plenty of cut left to play a solo. It’s doesn’t really filter the way a wah-wah pedal does-it’s not that narrow. It’s more of a resonance boost. It does cut the top some, but it also does this other thing to the midrange. So I choose the pots and capacitor combination that produces that kind of effect, so that gives me an all-the-way-on and all-the-way-off on each pickup, which provides six basic tone voices. Then when I put those through the fuzz, it invents a new high-end or midrange resonance. You no longer have the bright, screaming high end where you can pick out harmonics, although the fuzz adds a high end that brings out the fullness of the interior sound. Sometimes when I play a blues chorus or something where I use the distorted sound, I change the tone by whipping the tone knob all the way down. Most of the time the tone knob is completely useless, but in this case it really does change the tone.


peace,
waldo
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby hogan » Thu May 28, 2009 9:06 am

I remember reading that in the actual mag back in the day. It's funny to me that he refers to it as fuzz when he never really played an actual fuzz for any signifigant amount of time. ~MJH
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Thu May 28, 2009 6:21 pm

I hadn't read that quote from Jerry in a long time. It's interesting. I think that he honestly was a bit incorrect in his description. I believe that referring to using capacitors so that the tone doesn't change with the volume was actually a reference to his guitar from back in the day before he used buffers, pre '75 or so. Since he trusted others to work out his wiring, maybe he just assumed that those caps were still in his guitar. It's true that you can put a "treble bleed cap" across a volume pot so that the top end stays bright and clear as you turn down the volume. But I think we have pretty good evidence of the true schematic in his Tiger and Wolf and can clearly see that these "treble bleed cap's" he's referring to are indeed not in those guitars. Once he had buffers in his axes, he no longer needed these bleed cap's.

Then there's the reference to the actual tone capacitors. I think that there's a reasonable consensus that he had .02uF tone caps in there. The .02uF is a relatively smaller cap than the more common .047. This smaller cap has a higher knee frequency, and to my ears sounds like that's what he used. When you turn down a tone control all the way, a strange thing happens to a pickup. It actually begins to slightly boost the resonant frequency as well as shift that frequency downward a bit giving the pickup a whole new voicing. That's that thing you hear right as the tone control reaches zero, when that pot resistance becomes zero ohms and the pickup and tone cap are directly connected to ground. This is that horn-like thing he's referring to, and with fuzz or distortion, it's enhanced quite a bit. I find that with .047uF tone caps, the DiMarzio just doesn't sound as horn-like compared to the .02uF.

So I hate to sound blasphemous, but Jerry was not the electronics tech. He was surrounded by them though, and it seems that in the interview you can see that he sort of blended and filtered his own semi-limited understanding of the cap's that lived, or once lived in his axes.

Brad
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Re: Raise your hand if your tone pots are not very useful

Postby hogan » Thu May 28, 2009 9:10 pm

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:
So I hate to sound blasphemous, but Jerry was not the electronics tech. He was surrounded by them though, and it seems that in the interview you can see that he sort of blended and filtered his own semi-limited understanding of the cap's that lived, or once lived in his axes.

Brad


I completely agree and have said the same thing for years.

~MJH
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