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