May 23rd, 2012, 11:28 AM
If I replace single coils with humbuckers do I need to change all the pots to 500k rather than 250K and why? I'm doing a build with three humbuckers wired like a strat probably, so do I need 500s in all three pots? Cheers
May 23rd, 2012, 12:33 PM
It's usually the mode of operation for humbuckers or they'll be kind of dark or muddy sounding. I would at least start with the volume pot.
It's going to be easier to roll off highs at the guitar than to try and add them at the amp.
May 23rd, 2012, 12:45 PM
you dont need to but ya may as well if your getting in there anyway... youre going with humbuckers for a reason, at least make em sound good, like the sound that prompted you to want humbuckers in there in the first place.
if your gonna coil split most the time you could probably leave in the 250's. i dont even know haha
May 23rd, 2012, 12:56 PM
If the "strat" is already wired with 250k then I would try it like that. The important pot is the vol pot, that may need to be changed to 500k, but one reason a 500k is normally used with humbuckers is that there are normally two of them, in parallel. Where humbuckers use a single vol pot a 250k may give better results.
I have found that a 250k works pretty well as a tone control for humbuckers.
Try 250k volume, if too dark swap to 500k.
May 23rd, 2012, 12:59 PM
I agree on 500's. You don't want them too muddy. I have a Gibson LP (498-490 pups) and they have 300's and I put 500's in it, so while it wasn't much of a change, I did open them up nicely.
IDK why Gibson went to the 300's in some models years ago anyway ?? They are warm enough with 500's.
May 23rd, 2012, 01:53 PM
Point - an LP has a 2+2 control system, the vol pots are in parallel (effectively 250k at 10)
I have an Epi JP jazzbox, 2-humbuckers, re-wired with 1-tone, mono Varitone+depth, 1-volume. It is naturally very bright - 500k vol was very gritty, so I used a 250k linear vol pot and 47nF+250k log tone, and the mono Varitone depth is a weird home-brew low-value pseudo reverse-log.
The vol pot(s) forms an LR bass-cut filter with the pickup(s), a higher value pot cuts more bass, the treble is much the same. A 500k vol pot can sometime rob volume. The only way to decide is by experiment.
May 23rd, 2012, 06:37 PM
I put a humbucker in the neck of my Nocaster and went with a 500k volume pot but kept the 250k for the tone. Worked well for me.
May 24th, 2012, 02:49 PM
OK, thanks everyone, that's really helpful. Cheers
May 24th, 2012, 10:06 PM
I just swapped my pickups with a new bridge singlecoil and neck humbucker. At first I tried leaving the stock 250k pots and 0.05 uF cap but wasn't happy. The bridge sounded good but the humbucker sounded really muddy, like there was a blanket over the sound.
I ended up going with a slightly modified Fat Tele wiring scheme: changed both pots to 500k, 0.022 uF tone cap, and a 240k resistor across the bridge pickup (from the switch terminal where the bridge hot lead is connected to ground). I'm really happy with this wiring scheme.
Having said all of that, when it comes to humbuckers, I think this is something that comes down to personal taste. I did a lot of research on this very issue, and a lot of people were quite happy using 250k pots while others hated the sound until they changed to 500k.
I would recommend trying what you have first. If you like the sound, don't change anything. If it sounds too muddy to you, change one or both pots. One note is that if you do change the tone pot, I recommend changing the cap to 0.022 uF.