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Old August 6th, 2003, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Delta-Tone vs. TBX

For some reason I thought that delta tone and TBX tone controls were the same things. I understand now that they're different but what's the difference?


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Old August 6th, 2003, 01:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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delta tone is a tone pot w/a dedent at 10. 1-9 is a basic tone at 10 it clicks and takes the tone out of the circuit. = more treble. The TBX is (Treble/Bass/XCut) from 0 thru 4 its a treble cut, at 5 its neutral and from 6 -10 its a bass cut. Anybody use one?
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Old August 6th, 2003, 02:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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From Mr. Gearhead

Originally Posted by Mr. Gearhead
Q. "What does the TBX tone control do?"
A. TBX stands for treble/bass expander. The TBX tone control is a dual function stacked potentiometer control. From 1 to 5 (at the center detent), the TBX responds like a normal tone control routing the signal through a 250k pot with filtration through a .022mf capacitor. From 6 (at the detent) to 10, the TBX decreases the amount of tone filtering by routing the signal directly through a 1 meg pot. This feature allows more of the natural presence of the pickup sound to come through, and adds both treble and bass response to the sound of the guitar.

Q "Can you tell me what the Delta tone system is?"
A. The Delta-Tone system is a circuit consisting of a new higher output bridge pickup in conjunction with a new "no-load" tone pot. The new pot has a detent at the 10 position, which bypasses completely any filtration through capacitors. Unlike the TBX, which had a detent at the 5 position and gradually reduced the amount of filtration through the capacitor, the Delta-Tone's "no-load" feature eliminates filtration completely at the detent and the result is more of the direct presence of the pickup. The change from the TBX to the Delta-Tone "no load" system was a "running" change during 1997, so at any given time during that year you may have found guitars being shipped with either the Delta-Tone, the TBX, or neither one. At this time all American Standards are being delivered to stores with the new Delta-Tone system on board.
So, the TBX doesn't "boost" anything, although that's a popular misconception. Passive controls will never "boost" a signal; only active electronics can do that. How it works is like this: Increasing the resistance of the pot allows more of the natural highs to come through; that's why most people use 500K pots with humbuckers. The 1Meg portion of the pot simply lets more highs through. Unfortunately -- to my ears, at least -- the TBX is pretty muddy from 1 to 5 and doesn't really sound like a full 250K pot. The wiring of the pot is a bit more complex, as you have to basically wire one pot with a cap and the other with a resistor. Also, the detent is pretty annoying cos you can't just turn the knob past it with a pinky...

The Delta Tone pot ostensibly gives the same effect -- allowing more highs to come through -- by essentially taking the tone control out of the circuit. It's a lot easier to wire, too, as you are only wiring one pot in the traditional manner. Same problem as with the TBX, as far as getting out of the detent position.

If you are $$-challenged, but like to tinker, you can get the same effect as the Delta Tone pot by opening up the tone control pot and applying fingernail polish to the carbon track at the extreme of the wiper's travel. This will also take the pot out of the circuit. Best of all, you won't have that (IMHO) annoying detent to deal with.
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Old August 6th, 2003, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the Deltatone is a significant improvement in guitar electronics. I have a 2002 MIA tele with one and just love it. I keep thinking that when I have the urge to open up my part-o-caster again I'm going to change the pots to Deltatones.

The detente doesn't really bother me at all.

A friend of mine got a Strat Plus off ebay recently with a TBX control. After a month he couldn't stand it anymore. I replaced it for him with a standard 250k pot. I didn't care much for the TBX either.

Perhaps it's just a matter of what you're used to.
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Old August 6th, 2003, 02:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Handled 2-3 TBXs

when I removed them. Funny thing is one guy didn't even know he had it; the repair ticket said 'bad pot'. I made him come in and try it out before I removed that one.
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Old August 9th, 2003, 01:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a TBX...

on my 91 Strat Plus. I kind of like it. I don't use it all of the time but it definitely increases the presence of the bridge pickup. I've never been inclined to put one in as a mod though. For the time being, I am leaving it alone and have kept that guitar completely stock - for now. I love the body and finish on it, but I've worn down the frets pretty low. I'm thinking of going with a vintage/modern replacement neck and upgrading the pups from the Lace Sensors to something cooler.
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Old August 9th, 2003, 05:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I like the Delta Tone , it's really effective,and you quickly get used to the detent,it's worth a look at!.

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Old August 9th, 2003, 05:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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TBX control

My 94 40th Ani.MIA Strat came with one and I installed one into my 92 MIM Std.Tele. Both guitars have Bardens and the TBX responds very nicely to them. The best way to describe the effect is more "air" to the sound. It has it's place, particularly for recording but for the most part I only use the lower half of the sweep as a tone control and ignore the rest for live use.
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Old August 9th, 2003, 07:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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TBXs for me......

I use them primarily on strats. I've got a Beck strat (the newer series), I dropped 2 TBXs in it and it works well for me. I just put one in a new HWY 1 tele also. And yes, in a tele because of the heavier chrome knob, it makes it hard to detect where the detent is. Esp, live and on the fly. I usually have them set at the detent. But, sometimes later on at night when the high end is shaved off your hearing, they come in handy. Or even in a "saturated" room, they can help you "cut thru" the mix.
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