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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com Reilander Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com Reilander Pickups
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500k no load vol and tone pots: a good idea?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by SarahThustra, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. rogb

    rogb Tele-Meister

    444
    Jan 3, 2012
    London, England
    Is there a correct layout for this circuit that you can post?
    Thanks:)
     
  2. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    Not really one to post, same circuit - just don't use a no-load for volume - standard tele 4-way selector circuit, but using a no-load for tone with 50nF, as shown in TDPRI Resources section
    http://www.tdpri.com/articles/gifs/tele_4way.gif
     
  3. rogb

    rogb Tele-Meister

    444
    Jan 3, 2012
    London, England
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  5. dblues

    dblues Tele-Holic

    913
    Apr 3, 2011
    smyrna tn
    Hey guys. The singlecoil.com article notes two methods of achieving the "direct through" mod. 1) no load pots and 2) DPDT switch. The wiring diagram is for the DPDT switch mod, not no load pots. My experience was with this www.fralinpickups.com/images/blendschem2.jpg Fralin wiring for blend pot. I used no load pots for the volume and tone with no problem, just didn't like the way it worked for the volume so it came out after a few months. A google search for no load pots on this forum shows this has been hashed over a few times previously. Apparently some non-standard wring schemes allow the no load to function somewhat as a tone control in the volume position. Couldn't find anybody that really liked the way it works, but apparently I wasn't the first person to solder one in and have it work.

    Sent from my iPad using TDPRI
     
  6. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    The volume control on the Fralin jpg is /not/ a no-load, it uses the top-lug as the hot signal - conventional potentiometer. The Tone and the Blend can easily be no-load and will switch out their function at "10".

    Of interest the "volume kit" is a simple treble bleed, hence you will get some sound out of this with a no-load because of the resistor in the signal between the top-lug and wiper - which will severely alter the taper.

    A fixed R of about 0.85Vr between wiper and cold/earthy will convert a linear pot into a smooth pseudo-log pot (for a "250k" vol control use Vr=500k Lin and R=420k).

    I can still see absolutely no way of using a no-load as a volume control, despite studying the singlecoil diagram (yes, the DPDT will work with a conventional pot) perhaps I'm still missing something?

    Using the tone control as a volume would be thoroughly confusing to me.
    I like controls to do what they are supposed to do, simple is best.
     
  7. dblues

    dblues Tele-Holic

    913
    Apr 3, 2011
    smyrna tn

    The volume control on the Fralin jpg is /not/ a no-load,...

    Didn't say it was. Said I used that wiring diagram when I installed no loads for vol and tone in my Strat.

    Of interest the "volume kit" is a simple treble bleed, hence you will get some sound out of this with a no-load because of the resistor in the signal between the top-lug and wiper - which will severely alter the taper.

    Yes it's a treble bleed. The thought occurred to me that this might be a clue as to why I noticed no loss of volume when the no load was full on. Didn't notice a big difference in the taper at the time.

    A fixed R of about 0.85Vr between wiper and cold/earthy will convert a linear pot into a smooth pseudo-log pot (for a "250k" vol control use Vr=500k Lin and R=420k).

    I can still see absolutely no way of using a no-load as a volume control, despite studying the singlecoil diagram (yes, the DPDT will work with a conventional pot) perhaps I'm still missing something?

    As I stated above the singlecoil.com diagram was not an example of no load pot used as volume control. It was an example of the "direct through" mod using DPDT switch.

    Using the tone control as a volume would be thoroughly confusing to me.
    I like controls to do what they are supposed to do, simple is best.[/QUOTE]

    I'm with you on this. I didn't find it confusing as much as just no improvement in tone for the trade off of the no load "sticking" in the full on position and interfering with volume swells and volume adjustments in general. The only reason I've persued any of this was I felt kind of silly for stating in my first response to the OP my experience with no load pots and being told what I thought I did was impossible. Two things I really appreciate about this forum are access to accurate information and the respectful dialogue (for the most part) between members regardless of their level of knowledge and/experience. For that I thank you again.

    Sent from my iPad using TDPRI


    Sent from my iPad using TDPRI
     
  8. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    I wasn't criticising you dblues but explaining what I saw of the fralin jpg and the singlecoil.com the latter which btw I understand to be two options described (1) with no-load (2) the DPDT (the 2nd DPDT option will work - but neither work properly with a no-load vol)
     
  9. dblues

    dblues Tele-Holic

    913
    Apr 3, 2011
    smyrna tn
    It's all good. I'm forever doing stuff and then struggling to understand, explain or repeat what happened. You've been a big help. The next time I have the strat open I may throw a no load back in the volume just to make sure I didn't dream the whole thing. Here's another clue. Before I removed the no load in the volume position I removed the treble bleed and did the 50s wiring mod (tone pot connected to middle lug of volume pot instead of input lug). At that point the volume pot was almost useless when turned down below about 7-8, big drop in treble and volume and no sound at about 3 or 4. Still full volume when full on. At that point I replaced the no load and put back the treble bleed and I've been happy with it since then.

    Sent from my iPad using TDPRI
     
  10. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
  11. Balthazar

    Balthazar TDPRI Member

    11
    Aug 21, 2010
    Oslo
    About using no-load potentiometers for volume, I believe that depends on how the pots are constructed. The page that says you can use them for volume, posted by rogb, doesn't just say "no-load pots", it says FENDER no-load pots. On a conventional pot, when you have turned the knob fully clockwise, there should be maximum resistance between the left lug and the center lug. On 500k pots that would be 500kohms. There should be minimal resistance between the center lug and the right lug, in this position. Approx zero ohms. The most natural thing to expect from a no-load potentiometer, when the knob is turned fully clockwise, would be that there's infinite resistance between the left lug and the center lug, and zero resistance between the center lug and the right lug. Such a potentiometer could be used both for tone and volume. If Fender no-load pots work this way, they could also be used for volume.

    The home-made type of no-load pots that some people suggest, with nail polish on the sweep band, won't work that way. When the knob is on full, these pots would result in infinite resistance between the center lug and BOTH the other two lugs. This would work for tone, but not for volume.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  12. Phostenix

    Phostenix Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 28, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    That's true of a pot that has been modified by cutting part of the resistive strip, but it is not true of modern Fender no-load pots.

    I have a video that shows some of this here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DW1_iO74Yk




    You still can't use a pot like that as a no-load volume wired the way volume pots are typically wired, because the output of the guitar is wired (normally) to the wiper of the pot. When the pot goes no-load, the wiper is not connected to anything. You'll get no output at all in the fully clockwise position.


    You can use a no-load pot as a no-load volume by connecting both the output of the pickup selector switch and the wire to the output jack to the middle terminal of the no-load pot (the wiper), leaving the 3rd terminal unused (terminal 1 still goes to ground). The problem with that setup is that as you turn the volume down, you load the pickups with a smaller & smaller impedence which rolls off highs dramatically. And, you can't wire in a treble bleed type circuit to counter that.

    If you want no-load volume, you're still better off with a switch that bypasses the volume pot.
     
  13. Balthazar

    Balthazar TDPRI Member

    11
    Aug 21, 2010
    Oslo
    Then you have clearly not understood what I have been writing. The output is not connected to the wiper of the pot, but to the middle terminal, which is normally connected to the wiper of the pot. But if there is zero resistance between the hot terminal and the middle terminal, then the middle terminal is in reality connected to the hot terminal.

    EDIT: I'm assuming a wiring like the top diagram on this page http://www.1728.org/guitar.htm
     
  14. Phostenix

    Phostenix Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 28, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    I clearly understood what you wrote. The wiper IS the middle terminal of the pot. No version of the no-load pot will work wired like a standard Strat or Tele master volume control.

    There are a couple of ways to make a no-load pot. One is to insulate the wiper from the resistive strip at the end by covering the strip with something like nail polish or super glue. The other way is to cut the strip near the end so that there is no longer continuity between terminals 1 & 3. If you measure this type of no-load pot with an ohmmeter, it will show open between 1 & 3. If you cut the strip (which is how Fender no-load pots are), it doesn't matter whether the wiper makes contact the terminal 3 when fully clockwise (as the earlier models did) or whether the wiper never makes contact with terminal 3 (as the current models do) - you still cannot wire up a no-load tone like you would a standard volume pot & expect it to work.

    If you use a no-load pot that has the strip covered at the end of rotation as a master volume -wired like it is in the top diagram on that page you linked - you will get no output when you turn the pot fully clockwise.

    If you use a no-load pot that has the strip cut at the end of rotation, you will get no output at all (except at fully clockwise on the older no-load pots where the wiper will connect to terminal 3 when fully clockwise).

    If you have a no-load pot where the wiper has continuity to terminal 3 when fully clockwise, that REQUIRES that the resistive strip must be cut near the end (like my video shows). If the strip is not cut, it will not be a no-load pot. Here's the key thing to understand - if the strip is cut, you CANNOT put the hot signal from the pickup selector switch to terminal 3 and connect the output jack to terminal 2 (the middle terminal, which is the wiper). There is no continuity between terminals 1 & 3, so it will not work as a volume pot - regardless of whether the wiper connects to terminal 3 or not.
     
  15. Balthazar

    Balthazar TDPRI Member

    11
    Aug 21, 2010
    Oslo
    I agree with you that your suggested constructions would not work for a volume pot. On the other hand, I don't agree with your assumption that this is the only way they could have constructed such a pot. I have made a little drawing that shows how such a potentiometer could be constructed here:

    [​IMG]

    The dotted box shows the internal construction. The rings outside the dotted box are the terminals which you can solder the wires to. This would require a rotary switch that would be activated only at the end of the knob rotation, which would be consistent with the click that people say they hear when the knob is turned fully clockwise. Your DIY constructions would not produce such a click, unless they added some mechanics to specifically produce it. I mention it because several people on the net claim they have wired no-load pots with standard wiring and say it worked fine. Other posters claim it doesn't work, but only speak from theory and not from actually trying it, and claim those who say it worked didn't really get no-load pots but must have been fooled by the manufacturer or something. It is quite possible those who claim it has worked for them used no-load pots from a different brand than Fender. That's why I say it depends on how the no-load pots are constructed. But you seem quite assured of how the Fender no-load pots work (after testing or reading specs?), so I won't quarrel with you on that.
     
  16. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    To answer the OP,
    no-load tone == cool tone to the bone
    no-load vol == hit head against wall

    You can make a no-load tone by modifying a CTS pot. Do a search! If you go this route, you can try the wiring without the no-load first and not spend the extra dough.

    You can also make a switch that cuts out both volume and tone controls for the loudest brightest sound you can eke out of the guitar. this might be cool if you, say, play crunchy rhythms at 8 and want to have a lead boost.
     
  17. Phostenix

    Phostenix Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 28, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    There is no rotary switch inside a Fender no-load pot. I posted a video in a previous post here that shows the constructions of the resistive strips in various Fender no-load pots so you can see it for yourself. I also have another video (part 1) that shows the complete pot disassembly and re-assembly. The click is a detent position, not a switch.

    Take a look at the videos. They show you how the Fender no-load pots function. There's no reason to speculate about how these things may or may not work, you can see it for yourself. :)

    Here's part 1:

     
  18. Phostenix

    Phostenix Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 28, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    Here's a link to a previous TDPRI thread on this subject where Deaf Eddie posted a diagram of how a no-load pot could be used as a volume pot, but I agree that the treble loss you will get when using this setup is unacceptable unless you never roll back your volume control.

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-technical/90172-no-load-volume.html
     
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