250K vs 500K

Wound_Up

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I started to post a question about this but this thread was recommended instead so I figure I'll start here since I've already posted once.

Looking at possibly using a 500k volume pot in mine with a '62 Custom neck and a 52 Tele bridge. I ordered new 250k pots and they came in at 260k and 210k, so I returned the 210k pot and ordered 2 more 250k pots. This time I got 1 audio and 1 linear pot. If these aren't closer to 250k than the one I returned, then they'll get returned also, and I'm just going to use one of the four linear 500k pots I have.

I've got all linear pots in one of my Strats and it doesn't seem to be any different than the rest of my guitars so it shouldn't be an issue, I'm guessing.

If it's at minimum ohm reading when at full volume, how does it give more volume vs a 250k pot? Something about how it loads the pickups or something?
 

sjtalon

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>I ordered new 250k pots and they came in at 260k and 210k<
So what were the tolerances of the pots you received ?? For example, CTS pots are 10%. Maybe what you order (brand) isn't that tight a tolerance?

I wouldn't get too concerned with that, trying or thinking you need them RIGHT ON. That's for cork sniffers :p

So for instance a CTS pot measured is 225kΩ (-25%). Well, there aren't many who could HONESTLY say, in a TRUE A/B blind test they could AUDIBALLY tell the difference in that vs. one spot on @ 250, or that one what or the other, one is BETTER, or that the different means jack in the end.


>If it's at minimum ohm reading when at full volume, how does it give more volume vs a 250k pot? Something about how it loads the pickups or something?<

If you mean volume-wise, you HEAR MORE (sounds louder), because there are fewer frequencies from the 250K pot signal getting through to the amp. More high frequencies of the total signal produced by the pickup are dumped off to ground with a 250.

Now what you want to do there pot wise, 250 or 500 is something no one can answer as it is too subjective. YOU try each one with test leads. Sometimes, with single coil pickups, a 500K volume pot results in a tone that it too shrill, ice pick. Especially the bridge.

I always say YOUR geetar, YOUR ears. Other people don't know what YOU expect in the end, that's YOUR choice. YOU the player doesn't need a correct answer...................just PLAY THE DARN THING 👍🤟

Happy pickin' and do keep us posted on how you make out.
 
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Boreas

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SNIP

Now what you want to do there pot wise, 250 or 500 is something no one can answer as it is too subjective. YOU try each one with test leads. Sometimes, with single coil pickups, a 500K volume pot results in a tone that it too shrill, ice pick. Especially the bridge.

I always say YOUR geetar, YOUR ears. Other people don't know what YOU expect in the end, that's YOUR choice. YOU the player doesn't need a correct answer...................just PLAY THE DARN THING 👍🤟

Happy pickin' and do keep us posted on how you make out.
I would also add that the "ice pick" can sometimes be tamed by simply adjusting pickup height (usually downward) - sometimes just on the treble side.
 

Swirling Snow

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I started to post a question about this but this thread was recommended instead so I figure I'll start here since I've already posted once.

Looking at possibly using a 500k volume pot in mine with a '62 Custom neck and a 52 Tele bridge. I ordered new 250k pots and they came in at 260k and 210k, so I returned the 210k pot and ordered 2 more 250k pots. This time I got 1 audio and 1 linear pot. If these aren't closer to 250k than the one I returned, then they'll get returned also, and I'm just going to use one of the four linear 500k pots I have.
An old trick is to order three, and use the two closest to the value you want.
I've got all linear pots in one of my Strats and it doesn't seem to be any different than the rest of my guitars so it shouldn't be an issue, I'm guessing.
Low cost pots only use two different strata, so if you don't use the full range of the pot, audio and linear will seem the same. I still recommend audio pots for audio signals.
If it's at minimum ohm reading when at full volume, how does it give more volume vs a 250k pot? Something about how it loads the pickups or something?
Exactly that something. The resistive element of the pot is connected across the pickup's coil. It directly affects the resonant peak of the pickup's LRC tank circuit by swamping the R value. With most coils, about a 125K load will give flat response. The choice between 250K and 500K is because we like a bit of a peak in the overtones.

And that's all it is, a choice. Thanks to the poor quality of our pots, we have a wide choice in tones. I have a JB with an A2 magnet, and it loves a 400K pot.
 

Blues Twanger

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Think of it less of 'these were designed for those' and more along the lines that different values can slide your tone up or down. Sure, in most cases the 250k pots are in the sweet spot for single coil pickups and 500k pots work well for humbuckers, but it's isn't set in stone. It's a variable and a tweaking tool we can use to get what we want from the wiring.
 

cousinpaul

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You'll hear the 500k difference more if you play at the guitar's full volume. If you ride the guitar's volume control, you'll find 250k a little lower on the knob's rotation.

Also, 250k, 500k, and 1Meg are not your only options. 300k and 375k are also available Another way to go would be adding a parallel resistor to create your own custom values. I've been using 300k on my tele with a neck HB. IMO, it's a pretty good compromise.
 

Wound_Up

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>I ordered new 250k pots and they came in at 260k and 210k<
So what were the tolerances of the pots you received ?? For example, CTS pots are 10%. Maybe what you order (brand) isn't that tight a tolerance?

I wouldn't get too concerned with that, trying or thinking you need them RIGHT ON. That's for cork sniffers :p

So for instance a CTS pot measured is 225kΩ (-25%). Well, there aren't many who could HONESTLY say, in a TRUE A/B blind test they could AUDIBALLY tell the difference in that vs. one spot on @ 250, or that one what or the other, one is BETTER, or that the different means jack in the end.


>If it's at minimum ohm reading when at full volume, how does it give more volume vs a 250k pot? Something about how it loads the pickups or something?<

If you mean volume-wise, you HEAR MORE (sounds louder), because there are fewer frequencies from the 250K pot signal getting through to the amp. More high frequencies of the total signal produced by the pickup are dumped off to ground with a 250.

Now what you want to do there pot wise, 250 or 500 is something no one can answer as it is too subjective. YOU try each one with test leads. Sometimes, with single coil pickups, a 500K volume pot results in a tone that it too shrill, ice pick. Especially the bridge.

I always say YOUR geetar, YOUR ears. Other people don't know what YOU expect in the end, that's YOUR choice. YOU the player doesn't need a correct answer...................just PLAY THE DARN THING 👍🤟

Happy pickin' and do keep us posted on how you make out.

Fender CTS vintage dimple back pots. In Fender packaging.

Standard CTS pots are spec'd at ±20%, not 10%. IME, unless pots are specifically marked as ±10% or less, then they meet the ±20% spec that most standard pots are spec'd at.

That's 2-300k for singles and 4-600k for hb's.

This one was 210k. Well, within the 40% range of tolerance. (±20% or 40% total) but too far from 250k for me to use.

I don't need it right on. I just need a higher value for more adjustment. 210k isn't enough for me. I probably should've just bought the 300k pots instead.

Edit: I apologize if this comes across rude or aggressive. It's not my intention.
 
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Wound_Up

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There is this option too FYI (as if you don't have enough of a conundrum :lol:

375's, used in the Hot Rod Tele's

Yea I kept coming across the Fender 'HOT ROD' potentiometer set with a 250k & 500k, also. That's where I got the idea to possibly use a 500k pot for volume if these next few pots I ordered aren't somewhere close to 250k. I've got one at 396k that I'd likely use for that.
 




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