500k Versus 1Meg Ohm Pots

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Butch Snyder, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a set of pickups that came in a Telecaster, Fender Vintage Noiseless. The guitar came stock with 1Meg Ohm volume and tone pots. They sound great to me. I have another Telecaster that I'm putting a Little 59 in the bridge and a Fender Vintage Noiseless Strat pickup in the neck position; with a 3-way blade switch.

    If I use 500k volume and tone pots, will I hear much, if any, difference between 500k and 1 Meg Ohm pots?
     
  2. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Having no experience with those pickups but having swapped in both 500k and 1megs around both ways, I can say probably not a huge difference between those two values than say switching to 250k pots.
     
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  3. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    Higher K pots add brightness but I find the brightness to be sometimes harsh. It is great for recording direct to have 1 Meg pots, but harsh through amps, IME, but you may feel differently.

    If you want to learn for yourself, spend a couple of hours one day and desolder your volume pot, connect some alligator clips to the leads and dangle them out of the pickguard or control cover, then plug into your amp and clip 250k, 500k, 1Meg pots in. See which sounds best to you. You could try out different tone caps this way, as well as a treble bleed cap.
     
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  4. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a range of pots in my Telecasters.
    Only one with 1 Meg. It has regular single coil Tele pickups and is a Thinline build. It's the brightest, of course, but there is such a thing as a tone pot and I find that 1 Meg can be be tamed. That said, I wouldn't go beyond 500k in future - also fine with use of tone pot - and standardly use 250k.
     
  5. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    You could always do 1meg in both locations & add a resistor so the Lil' does not see the full 1meg pot as such. Easy to do & you can tame it as you see fit. I'd just try it as is first. You might like it.
     
  6. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    It's common to hear people talk about higher resistance just making the pickups brighter, and sounding too shrill, but brightness doesn't have to be shrill, so it's helpful to understand that the higher value pot actually does; it increases the amplitude of the resonance:

    [​IMG]

    So you don't get a broad increase of treble, you get an increase within a very narrow frequency band, and that's what doesn't sound so great, but the other takeaway is that anything you can do with a lower value pot, you can do with a higher value tone pot that has been turned down slightly. If you don't like the sound of a 1 meg, turn it down to "8", it will sound like a 500k, or "7", it will sound like a 250k. It's literally the same, any difference is purely imagined.
     
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  7. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    Installed a new control assembly using 500k volume and tone pots with a .047uF cap. Both pickups sound good and are balanced.
     
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