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500k volume pot for my Bullet Tele?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Willie Johnson, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Meister

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    I like it as-is and wasn't going to do any mods, but my volume doesn't have much sweep; it's kinda on or off. Would a 500k pot give me any more range, and would it alter the tone/brightness? I've done 500k pots for tone and volume, but not mix 'n match.
     
  2. Rockhead

    Rockhead Tele-Meister

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    The value (250k, 500k) won't effect the "sweep" of the pot. The Type of taper (audio or Linear) is what controls that. I'm not sure which one the bullet has. Typically the volume pot it Audio and the tone is linear but it's not written in stone. Check on the back of the pot where it shows if it's 250k or 500k. Most pots will have an "A" for audio or a "B" for linear before the pots value Example, A250k or B250k. whichever one it is try the opposite.
     
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  3. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Meister

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    250K audio taper CTS...that's the ticket. 500K is a recipe for calling all the neighborhood dogs.
     
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  4. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    Actually, a 500k volume pot is just what the Doctor ordered for the Bullet tele. Makes those stock pickups sound way better! Audio taper pot is the way to go. You'll get nice tone through the full sweep of the pot. Would also highly recommend a 250k no load tone pot, and they're not difficult to make yourself. Good luck!
     
  5. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Meister

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    I've got 500k pots in my other bullet tele, but I've got Strat pickups in there (one of the HS, short scale ones) and wanted to get the bridge pickup really bright; I usually back the tone off about a quarter turn. Maybe the no-load is worth a try--I've got some resistors in my parts box. I like this guitar mostly as-is and wasn't going to mess with it too much. Thanks, guys!
     
  6. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    You can even get a little 'in-between' the 250k and 500k with a shunt resistor, in parallel with the 500k pot. For example a 1Mohm resistor in parallel with 500k gives 333k when full on. Then it still reduces with lowering the volume. The taper will change some when doing that, but I've found it useful in some cases.
     
  7. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Switching to a 500k pot will unleash those pups! People complain about them because they refuse to use their tone control. But if you have particularly shrill pups, then you may want to stay with 250k. But neither value will have anything to do with the sweep on the V pot. You likely have an audio taper, but not all audio tapers are the same. And when you take into account wide tolerances on cheaper pots, two pots from the same manufacturer can spec out far apart - both in value and taper.

    Some manufacturers also make "custom" or "vintage" tapers which fall somewhere between audio and linear. I find these to have a more usable sweep to my ears. These manufacturers also have lower-torque pots that are easier to turn. Many people find the Alphas and other pots in Squiers to be too hard to turn for their liking - especially for swells and such. Personally, I like them a little firmer because they have less of a tendency to wander. Luckily pots are relatively cheap and easy to experiment with - especially on a Tele.
     
  8. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, maybe I just go ahead and switch out the pots and switch with higher quality components like I usually do, and not fuss with anything else and call it a day. May as well flip the control plate while I'm in there. Thanks for the gut check.
     
  9. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    In my Bullet tele, I wanted to give the stock pups a fair trial. I played them for several months before deciding they were fine for practicing at home but not good enough for playing out. Seeking more clarity, I did the 500k volume and 250k no-load tone pot mod. This really woke up the stock pickups and I was happy with them for a little while. If you want to keep the stock pups in there this is the best you can do for them IMHO.

    Eventually I did swap them out for a set of Dimarzio Area T's which are still in the guitar. They sound great and are noiseless, which comes in very handy at times.
     
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  10. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've never tried that, and I'm curious. Can you describe the change?
     
  11. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    It's the same idea as adding a shunt R on the neck/mid tone circuit for an HSS strat to allow using a 500kohm volume pot for the humbucker and still "present" a 250kohm load to the neck and middle pickups. To tweak the resistance for the humbucker you'd instead add the shunt resistor across the humbucker tone control, or at the volume if no humbucker tone control.

    Keep in mind:
    1) The parallel resistance formula is R = R1 // R2 = (R1*R2)/(R1 + R2).
    2) The effective R is always lower than the lower of the two resistors.
    3) At the pickup, the volume pot just appears as a shunt resistor with the full value; a 500k pot looks like a 500k resistor to ground. (The amp appears in shunt with that, too, through the guitar cable and the volume control resistance if not all the way up.)

    So for a humbucker where you find it too bright with a 500k pot, you can add, say, a 1Meg ohm resistor in shunt to get 333k ohm effectively. Or if you want more than 500kohm at the humbucker, you could use a 1Meg ohm pot and a shunt R to get somewhere between 500kohm and 1Meg ohm.

    Here's a diagram for what I do for neck and middle pups in my HSS strats. For doing this at the bridge, just change "neck" to "bridge" in the diagrams and tweak the R1A value to your liking.

    upload_2020-11-8_13-52-59.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2020
  12. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks, but I was only asking if you could describe the change in the volume pot's taper.
     
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  13. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    :lol::lol:
     
  14. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Right, wasn't sure. Adding a shunt resistor flattens the taper, making it more linear. If that's a problem it may be good to move to a pot with a steeper taper. Or just purchase a similar pot with the total resistance you want after experimenting with a shunt resistor.

    I was curious how much of a change this is myself. I created the plots below in Octave, based on a simple log formula, for the same situation of a 500k log pot and that pot with 1Meg in shunt (parallel). It's close to, but not quite an Audio Taper. The general trend to flatten the curve closer to linear will still hold.
    references:
    https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/304692/formula-for-logarithmic-audio-taper-pot
    https://www.islproducts.com/design-notes/potentiometer-taper/

    upload_2020-11-8_18-3-57.png
     
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  15. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thank you. Thats what I suspected, but I wasn't sure. I think the CTS "A" taper can use some flattening.
     
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  16. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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  17. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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    My BSB affinity still has 500k stock pots n switch. I took the treble bleed cap off and have had no issues with stock parts...vol and tone work very nicely...nice taper to them...
    as i said in another post...my neck pup died so i put a cheap strat ceramic in there,,no pickguard...sounded ok...but i put CIJ jazzmaster pickup magnets in there...
    ceramic magnet was loose...,.pup was microphonic.
    pole slugs came out easy...new magnets fit perfect...no more microphonics but a nice airy tone...so i did same to bridge pup...mags were a bit too short so i put the slugs back in the underside...sounds lovely....more ric than tele..blows my VM jag out of the water...
    play about with things and sometimes the gods reward you with great tone....my tele is my no1 guitar now....so versatile...and it was a freeby off an old workmate...win win!
     
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