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Changing pots right move?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by LuckyLuciano863, Sep 2, 2020.

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  1. LuckyLuciano863

    LuckyLuciano863 TDPRI Member

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    I have a 2017 MIJ Traditional ‘70s Tele with an ash body, maple neck, and rosewood slab board (‘59-‘62 style). Hence, it’s inherently pretty warm before considering any of the electronics. I think the guitar has enough top end, just a little too much lower-midrange for my taste. I’m wondering if swapping in different pots (eg. 250k to 300k) will help, or just boost the treble. Anyone have any insight? I don’t mind a little more treble as long as those low-mids are less noticeable.
     
  2. LAPlayer

    LAPlayer Tele-Meister

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    I don't change anything unless it's broken or needs replacing. I would just use my EQ to get the response (treble) where I want it.
     
  3. LuckyLuciano863

    LuckyLuciano863 TDPRI Member

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    The thing is, with the 2-band eq on most fender amps, if I turn the treble up it’s to many highs, and if I turn the bass down, I loose the lower and middle frequencies that I actually want. There’s just an ugly low-mid hump that I can’t shake. It needs such specific eq tweaking when my other guitars don’t. The pickups sound amazing when it’s all dialed in just so. I’m just wondering if pots will affect the entire frequency range or just boost treble.
     
  4. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Afflicted

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    Try setting your amp up off the floor or away from the wall or corner.

    No, changing the pots or caps won't affect the lows.
     
  5. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome to the forum.

    The pots don't boost anything. The circuit is passive the tone controls just bleed the treble to earth.

    The pot change is unlikely to do anything, the values are to close. From memory I think pots have a usual tolerance of + - 20% anyway.
     
  6. no doz

    no doz TDPRI Member

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    A simpler and more direct way to address your problem might be to pick up a used EQ pedal on the cheap. Can suck out some of that muddy low-mid hump before it hits your amp and gets boosted

    Pots have a bit of assumed variance in their value, for example a 300k pot might only measure 280k, a really incremental change from 250k that will be hard to hear / feel

    Another option would be to put in 500k pots and try a few different resistor values in the circuit path, effectively lowering the pots to a place between 250k + 500k, using your ears to parse when frequency response sounds "correct"

    If it were me I'd opt to try the hardware EQ route first
     
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  7. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    This. Unless your pots are seriously, abnormally low, you won't even notice a difference (unless placebo takes over for you). If you want to brighten up the guitar you can try 500k or 1M, but since you said the guitar "already has enough top end" it's probably not going to be a change that you're going to like. It'll just make the guitar brighter.

    The low mids thing isn't something you're going to be able to change in this way. You could try changing the pickups to something with less output, that would turn down the relative mids. Of course, that ups the price tag significantly, but to do what you want to do, I think that's the straightest, most often travelled path.

    Oh, and welcome to the forum.
     
  8. garrett

    garrett Tele-Afflicted

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  9. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    Does this occur when the volume control up past say 50 or more %?
    Is this happening when the tone control is completely up 100%?
     
  10. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Shifting to a 500k pots will allow more high end through, making the lows less obvious. BUT, with the correct tone cap of your choosing, you will be able to dial back the additional highs as desired.
     
  11. LuckyLuciano863

    LuckyLuciano863 TDPRI Member

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    Both on 10. @Geo
     
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  12. LuckyLuciano863

    LuckyLuciano863 TDPRI Member

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  13. azureglo

    azureglo TDPRI Member

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    You can even get one with the evil noise removed or just use a noise gate , watch this guy (aka session legend) making a humbucker chime like a single coil



    This would pretty much do whatever you want to your mids and would even let you "goose" your sound whatever that maybe...
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  14. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    My thoughts exactly. It might take a bit of trials and errors to find the right cap value.
    But it won't give real control of the mids, and could end up not sounding right as soon as the guitar is plugged into another amp, or after a speaker (or even a tube) swap. An EQ pedal would be far more flexible, but if the OP likes to plug direct into his amp, it could be a problem.
     
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  15. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Order of fixing a guitar's tone:

    -Adjust pickup heights, often lower is better tone, low like flush with trim rings or pickguards -- then turn up the amp volume if you need louder.

    -Adjust pickup screw poles if you have them (common on humbuckers)

    -Swap pots 'n caps -- yes, they push things around. 250k vs 500k effects on a guitar are quite well known by players. Measure your current volume pot across the outer lugs and find one that measures higher. I've found a Strat with a volume pot that was 125k actual even though stamped 250k, it had been played for years and was worn but had the tone the owner wanted so I had to mod a new pot to get it down to the same value using fixed resistors. If you need brighter then go 500k but measure for high/low in the spec (maybe try both and choose the best). Tone caps too try smaller uF to get brighter -- even when dimed.

    -then swap pickups and go back to the top of the list.

    If you have a vintage guitar ... don't swap controls nor pickups or you can injure the sales value. Instead just buy a second pickguard and load that up with all the stuff you like, mod to get the tones you need, and swap the loaded pickguard into the instrument to play, storing the original safely.

    .
     
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  17. garrett

    garrett Tele-Afflicted

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    If you want it to impact both pickups, just wire the cap in series with the output wire from the switch to the volume.
     
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  18. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    The series capacitor is worth a shot. I'd pick up some other values as well as the recommended .047uf. A .068, .1, or .033uf might sound better to you. Rule of thumb is the lower the cap value, the stronger the low cut.
     
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  19. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Already stated here three or four times: lower your pickups. It was the first thing to occur to me because overwound pickups the first thing you notice is beefier low mids. Weakening the pickups by rewinding them isn't an option but it certainly costs nothing to back them down away from the strings.
     
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  20. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Perhaps the OP already tried this. His question was about pots.
     
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