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Fender's dance with 1 MEG pots...

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Boreas, Mar 6, 2021.

In a Telecaster with "typical" single coil pickups, what is your preferred volume pot value?

  1. 250k

    7 vote(s)
    70.0%
  2. 500k

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. 1 MEG

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  4. Other (describe in post)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. No Tone Pot

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    viking's quote above exposed even more of my ignorance WRT Fender history. I knew Fender used them in some guitars and not others, but what was the rationale? My 74 Thinline (WRHBs) sounds great with them, and that makes sense, but why did they put them in single coils? Were those single coils wound specifically for 1 meg pots? Were 1 meg pots used on particularly muddy SCs? Given the modern-day revulsion to anything above 250k, how did they sell them? Were they meant for stage vs. studio?

    I personally love them in several of my of my Tele's with mostly stock pups - both cunife and non-cunife WRHBs as well as mellower SPs. But I actually USE my tone control to tame the highs if desired. Sometimes I want them, sometimes I don't. I am not a set-and-forget kinda guy.

    Anyone have info on Fender's use of 1 meg pots. Were "icepick" complaints common on those guitars??
     
  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Tele-Afflicted

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    I love Fender guitars and basses. For the record I have always loved them and always will and in all likelihood the next axe I buy will be a Fender.
    I swear I love them.

    But nobody ever said Fender got it right with 250k. They say it’s Fender so it must be fine. In most of the dozens of Fenders I’ve owned the pups and pots are upgraded within a week or so. My opinion.

    Am I wrong? The proof is in the industry built around the upgrades.
     
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  3. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    It was a cost cutting maneuvre , Im sure. Back then no one talked about tone , and if it occured to anyone that it would sound brighter with the 1 meg pots , surely people could just turn it down a little.
    The modern wiring was only introduced in 67 , I think . Before that the neck pu was supposed to be used as a bass replacement , as in the 50s before electric basses came around.
    The Strat didnt get the true 5 way switch till sometime in the 70s , no one at the factory cared about the in between settings , so a 3 way was fine.
     
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  4. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Fender clearly used different spec pots specifically for different pickup configurations before Leo moved on. He used 1Meg on the new line of Jazzmaster/Jaguars. He used 100k on Strats shortly before going 250K. He used 500K before going lower on early Jazz Basses. Lots of experimentation, not accidents IMO. All he did was sit in his office and tinker with electronics for the most part.


    As it relates to Teles those were the days of JBL's, Twins w/pedal steels et cetera. Bright, cutting tones. I highly doubt it was an accident or just re-use..you'd have seen them on everything from Mustangs to Strats.

    In the pantheon of classic country they're everywhere, James Burton recorded a ton with his paisley, before he put EMG's in it Reggie recorded a lot with a stock '69, etc etc.



    Plus, you know, logic: 1Meg Tele pots more often than not correspond within 1 or 2 years of the guitars production. 1972 Teles usually have 1972 1Meg pots, those aren't "Left over old stock" as manufacturers don't stamp pots with future dates. There's no cost saving in ordering the yearly batches of 250k versus 1Meg.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
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  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Isn't that why people seek Teles still today? I guess I don't get the modern aversion to bright tone in a guitar sought out for that tone. Some people even abhor 500k pots with SC Teles.

    Perhaps I should add a poll...
     
  6. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Not like back then. Bright means something different now, those guys in the Merle Haggard band played with some serious cut in their tone..so did a lot of surf guys.


    Either way, we know Fender did it on purpose because they continued to do it with later batches of pots outside the '67 thing, which happened but isn't a hard fast rule going into the 70's.
     
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  7. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    How much the pickup is loaded down by the pot depends on the pickup. I personally think the classic formulas work just fine, but as soon as you start adding more turns to a pickup, that changes things.
     
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