Free the tone! Skip the tone control! Comments and Experiences

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by theprofessor, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's what I thought. So my amp tech buddy may be wrong?
    He told me that " you can see a difference on a scope, but you can't hear it .."

    ( BTW NOTE:
    this all comes from my listening to '72-era Jerry Garcia, where he wasn't afraid at all to do his Country picking on a Strat bridge PU, and I love that raw tone- my Strat OTOH has the 2nd Tone control wired to BOTH middle and bridge PU's - so I feel my bridge PU with Tone all the way up, is a little 'polite!')
     
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  2. Jonburst

    Jonburst TDPRI Member

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    I'm not really fond of my no-load tone pot at the moment.
    the resonant peak of the bridge pickup gets a bit high and has a bit too much nasal quack to it.
    If I take the pot down a hair past the click, it flattens out, sounds right.
    I use the tone pot a lot, so I want something that gives me my preferred range.
    I don't want to have to worry about that click at the top.
     
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  3. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Meister

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    You can get 'no loads pots' with no click. In fact they are easier to find than the clicking ones. Just FYI.
    .
     
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  4. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    A hair past the click would be a regular tone pot.
     
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  5. Jonburst

    Jonburst TDPRI Member

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    Yup, it sure is. I'll pop in a normal one when I swap my neck pickup and do some other wiring stuff.
     
  6. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This has got to depend on so many things... what your pickups sound like, the inherent tone of your particular guitar, how bright & how much presence your amp has.

    There are a lot of settings/setups on my amp with my guitar where not having the tone pot would be a disaster. My guitar will ice pick with the best of them. You want to play Roy Buchanan stuff and stab everyone with treble? My guitar & amp would be right there ready to go, so quite a lot of the time I have the tone rolled down. I have Lollar pickups and I did all the work myself, my solder joints must not be robbing much if any treble.

    A no load pot might be a good compromise.. but that sounds like it would just give me even more available and I honestly don't think I need it.

    Rhythm sounds on the bridge pickup for me.. way better with the tone rolled down a bit.
     
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  7. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    The problem with a sharp resonance is how uneven it is. Because some notes will have harmonic content closer to the resonance peak than others, you can have it sound completely normal on some notes, and feel like your ears are getting stabbed on others.

    There's a high chance it works fine with ex a P90, especially if you're just taking off the tone and leaving a 250k volume, but doing the same or "straight to jack" wirings with Strat or Tele pickups can easily create more problems than it fixes. It's nothing close to the cure-all some people think. It makes the resonance sharper and does not extend highend generally.
     
  8. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sounds like your amp tech buddy is referring to a regular tone pot, dimed. On '10', it's still in the circuit, even though the effect is small.

    Imagine three test scenarios. One is no tone circuit at all. Two is a tone circuit using a no-load pot. Three is a regular tone pot.

    For the two scenarios with a pot, the pot is dimed.

    On a scope, you'd see that #1 and #2 are identical. #3 would show a small effect of the tone pot loading, even though it's 'wide open'. Also, if you roll the no-load pot in #2 back just a very small amount, until the tone circuit is brought back in, then it would show same as #3 on the scope.

    Many no-loads have a little detent or speedbump on the pot. It's just mechanical, so you have some feedback that you are going in and out of having a tone circuit. But when 'out', it's electrically the same as having nothing. It's just not there.


    Whether you can ONLY see it on a scope, or hear it too, is subjective. I play at home, and I hear the difference, but it's subtle. But in general, I think it's so easy to do, and a good idea to not have the circuit loading my tone, unless I wish it.

    Where I really hear the difference is when I remove both tone and volume pots from the circuit. Often it's wired as a 'blower' switch, overriding all other settings, and delivering the bridge pickup, straight to the jack, with no tone or volume control (truly wide open). Because even on '10', the volume pot also loads the signal a bit. Combined with the tone pot loading, yeah, it's quite audible in my experience.

    I wire many of my guitars with a version of a blower where it bypasses tone and volume, but doesn't override the pickup selector. So, I can play neck, or middle, wide open, without any pot loading. So, with the no-load tone, I can remove just that, or with the 'blower', I can remove both. And no, you can't use a no-load pot for a volume control. Volume pots are wired as voltage dividers (three lugs), and tone pots are wired as rheostats (two lugs). Going no-load on a volume pot would kill the sound.

    Hope this clears up a few things.
     
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  9. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks I'm a guitar player that really is not a technical person but I do listen and try to pay attention to this stuff and try to learn so I've always been curious about the bridge pickup tone control or not on a Stratocaster thank you
     
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  10. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If it's about whether or not to have a tone pot on a Strat bridge, I wonder if many players who choose that would actually welcome the little bit darker tone of a 'load' tone pot.

    I hardly ever play bridge alone, but I do like position 2 (and 4). I usually wire mine with either middle and bridge on the second tone pot (ala Eric Johnson), or just bridge, leaving middle with no tone pot. The latter solution has the benefit of not double-loading in position 4, where normally you get the load of both neck and middle tone pots.
     
  11. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    My wonderful ( but stolen a long time ago) Jimmie Vaughan Strat ( 2- Tone SB, BIG V neck) had that latter option, Middle PU wide open ( great rhythm AND blues/ rockabilly lead option) and Tone wired to bridge PU.
     
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  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Love the JV necks!
     
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