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Gibson's dual control setup vs Fender's single vol/single tone pot

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by DHart, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. LeeInAustin

    LeeInAustin Tele-Meister

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    I appreciate all the folks who're saying, "For me..." 'cuz it's so individual.

    I built all of my 4 electrics on a Tele platform with one master volume, but on half of 'em I have 2 tone controls--1 with Strat controls, 1 with stacked/concentric tone pots. If I had it all to do over again, I would have stuck with the stock configuration and spent those million hours of tweaking pots and such on playing instead....

    But if I were a full-time pro, I could imagine doing an SRV or Marcus King thing, adjusting many times within a single solo so that the tone varies to compliment individual lines of the solo. Not in this lifetime, however.
     
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  2. Treehouse

    Treehouse Tele-Meister

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    woman tone
     
  3. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    As a guy who has played Fender-style guitars for decades ( did own a few Epi Semis, and an LP but all gone now)

    I'm really digging my new Epi SG ( 2018 G-400 Pro) and the coil-tap feature.

    This SG has really good-sounding humbuckers ( and 500K pots), so that is the most important factor- I have always wanted a ' Gibson' that felt and sounds as good as this one-Finally! ( can't afford a Gibson)

    But what I'm digging about the coil-tap feature is one particular setting:

    both pickups ON, but only the bridge PU on coil-tap. This allows me to blend in a little warm low end/mids using the humbucker neck PU into the bright bridge tone. Fun tone for Rockabilly, ' Garcia Country,' jangly pop, kind of 'Strat #2 setting, but its own thing.

    A great tool 'hiding' inside the SG!
     
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  4. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    One of the big plusses to the Fender model is that the Volume knob is so much easier to reach than on the Gibsons. Swells and small adjustments are that much easier.
     
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  5. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    I like 'em all!

    From my Esquire with the dead-simple '50s controls (muffled, vol + tone pot, wide open), to the b & g bender Tele, to a Les Paul w/ the 4 knobs + a Bigsby. Oh, and the Strat copy (a Tradition SP 1) with the 5-way selector + splits on each (rail) pickup and a really smooth Wilkinson trem. Love the Reverend's bass contour knob, too, working with its volume knob, tone knob, and 3-way selector.

    I will say, though, that I play the Esquire and acoustics the most. The simplicity is sweet. Especially after a long, work-cluttered day. My single favorite setting is that sweet spot where it's clear or beginning to break up with the knobs--on the guitar, the amp, any pedals--all left in one place, everything depending on your own fingers' force, angles, touch, and on the room.

    I really think that the more it's all up to your fingers and one or two knobs, the more you improve. Gizmos can over-enthrall, so you end up marveling at your own G chord while the chance to really web those neurons fades away.....
     
  6. Terrygh1949

    Terrygh1949 Tele-Meister

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    Really never have used them that much. Just usually everything wide open, control volume with a volume pedal and, EQ on the amp.
     
  7. droliver

    droliver TDPRI Member

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    I can kind of get why in a studio setting it may have made sense at one point before it was so easy to EQ the signal, but from a performance setting it makes no sense to have the dual vol/tone controls. The simpler the better to me. The Telecaster had it right all along!
     
  8. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Yeah... ALL of my playing is in studio - no performing. So, there's always the time and ability to fine tweak the settings on two volume pots and two tone pots to get very specific tone.

    If I were playing live, I likely wouldn't bother with fine tuning two different volume pots.
     
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  9. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    I am not a fan of Gibson controls, and really prefer the simplicity of a Telecaster's controls, especially in a live setting. The less fiddling with stuff while performing, the smoother everything seems to go for me.
     
  10. DHart

    DHart Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Yeah... with my Gretsch... having control knobs all over the place - I pretty much use just the master volume, either all the way up, or all the way off. :lol: I much prefer Teles, Strats, and ES-guitars, but I do love the tones from Gretsch-style pickups (T-Armond, Hilo'tron, and Filter'tron) in my Fenders, Gibsons, and Epiphones.
     
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  11. wawood

    wawood TDPRI Member

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    Try Gretsch. Blend the pickups to your preference. Change volume with one knob without altering the blend.
     
  12. Henning

    Henning TDPRI Member

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    As the Gibson volume pots are voltage dividers the volume pots are not fully independant. You can realize it if you with both pickups in - toggle in mid - turn one volume full down the sound is off, the output is shorted to ground by the potmeter - - that’s how this construction works. Harmony H 49 from the early 60ies had a special “blender” control filtered in a special way giving tricky sounds.
     
  13. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Meister

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    One of each, you deal with it; two of each, do what you like. My tone controls don't get much use in any event; volume rollback does most of the tone control.

    But, I've always been a bit puzzled by having the three knob "one volume, two tone" setup. If I have three controls, I want a volume for each to blend the pickups to the sound I want. I only need one overall alleged tone control.

    Strat with three pickups, one vol and two tones... now we have serious issues to discuss.
     
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  14. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm telling you guys, bass cut control ;)
     
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  15. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Meister

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    I think that has merit... but with a Tele I'm thinking most guys here want treble cut.

    Got any wiring schematics?
     
  16. Socalsupermoto

    Socalsupermoto TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I HATE TWO VOLUMES! I use bridge for rockin stuff, neck for pretty stuff, and having to remember which pickup i'm on just to adjust the volume drives me insane. Especially on stage trying to also remember lyrics, chords, what the hell i'm doing, etc...

    I just got a airline tuxedo and have to convert it to single volume. No f holes so this should get interesting...
     
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  17. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    That’s what I did to my old Strat — rewired as Master Volume, Treble & Bass. Much better use of 3 knobs than Leo’s idea!
     
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  18. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, I don't see a need for a bass cut on my Tele either, nor would I be crazy about cluttering up the control plate with another knob. But on my Strat (an American Deluxe with S-1 switching) it's useful, and there's room for it.

    You can find tons of diagrams for different pickup/control configurations under "PTB" (passive treble/bass). It was popularized (perhaps invented? I'm not sure) by G&L. Reverend does the same on their guitars.

    Here's a diagram @moosie made for me. It makes it so that the no-load tone control originally wired to the middle and bridge pickups is now a master treble-cut, and replaces the other with a master bass-cut control. It also accounts for the S-1 switch and the more-complex-than-normal pickup switch. On most other guitars the mod is much simpler, really because the wiring is a lot simpler to begin with. Really mine only involved moving 3 or 4 wires in addition to removing the old tone pot and installing the new one.

    [​IMG]

    I obsessively pored over this and compared it with the original wiring diagram for days before attempting the mod, and it worked out great. It's really useful with the series tones engaged by the S-1, but it's also neat in "normal" Strat mode. Not only can you cut bass in addition to treble. There is also a range of frequencies in between the two, so slightly adjusting the two controls affects the balance between three frequency ranges; what the bass cut gets, what the treble cut gets, and what's in the middle.
     
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  19. Clifton C

    Clifton C Tele-Afflicted

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    I find the dual controls annoying—especially if you’re on stage and trying to adjust quickly—and redundant. I had the controls on my ‘72 Telecater Custom reissue rewired so that it’s a single volume and tone knob. Much, much better. I’ve contemplated using the extra volume knob to control a Clapton circuit, kind of like on the Andy Summers signature Tele.
     
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  20. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    I'm a 1 volume, 1 tone kinda guy
     
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