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How do You Use Your Tone Knobs?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by gitapik, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I tend to keep them up full and am considering switching the one furthest from the volume to adjust just the bridge's tone. I know a lot of Strat players who do this and it makes sense to me, as an LP player.

    But I do know and understand what the standard setup does and am wondering how you use yours (different genres and applications).
     
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  2. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, if you have or play a stock-wired Strat (mine no longer is...) the back Tone control only adjusts the Middle PU ( Front Tone, for Neck PU only).

    The bridge PU is wide open ( which also means it is brighter/rawer even than a bridge PU, were wired to a Tone control ( with Tone control all the way UP)

    My Strat IS wired so that the back Tone control works on both middle and bridge PU's, so most of the time I do this with that Tone control:
    MIDDLE ALONE- Tone cranked ( I use this PU a lot for old R&B/blues and Rockabilly stuff, lead and rhythm)
    BRIDGE ALONE- Tone at 7-8 most of the time, sometimes cranked
    BRIDGE+ MIDDLE- Tone always cranked

    I would not mind if I could indeed have a switching option to go to, that would put my Bridge PU back to stock.( NO Tone...) once in a while- it's a great nasty sound too especially with some OD- but very happy with current
     
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  3. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    I did the tone control on the bridge thing because I always thought the bridge pickup too bright. Then I realized it's supposed to be that way and I switched it back. Yes, it's nice to have the option, but honestly found it sorta useless. The reason I play the bridge is to cut through. It all depends on the context in which you are playing
     
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  4. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    Tone knobs? We don’t need no stinkin tone knobs.

    78FDFD48-6FDD-450F-AA2B-D426769C1210.jpeg
     
  5. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    dimed leads and for crispy crunch back to 7 for rhythm work and about 5 for jazz fat round tone
     
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  6. krowbot

    krowbot Tele-Meister

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    If I am playing a blues gig, and I am straight to the amp, my volume knob is at 75% and on the neck pup for rhythm.

    For leads, I turn volume up to 100% and switch to the bridge pup.

    For rock gigs, I am up all the way on both knobs, and I just use pedals to boost.
     
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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  8. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a " Blackie" I built from two strats and parts purchased. I use the tone and switches when needed and that's changing often in the one song.
     
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  9. acrylicsuperman

    acrylicsuperman Tele-Afflicted

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    Every strat I own ends up with a humbucker in the bridge and a single coil in the neck. I remove the middle pickup completely. My tone controls are independent for each pickup. While I do fiddle with them at times, my volume knob is my most common tone control and I ride the volume knob all the time.
     
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  10. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    The only time I touch a tone knob is on a bass. The last few builds have been sans tone, and, to my ears, i get a clearer tone because of it.
     
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  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Set the volume and tone on 8 and then set the amp volume and tone accordingly.
    Then if I want more volume or brightness, I have it. Can't do that if all your knobs are dimed.

    I like my Strat to have the neck and bridge pickup on a single tone, middle gets volume only for more quack. I prefer 1 volume and 1 tone because the original placement for the volume pot is in the way, placed a little lower and back a bit is still accessible and doesn't get in the way.
     
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  12. Billnchristy

    Billnchristy Tele-Afflicted

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    I hang my anti vampire baubles from them.
     
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  13. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Both tones usually engaged at 4-8 in my newish strat if I am swapping guitars at gig and leaving amp settings same.

    I took out the no load pot. just too bright.
     
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  14. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    I've tried to take most folks advice and set the tone lower a tad and adjust the amp accordingly. Trouble is, I dime it for a some part that needs a little more cut and I forget to put it back to 7. Then I wonder why I turned it down in the first place. Then I wonder why I even have a tone knob...

    I guess it would make more sense if I were in a cover band and I needed different textures for different songs but only one guitar and one amp. THEN the volume and tone would get a bit more fiddlin'. As it is now, I have a series/parallel switch on my bridge pickup (Firebird-style mini-hum) and I find purpose for both positions, but not much beyond that. I'm considering replacing the volume control with a 3- or 4-way switch with set resistances because there's only a few positions on the volume knob I find useful.

    It seems to me there are two kinds of people; the knob fiddlers and the knob dimers. You either is or you ain't, no middle ground... :twisted:
     
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  15. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

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    I am definitely a fiddler. I adjust for every song.

    I usually set my amp for a good neck pickup sound, and then use the tone knob to tame the bridge pickup. Works well for me. I ride the volume knob for clean/gain.
     
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  16. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    Once I wired in treble bleed circuits on most of my guitar's volume pots, I move them around often. A pot is essentially a resistor and when it is put lower, the guitar will usually lose some top end in addition to reducing the volume. Adding a cap/resistor treble bleed to the pot makes a huge difference in the frequency response for my purposes. A couple of my Guild electrics haven't gotten addressed, but all of my Fender guitars have treble bleed circuits added. I mostly leave the tone pot alone unless I want to darken up a fuzz pedal. Pickup height is more important to me than any of the pots. It's one aspect of an electric guitar set up most people don't pay attention to. To the people who complain about one of their pickups being louder than the other, please try adjusting the height of the pickups.
     
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  17. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

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    Always MAX
     
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  18. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted

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    on the tele i usually leave it up all the way.
    on my mim strats, no tone is hooked up to the bridge pickup, but on my mia strats, the lower tone knob is hooked up to the bridge pickup, and on those, i like to roll it back a notch or two.
    im gonna wire up my mim strats like that.
     
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  19. Syrinx

    Syrinx Tele-Holic

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    On most guitars I like to use tone set around 7 on neck and usually wide open on bridge. I will play with the knobs though as needed and seldom just set and forget. The tone knob can be important to set for whatever room you are playing, and also helps dial in the best harmonic response.
     
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  20. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    First: THANKS to all!! Great replies. I've copied and pasted this post to my "Gear Info" folder. I like how Obelisk chimed in about the treble bleed. That's a timely topic, in my music world.

    Except for my LP, I tend to dime all of my guitar pots and rely on the pedals...unless I'm playing loud. That's when I find the controls more useful...especially the volume knob.

    I could quote all of you, but for now:

    I bought my '57 AVRI used (great deal at $800 about 10 years ago). It has a 5 way switch on it. I haven't touched the config and here's how it works:

    > Neck pickup = front tone control
    > Neck/middle combo = front and back tone control
    > Middle pickup = back tone control
    > Middle/bridge combo = back tone control

    On my LP, I set my amps so that the neck pickup is exactly how I want it with the tone control dimed: Great edge. Not cloudy. This usually makes the bridge pickup too bright, so I dial that tone knob down to about 7 or so. It's a nice system and I'd like to have something similar for the Strat. Sounds like you've got the config I'm looking for Chiogtr4x (interesting name, btw). But you got my radar beeping when you said I'll lose some of the highs on the bridge pickup, even set all the way up on the tone knob. I do like that sound. A lot. Light OD and a compressor. It's a sweet sound. Glad you mentioned that. It might be a deal breaker for me.

    :)

    Got that right!
     
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