How important is the quality of pots/wiring for guitar tone?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by newuser1, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

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    Unless you buy very expensive special pots like these https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetai...iMZZMukHu%2bjC5l7YX%2b949kp6rphnsVqb2h/%2bfA=

    It really doesn't make a difference. Most all of the pots are imported from china with wide tolerances. Even the size really doesn't make much difference in quality,

    There is a perception that dime size pots are inferior. Most of that is due to the fact that they are much easier to ruin when soldering too long. So people ruin them a lot.
     
  2. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Pots have a 20% tolerance range in normal factory acceptable build variance. If the guitar body shape changed from one to the next on the rack people would be upset. But it's normal for pots, even the expensive ones. And, it matters to tone. If you have a guitar you like the tone of now, measure the kohms of those pots and then when you upgrade to full-sized pots find the same measured value and the guitar will sound the same. If you want brighter sort through the parts to find one at the high end of the spec, if darker find one at the lower end.

    There are a few blindfold playing tests on youtube by the Andertons crew and if you watch closely, Lee feels the pot smoothness and switch plus tuners to determine if the guitar he has is the cheap one or the expensive one. For $25 or less you can get the pots, caps, switch, and output jack of the most expensive guitars sold and solder those in your $50 beater. I have the bourns pots used in a Fender EVH $13,000 guitar turning the tones in a $15 used guitar. If I could only play like that guy I'd have something ;)

    Don't be afraid of buying parts and soldering up your own system.

    .
     
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  3. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    it really depends on what it is. If it's a fender plate and fender Knobs made in the USA with alpha pots (which do not fit USA spec knobs but ...) it would be a good deal. If it's just a Squier plate and knobs then no not at all.

    go here: http://darrenriley.com/ you can see the prices for different fender products.

    www.tubesandmore.com has reasonable prices a real Fender control plate is 13.50 a Korean version 4.95 both will be fine. they have nice bourns pots from 2.50 and cts from 4. Most important every few months they have 10 to 15% off and they have cheap shipping to Canada. It usual works out to be 20 to 30 percent cheaper buying parts from them with the shipping charge than buying at L&M

    As Ron correctly states it doesn't make a hill of beans difference to the sound quality which brand of pot or wire you use.
     
  4. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    Jack Pearson plays stock imported Squier Strats, and nobody complains about his tone.
     
  5. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    This is way off. Vintage style pickup can easily create voltages that are about half of an AA battery. High output pickups would have no problems exceeding the voltages of an AA.
     
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  6. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    I'm curious though. I have cheap Asian pots wire and switches in a 1994 Squier. The pots turn smoothly better than new CTS pots, its not noisy in total they are all about 23 years old when will they die?
     
  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I mean really .... if ya wanna get technical, a battery is 100% DC .. the Pickup generates an AC voltage... there actually never is any DC voltage in a passive guitar.... and hook the pup to a VOM and smack the rascal with a hammer, it still won't generate enough voltage to exceed the capabilities of a sliver of tin foil...

    rk
     
  8. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    Voltage is voltage. And pickup voltages are not thousands of times less that an AA battery no matter how you try to spin it. You were just plain wrong when you said that and wrong by a huge difference of voltage. It wasn't even close to being correct. It's as if you had no idea what you were talking about and just throwing out an uninformed guess.
     
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  9. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good stuff - I said it might come into play. Cheap stuff is more likely to break, but that doesn't mean it will.
     
  10. metalicaster

    metalicaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Almost none, provided the things that should make contact do, and the things that shouldn't don't.

    Neat wiring with small,neat, shiny solder joints is the best way to guarantee this.

    The twisted ends, duct tape wrapping and snotty solder jobs I've seen will sound exactly the same - until they come loose, then it won't work anymore.


    As long as the components all reliably continue to function as expected, the tone will be exactly the same

    If a switch/pot wears out or breaks prematurely, again, it will revert straight to "broken"


    Money is not an indicator of reliability, but things can be "too cheap"
     
  11. Durberville

    Durberville Tele-Meister

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    To me it's more about the 'feel ' I like the feel of the more solid made switches and pots as well as the input jacks , it's a reassurance thing.
     
  12. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    The kohm rating of the pots will affect how much treble is bled to ground. The tolerences on most pots vary quite a bit , but some people might like the actual value of the parts they have , LOL
    The normal good switches will last a lot longer than the cheap ones , IF you dont solder it to piecesand do a decent job. Same with the pots , a lot of them are ruined by using too much heat
    Any of he wellknown pots are avaiable in metric and imperial sizes , so stating that the Alphas wont fit US knobs/plates is plain wrong
     
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    well there ya have it.. give a man enough rope. . .

    but, while we're all quite impressed with your proficiency at peeing... leme throw a little cold water in your lap.. and hope it rains to clean up your indiscreet issue ...

    first my point had nothing to do with the electrical properties.. it was simply a metaphorical illustration to suggest that the wire in typical guitars, whatever wire it is, is more, way more, than adequate to the job... So the OP didn't have to concern himself with acquiring some esoteric hookup wire... anything Radio Shack had available would be more than fine...

    Thus your display is nothing more contributory than a pedantic meaningless "hissy fit"... Shoo... Scat. ... maybe I'm wrong.. been wrong before, planning on being so again, but perhaps you can explain how your contribution advanced anything?

    Using the illustration that a 1.5 volt DC battery is substantially higher voltage than will ever occur in the guitar, while the figurative thousands is not technically accurate.. it serves quite well, from a metaphorical aspect, to make the point.

    And.. If I'm incorrect in saying "thousands" .. even the .030 is still substantially lower than your suggested ¾ (.750) volt... that would be ½ of a normal Battery..

    But just to prove that point... I took one of my Barn Busters, popped the top, and disconnected the neck pup to isolate it for the purpose of a test..., since that one is exposed to the maximum "swing" of the string, producing the higher voltages... and hooked up a VOM to it, reading the output voltages directly.. and picked the string... several times, as it would normally be during playing. Had I chosen the Bridge it would have easily substantiated my original metaphor. But I didn't do that. We have enough gerques prancing around, skewing data.

    Normal playing produced voltages of .005 VAC or less, with .002 being more typical.. or 300 to 750 +- times less than the 1.5 VDC found in a typical battery... I could have fudged, picking way lightly, but it's just not necessary, the real deal is more than sufficient.. (I saw enough of that schidt while I was a part of the News Media... so I know how to "fudge" really, really well..)

    The initial "spike" could be as high as .030 VAC, still 50 times lover voltage than that of a battery...but to achieve that level of 'thrust" you have to really "jump on" the string in an uncharacteristic manner. In the shot showing .026, you can see the E 6th (largest mass) string vibrating considerably...

    So yeah, while "thousands" may be technically incorrect, it's still quite sufficient to make the point... Question . . . You weren't that As***** that was in my photography class in 1982 were ya :lol: Canon this, Canon that , Nikon sux .. yeah, right... F stops do NOT have a direct relationship with shutter speeds and ASA speeds?? Ansel Adams would have sucked with a Leica M2 .. :rolleyes: .. You, go sit out in the hall. :p

    Or.. maybe I'm wrong.. maybe he does make a valid point.... someone help me out.. after all, I AM old, worn out, senile... can no longer tell the difference between a really fine piece of Ash and a really fine piece of as*... ;) I can, however, tell an Ash Hole at the drop of a hat... :D

    rk



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    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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