How to get a long, bright tone sweep?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Okieactor, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Hotburrito1

    Hotburrito1 TDPRI Member

    Oct 2, 2014
    Dallastown, PA
    I really don’t mess with my tone knob but I have found a .15 cap to be super usable. The standard.22 caps always sounded unmusical and muddy to me. Good luck
    awasson likes this.
  2. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Nov 18, 2010
    Hey @Okieactor, how did you make out on your tone quest?

    I just rewired a pair of Strats this weekend for a smoother range of volume and tone and as I was working on them, I kept recalling this discussion.

    I’ve find that Strats and Tele’s are pretty similar in the way they’re wired for volume and tone circuits although the pickups and results are pretty different.

    One of my Strats had a .047uf cap for tone and an audio/log pot for volume, Linear pots for tone. I found that cap was too dark for my tastes and the tone went to mud as I turned it down.

    The other Strat had all audio/log pots for volume and tone and a 0.1uf tone cap. That cap was way too dark and the tone controls were pretty much useless.

    The other thing I don’t like about the “normal” fender wiring for Strats and Telecasters is how the tone changes when you sweep the volume. I prefer to set the tone with the tone control and then have the volume sweep a consistent tone from loud to quiet. That’s just my preference and I’m sure many players like to use their volume to soften the tone by habit after years of playing.

    So, my solution was to rewire my guitars with smaller tone caps to avoid the mud, change to the 50’s Gibson tone stack where the tone control is connected to the output of the volume control instead of the input and I changed my volume controls to Linear for a more natural 0 to 10 range and I changed my tone controls to Audio/Log pots.

    I chose a 0.022uf cap for one of my guitars and a 0.015uf for the other. I couldn’t be happier with the results.

    Gibson 50’s Telecaster Wiring:
  3. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

    Jun 19, 2009
    Austin, TX
    After experimenting for a few months, I've just gone back to a .022 orange drop. I discovered that it was just more important that the quality of the tones I can achieve is good, rather than insisting that the whole range of the knob is usable. The .022 (basically a standard value) seems better. I may get a .047 just to hear that at some point, but think I'm in a good place now.

    Side Note: I dont think it mattered a great deal, because I tend towards bridge-only or neck-only, but my pickups were wired out of phase. I corrected that and ran a ground for the neck pickup cover, and also have a usable middle position now, which also seems to sound good with the .022 cap.

    I know this stuff is all very basic for a lot of you, but I at least learned some things, even if I basically wound up in about the same stock place. The dimarzio pickups are significantly nicer than the stock mim ones, and I suppose the orange drop is better than the red film cap that was stock. Anyway, I feel good about how it sounds now.
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