Let’s talk potentiometers

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Mission6_OG, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. Mission6_OG

    Mission6_OG Tele-Meister

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    How much impact does pots have on tone? Playability, etc.? I just received my Bullet Tele and have ordered licking tuners and saddle with 3-piece brass saddles. I really got this guitar to learn how to replace parts on my own, learn more of the inner workings of my guitar, etc. but seriously, how much improvement, and what is that improvement on the guitar itself with upgrading my pots?
     
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  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Pots don’t care how much they cost as long as they are the right value, especially if you play wide open

    Of course some have better sweep and feel than others

    Depends on how much you use them and how you use them

    If you’re a constant knob fiddler I would get some high quality pots
     
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  3. 68tele

    68tele Friend of Leo's

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    Licking tuners? Seems sketchy
     
  4. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    If they work well and are decent quality...not much. Unless you want to go from 250k to 500k, personally I don't like single coil pups with 500k pots...too shrill for me.

    Changing the cap will make a difference. .047 is standard for Fender, personally I prefer .033...less 'muted' & muddy when dialed to 0. I'd explain it like this, dial from 10 down to 4 with a .047 cap...you get that range across 10 to 0 with .033. Little more room to fine tune.
     
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  5. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Thought this was a Jimi Hendrix thread.
     
  6. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    you could remove them entirely, then you'd have someplace to hide your weed
     
  7. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    If you encounter someone in your audience doing this, you may have a tad too much treble dialed in. (Quite common with Teles)

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Pot does have effect on my tone.
     
  9. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I KNEW IT! I knew one of you dang hippies was gonna stop by...

    Dang it @popthree ! Too, I’m surrounded!

    I can smell your patchouli oil from here
     
  10. posttoastie

    posttoastie Friend of Leo's

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    I remember that the more you paid the better it usually was. So yes pay more for quality pots.
     
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  11. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Hippie? :twisted:

    More like this….

     
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  12. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My experience is some pots are good and some are not. Even some of those small bodied pots are excellent. But sure, there are bad ones too. Not sure you can draw that "quality priced" pots are better though.
    Case in point: Years ago I bought a used DRRI cheap. It was a closet classic and appeared brand new. I had a vintage AB165 eyelet board so I converted the amp to a vintage style hand wired amp.
    At the time everyone was saying "drill out the faceplate holes so you can put in full size pots".
    In the end I decided not to. Those mini pots used direct on the circuit boards were super smooth and nice. SO I took them off the board and wired right to the tabs on those pots. I was very happy with the result.
    I have a bunch of old Japanese guitar pots laying around. Some of those mini's are very smooth and noise free also.
    CTS pots often are not very uniform in "turning resistance" at all actually. Still, I mostly use CTS pots....
     
  13. posttoastie

    posttoastie Friend of Leo's

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    In the 90s Fender had the Smugglers, I mean Swimming pool route for Strat bodies. That must have been so you could store Pots in there.
    upload_2021-7-30_13-44-10.jpeg
     
  14. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    the ones designed for "guitar use" have a nicer/more usable taper than others. but some alpha 24mms are not any worse or better quality wise. and tone is a non issue. same with caps.

    a lot of "upgrades" are just personal preference and not a quality thing. even cheap pickups are just a preference thing (and lord knows i love those ceramic MIM pickups from the 90s more than some "period correct" emaciated alnico thing).

    the best "upgrade" you can do to a cheap guitar is taking it to a good luthier and paying for stellar fretwork & setup. it's not food, the quality of the "ingredients" is mostly the same after you pay a smidge more than market rate for any one component. the money you pay for premium guitars is in the labor and care taken in the luthiery work.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  15. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't get your tongue caught. ;)
     
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  16. Mission6_OG

    Mission6_OG Tele-Meister

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    Yeah...it was a rough night. Lots of drinking. Cut the hell out of my tongue trying to tune my b string. It was bad.
     
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  17. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Pots matter quite a lot. Choose the wrong value, taper, torque, etc., and you will know instantly what pots do and don't do. The weakest part of Squier electronics is usually the switch. If you like the taper, tone, and torque of the stock pots, you are all set.

    HOWEVER, you said you wanted a learning experience. What I would do in that case is actually build your own control plate with different pots, caps, and a better switch. Then swap the plates and whammo - you have new electronics and a guitar that sounds different. Use the new plate to experiment with different values and tapers and such, and it will be fun. But I would hold on to the stock plate for originality. Those Bullet Teles may be worth thousands some day!!:D
     
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  18. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    :D
     
  19. Mission6_OG

    Mission6_OG Tele-Meister

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    That answers that question. I really don’t mess with the knobs on my guitar much at all really. I guess because it’s all still do much of a learning curve and I’m still really finding “my” sound.
     
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  20. Dostradamas

    Dostradamas Tele-Meister

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    Confucius say

    "Man who stand on toilet, high on pot"

    I use the cheap ones till they get noisy then put in CTS solid shafts

    Tone tis in the digits yo
     
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