No-load mod your guitar/bass tone or blender pot (2014)

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Rob DiStefano, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    10,195
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    NJ via TX
    it's that little 1/8" strip between the copper and carbon that's been scraped away ... i put a red dot on that scraped strip.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 73Fender

    73Fender Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,598
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Jersey Shore
    It's been a few weeks, not positive about what lugs, but there are only 3 so process of elimination will get you a reading (middle and one of the ends if memory serves). Set the meter to k ohms and rotate the arm, you'll see it. You can test your meter..hold the two probes together should be 0 ohms, apart is infinite ohms (overload / OL on a Fluke meter).

    EDIT: Hey Rob, love the Fat Lion, thanks.
     
  3. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    10,195
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    NJ via TX
    just go back to page 1 of this thread and follow the sequence of images ... mirror what yer doing with yer pot with each of the images, one at a time. it all works too easy, promise!
     
  4. chainsaw

    chainsaw Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    133
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    You can buy those no load pots for under 10 bucks. Save a lot of time and frustration.
     
  5. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    10,195
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    NJ via TX
    "save time and frustration"? really? you see this as that difficult a pot mod? yikes! guess not everyone can make this mod happen, sorry.
     
  6. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,273
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    on my bike
    I hear you Rob. You've been beyond helpful. I can't seem to get a reading with my cheapo meter that tells me anything different from an un-modded pot of the exact same. The mod is very easy, IMO, & I got the pots for well under $10.

    The iron is hot & I'm heading to the bench.
     
  7. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    10,195
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    NJ via TX
    probably best if i do a quick video, hopefully post it here today. :cool:
     
  8. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    10,195
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    NJ via TX
    the no-load pot mod video ... you might wanna view it larger within youtube.

     
    gkterry likes this.
  9. tapollok

    tapollok Tele-Holic

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    703
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    pgh pa usa
    Rob - great ideas....great explanation....great vid.

    I was gonna order a pre-wired Mojotone Strat Blender harness....then I decided I'd just order a Fralin-branded blender pot...

    If you say there is nothing special about a blender pot other than the fact that it should be a no-load...I'll try this.

    I don't care about a few bucks...I just wanna get my feet in a little deeper.

    Thanks for this!

    Tom
     
  10. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    10,195
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    NJ via TX
    functionally, all no-loads do the same thing. a commercial no-load pot might have a detent, so you can feel it snap in and deliver maximum resistance, thats something i can do without.
     
  11. tapollok

    tapollok Tele-Holic

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    703
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    pgh pa usa
    Thanks Rob!

    After I get this Strat to my liking....I've got two spectacular alder Tele bodies custom made for me by RogerC....a fellow member here.

    I'm gonna change the pickup routs and try some Cavaliers in them...with three pups and blenders.

    Talk soon.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  12. Manolete

    Manolete Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,044
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    Slightly off topic, but I've sometimes taken pots apart to clean them. If you follow Rob's detailed instructions, you can clean up the carbon track with an eraser or similar and get good results. I don't like contact cleaner as they tend to make a dirt soup, and when the solvents evaporate the muck is left behind. Contact cleaner doesn't magic away the dirt, but a careful demolition job does work. You may wish to vary how you clean up the track.
     
  13. Davo17

    Davo17 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,433
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Location:
    Southern California
    Very cool idea, thanks.
     
  14. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,683
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Lewes De.
    I use 500K pots w singles. When the no-load fad hit I did a switch to negate the tone. 0 difference. The loading must be at the 250K level. I believe folks are hearing a difference, but bigger pots will negate it. Also w bigger pots you can dial in the best load for the p-up which is usually more than the standard 250K circuits.
     
  15. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,681
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    netherlands
    i did that with some pots of some older amps and most of them turned out good. but some have some kind of damage that can't be cleaned
     
  16. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,681
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    netherlands
    still happy with this mod i used on one of my guitars, somehow the tonepot gets more credit and used.

    i have a 2 pickups guitar, humbucker bridge L500XL, single coil noiseless neck L280
    1 vol, 1 no load tone pot with the help off this topic

    wiring with 4 way N>N+B>B>N+B series and a miniswitch that can
    serie/parallel the humbucker so it still stays noiseless in semi single coil parallel sound.
    thank you Rob:D
     
  17. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    759
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    Nice explaining, and nice pics. I've done this one or two of the old ones. The difference is heard on loud volumes, and mostly on semi-clean sounds. Or clean.

    However, as this thread is old, but seemed to be resurrected february this year, I don't think it's too late to chime in.

    It's about this with the "dent", either nail polish or something else. So I have a question about vol pots too:

    1. Is it possible to make the same mod to a volume knob?

    I have a strat (too), and the main gripe (which I've found out I am sharing with a lot of others), is that whenever strumming wildly, the vol seems to be inadvertently knocked out from vol 10 down to a half, even if it's "sluggish" torque in it, i e that it is hard to turn. Since there is no "locking pots" around, which I would think there would be a market for, I wonder if one can make a dent with nail polish or "bump in the carbon path" so that it stays on vol 10 a little firmer. Like you have to use a little more force to turn it down from the vol 10 position.

    2. Is that possible in any way without disrupting the signal?

    The reason I want this is, I have detected (and you too) that pots can be made with a certain "dent" in the middle where you have pickup selectors/balance to a neck/bridge pickup system especially on basses. Also, some active EQ system on bass has this "0" zero spot in the middle of the pot carbon track, and there is a slight dent FELT when rotating it. I think a little "stop" or "dent" or bump in the track,would be sufficient enough to keep the volume knob at 10 without accidentally knocking it out.

    - - - - -

    There have been numerous solutions of DIY available, when putting rubber/foam rings underneath it, but it doesn't work well when doing volume swells with the vol pot, as I want that possibility when the volume isn't full. And it's only on full vol 10 when one is whacking and leaning in with the pick.

    3. I want a volume pot that "locks" at full volume, or at least a dent that makes it a little bit harder to move over or under at a certain select spot.

    Possible?
     
  18. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    10,195
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    NJ via TX
    no, you can't "blend" a vol pot because one side of the pot's wiper needs to go to ground, the other side accepts the signal, and the middle wiper sends that signal to the jack. this is why tone pots are always "on" when they're dialed "off", and why no-loading a tone pot insures that both the pot's resistance and cap are totally out of the circuit. you may be able to configure the circuit so that a switch will send the naked pickup signal directly to the jack, as i do with my esquire ...

    Esquire3-Way_ straight to jack.jpg
     
    MatsEriksson likes this.
  19. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    759
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    Thank you, yes a switch to bypass all of the vol, so the knob can be accidentally turned without something happening, it can roll around as much as it likes... :confused:. See, where can I find a 6 way strat switch? ;)...just kidding.

    I thought - anyway - that there should be a possibility to do some kind of "bump" in the carbon track, like "nail polish" or "nail glue" that makes the thing a little more sluggish to move over, that it takes a "dent" to go over the carbon track, and then the knob moves smoothly. Ok, that it isn't possible to do DIY but I can't imagine it being such a problem to manufacture one pot that actually did this, because it's of mechanical nature only, not electric.

    Let's say, for example Fender for Strats, did these knobs where there's a button in the middle that you push in to get another electric connection, say, all three pickups, kick in some boost or whatever. Instead of doing that (dodge that altogther) the "push in" button should mechanically lock the pot/knob in any position it has. Can't be rocket science, methinks. Really it has to lock the knob, even with getting the actual pot involved.

    You can see this on some pedals by some makers that they have "blocks" one can pull over the settings of any pedal so they don't get accidentally jinxed onstage by the cables or something else, say the shoe steps on a switch for another pedal and inadvertently knocks the adjacent pedals out of settings. But usually it is some kind of cover.
     
  20. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    759
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.