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No Load Tone Pot

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Gris, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Gris

    Gris Tele-Meister

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    Wondering what anyone’s experience is. Thinking about putting one on the neck/mid of my parts Strat. I forgot to wire the forward tone pot to my mid PU and I’m digging it so much it’s got me leaning towards having a no load there. What says the mob?
     
  2. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    I like them. Best of both worlds. When it's on 10 it's out of the circuit and effectively non-existent in every sense that matters, but turn it down and you have a functioning tone control. I have them on my Tele (otherwise typical wiring), my Strat (modded to a master no-load treble control and a master bass cut control) and my Esquire (the no-load giving me 4 options - Eldred, volume-and-tone, volume only, and straight-to-jack - on a three-way switch).

    One thing I have noticed is that two of my no-loads have a noticeable "click" (not audible - you physically feel it) on "10", and one barely does. I'm not sure if there is some design difference (maybe an older and newer design?), or if this is just a fluke. Regardless, it doesn't affect the function of the thing, it's just a curiosity.

    Anyway, a no-load pot along with the right cap is a wonderful thing. They go on any guitar I own unless they get painfully bright with a normal tone control.
     
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  3. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    No reason to not use one that i can see. I don't use tone controls often but any guitar i have them in a always use a no load. You can make your own too out of most pots just by scraping thru the carbon at the end of the right side of the resistive element when looking at the back of the pot with lugs facing the ceiling. Pry the casing tabs back to open it, scrape it, put the casing back and bend the tabs, done. Of course once u do this you will never be able to use that pot for volume if u ever need to for some reason.

    Oh, and that click mentioned above....that depends on how deep you cut into the resistive element. I always make it deep enough to feel the click.
     
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  4. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    In the Fender-branded ones, that click is facilitated by a little dimple punched into the bottom of the pot's shell. The rotating part inside rides on it until "9" and falls off it at "10": "click". If your tone knob rides too closely to the surface of the control plate/pickguard, it can't drop down: no "click". Try raising the knob a bit.
     
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  5. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I always use them.
     
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  6. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've used them on most of my builds. I buy them from Art of Tone usually.
     
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  7. Gris

    Gris Tele-Meister

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    Related Q for you no-loaders. Does using a no-load tone pot more or less obviate the need for a treble bleed cap/res?
     
  8. JimInMO

    JimInMO Tele-Meister

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    I have Fender no loads in a Tele and a Strat. My old much abused ears cannot tell the difference from no load engaged and barely clicked off. But the taper seems to be more gradual and useful than the CTS pots they replaced. So I’m happy with them.
     
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  9. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    No, if you like your treble bleed you should keep it.
     
  10. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    A no-load pot one of the first mods I do to a guitar. I wish they made a solid shaft with that little detent to feel it on 10/out of circuit, but its a quick job to convert a conventional pot. I also snip the lug that no longer serves a useful purpose so I can quickly ID which ones are modded to no-load.
     
  11. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    LOL...DOH!!! Great idea, why didn't i think of that?! Gonna do that for now on.
     
  12. Andy B

    Andy B Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If one of my guitars has a working tone control, it os a no load pot.
     
  13. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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  14. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks LutherBurger!! I'll get a couple for sure.
     
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  15. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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  16. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Ah! That's what it is.

    Thank you. The most useful post of the day for me. :)
     
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  17. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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  18. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    I use one in the bridge position of my 50s Strat partscaster. It gives me
    the vintage bridge sound plus the tc if needed.

    As far as making my own is concerned, it's a good way of perfectly
    screwing up a good pot. :(

    Don't ask me how i know... :oops:
     
  19. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    No load pots are overrated. The premise is that a very high Q factor is a good way to get a treble boost, but I think the fact that no load pots, and more generally, any pot value above 250k are rare in Strats and Teles is the collective consciousness saying that its not a great way to achieve treble. It's sounds shrill, some particular frequency band that varies by the length of your guitar cable, will be disproportionately loud, and that's a shrill sound. There's a lot of ways to go about getting more treble, not the least of which is the amp itself.
     
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  20. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    There is no doubt that killing a tone pot has the ability to allow for more treble tone. This is nothing new and has been recognized for many decades in the recording studios. This is akin to when we removed the ground shield covers off the humbuckers in our Les Pauls and SGs back in the early 70's. The added treble from such a mod wasn't "living room" noticeable for the most part, but it was gigging and recording noticeable for the most part, when volumes soared. It is what it was, back in the day. If you disagree, that's probably because you never experienced gigging and recording by plugging into very loud, cranked tube amps, both with and without tone caps and ground shielded pickups. For most of us way back in the early dayze of classic rock, it was a revelation of sorts.

    All passive single coil transducers are built with the most amount of treble their design will render. This is largely a matter of coil wire turn counts around a specific bobbin. You can't add treble, only remove it, which is easy to do via circuit capacitance of different kinds. Due to lots of things that pickups feed, tweaking those things may uncover more high end that had been component obfuscated. This is not "adding treble", it's uncovering treble and there is a limit to that treble range that is based on the pickups itself.
     
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