Pots for a P90 + Single Coil Tele?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by BackwaterJunction, May 11, 2021.

  1. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    I'm considering swapping one of my tele's pickups to make something a bit different, with a P90 at the neck and a Tele bridge pickup with enough poke to keep up. The alternative to this is snagging the Seymour Duncan Little 59 off my Esquire and then giving that a single coil instead.

    I don't own anything with P90s at the moment but I believe it's common for them to be used with 500k pots? Tele singles I know are usually used with 250k pots.

    Does anyone have experience with P90s in a Tele to recommend which pots might bring the best out of both pickups?
     
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  2. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I would start with a 500k V pot.

    I am currently fiddling with a DuoSonic that has gone from SC/HB to SC/P90 and now I have installed two S90 pups. But I redid the controls with a Dunlop 500k V pot and a Fender TBX tone control. The S90s make an entirely different guitar, but I am still learning the TBX circuit. In your case, I would just start with the 500k V pot combined with a normal T pot or possibly a no-load T pot.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  3. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    So 500k Vol, 250k Tone?
     
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  4. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yes, but the value of the T pot doesn't make as much of a difference as the tone cap. With the 500k V pot, I would probably start with a 0.047 cap, but have a 0.022 on hand if it darkens things too much with the T at zero.

    The tapers for each are kind of a personal choice. Most people seem to prefer audio tapers, but I also see advantages of linear tapers. You just have to play with them to see which you prefer. Compared to the cost of pickups and guitars, pots are a cheap tweak to your sound and style.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
  5. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  6. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    Sorry @Boreas just seen your edit. Definitely some options to look into, thank you!

    I wasn't aware that the T pot value makes much less different. Electronics is not my strongest suit!

    May also go for P90 and SD Lil 59 Humbucker, with 500k V pot, just as that's possibly more likely to be consistent across the two.
     
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  7. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Personally, I would stick with SC/P90. Adding a HB adds another variable with balancing the output. A HB is basically two SC pups and they put out more power to the amp. Either combination though will be an interesting combination, but if you want the the Tele to penetrate a mix, I would have a Tele pup in the bridge.
     
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  8. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You can also find S-90s which are P-90s in a Strat size/format which may be easier to mount. That is what I put in my DuoSonic. I paid $35 for a set of 3 from Guitar Madness. Unfortunately they have been on backorder for some time.
     
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  9. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    You're quite right, which is why I originally thought P90 and Tele Bridge would be the better combo. And it spares me taking parts from another guitar!

    You've certainly given me some good pointers, so thank you!
     
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  10. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The P-90 will give to bark and the SC will give you bite - especially with the 500k pot.
     
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  11. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    What a great description, I could say the guitar was a bit of a hound!
     
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  12. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    Thanks @E5RSY - sorry I missed the notification for this reply. Don't think I've come across a 280k before so guess I have to do some research.

    Might ask the pickup manufacturer what they reckon as well.
     
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  13. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You wouldn't be the first guy to name your guitar Wolf.
     
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  14. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use the RS Guitarworks custom CTS 280k superpot for volume and a regular CTS 250k for tone. the t90 model, w/ p90 neck, Budz alnico3&5 and 10k Budz bridge. Recently did a true firebird neck and the 10k bridge, the 280k worked great. But I use the 280k CTS on everything. Nice smooth pot. Consistent specs.

    Starting w/ two pickups (or three) that were designed to work together helps tremendously.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  15. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    Thanks, @stephent2 - think your point about pickups designed to work well together is a very fair starting point.

    The P90 isn't too dark on a 280k pot?
     
  16. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not sure how to answer other than, no,... why would I consistently use that pot if it was too dark?

    To my ear and all my customers, the match is perfect. BTW, I never use a treble bleed cap, my aim is to have a full range from the tone control and a roll off of treble as you decrease volume.
     
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  17. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a 250k volume, 250k no-load tone, in my modified SX Tele.
     
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  18. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    For all you know, the 250k pot you currently have is actually 280k. Or 220k. Most pots have a tolerance of either +/- 20%. Some state +/-10%. They can advertise all they want, but until you measure every pot you touch, it makes it hard to compare. Personally, I feel making the modest jump from a measured 250k pot to a 280k would yield minimal results. If you really want to see what a change in pot values can do, I would start with a 500k - especially with P90s. Get to know your tone control. But hey, just try the new pups with what you have installed already - YOU may love it!
     
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  19. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's

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    I build teles regularly with a SH combo. The key is a low Henry humbucker to more closely match a single could out put. My choice is a 2.0 or 2.8 henry. I generally use 250k pot for the combo to avoid an overly bright bridge with a .47uf cap.

    Here's is video of the combo. Actually any of the SH videos on the channel are that combo.

     
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  20. BackwaterJunction

    BackwaterJunction Tele-Meister

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    Apologies if it seemed like a silly question - of course it wouldn't be too dark if you are consistently using it and selling it. Very poor question on my part. I am a bit new to some of the details of electronics so am a bit unsure of some things but of course, I'd trust you to know what you're talking about in guitars you're making!

    Your input has been helpful, so thank you :)
     
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