So what would happen if I got rid of the tone knob on my strat?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by FortyEight, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    I hear people say that it opens the pups up. For a long time I used the tone knobs when using my bridge pups on my tele and strat. But lately I haven't and I feel like it actually sounds better that way. Don't know what changed with me but I like it.


    My strat, well it's a Fender Starcaster that is a chinse strat. It's got kind of a nice sound. But I don't like 2 and 4 on a strat, so I got rid of the neck pup and moved the middle to the neck position so I can get neck / bridge together. I like it. I like them probably even more by themselves. Neck or Bridge.

    I have wanted to wire a strat this way (the idea I'm proposing below) for a long time but am still learning how to solder well and I need to get the right kind of solder gun.

    There are times when I strum liberally and the switch, when in the forward position can get hit. Right now I only use position 3,4 and 5 so it's not really a thing. BUT, what I'd like to try is delete the switch and just make it a blender with 2 volume knobs. No tone and then put the two volume knobs in the lower position cuz I do sometimes hit the top volume knob on a strummy song.

    Super simple. I kind of like how these pickups sound. But at the same time I keep thinking I want to try alnico pups. But who knows. I may like them even more if the sound does change if I got rid of the tone knob.

    Just curious if any of you have gone from a tone knob to deleting it on a pup and what you thought about the result. Does it open it up and sound fuller? Or better? Or no?

    Thanks guys.
     

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  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Every potentiometer passes slightly below 100%. At least the consumer grade kind that you’d use on a guitar. So you might notice a very small difference compared to wide open. Or it might be that you don’t notice, very small difference. Are you making other changes or just removing the pot?
     
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  3. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

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    If you can find an Esquire with traditional wiring the switch can get you pot and no pot. That would allow you to at least get a sense of what the change sounds like.
     
  4. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suppose it would be the same as turning a no-load tone pot off, which makes a difference but not a huge one. The sound will be slightly brighter, slightly louder.
     
  5. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    IME, the difference between 10 and bypass is inaudible in the real world, even with a 250K pot.

    Esquires have been my main stage guitars for nearly 20 years. What much experience playing them has taught the is that there is no reason whatsoever for me to have my tone pot dimed. It makes positions 1 and 2 effectively identical. I use position 1 as the equivalent of tone on 10, and set the tone knob down to a pre-set for position 2.

    I wouldn't bother modifying a guitar just for that. I would just run my pot on 10.
     
  6. Gardo

    Gardo Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    No load tone pot is a good idea , tone pot is out of circuit when not waned but still available if called for
     
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  7. Boreas

    Boreas Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    You will notice the difference for a few minutes, then you won't
     
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  8. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    My preferred Strat wiring is master volume/tone with a no-load tone pot. I also replace the second tone control with a mini-switch that can toggle the bridge pickup on separately from the 5-way switch.
     
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  9. Wobbles

    Wobbles Tele-Meister

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    That's the beauty of strats. Easy to modify. Try it. If you don't like it, change it back.
     
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  10. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you get rid of the tone knob, you won't have a tone knob.

    As far as "opening up" the pickups, it totally depends on the amp you're using. A decent amp will sound the same with a tone pot in the guitar and without one.
     
  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    My Strat type guitars usually have volume only for the bridge pickup in stock form.

    I like to move the second tone knob from the middle pickup to the bridge pickup. This gives tone control to the bridge pickup which is usually too bright and opens the treble range for the middle pickup used by itself.

    I also like to install a series/parallel toggle switch for the middle pickup for the combo positions.

    You could use a bypass switch to take the tone pots out of the circuit or replace them with no-load tone pots so you can choose when you want them.

    Volume only is cool sometimes, but there's times when I need the tone circuit.
     
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  12. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    Your investments would perform better. Your car would get improved gas mileage. You would be more attractive. Your music would cause that masses to swoon. Get it done, man!
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It does change the sound, but do yourself a favor and buy a pot that has a no load detent or switch.
     
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  14. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Bit like when you accidentally touch a 3,000 volt cable.
     
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  15. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Holic

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    You’d be in a lot of treble if you did…
     
  16. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Short sighted crazy talk. @Peegoo nails it … you end up without a tone knob for other amps. Just walk away from this idea.
     
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  17. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

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    I did a master volume on one guitar with Lace Sensors. It's...fine. Can anyone speak to the value of a blower switch that bypasses tone and volume controls? It seems like the switch would add as much resistance as would be taken away from the bypass.
     
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  18. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are two schools of thought about controls on guitars. One seems like a more the merrier school but it’s not that simple. Skilled guitarists use their controls to cut through the mix or to control intensity or back off certain frequencies. Individual volume controls or blend pots let a guitarist emphasize or reduce particular frequencies.

    The other school believes a minimalist guitar lets the guitar’s tone shine through. Having only a volume control lets the pickup’s voice be heard unaltered. But that’s not really true. Without a treble bleed, rolling down the volume also rolls off highs. Guitarists who are good with minimalist guitars vary tone by picking closer or farther from the bridge.

    To me, a minimalist guitar forces a guitarist to learn to use his fingers for control, and that’s a good thing. A guitar with a full set of controls lets a skilled guitarist to tailor his tone to his needs.

    My five electrics are different enough from each other that no two are controlled exactly alike. It can be confusing at times, but at 71, I don’t expect to be less confused any time soon.
     
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  19. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve owned a 1960 slab board Strat since 1976.

    I disconnected the tone control in 1980 and never looked back.

    having said that, these days I suppose having a no load pot as a tone control gives you the best of both worlds.
     
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  20. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    So what would happen if I got rid of the tone knob on my strat?
    There would be a stubby looking pot shaft there.
     
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