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Tone Cap and Pot question - El Rayo neck humbucker

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by El Tele Lobo, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a Jazz tele with an El Rayo neck hum bucker by Lollar. This is a neck only reverse esquire. I have 500k pots. I just changed the cap from .022 to .033 to get a little more warmth out of it. I like the lower end of the tone range a little more, but I feel like I like less of the overall spectrum than with the .022 and with the tone wide open...well, it actually seems BRIGHTER with the the .033 than with the .022 wide open. Is that possible? I thought about sticking a .047 in there, but I'm afraid that would get muddy and I'd like even less of the tone range. Thoughts?

    Also, for others with experience with this pickup, is it a pretty bright bucker? Should I have gone with 250k or 375k pots instead? What difference would this make?

    Even with the .022 cap, I felt that the overall range was a bit on the bright side. I want warmth with some high-end sparkle...kind of a Tim Lerch kind of sound. I'm using 12 gauge strings tuned to Eb, if anyone's wondering.

    Help appreciated. Thanks all!
     
  2. Beatbx

    Beatbx Tele-Meister

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    Without hearing the guitar, I would say go with the 500k/.022 combo. Try lowering the pickup a bit to mellow it out some.
     
  3. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I should clarify. I DID get a little more warmth on the bottom end of the tone control, which I expected and like. What I didn't expect is how the TOP of the tone spectrum seemed to get BRIGHTER. Particularly wide open. This is not a no load pot btw.

    I haven't ruled out that it may just be a PERCEPTION on my part...
     
  4. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    You might try a 0.1uF cap if you like the .033. This is the value Fender used in the 50's and 60's. At zero, it's all bass, but the range in between is more "warm and clear" as you describe, and the reason is because of how the resonance rolls off with a higher values cap; it becomes a more gradual slope that extends to lower into the mid range, and the perception of high end is not only about absolute high end, but also how it contrasts with the amplitude in the mid range. A lot of players don't like that "zero" becomes essentially useless with a 0.1uF, but IMO it really turns the tone knob into a proper tone knob, and not merely a crude resonance control, where zero would typically not be useful, were this a guitar amp, for example.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  5. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Across the overall range, I found the .022 more usable, but a little brighter than I want. The bottom of the .033 has a little more warmth, which I expected; but also seemed to get brighter on the top of the dial...which I didn't expect.

    I'm starting to wonder if I should consider a 375k tone pot instead and go back to a .022 cap, or keep experimenting with the 500k pot and higher cap values. I do have a .047 I may throw in tonight or tomorrow. If that doesn't get me there I'll try your 0.1.
     
  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think I'm try to find a range of usable jazz tones across the dial without having too much brightness on one end or too much muddyness on the other. After all, I just have the one pick up. Make sense?
     
  7. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    The 0.033 would not technically expose more high end at zero, so if you perceive that, it's a relative sort of thing, where for whatever reason, you end up with more of what you want and less of what you don't.

    A 375k pot is the same as having a 500k pot and turning it down around 8 or so. It's just straight resistance, and not a voltage divider like the volume control.

    Keep in mind if you combine the caps in series, the value will drop, and if you add them together in parallel, they will add together, so you can get a variety of values that way. Consider using alligator clips to audition different values without having to solder them each time. In fact on a lot of my guitars I've installed a dial that lets me change the cap value to one of six different values. As the value gets smaller, the increments have a more dramatic effect on the resonance, so the values are like, low to high, 1nF, 3nF, 10nF, 22nf, 47nf, 100nF.
     
  8. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I have an El Rayo in the neck of my tele with a 500k pots and .047 cap and it is not muddy at all. I think it would be too bright with lower caps.
     
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