Tone controls are useless and I demand they all be replaced with a volume.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Zesty feline, May 5, 2016.

  1. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire

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    I second the emotion.
     
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  2. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Or, just use the right bridge pickup. I haven't touched the tone knobs on my LP in months. Don't even have a tone knob on my V. Which I though was a mistake (I had it custom built) until once again, I found the right bridge pickup.

    OP- I'm generally in agreement with you. I do find myself using tone knobs a lot when I play Strats. But I don't currently own one...
     
  3. Fenderflame

    Fenderflame Tele-Holic

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    I play a double humbucker guitar and wired the tone controls to be a progressive coil tap. It means I can have single coil, thicken up with a little of the second coil or all out humbucker goodness.

    Cool!
     
  4. srvbluezz

    srvbluezz Tele-Holic

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    Think Danny gatton, roy Buchanan, greg koch...I like using the tone as a wah effect and volume for country type bends/swells
     
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  5. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Now THAT, would be useful.
     
  6. Zesty feline

    Zesty feline Tele-Holic

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    yeah freaking oath, but I also think that just having two volumes on a tele is useful as hell for instance in the middle position you can blend both pickups at once, and you can also use the neck and bridge positions to quickly change between pickups set at different volumes and tones..

    Not to mention if you want a lower frequency sound you can just use the neck anyway, which is also pickung up the actual vibration and acoustic naunces of the strings themselves.
     
  7. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    Progressive coil tap...cool idea. How does that work in "bucking hum," though?

    I have been playing a guitar with only the volume knob hooked up for years, and recently I mostly switched over to a single-humbucker guitar that only has a volume knob. I like to do as much as I can with one amp setting and whatever I can manage with my hands on the instrument.

    But I wouldn't say tone controls are useless; I am working on my bass skillzzz with a Squier P-bass and what's been working for me is to set the amp loud, kind of bright and kind of dirty and then back off the instrument's tone and volume knobs a bit to clean it up and mellow it out (and--this is the hard part for me--play with a light, consistent touch). Leaves me a little wiggle room to increase my volume or cut through more on busier stuff.

    And balancing tones and volumes on four-knob, two-HB guitars can make some sweet, subtle sounds too.
     
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have been thinking of doing this vary same thing on a guitar with a split humbucker I have (it currently has a push/pull on the tone pot). I should move that mod up the task list!


    I never touched the tone knobs on any of my guitars other than to make sure they were all the way up at '10' until I got inspired by a LP Jr player to get one for myself and later build an Esquire. Having only a single bridge pickup 'forces' you to rethink how both volume and tone controls can change your playing technique.
     
  9. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    IMO, EQing at the tonestack, yields a much different result than at the guitar. If you turn the treble down at the amp, it reduces treble differently than the cutoff of a low pass filter on a guitar. The guitar is also much easier on the fly, if you need different tones throughout the song. You mention just using the neck or mid positions for bass and tones 'similar to a tone control' but IMO, they do two very different things. Rolling back the tone on the bridge pickup will not yield a neck pickup like tone, IMO. The pickups are placed differently, and are 'reading' different harmonics from the string. Those harmonics cannot be mimicked by adjusting the amp, or tone control.


    I am not a knob fiddler, much, but I can definitely recognize the usefulness of a good tone control setup especially with the right cap value. I've been amazed at how well a tone control with a small cap rolled back to '0' can mimic the sounds of 'hot' pickups like PAF's and P-90's when using brighter voiced pickups. The tone control almost acts like a humbucker/single coil blend in the way that it sounds and to me, that adds a tone of versatility, that you wouldn't be able to achieve, otherwise. It's very much like having multiple sets of pickups in one guitar. ALL my humbucker guitars have coil splits, and I'd argue that the tone control, when setup well, can be equally as useful with pickups that have good high end content.

    I do a lot of my tone shaping with fingers + pickup selection but just like a coil split, a tone control will get you tones that are not able to be achieved with just fingers, or even amp EQ.
     
  10. Fenderflame

    Fenderflame Tele-Holic

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    It is a little noisy in 'single coil' mode but no worse than any other coil tap guitar I've played.
     
  11. Zesty feline

    Zesty feline Tele-Holic

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    Yeah it's true that it can be used effectively for sure.
     
  12. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    I love the tone control on Telecasters, on other guitars, not so much.
     
  13. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That's it, I've had enough tone. I'm removing my tone knob, and I'm taking off three of my strings! I always wanted that balalaika sound anyway.:eek::D
     
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  14. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I do find many guitars' tone controls to be fairly useless. The tone control on my Eastwood Sidejack baritone did practically nothing, and I removed it to put the selector switch there.

    I was never much of a guitar-knob fiddler anyway (generally just have things at 10), but lately, when I want a darker jazz tone from my PRS SE24, I've been backing off the neck HB tone control about half. Reading TDPRI has opened me up to more tone control use, and I can definitely see the use with Tele bridge pickups, though I don't find myself wanting to roll off tone on my tele-style 12-string, where I'm going for bright tone anyway.

    My amp head is pretty small and has some unique 'tone' controls, so I keep it on a short stand next to me, where, if needed, I can make more effective tone (and gain/volume) changes on the fly.

    My basic thought on the OP: if guitar makers are going to install tone controls, they should at least make them useful!
     
  15. nicholaspaul

    nicholaspaul Tele-Meister

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    Interesting. I think I'll have to try this.

    I've been having lots of fun with a passive bass roll off control on a strat copy with a dual rails in the bridge. Sometimes it's a bit dark so I roll off the bass to get it back to jangly single coil like tones. It's also great for bass-swells. Crank up the bass on the amp and adjust to taste from the guitar.
     
  16. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    If you swap guitars through the same amp, tone and volume controls on the guitar save a lot of mucking about with the amp or arguing with the soundman. I even put a tone control on my Baggs soundhole pickup to make guitar swapping easier.
     
  17. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    You can have my tone control when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, and get rid of those silly neck pickups too!
     
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  19. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    what you might be describing is a single volume knob; and then instead of a tone knob, the tone knob becomes a blender pot... where you turn all the way up for neck only, all the way back for bridge only, and then blend the two pickups to taste, in the middle... more towards the back, more towards the neck, etc.... I dont think the toggle switch works at all in this capacity but why would you need one
     
  20. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

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    Tone controls are useless and I demand they all be replaced with a volume.
    -------------------------------
    Its pretty clear you should dump your gear and take up stamp collecting.
     
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