Need help with volume/tone pots. - Jemsite
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Need help with volume/tone pots.

I came across a dirt cheap Epi Les Paul studio. It actually plays quite smoothly and I plan to throw some pickups I have laying around in it just for fun. That being said, I'm having an issue where the volume knobs only really work when turned all the way up for both pickups. There's no crackle, the output just drops off extremely fast at anything lower than max volume.

I've replaced pickups before in various guitars but I've never messed with new volume/tone pots, any idea what is happening? If I just need new pots or something that's fine, and if so, any recommendations on what brand and where to order them?

Hope this is an ok place to ask, Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 12:23 PM
 
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Re: Need help with volume/tone pots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Music_Shade View Post
I came across a dirt cheap Epi Les Paul studio. It actually plays quite smoothly and I plan to throw some pickups I have laying around in it just for fun. That being said, I'm having an issue where the volume knobs only really work when turned all the way up for both pickups. There's no crackle, the output just drops off extremely fast at anything lower than max volume.

I've replaced pickups before in various guitars but I've never messed with new volume/tone pots, any idea what is happening? If I just need new pots or something that's fine, and if so, any recommendations on what brand and where to order them?

Hope this is an ok place to ask, Thanks in advance!
Hey MS, Welcome to Jemsite!!

I can't imagine why your pots are acting the way they are but I would change them out since your in there anyway.

Buy the CTS pro pots. They're rock solid and affordable. I buy them from guitar electronics.....here's the link:

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/cat...ic_parts.pots/
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 01:03 AM
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Re: Need help with volume/tone pots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Music_Shade View Post
I came across a dirt cheap Epi Les Paul studio. It actually plays quite smoothly and I plan to throw some pickups I have laying around in it just for fun. That being said, I'm having an issue where the volume knobs only really work when turned all the way up for both pickups. There's no crackle, the output just drops off extremely fast at anything lower than max volume.

I've replaced pickups before in various guitars but I've never messed with new volume/tone pots, any idea what is happening? If I just need new pots or something that's fine, and if so, any recommendations on what brand and where to order them?

Hope this is an ok place to ask, Thanks in advance!
Might be you have log pots where the resistance is raising to early in the log curve. You could try linear pots or just different log pots where the curve is smoother to the ear and starts taking off later than your current ones.

My problem is that 500KOhm tone pots always seem to suck with my humbuckers at position 3-4 -> 0. Might be something related.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 01:02 PM
 
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Re: Need help with volume/tone pots.

Did you try something simple like a squirt of Deoxit? Worth a shot.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 08:21 AM
 
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Re: Need help with volume/tone pots.

My first thought was the about same as panix. You may have linear pots installed for volume or perhaps log (audio) pots where the resistance is way off and the curve isn't how it should be.

Without getting too much into it:
Linear pots increase volume in a straight line... at 0 it's 0%, at 5 it's 50% at 10 it's 100%. Because of the way our ears work we hear this is only a small volume increase between 0-8 then a big jump in volume at 9-10.
Log/Audio pots increase volume on a logarithmic curve where at 0 it's 0%, at 5 it's more like 25% and 10 it's 100%. It may seem counterintuative but the way we hear this is a gradual increase in volume from 0 - 10.
Best way I've heard it described is Linear is like a 2 speed bike and log/audio is like a 10 speed bike.

You can check which type of pots you have by looking at the case if it says for example, 500k-A or 500k-B. The A means audio taper and B is linear taper.

Either way since you'll already be messing around in there you should change out the pots, they're pretty cheap anyway. Like RGT said the CTS pots are probably the best on the market. Alpha pots are pretty ok too. Whichever you get make sure they are the full size ones and not the mini. The mini pots suck.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 12:36 AM
 
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Re: Need help with volume/tone pots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madasahatter View Post
My first thought was the about same as panix. You may have linear pots installed for volume or perhaps log (audio) pots where the resistance is way off and the curve isn't how it should be.

Without getting too much into it:
Linear pots increase volume in a straight line... at 0 it's 0%, at 5 it's 50% at 10 it's 100%. Because of the way our ears work we hear this is only a small volume increase between 0-8 then a big jump in volume at 9-10.
Log/Audio pots increase volume on a logarithmic curve where at 0 it's 0%, at 5 it's more like 25% and 10 it's 100%. It may seem counterintuative but the way we hear this is a gradual increase in volume from 0 - 10.
Best way I've heard it described is Linear is like a 2 speed bike and log/audio is like a 10 speed bike.

You can check which type of pots you have by looking at the case if it says for example, 500k-A or 500k-B. The A means audio taper and B is linear taper.

Either way since you'll already be messing around in there you should change out the pots, they're pretty cheap anyway. Like RGT said the CTS pots are probably the best on the market. Alpha pots are pretty ok too. Whichever you get make sure they are the full size ones and not the mini. The mini pots suck.
This is pretty much it.

You may also check the value of the pots. Lower value pots roll off the high end quicker. So if you have 250k it will sound more dark quicker than 500k or 1 meg.
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