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Thread: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Franknfilms's Avatar
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    Default Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    The reason I ask is that my SH-5 in my agile 3100 is just a bit too bright and, while this may sound unreasonable, I feel like backing the tone knob on my bridge pickup is just wrong and will remove some "crunchiness" along with tone. Am I crazy? Should I just turn down the tone knob? Or should I go for 250k pots?

    What is the actual difference between turning down the tone knob and changing to 250 pots? Do I need to change the tone pot as well or just the volume pot? Maybe this is a case for the 250k liberator since I'm not great at soldering?

    Also, before you even suggest it, I love magnet swapping and nope, not changing magnet in this one. I absolutely love the tone, it is just has a hair too much treble.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Franknfilms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    FYI- I always judge brightness by how far I have to turn down the treble on my amp when playing at full volume, and with this particular guitar I'm starting to get pretty close to zero on the amp treble. With my schecter (C8) the amp treble is in a comfortable 8-9 o'clock range.
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Changing the volume pot value changes the load the pup sees; a lower value pot lowers the amplitude of the resonant peak. IOW, a 250k volume pot is warmer than a 500k. 250k tone pot is the same as a 500k tone pot turned down to read 250k, but again, the same is not true for the volume position.

    Put a 250-300k volume pot in it, sounds like what you're looking for.

  4. #4
    Funkfingers
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    I used to own a Fender Big Apple (AKA Double Fat) Stratocaster. This model featured two SD humbucking pickups running via 250k pots. I eventually sold the guitar in SSS format and kept the PG+ bridge pickup for myself. Whenever I install this pickup, it gets a 250k pot.

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    Ultimate Kitten Puncher King IzzO)))'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Hopefully anyone with a Screamin' Demon in the bridge position.

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    Mojo's Minions Ed Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    here is a post i found by a guy named armitage that is very informative about how pot values effect tone and resonant peak of buckers he says that,

    When you use a Humbucker with a 250k volume pot (like a stock Strat uses, instead of the usual 500k for HB equipt guitars), it warms up, lowers the resonant peak of the pickup, and lowers the output a bit. And when you use a guitar without a tone pot, the tone gets a lot brighter. Even on ten a tone pot bleeds some high end through the 500k resistance and .022 cap to ground. I personally think it's too bright and kind of glassy. So when Eddie found a humbucker equipted guitar with a 250k volume pot a bit dull, he made up for that by removing the tone pot... (do both and you've really screwed with the pickups usual tonal curve too), now add an EQ with a frown


    Humbucker graph shown.

    Humbuckers traditionally come with 500k volume and tone pots, wth .022 caps. Single coils traditionally use 250k pots. Remember, pickups were voiced/made to run at these values, changing the value changes their intended tone (good or bad is an opinion), as well as their output.
    The top curve indicates virtually no load, the second curve down indicates a 1meg pot, the third down is a 500k pot, the fourth is a 250k pot and the bottom curve represents a 100k pot. As you can see, higher pots give you more output and raise the resonant peaks output. The resonant peak doesn't shift in frequency, but it does shift in amplitude. The resonant peak frequency of most HBs is around 5k to 7k.
    With tone controls (they react completely differently in the circuit then volume pots), a 250k pot is the same as turning your 500k tone pot down to it's resistive mid point (5 on a linear taper pot). It's NOT at all the same with a volume pot, the other 250k is still in the circuit. Even on 10, a tone pot bleeds high end to ground, but pickups were designed in this circuit in mind and some people think they sound cold and glassy without a tone pot in the curcuit. A lot of people in the 80's used guitars without a tone pot, but they also used some rack gear like a Yamaha SPX-90 that killed off anything over 8k, (the SPX-90II went to 12k) so it helped a bit to make up for the loss.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Franknfilms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by lemonman View Post
    Put a 250-300k volume pot in it, sounds like what you're looking for.
    Great, so I can make a difference just by changing the volume pot. This makes the 250k Liberator option significantly more appealing.

    Side note: are the liberators long enough for LP type guitars? I'm not sure if the agile 3100 requires extra long pots like LPs do?
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Franknfilms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Ed Hunter, thanks for all the info! I suppose, given my reluctance to turn down the tone pot, I shouldn't bother with a 250k tone pot. If I can warm up my pickup just a tad with the 250k volume I think that is the way to go. Plus the liberator will help make up for my poor soldering.
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    Mojo's Minions Ed Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Franknfilms View Post
    Ed Hunter, thanks for all the info! I suppose, given my reluctance to turn down the tone pot, I shouldn't bother with a 250k tone pot. If I can warm up my pickup just a tad with the 250k volume I think that is the way to go. Plus the liberator will help make up for my poor soldering.
    yes that a great option if you have no other use for the tone control? do you ever use the tone pot for anything?

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    I have two 250K's on almost every bridge HB & P-90, regardless of whether it's an LP, SG, 335, hollowbody, etc. My goal is for the PU's to be EQ'd relative to each other with the tone pots on 10. That way I turn up more treble on my amp, which benefits the neck PU. I want a warm, full bridge tone with a nice crunch, and a bright, clear neck. I can't stand thin, tinny bridge PU's. Hurts my ears.

    I've also put warm magnets in many of my bridge PU's, like UOA5, A8, RC A4, and A6.

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    Mojo's Minions Ed Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    I have one guitar that has a tone pot and i only use the tone pot for the the clapton "women tone" when you have to roll off all the highs with the pot. my other guitars are all one volume pot only axes

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Franknfilms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hunter View Post
    do you ever use the tone pot for anything?
    Good question, I was hinting towards debate on this in my original post. Are there any other players who hate to touch their tone knobs? Mainly, I think it is easy to remember your tone knob setting when it is always on full, one less thing to worry about. Also, I feel that turning down the tone knob on my bridge sucks the "crunch power" out of it, however irrational that is. On the neck, however I appreciate and use the tone knob (especially on a Jazz).
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Franknfilms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've also put warm magnets in many of my bridge PU's, like UOA5, A8, RC A4, and A6.
    Thanks for the info, 250k sounds like the way to go for this guitar. Do you also put in a 250k tone?

    A6? That is the first reference I've seen, is there an A6 thread that I missed? Also what ever happened to the A9 review?
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    I don't use my tones much, pretty much all on or all the way off for the Torche/Karp kinda thing.

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    Mojo's Minions Ed Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Franknfilms View Post
    Thanks for the info, 250k sounds like the way to go for this guitar. Do you also put in a 250k tone?

    A6? That is the first reference I've seen, is there an A6 thread that I missed? Also what ever happened to the A9 review?
    i would go 500K for the tone pot if you have one hooked up with the 250K volume pot

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Franknfilms View Post
    Are there any other players who hate to touch their tone knobs? Mainly, I think it is easy to remember your tone knob setting when it is always on full, one less thing to worry about.
    That describes me. Don't want to have to adjust my tone pots; only do in rare situations. Jeremy here once estimated 80 or 90% of players never touch their tone pots. Once I get the PU's EQ'd together, then all I have to is adjust the amp EQ to fit the venue/room. Both PU's will sound good.

    If I have a 3 pot guitar, I make a bridge volume and tone (250K) and a neck volume (500K) with no tone.

    For a 2 pot guitar, I do the same, but wrap the bridge tone pot in plastic and put it inside the control cavity, so I get the warmth of two 250K's. Can't adjust the tone pot, but I almost never do that anyways.

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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    That I did not expect, wiring a tone just for the effect and leaving it in the cavity.

    I always put 2 volumes 1 master tone in everything, even if I have to drill a hole.

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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Do it all the time. Most of my HB guitars have 250k vol pots and all of the SC guitars do

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Franknfilms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    Ok, my official plan is to buy a 250k liberator. Will probably solve my issue, and I get to play with a new toy.
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    Default Re: Who uses 250k pots for the bridge humbucker?

    if you have any 500k or 470k resistors lying around you could hook one up from the hot wire on your pickup to ground, this will mimic a 250k pot. just to see if you like it.
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