No Load Tone Pot

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by calebaaron666, May 7, 2019.

  1. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Thanx! Probably the smarter choice.
    What can I say? I’m just a lazy dude looking for the shortest route to satisfaction so the prospect of disconnecting a cap is oh so very tempting.
     
    section2 likes this.
  2. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    I'm always slightly sceptical when someone says they spent a couple of hours working on their guitar and then noticed a miniscule improvement in their sound. Unless they have the memory of an elephant and the ears of a bat, I'd suggest mostly what they're hearing is the words of some company's marketing department.

    How cynical I've become.
     
    new6659 and hcsterg like this.
  3. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Personally, i’m not aiming for a tone improvement. I’m very happy with the sound of my guitar as is. I just hate the tone knob. If I can cancel it out with little effort, great.
     
    pmac11 likes this.
  4. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    Least effort = superglue the shaft
     
    benjwri, pmac11 and calebaaron666 like this.
  5. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Or I could just pick my nose and use the boogers!
     
  6. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    That's science.
     
    benjwri and calebaaron666 like this.
  7. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    7A78D0B1-A7E6-4B3B-8339-F7E05AA64CF9.jpeg
     
  8. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Well, I studied the influence of volume and tone pots on the pickup tone by comparative tests and correlated measurements. It was very instructive, and here's what I noticed :

    1 - if the tone corrector pot is wired as usual, removing the cap from it leaves no load, since the tone pot works as a serial variable resistance with the tone cap. If the cap is snipped, then the whole tone circuit is disconnected. A no-load pot would provide the same effect.

    2 - when maxed, that is to say no treble attenuation, the effective load is nearly only represented by the 500K resistance of the pot in // with the pickup, This is because tone cap shows a very low Z vs. the 500K pot resistance withing the guitar frequency range.

    3 - when maxed, the tone pot and the volume pots acts similarly in terms of load, then. Supposing a 500 MV and a 500K MT plus its 0.02 tone cap wired as usual, then the pickup will see an equivalent parallel load of 250K.

    What is the influence of this load ?
    a - it tames the peak amplitude of the resonant frequency of the pickup.
    b - it lowers the resonant frequency of the pickup.

    So yes, when removing the tone correction circuit by snipping the cap or using a no-load pot, you remove its load accordingly, so should notice an increase in the treble range, in presence or brightness, or both... Typically : presence with humbucker or large single coils (think P-90 and the like); brightness with narrow single coil (think Strat and the like).

    I wrote "you should", because depending on the circuit, the wiring and the model of pickup, this is more or less significant : I noticed that too.

    I hope I'm clear... Sorry, my pics hoster is unavailable for the moment to illustrate my purpose (repeated error 521)... :confused:

    A+!
     
  9. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Welp,
    I came home from work this morning and snipped the cap. Took all of 4 minutes to complete the procedure. Works great.

    The goal was the kill the tone knob cuz I hate it, and don’t wanna bother checking it to make sure it’s maxed anymore. Now she’s DEAD! Good riddance!
    It’s definitely brighter as well. Maybe I’ll even find a use for the neck pickup!

    So @pmac11, I guess I lied to you. I really don’t care if the knob does nothing. In fact.... I love the dead!
     
    pmac11, hcsterg and section2 like this.
  10. oldblues

    oldblues Electromatic

    26
    Aug 26, 2012
    Concord NC
    You can make your own no load pot by prying off the back of the pot and scratching off the carbon resistance material at the end of its travel (fully clockwise) The wiper will only contact the connector lug, removing the tone circuit completely . You only remove a tiny bit of the carbon trace.
    Blender pots for strats are made the same way in reverse. When the pot is rotated counter clockwise, it is out of the circuit. This “how to” info is probably still online somewhere.
     
    new6659 likes this.
  11. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    If you never use it, I'd just pull the tone pot out of the circuit entirely by pulling the lead to it from the volume. IME, you'll have pretty much the same increase in bite as the CTS no load pots over the standard tone pot dimed. It's subtle on most guitars but it's certainly not so much so that I have to question if it's placebo on the majority of the guitars I've made the change on.
     
  12. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    This guitar sounds brighter now, but that was not the goal. I really just wanted to kill the tone knob, and it no longer functions now. I don’t need to get fancy.
    IF I take all of the bits out anytime for whatever reason, maybe then I’ll bypass the pot entirely while it’s opened up.
     
    section2 and Sid Nitzerglobin like this.
  13. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    No need - the snipped cap already disconnect the tone pot from the circuit : it's a dummy, decorative pot now...

    A+!
     
    pmac11 and calebaaron666 like this.
  14. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    As am I!

    I woke up this afternoon and did the same thing with my Tele.
    Wish I had looked into this a long long time ago!
     
    section2 likes this.
  15. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    If it's wired "50s" style (ie: cap bridges output lug of the volume pot to the in lug of the tone rather a wire from out of the volume to in of the tone w/ the cap soldered off of the tone pot lug to ground), yeah, you've already taken the pot out of the circuit.

    Sorry don't mean to be a pedantic jerk, I just can't recall what the standard tone wiring is like on the 5420 :oops:;)
     
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  16. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    The wire is still traveling from the master volume to the tone pot, but the tone pot is inert. I guess all it is now is a conductor from vol to jack.
     
  17. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Cool, it sounds like you were mostly just looking to disable the tone pot rolloff from the cap more than remove the resistive load of the pot itself, so I'd say mission accomplished for you in either case :)
     
    calebaaron666 and hcsterg like this.
  18. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Exactly !

    A+!
     
  19. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Bingo!:)
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  20. knh555

    knh555 Electromatic

    27
    Apr 22, 2019
    Massachusetts
    Or use a TBX, which works similarly but with an indent halfway through instead of a push-pull.
     
    section2 likes this.
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