Rolling off volumes to clean up my tone

kdm1218

Electromatic
Jun 17, 2021
92
TX
Hello, I’m an owner of a 2013 G5435T for almost a year now. I’ve been reading and looking into various info on swapping pots as I’ve got a bad tone pot on mine. However if I’m gonna be in there anyways, I am also wanting to find out from others, do these guitar just not really do the whole roll back on your volume (either the master or individual pickups) to clean it up just a bit, or is that a side effect of unremarkable stock pots and upgrading to CTS or the like would help? I use a Line 6 Helix but have tried it through all sorts of amp models and don’t get the same effect as I do with rolling off volume on my Tele and an LP that I no longer own.

And a picture for grins/introduction.

DhWsDCi.jpg
 

Teledriver

Country Gent
Feb 12, 2011
1,047
Iowa City, IA
Independent volume control wiring? Do you rely on the Master volume, or the individual volumes? This can matter.

On my Les Paul I have 50s wiring (independent volumes in the middle) and I have a treble bleed only on the neck PAF. Works good, but I have to wonder if it would be better without the treble bleed. Les Pauls and volume go hand-in-hand, especially on 50s wiring....



What I personally am trying to figure out, on my Gretsch (with independent volumes, with treble bleed in series- the Kinman Mod-, on all three volume controls) is if it in fact does in deed work! Sounds easy enuff to test, but I think I need to either remove a treble bleed or change the value of one or all. I seem to lose the treble at about 3 down from 10 on the individual pots, the Master I never go down that far really. Should I ever really need to go down to that volume level?? No probably, but it bugs me that the treble isn't there...anyways..
My Tonebender-style pedal, the ThroBak sTonebender, does in fact rely upon the volume pedal for the fuzz, but I never crank the tube amps I have to really test it. I mean, really test it, like at 8 or so.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
19,209
Petaluma
IMO, you should redo the whole loom/harness, particularly if you have the skills or patience to do it yourself - the parts are inexpensive. TVJones (and many others) will also sell you a complete new harness - you just have to solder the pickups to it.
 

kdm1218

Electromatic
Jun 17, 2021
92
TX
Independent volume control wiring? Do you rely on the Master volume, or the individual volumes? This can matter.

On my Les Paul I have 50s wiring (independent volumes in the middle) and I have a treble bleed only on the neck PAF. Works good, but I have to wonder if it would be better without the treble bleed. Les Pauls and volume go hand-in-hand, especially on 50s wiring....



What I personally am trying to figure out, on my Gretsch (with independent volumes, with treble bleed in series- the Kinman Mod-, on all three volume controls) is if it in fact does in deed work! Sounds easy enuff to test, but I think I need to either remove a treble bleed or change the value of one or all. I seem to lose the treble at about 3 down from 10 on the individual pots, the Master I never go down that far really. Should I ever really need to go down to that volume level?? No probably, but it bugs me that the treble isn't there...anyways..
My Tonebender-style pedal, the ThroBak sTonebender, does in fact rely upon the volume pedal for the fuzz, but I never crank the tube amps I have to really test it. I mean, really test it, like at 8 or so.

Yes, mine has independent volume controls. Neither those or the master seems to do the clean up with roll off, just gets quieter and some treble roll off like I’d expect without adding a treble bleed circuit.

IMO, you should redo the whole loom/harness, particularly if you have the skills or patience to do it yourself - the parts are inexpensive. TVJones (and many others) will also sell you a complete new harness - you just have to solder the pickups to it.
I’m pretty sure the TVJ harnesses are only for semi-hollow Gretsch models. I don’t think there’s any way you could get the MV and switch parts to their proper cavity. I’m not great with the soldering iron but I did put TVJ Classics in this one and recently swapped out the ones in my T style guitar as well.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
19,209
Petaluma
Yes, mine has independent volume controls. Neither those or the master seems to do the clean up with roll off, just gets quieter and some treble roll off like I’d expect without adding a treble bleed circuit.


I’m pretty sure the TVJ harnesses are only for semi-hollow Gretsch models. I don’t think there’s any way you could get the MV and switch parts to their proper cavity. I’m not great with the soldering iron but I did put TVJ Classics in this one and recently swapped out the ones in my T style guitar as well.
Ah, good point. Sounds like you have the skills to do it, so I would change the whole harness, and consider shielding the cavities.
 

Axis39

Country Gent
Jun 2, 2008
1,624
Beaumont, CA
On my 5127, I haven't had to touch the wiring (I did have to tighten up the leaves on the pickup switch a few years ago). I rarely mess with the individual pickup volumes. But, I am ALWAYS fiddling with the Master Volume.

I tend to keep the Master cracked a few degrees off full for my rhythm sounds, and dial it up for leads (like every other guitar I own). It helps to clean up the sound by rolling back. It works perfectly on mine. I think for rhythm, I've usually got it on what would be 6 or 7 on the dial.

On my 6129TLS, I had to add a treble bleed to the Master Volume. It got too muddy if I cracked it off full just a hair. But, with this $2 mod, I get the same clarity and volume changes by simply rolling off the master a bit. I literally don't think much about it, it works like all my other Gretsches.

I typically like CTS Vintage taper pots in all my guitars, especially in the volume pot locations. I have a P-90 LP from 2015 that had the PCB control set up. I didn't like the tension on the pots (too tight) and I didn't really like the sweep either. As much as I do mess with the volumes, I had to make the change. The CTS Vintage Taper pots act like the ones on my older guitars used to (I've sold off all my really old guitars). If I ever have to fool with the controls on either guitar again, I'll be using the CTS.

I've used Bourns pots a good bit as well (and admit I do still use them for tone pots a lot of the time). Usually, though, their turning tension is a little higher and stiff. Some folks like that. I only like that for my tone pots. The taper is a little different as well, Audio taper is more like typical modern pots.
 

kdm1218

Electromatic
Jun 17, 2021
92
TX
On my 5127, I haven't had to touch the wiring (I did have to tighten up the leaves on the pickup switch a few years ago). I rarely mess with the individual pickup volumes. But, I am ALWAYS fiddling with the Master Volume.

I tend to keep the Master cracked a few degrees off full for my rhythm sounds, and dial it up for leads (like every other guitar I own). It helps to clean up the sound by rolling back. It works perfectly on mine. I think for rhythm, I've usually got it on what would be 6 or 7 on the dial.

On my 6129TLS, I had to add a treble bleed to the Master Volume. It got too muddy if I cracked it off full just a hair. But, with this $2 mod, I get the same clarity and volume changes by simply rolling off the master a bit. I literally don't think much about it, it works like all my other Gretsches.

I typically like CTS Vintage taper pots in all my guitars, especially in the volume pot locations. I have a P-90 LP from 2015 that had the PCB control set up. I didn't like the tension on the pots (too tight) and I didn't really like the sweep either. As much as I do mess with the volumes, I had to make the change. The CTS Vintage Taper pots act like the ones on my older guitars used to (I've sold off all my really old guitars). If I ever have to fool with the controls on either guitar again, I'll be using the CTS.

I've used Bourns pots a good bit as well (and admit I do still use them for tone pots a lot of the time). Usually, though, their turning tension is a little higher and stiff. Some folks like that. I only like that for my tone pots. The taper is a little different as well, Audio taper is more like typical modern pots.
I did just order one of the vintage taper pots this morning to try out for the MV. From their descriptions I think I may prefer that as compared to what is in it right now.
 

swivel

Country Gent
Silver Member
May 13, 2018
2,300
PNW
If you get little change when rolling off, is it possible your guitar has a Treble Bleed installed so doesn't react to rolling off the volume for a cleaner sound?
or conversely maybe you should have a Treble Bleed to help keep it clean?

Try using the MV always dimed and just use the independent volume control. IME MV creates some dirt whenever not wide open. More so on amps maybe, but a volume pedal can make tone very ugly when not wide open.

If it's not too hard, try wiring around the MV pot and test it?
Maybe replace the MV pot with one with a bypass detent or pull switching?

One wonders why the guitar seems to have dirty tone though.........?
 

kbcarroll

Electromatic
Nov 4, 2010
52
Nashville, TN
I do the same thing and ordered one of those entire kits from 920d custom with a set of TV Jones Powertrons.

Except I'm not sure it's wired right. The master volume works perfectly, as does the master tone. But when I'm running both pickups, I can't adjust either pickup volume without that pickup just becoming completely overpowered by the other.

If I'm running both, and I try to tweak my neck pickup down from 10 to 8, it sounds like I'm running just the bridge pickup (and vice versa). No idea what's wrong because it definitely appears to be wired right.
 

GlenP

Country Gent
Double Platinum Member
Jul 23, 2019
2,553
WA
Hello, I’m an owner of a 2013 G5435T for almost a year now. I’ve been reading and looking into various info on swapping pots as I’ve got a bad tone pot on mine. However if I’m gonna be in there anyways, I am also wanting to find out from others, do these guitar just not really do the whole roll back on your volume (either the master or individual pickups) to clean it up just a bit, or is that a side effect of unremarkable stock pots and upgrading to CTS or the like would help? I use a Line 6 Helix but have tried it through all sorts of amp models and don’t get the same effect as I do with rolling off volume on my Tele and an LP that I no longer own.

And a picture for grins/introduction.

DhWsDCi.jpg
Just to clarify, you are using a digital Line 6 amp modeler, and it works well with a Tele, where the grit cleans up with a decrease in Volume pot, but the exact same signal chain does not clean up with the Gretsch? I think you are comparing different output levels maybe? Can you boost the Gretsch or use an external Volume pedal? I think the issue is the just the nature of how the Line 6 digital model is responding differently to the different levels of guitar signals. A hotter Tele output would have a bigger range of levels and your modeler is not showing much difference for the Gretch because it is dialed in better for the Tele?

Try the same test with a fuzz pedal, not a digital model, an actual analog fuzz.
 

kdm1218

Electromatic
Jun 17, 2021
92
TX
If you get little change when rolling off, is it possible your guitar has a Treble Bleed installed so doesn't react to rolling off the volume for a cleaner sound?
or conversely maybe you should have a Treble Bleed to help keep it clean?

Try using the MV always dimed and just use the independent volume control. IME MV creates some dirt whenever not wide open. More so on amps maybe, but a volume pedal can make tone very ugly when not wide open.

If it's not too hard, try wiring around the MV pot and test it?
Maybe replace the MV pot with one with a bypass detent or pull switching?

One wonders why the guitar seems to have dirty tone though.........?
No treble bleed on the MV but I’ve got one on the way to try and see if I like that change. The guitar itself doesn’t have dirty tone. I run my amps edge of breakup where I can roll back for full clean if I want to. My neck pickup is pretty clean anyway but I’m used to being able to roll back for bridge a little bit.

Just to clarify, you are using a digital Line 6 amp modeler, and it works well with a Tele, where the grit cleans up with a decrease in Volume pot, but the exact same signal chain does not clean up with the Gretsch? I think you are comparing different output levels maybe? Can you boost the Gretsch or use an external Volume pedal? I think the issue is the just the nature of how the Line 6 digital model is responding differently to the different levels of guitar signals. A hotter Tele output would have a bigger range of levels and your modeler is not showing much difference for the Gretch because it is dialed in better for the Tele?

Try the same test with a fuzz pedal, not a digital model, an actual analog fuzz.
I have different banks of patches optimized with levels and tone to match each guitar, actually. And my Tele pickups definitely are not hotter output than my TVJ Classic Plus bridge. However the fuzz is a good idea, I will try that and report back.
 

kdm1218

Electromatic
Jun 17, 2021
92
TX
I do the same thing and ordered one of those entire kits from 920d custom with a set of TV Jones Powertrons.

Except I'm not sure it's wired right. The master volume works perfectly, as does the master tone. But when I'm running both pickups, I can't adjust either pickup volume without that pickup just becoming completely overpowered by the other.

If I'm running both, and I try to tweak my neck pickup down from 10 to 8, it sounds like I'm running just the bridge pickup (and vice versa). No idea what's wrong because it definitely appears to be wired right.
I’ve been reading a TON about pot types and their tapers (how quickly the volume drops off). It sounds like that has a 10% taper audio pot, to where most of the volume change is in that first 10 to 8 position. I have ordered one with a “vintage taper” that does a 30% taper and is supposed to give a more usable range down to 4-6 for my MV and will see what that sounds like. That may be more what you might like also. I’ll try to remember to report back once I put that one in for my MV.
 

kdm1218

Electromatic
Jun 17, 2021
92
TX
Just to clarify, you are using a digital Line 6 amp modeler, and it works well with a Tele, where the grit cleans up with a decrease in Volume pot, but the exact same signal chain does not clean up with the Gretsch? I think you are comparing different output levels maybe? Can you boost the Gretsch or use an external Volume pedal? I think the issue is the just the nature of how the Line 6 digital model is responding differently to the different levels of guitar signals. A hotter Tele output would have a bigger range of levels and your modeler is not showing much difference for the Gretch because it is dialed in better for the Tele?

Try the same test with a fuzz pedal, not a digital model, an actual analog fuzz.
I came back to this today. First to clarify, I don't own any analog fuzz or know anyone who does. However the Line 6 Helix line is not exactly your old Pod bean stuff, pro grade. I am not a fuzz person but I have heard plenty of clips from people who are and who use them well with the Helix stuff.

That said, I could get some clean up with the volume knob using a couple Helix fuzz models. It depended on which model as to how quickly that happened. With one it would have been the equivalent of going from 10 to 9, another had a useable range of fuzz to drive around 7-8 and then rolling further off gave a nice clean (that was with a fuzz face model). But swap back to a TS808, an OCD, some other pretty standard drives where like I said my Tele, and a Strat I used to have as well had no trouble with cleaning up from medium drive to low drive to clean, but this guitar with this particular wiring just doesn't do that. So I still don't know if it is the pot type or value or a combination of things. But I have new higher quality pots incoming soon anyways so we'll see where that gets me.
 

OwnYourTone

Gretschie
Dec 21, 2012
197
Kansas City
I came back to this today. First to clarify, I don't own any analog fuzz or know anyone who does. However the Line 6 Helix line is not exactly your old Pod bean stuff, pro grade. I am not a fuzz person but I have heard plenty of clips from people who are and who use them well with the Helix stuff.

That said, I could get some clean up with the volume knob using a couple Helix fuzz models. It depended on which model as to how quickly that happened. With one it would have been the equivalent of going from 10 to 9, another had a useable range of fuzz to drive around 7-8 and then rolling further off gave a nice clean (that was with a fuzz face model). But swap back to a TS808, an OCD, some other pretty standard drives where like I said my Tele, and a Strat I used to have as well had no trouble with cleaning up from medium drive to low drive to clean, but this guitar with this particular wiring just doesn't do that. So I still don't know if it is the pot type or value or a combination of things. But I have new higher quality pots incoming soon anyways so we'll see where that gets me.

I love the tonal options with Gretsch guitars, but there are some inherent quirks. I’ve experimented a lot with my guitars to overcome these quirks.

One thing I would recommend before you solder in any new parts is to get some alligator leads and test the parts outside the guitar first. Have a few different parts on hand and compare back and forth and really find out what you like before you commit. Don’t get married without a date first.

I typically put a treble bleed circuit on the master volume (150K resister parallel to 1nF capacitor).

Then, because the pickup volumes are SO TOUCHY at blending the pickups, I swap out the pots for my own little invented control, which does what it’s supposed to do - give you subtle shades of the blended pickups easily, without killing either pickup’s volume or tone. I call it the “Smooth Shave” control. I think there’s a thread about it here from some years back.

Good luck to you!
 

kdm1218

Electromatic
Jun 17, 2021
92
TX
I love the tonal options with Gretsch guitars, but there are some inherent quirks. I’ve experimented a lot with my guitars to overcome these quirks.

One thing I would recommend before you solder in any new parts is to get some alligator leads and test the parts outside the guitar first. Have a few different parts on hand and compare back and forth and really find out what you like before you commit. Don’t get married without a date first.

I typically put a treble bleed circuit on the master volume (150K resister parallel to 1nF capacitor).

Then, because the pickup volumes are SO TOUCHY at blending the pickups, I swap out the pots for my own little invented control, which does what it’s supposed to do - give you subtle shades of the blended pickups easily, without killing either pickup’s volume or tone. I call it the “Smooth Shave” control. I think there’s a thread about it here from some years back.

Good luck to you!
Thank you, I will check that out!
 


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