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Pots: 250 K/ 500k /1 Meg


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Well, you said it yourself by quoting Dimarzio:

Regardless of what type of pickups are in your guitar, higher potentiometer resistance values produce a little more power and treble response. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is a matter of individual taste. In the early days, Gibson used 500K controls and Fender used 250K, thereby starting the single-coil = 250K, humbucker = 500K theory. Even though neither company has stuck strictly with this formula since then, the theory lives on.

The only thing one can argue over is if a pot can “produce” anything. IMHO a high value pot “kills” a little less of your signal. No pot value is better or worse, only different

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Pots load down the pickups. So between the volume and tone pots, and the tone cap, (plus your cable, etc.) you end up with a 2nd order low pass filter.

Generally, the higher the resistance of the pickups, the higher the resistance of the pot. This is why Fender guitars will use 250K while humbuckers use 500k.

This is not to say you can't put 250K pots in a Les Paul. It will make the tone darker.

If you want the most possible volume and highs, go with a large value pot like 1M. Remember that two pots connected in parallel also add up the loading. Large value pots sometimes are somewhat muddier when turned half way down, but brighter when full on.

Full on is full on, but a 250K pot is always putting 250K between the signal and ground.

Edited by David Schwab
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maybe I am missing the obvious here.... help me out anyways.

If a 10K pot is used, will I actually kill off volume on a higher resistance pickup?

or only tone?

I have a set of piezos I wired a 10K pot because it was what was avaliable. am I killing off volume? (I want to run the piezos passive, no pre amp and I want to most volume I can get out of it)

maybe I should put in a vol pot bypass. I got the piezos used and it said I need a 5meg pot. I cant find one anywhere. perhaps I should just bypass?

Also, something I have been wondering.... No matter what volume pot is in there, I suppose at full volume it IS NOT like bypassing it?

Now lets talk about tone pots. what do pot values of 10K or 250K or 500K do to tone? or is it mainly the sweep range?

I have my piezos on a set of nylon classical strings. I like how turning the tone pot down removes the highs. is this 10K tone pot going to remove volume as well?

what is the best way to set this up if I never find a 5meg pot, bypass the volume and put the tone cap on a switch?

I wish I knew what I was dealing with.

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Even at full volume, the pot is a resistor placed acros the pickup. A 10K pot would cause a substantial loss of volume, especially with an overwound humbucker.

Piezos should be fed directly into a very high impedance pickup for best frequency response. But whatever you like is what is best for you.

Tone pots: Too small a value eliminates the brightest tones.

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