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Pots/caps... Freqs Based On Standard Components?

Uncle Os

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Hey All...

I'm curious now. I did a mod on a guy's strat, ended up changing pots/caps, etc... He was happy with the way it turned out when he picked it up. Told him to run it through his rig and lemme know if he wanted to tweak it some more. This experience got me more curious so I read through the tutorials and found information CLOSE to what I was looking for. Through experimentation, my ear knows what the effects are but I'm wondering if there's an easier way to communicate this kind of thing to others in black and white as though the combinations of the components looked like a shelving EQ.

Something like...

Volume Pot Value + Tone Pot Value + 'x' Cap = Y Freq Cut Off

Any ideas?

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The volume pot has very little to do with tone (though there is some bleeding of higher frequencies to ground when the volume pot is turned down). The tone pot/cap combination forms a low-pass filter with a cutoff frequency described as w=1/(RC) in radians or f=1/(2*pi*RC) in Hertz. There are lots of applets online that will calculate this out for you. It is an extremely common topology. Determining which cutoff frequency you like is the more difficult part as you have to experiment.

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Sounds like a good excuse to build a guitar to me. You could wire pots of different values on switches and add a varitone for cap values, and use it as a working illustration. You could also have switchable treble bleeds and stuff. Might be fun as an illustration, though I think it would be a little ridiculous for a working guitar.

Alternatively, you could build it all into a pedal. If all the guitar's pots are at 10, their influence should be minimal. You could then control volume/tone/whatever with the controls in the pedal.

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