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What Pots/cap/etc Would You Use?


alloyguitar
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So long story short, I have a soft spot in my heart for this total piece of junk harmony h804, or something like that, I picked up for a whopping 20 bucks on a 'managers special' from one of the pawn shops my dad and I usually haunt at least once a week. He buys and sells tools a lot, so we've built up a pretty good repore with the staff, hence the 20 dollar price tag.

Anywho, it has wiring issues. By issues, you can press on the pickguard and the sound would drop out, it'd break up and cut in and out wildly if you played with any more force than one would finger pick (gently) with, etc. It also has a very low, kinda muddy tone, which I believe is for two reasons. One being that the closest the pickups can get to the strings is more than half an inch away (maybe further. Didn't measure before disassembly), and that there's no bridge pickup, per say. It has two single coils in more or less a middle and neck position, and a single volume and tone (both 500k pots) with no selector switch.

I'd like it to be a bit brighter/more lively than it is now. My question to you fine gents is what would you run in it to achieve that? I'm considering running two mini toggles to select the individual pickups. I can't easily run more pots than the two, so that's the limit there. I'd considered 1meg pots, but I think that, if I was playing on only one of the two pickups, the tone would be retardedly bright. The stock pickups tested at between 6 and 6.1 ohms. I thought I'd mention that.

I also can't easily add a bridge position pickup due to the need to route the body to do so, and my wood shop is 347 miles away from where I am currently, so that's out of the question.

I'm also considering p90 pickups, instead of the single coils. I had a gibson melody maker with a p90 in it and found it very enjoyable. The body is already routed oversized (I guess one model with the same body had humbuckers), so that shouldn't be a problem.

So yeah, i'm going to stop rambling now, but any help would be appreciated in putting together what combination of pot values/cap values would liven it up a bit. I realize that this is a 20 dollar plywood guitar, but I have a soft spot in my heart for making crappy things, well, less crappy (hopefully). Lol

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Well it was probably just going to be some cheap ebay p90's (I mean, it is a 20 dollar guitar...) that they say test at 6 or 7 ohms (can't really recall). I'm leaning towards 500k pots with individual toggles to turn each pickup on and off, but I basically know nothing about capacitors. I usually end up grabbing one from my spare guitar parts bin and hoping it'll work. Lol

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Oh, and, for the record, it actually played reasonably well when I got it. Over the past year or so, it'e deteriorated considerably, as I didn't want to bring one of my gibsons or other higher priced instruments when I moved to a larger city, in case they got stolen, so the harmony, and epi lp, and an ibanez sa series with an emg are the ones I chose to bring and usually end up picking up the 'ole harmony since it's so crappy it's enjoyable to play.

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Oh, and, for the record, it actually played reasonably well when I got it. Over the past year or so, it'e deteriorated considerably, as I didn't want to bring one of my gibsons or other higher priced instruments when I moved to a larger city, in case they got stolen, so the harmony, and epi lp, and an ibanez sa series with an emg are the ones I chose to bring and usually end up picking up the 'ole harmony since it's so crappy it's enjoyable to play.

Yeah, I was kidding about totaling it. Another source for cheap pickups that comes highly recommended is guitarfetish.com. With P90s, the traditional choice is 500k pots and .022 caps.

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  • 1 month later...

i am not sure but i think i still have a Seymour Duncan p90 in my scrap bin. i also have some better singles well not sure how much better they are i have some that have a definite higher output. i have tons of scrap pickups lying around if you want some are you in the states. i am just cleaning out the junk bins no charge for the sarge man. i also have a roll of pickup wire if anyone wants it but you got to pay shipping on that bad boy. sorry to blab on just thought it might help someone out. oh yeah knobs too. lol

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