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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Can a tone pot be too bright?

Contributing Member

North Gnarlyington

Apr 3rd, 2012 11:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a DeArmond M77T that I bought during the big blow out 10 years ago. I found the DeArmond 2K bridge pickup too bright, so I replaced it with a TVJones PowerTron. Though quite different tonally, the TV pickup still can sound somewhat harsh and thin, unless I really roll off the tone. Could the stock tone pot have something to do with this? Can a cheapo tone pot unnecessarily emphasize unpleasant frequencies?



Apr 3rd, 2012 12:40 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

" Can a cheapo tone pot unnecessarily emphasize unpleasant frequencies?"

Not in the real world. Far more likely is the value of the tone capacitor or the pot.

Try a 0.05 (.047) uF cap and/or a 250k pot.

If it already has these or similar values them more thought is needed.

Contributing Member

That chicken

is WRONG, baby.
Apr 3rd, 2012 02:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Also, make sure it's an "audio/log" taper pot, and not a "linear" pot. Audio taper pots work a lot better for tone controls, and for most guitar volume controls. However, certain pickup types work better with linear taper volume controls. P90s sometimes are easier to control with 'em.

Some makers ID the pot type by "A" (audio taper), or "B" (linear taper). For instance:

A250 = audio taper 250 kOhm pot.
B500 = linear taper 500 kOhm pot.

Contributing Member

New England

Apr 3rd, 2012 07:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Ceramic disks are sometimes markedly harsher than other types, so switching out to polyester may help. It is on the subtle order of things and not noticeable for everyone.

Also, many pots are +/- 20%, so a 500k pot could in fact be a 600k pot. It won't make it brighter than having NO tone control, but certainly brighter than one at a lower spec. If you're not sure if you want to go all the way down to 250k, you could go into the local music store with your meter and find a 500k that is below spec.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Can a tone pot be too bright?

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