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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Wiring question - common schematic drawings

Contributing Member

Pueblo, Co

illegal is a sick bird....
Nov 24th, 2017 01:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have seen numerous drawings that show the tone capacitor grounded right back to the pot it is coming from, however, it is rare to see actual wiring done that way. I realize that ground is ground but from what I see the prefered way to do this is to span the cap from the tone pot to the volume pot ground (telecasters).

As I get more into doing my own thing I like to understand the why. Here is an example and this example has the wrong cap size I already understand. The drawing does show what seems to be typical, the cap coming from leg 2 on the tone pot grounding to its own housing.

Forum Pic

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Nov 24th, 2017 01:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

It really makes no difference where you ground that cap. If I'm using a small ceramic disc cap as shown in your diagram, I'll most times ground to the tone pot case. In my personal guitars and customer rewires I like to use Mallory 150 caps. They are tubular in shape and fit real nice between the pots of a Tele. I'm looking for a nice tidy look when I wire one up. The Mallory cap sounds no better than the disc but it looks cool in there!

The other consideration is control cavity depth. Some Teles have shallow routes and the between pot method is needed.

Contributing Member

Pueblo, Co

illegal is a sick bird....
Nov 24th, 2017 01:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thank you. I agree that the tube cap does look good going across.

Contributing Member

Roisin, I wanna

fight your father
Nov 24th, 2017 02:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

Actually, it does matter that you ground to the tone pot case--especially when there's no foil shielding in the cavity. Two reasons:

-The case acts as shielding for the signal-carrying conductor (the wiper and resistive track inside the pot).

-It keeps wires as short as possible.

A common misconception is that the conductor in the tone pot is merely draining signal to ground--so RF noise doesn't find its way to the amp. That is incorrect because the signal is an AC current; any noise does get back to the amp.

If the pot cases all have continuity with ground, where you attach the ground side of the tone cap makes no difference--from an electrical standpoint.

But remember that keeping conductors as short as possible helps reject induced noise in a circuit. All "extra" wire length behaves like an antenna when the signal it carries passes through gain stages.

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Nov 25th, 2017 06:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

Here's how I do 'em...

But not lug #2.

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Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 25th, 2017 03:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

There's no electrical reason to favor one way over the other. I think it's often more of a mechanical constraint. If you use large caps in a shallow control cavity, there's move room to fit the cap in between two pots than sitting on top of a pot.

Contributing Member


Nov 25th, 2017 08:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

I like them sitting on a pot, because if the pot gets loose and twists around, it is less likely to snap a wire than it is the leg of a cap. It is also less work because I don't have to worry about insulating cap legs.

I like the Mallory 150 caps, too. Cheap, sound good, and very easy to wire up. I can wrap them around the side of a pot too, if space is an issue.

One of these days I'll find a way to A/B the two methods. In one way it is: positive > cap > pot/resistor > ground, and in another it is positive > pot/resistor > cap > ground. Like Te52 I see no reason to think it'll have an audible difference (nor have I noticed one thus far) but have learned over the years to never say never until you can do a real A/B.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Nov 28th, 2017 01:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

I can hear no difference in tone or noise if the pots are well secured to the control plate. The electrons don't care. Either the pot case is grounded or it's not. Teles were put together/wired like Fender lap steel guitars for many years with only the physical connection of the pot(bolted) to the control plate as a ground point. No ground wire pot to pot.

Vintage Fender amps are the same way with pots grounded to the chassis or brass plate. The pot cases shield just fine. All that wire in both examples is just out in the breeze as they say.



Dec 9th, 2017 11:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

Pinetree, interesting. Another advantage I see in how you wired from the volume to tone pot is that it will help keep them from rotating if the nut loosens on the pot.

FunkyKikuchiyo, "I like the Mallory 150 caps, too. Cheap, sound good, and very easy to wire up."
Same here

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Wiring question - common schematic drawings

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