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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Odd Tone Knob Behavior on Strat

Chris-K

MD, USA

Jan 16th, 2018 03:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

The tone control of my deluxe HSS Strat doesn't behave like that of my other Strats.

FYI, the HSS Strat has two Vintage Noiseless pickups and a Twin Head humbucker. It uses a 250k volume pot and two 1M tone pot.

The HSS Strat's tone knobs hardly affect the tone at 10 - 4 but abruptly roll down the highs at 3 or below. My other Strat's tone knobs gradually affect the tone from 10 to 0. What is going on with the HSS Strat?

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Jan 16th, 2018 03:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sounds like lefty taper tone pots.

Chris-K

MD, USA

Jan 16th, 2018 04:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

Why would Fender use reverse taper tone pots?

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Jan 16th, 2018 04:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

Us lefties wish they would in our guitars. Instead they wire righty taper pots lefty. This yields the problem you mention.

They do this on their cheaper guitars. The MIA Strat I had was wired righty. And that’s fine because it’s how I end up wiring all my guitars any ways.

Chris-K

MD, USA

Jan 16th, 2018 04:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

So are you saying that somebody at the Fender factory might have made a mistake by using lefty pots on this particular guitar?

No big deal. I can always install the right tone pots later.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Jan 16th, 2018 05:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, I don’t know. But that pot behavior is very well
Known to us lefties.

A real expert will stop by soon, I’m sure. 😊

Leftee
Contributing Member
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**********

VA

Life makes a man tired.
Jan 16th, 2018 06:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

It could be they’re linear taper. I think you can use those for
volume but not tone. I might have that backwards.

I’m just pretending. Knowledgeable help will arrive eventually.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jan 16th, 2018 06:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

You could hook up a VOM and first: check the value of the potentiometer, second: while checking the pot value, you can see the sweep of the pot and when the value starts to change. You may have to unsolder the pot to get the correct value and total sweep characteristics, but it may show you physically when the value changes.
Although you have to disconnect the pot from the circuit, you would have to do this anyway because it may need replacement. Have a known good or new pot of the same value ready to install, but this method is the best way to ensure that all the components are of good quality and are performing as expected.
Best regards, Woody

Chris-K

MD, USA

Jan 16th, 2018 07:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

Both 1 Meg tone knobs behave identically. So I doubt they are malfunctioning.

It is possible that Fender mistakenly used a batch of odd pots on 2017 deluxe HSS Strats.

rockstar_not

USA

Thank God for guitars!
Jan 22nd, 2018 10:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm having this issue with a harness from GuitarFetish. Tone knobs are more 'switches' for tone than continuously variable. Muted tone at zero, then nearly instant switchover to full bright tone at about 1.5-2.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Apr 12th, 2018 04:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

Bumping this thread up as I have encountered the same issue. 10 to 3, no tonal change. 3 to 0 is where it all happens.

I just switched two of my strats that have VN's in them from 250k to 500k pots (mostly as an experiment).
Long story short, I initially installed audio pots but thinking that may have been the issue, I swapped those out for linear. Same result.

This is not my first rodeo, but in doubting myself, I have referenced all my wiring diagrams and cannot see anything out of place or amiss in my wiring. WT???

FTR, the audio pots were brand new CTS and all within 10 ohms +/-. The linear pots are from previous projects and all check out as well.
I don't recall this being the case with the 250k pots, but I didn't bother to check the exact range before I pulled the m out.
I *do* use the tone controls (bridge tone mod) so I think I would have noticed something wonky.

Any advice welcome. This is making me crazy.
TIA

edit to add more info:

*Bridge tone mod - jumper across switch, tone side.
*Separate tone caps for each pot: .022uf neck/mid; .033uf bridge
*Star grounded method

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 06:11 AM, Apr 12th, 2018)

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 12th, 2018 04:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

Mick, please post a close-up pic of your tone pot's wiring.



Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Apr 12th, 2018 04:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hey Geno. Will open up the guitar in the morning & take some pics. Too tired and late here right now.
Thanks

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Apr 13th, 2018 12:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

OK, took longer to get this pic up, but anyway...

I've gone back to the audio pots, and after playing the guitar, there is *some* change in tone starting around 5 but very very subtle until 3.

It just doesn't seem right especially with log pots. It's got me buggered.

So here's a pic of the wiring. [Pinetree is NOT allowed to see this]

500k tone pot wiring

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 13th, 2018 09:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

The wiring looks okay to me.

I'm wondering if the two tone pots are somehow acting in parallel, based on how you have that wired. That would certainly cause the symptoms you're describing.

Try the following: return the guitar to standard Strat scheme and see if the problem goes away. It would be a lot easier, first, to simply unsolder the signal lead from tone pot #2 and see if that makes tone pot #1's taper a bit more responsive.

"You may want to re-flow that solder joint on the switch where the middle pickup's hot lead is. It looks like a cold joint; no solder in the wire."

-Pinetree

:o)

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 11:10 AM, Apr 13th, 2018)

wrnchbndr

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Apr 13th, 2018 10:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

You might lose some hi frequencies but 500K tone pots will react more across the width of rotation. 250K pots even more.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Apr 13th, 2018 04:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

"to simply unsolder the signal lead from tone pot #2 and see if that makes tone pot #1's taper a bit more responsive."

Thanks P. I'll try that and see what happens.

Will also re-flow that pickup lead.
It flowed well on the other side of the lug, but it certainly looks dodgy from the side of the pic.
I didn't notice it until you pointed it out :^(

Got so caught up in the tone pots, was only seeing the "trees" not the "forest".

Side note:
I may not get this back on the bench for a few days. Mrs. Reid is away for the weekend and I've spent more time this week working on guitars than playing them. I needs to play!

edit: I'm sure glad the real Pinetree didn't see that!!

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 06:29 PM, Apr 13th, 2018)

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Odd Tone Knob Behavior on Strat




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