Volume pots on SGs/LPs: 500k vs. 300k?

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by Beery Swine, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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    What are y'all's opinions on this? My G400 sounds great, BUT I seem to always put the bridge tone on around 8 or 7.5, no matter what style I'm playing on it. Part of me just thinks this is wrong in some way, like I'm not using all 10 notches on the tone knob. It still doesn't quite sound like how I want it for an Angus Young type of tone, but that's not really that bad. Then I started thinking about Gibson's 300k pots, and how that takes a bit of the high end off. Are those the pots that Angy uses/used on the big bad rock and roll albums? When did Gibson start using the 300k pots? Has it always been pretty much standard?
    I probably shouldn't really monkey, I guess, because some tones I do prefer with the tone knob maxed. Regardless, what do you guys think about it? Any experience with 500k vs. 300k pots?
     
  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Suggestions ...

    Turn guitar volume down to 8. BB King dimed every knob on his amp and set his tone and volume from the guitar (so did Eddie VH, but did the same on his guitar ... LOL).

    How is your EQ set on the amp ? I find setting treble and tone at about 6 and increase volume to compensate, gives it some of that honk you're looking for.
     
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  3. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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    It's not really either amps or the various pedals I use. The LP with probuckers sound great, the McCarty with, well, McCartys sound great, the V and F with EMG 81s sound great, but the only experience I've had with A5 magnet bridge pickup before the G400 is a Jackson with Full Shreds, and they're definitely not bright. Every other guitar I keep the pots maxed and they all sound fine (cept for the PRS SE245, those pickups are definitely muddy). I've heard some people complain about something in the high end of Duncan '59s, too, but every time I hear them (never played them), they sound great. Some pedals sound fantastic with the G400 pots dimed, like the Black Magic II.
    I'll probably just keep the pots as-is, but I like the discussion, cuz you never know when some bit of electric guitar info will come in handy to change something to make it better for you.
     
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  4. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    My 2013 Standard I just got this year the previous owner put in a new harness that was 50's wiring with 500k all around and bumblebee caps it sounded terrible, fortunately he included the stock harness with the sale and I was able to swap it back in, it has 300K linear volume pots and 500k audio tone pots, makes the guitar sound amazing the way it should. :yesway:
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
    cerebral gasket and Beery Swine like this.
  5. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    Spend some time with the Ann Arbor guitar videos on YouTube, or their website.

    You won’t find any other direct comparisons that are this good.
     
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  6. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    +1 on that... Dave Collins knows his stuff. I lived in Ann Arbor for a long time
    and took all my instruments to him. When ever he talks, I listen.

    By passing all the scientific jargon, I will say this to answer
    the OP:

    What in the world is wrong with setting your tone control at 7 or 8?
    If you like the tone you get when you set your tone control at any certain point,
    then you are using your tone controls to like, control your tone.

    It seems to me that this is how the tone control is supposed to be used.
    You listen to your guitar, and adjust the tone controls until you like the tone.
    Then Rock. To me, it's as simple as that.

    If you turn your tone control all the way up, you are just bypassing it.
    When it's wide open, it's not doing anything. You could just remove it.
    But your tone sucks if you don't use your tone controls, IMHO.
    That's what they are for.

    Since you said that your tone is fine when you cut the highs back to about
    7 or 8, I suggest that you keep doing that. It's simple, it is the way the
    controls are supposed to be used, and it doesn't cost anything,
    and you don't have to buy anything,
    and you don't have to rip your guitar apart.

    I usually run my bridge pickup's tone control at about 4,
    and my neck pickup's tone control at about 7.
    This works for me. I also use the tone controls on my
    amp. All the time.

    I will say one more thing about trying to achieve the same tone that you hear
    on recordings or performances by big stars. It's really not possible,
    when you are using a different instrument, and different amps
    than the stars do.
    Angus has a whole crew of employees working for him, managing his tone.
    They run his band's signal through racks of specialized equipment,
    so he can concentrate on his stage performance.

    I had a friend who bought himself a Strat and wanted to sound like Stevie Ray
    Vaughn... He worked really hard on it. I'm a Stevie Ray fan, and I'm not closed
    minded, so one day he and I were talking and he expressed his frustration.
    I asked him what strings he was using. He said nines.
    I said, "well, Stevie Ray was using 13s..." He looked at me like I was nuts.
    I told him not to worry, he sounded like himself, and he's an excellent player.

    Anyway, IMHO it's all we can do to play our best, and we'll end up sounding
    like ourselves, no matter what instrument or amp we play. And that's okay.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Having too many knobs or too many places to adjust the tone creates too many variables IMO. All I need is a single P-90 and a volume pot these days.
     

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