Has anyone run 250K pots in an SG?

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by flyswatter, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. flyswatter

    flyswatter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    209
    Location:
    Montreal
    Hi,

    Love my SG Special Faded but I find it quite a lot brighter tonally than my LP Custom copy and even my Tele when (as usual) I play it on the neck pickup.

    I play in a blues rock band and I'm really into that "dark" Paul Kossoff type of Gibson tone, which my LP does very well; however, I'd much rather be playing my SG for the playability and overall feel.

    I thought that replacing the 500K CTS pots currently in the guitar with 250Ks (more normally used with Fender single coils) might be a way to darken the tone of the guitar a little. Of course, I can roll off the treble on the tone control, but I'd prefer a more permanent fix.

    So, to anyone who has run 250ks in an SG. How did you like them? Did they have any significant effect on tone?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,801
    Likes Received:
    4,140
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    Much easier to tweak the tone control on your amp.
     
    alans sg likes this.
  3. flyswatter

    flyswatter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    209
    Location:
    Montreal
    Tweaking the tone control on the amp does not have the same effect as the guitar itself producing a darker tone. Also, I'm a gigging guitar player who switches from Gibby's to Fenders during shows, and I'd much rather be able to plug and go, without tweaking amp settings.
     
  4. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,801
    Likes Received:
    4,140
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    Fair enough, there's another way that doesn't involve messing with the guitar. Just get a 500k ohm resistor and wire it across the terminals in the lead plug - voila, 250k volume pot.
     
  5. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,864
    Likes Received:
    1,881
    Location:
    The beach.
    Seems to me the tone knob is a pretty permanent thing. Why not just roll back? A 500k pot rolled back half way is, more or less, the equivalent of a 250k pot. That is of course why they are adjustable.

    Or am I missing something?

    When questions like this come up for me I think of this:
    http://youtu.be/ZkGCvLstPrE
     
    SG John and Col Mustard like this.
  6. javamagic

    javamagic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,511
    Likes Received:
    1,257
    Location:
    Ennis, Clare, Ireland
    Back in the '50s LP Juniors were fitted with a 500k volume pot and a 250k tone pot. Of course that is for P-90s but I do wonder why Gibson switched to using 500k pots for both functions on P-90 equipped guitars in the 1960s? Possibly just to standardise and save the bother of buying two values of pot? :dunno:
     
    flyswatter likes this.
  7. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    15,308
    Likes Received:
    10,424
    Location:
    The SWAMP (central Florida)
    Great video thanks for posting, very good base lesson in how to work the knobs for your tone.:applause::dude:
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  8. flyswatter

    flyswatter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    209
    Location:
    Montreal
    Thanks folks. I poked around the guitar a bit last night and I think I'm going to just stick with the 500Ks and work the tones as donepearce originally suggested.
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  9. potatofarmer

    potatofarmer Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    49
    Yeah, the math behind pickups is kind of a mess.

    Check out this spreadsheet, it makes things a lot easier to see: www.harryj.net/voltone.xls
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  10. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,801
    Likes Received:
    4,140
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    There's a hell of a lot of work in that spreadsheet. Congrats to the author.
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  11. oldleftySG

    oldleftySG Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    168
    Location:
    Oswego NY
    That's what was suggested here when I was building my Jr. But when I asked about that on TGP the wizards said "Not so fast whippersnapper..."

    Apparently the capacitor has something to say about it?
     
  12. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,864
    Likes Received:
    1,881
    Location:
    The beach.
    Sure, no doubt it has an effect. Just saying that with an audio-taper 500k pot, there is some setting in there when you roll it back that is aurally analogous to a 250k pot, at least to my ears.
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  13. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    8,056
    Likes Received:
    8,143
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    there's one more suggestion that hasn't been made: The EQ pedal...

    I find myself making this suggestion on many threads, as an alternative
    to surgery... don't rip your guitar apart, buy new pickups etc... put an
    EQ pedal in your f/x loop. That way you keep the amp settings you prefer
    for your other guitars, you set the pedal to bring the SG's tone into the range
    you expect, and when you pick up the SG, stomp the pedal.

    Problem solved, and for half the price of a new pickup or for half of
    the loss of guitar value that you suffer when you change your Gibson's pots to
    250 K. ...to me, 250k pots in an SG would sound muddy muddy muddy...

    but I also believe that the tone controls you have on all your guitars offer
    enough control for you to get everything you want. Somewhere on this very
    forum there's a poll done by one of our members. He played the same riff
    using a Les Paul and an SG, and challenged us all to say which was which.
    He posted this over on MLP too. The results were clear. No one could reliably
    say which was which. And on ETSG, we did better than they did on MLP. We
    did a little better than 50%, they did something less than that.

    To me that means that there's no reason your SG can't give you the darker
    tones you want from it. It's just a matter of EQ in your signal chain.
    The pedal gives you complete control over that, (at least in its 7 bands)
    and has the advantage of a one stomp change and/or signal boost.
    Very Useful IMHO. Good luck.

    THE QUEST FOR TONE HAS NO FINISH LINE
    SO IT'S TECHNICALLY A DEATH MARCH...
     
  14. LeadFinger

    LeadFinger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2,778
    Likes Received:
    2,292
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Covering the pickup (if not already) "darkens" it a bit, as does the far simpler method of playing with the pickup height. I've been playing with both, including some new covers I got for my LP, and there is a difference. Slight, but it's there. You know as a Tele neck pickup lover (I am too) that an old trick with teles is to remove the cover to brighten it up. Doing the opposite with an uncovered bucker can take some of the top end off.
     
  15. flyswatter

    flyswatter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    209
    Location:
    Montreal
    Col,

    Like your suggestion of the EQ pedal. I could use the amp tones as a "default" to match one guitar (SG or Tele) and use the pedal to lighen or darken as needed when I strap on the other. Easy way to switch tones during gigs.
     
  16. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    15,308
    Likes Received:
    10,424
    Location:
    The SWAMP (central Florida)
    THE QUEST FOR TONE HAS NO FINISH LINE
    SO IT'S TECHNICALLY A DEATH MARCH...

    Truer words have yet to be spoken.......well by me anyway lol
     
  17. flyswatter

    flyswatter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    209
    Location:
    Montreal
    For me hunting tone is an enjoyable hobby in between the hours of playing.

    However:

    A lot of my OCDness over tonality stems from the fact that I'm the guitarist/ lead singer in a band that plays everything from trad blues to hard rock to the occasional psychedelia and rockabilly -- plus I job occasionally with a number of other bands as a lead player.

    As the guy who "carries the band," I don't have a lot of opportunity to switch guitars, twiddle amp knobs (which turns me away from the audience), mess with settings, etc. I need to do all these things as we switch styles, but too much of it slows down the show and gets awkward.

    So, the more I can achieve versatility with one amp setting, a few flicks of the toggle, and a quick stomp on a pedal or two (all done blindly as I concentrate on singing), the better things go.
     
    Col Mustard likes this.
  18. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    8,056
    Likes Received:
    8,143
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    yeah, I'm with you on that... on stage, it's best to keep things simple.
    There's enough distractions and it's hard enough to keep the flow and all.
    On my pedal boards, I have my starting points painted on with white
    craft paint, so I can check the whole board at a glance. Different rooms
    mean some changes but I know where I began, and it's a lot easier to
    make quick correct decisions.

    My SG starting points are not painted on, but I keep coming back to the
    same setup: Neck volume at 7-8, Neck tone at 8, Bridge volume at 11,
    bridge tone at 3.
     
  19. flyswatter

    flyswatter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    209
    Location:
    Montreal
    Right, Colonel. It's a whole other playground when I'm home alone and can try out different experiments and sounds. But on stage it's all about the music and the flow of the performance, so I go with what's tried and tested and works.

    Through a lot of trial and error, I've whittled my rig down to: 1 SG, 1 Tele, 1 Super Reverb, and a pedalboard consisting of a tuner, a Crybaby, two overdrives (low gain/ high gain), a chorus (rarely used except for a few phasing effects on the occasional song), and a delay/ reverb. Some gigs I bring along an acoustic as well.
     

Share This Page