Removing Tone Pot

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Removing Tone Pot

Postby MMFB » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:59 am

Did a quick search and didn't find anything so sorry if this has been covered before. But, if I remove my tone pot do I need to change anything else? Will it still sound like I have it turned all the way "up" for lack of a better description. I never use it and was thinking of switching things up a bit.
Thanks!

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texastoast
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Re: Removing Tone Pot

Postby texastoast » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:53 pm

Short answer is no, it will most likely not be the same.

Even with the pot turned all the way down you still have some path to the tone circuit (capacitor then ground). AT the high resistance levels only a small amount of treble will bleed off. So removing the pot may make the guitar brighter. Placing a resistor directly to the tone cap will make it the same.

No real harm in trying. Who knows you may like it better without the pot. A resistor is only a few bucks. If you wish to fix(make permanent) your tone circuit I would suggest getting a few alligator(roach) clips and try a few different ones out before soldering it in. I would recommend a 750,500,and 250 k resisters. You can go straight to ground with out the cap if you wish. No rules in this stuff. Just what sounds right to you. Higher resistor value the brighter the tone.

Good luck.

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Re: Removing Tone Pot

Postby ElfDude » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:20 pm

texastoast wrote:No real harm in trying. Who knows you may like it better without the pot.


We know Mr. Zaza likes his guitars better without the tone circuit.

I've only ever tried removing it on one guitar. An SX from Rondo Music. It sounded dark to me and I was trying to brighten it up. It did help, but it was a subtle change.
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Re: Removing Tone Pot

Postby MMFB » Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:34 am

Interesting. Thank you!

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Re: Removing Tone Pot

Postby Don » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:56 pm

Removing the tone pot will change the sound of the guitar. Fender uses a pot in some models that is removed from the circuit at 10 for that reason.

My Strat did not have a tone pot on the bridge pickup and it was too shrill. I attached a tone pot even though I keep it at 10 and it tames the highs.

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Re: Removing Tone Pot

Postby UnexplodedCow » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:04 pm

Bypassing/removing the tone pot does remove a subtle amount of "darkness." A "no load" tone pot does the same thing. The reason for this is the tone pot always conducts a small amount of signal through the tone cap to ground. By lifting the cap leg (all you need to do in reality), that ground connection is lost.

On top of that, the resistive load placed on the pickup(s) changes, again, as the tone pot is parallel with the volume pot (typically). This will increase the resonant frequency/peak of the pickup, making it sound "brighter."

I much prefer using a push/pull pot, or switch, to bypass the tone control when I want, or to quickly change the pickup sound as needed. I'm a big tone control fan, however, and never suggest disabling it entirely.
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Re: Removing Tone Pot

Postby wickid » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:06 am

Don wrote:Removing the tone pot will change the sound of the guitar. Fender uses a pot in some models that is removed from the circuit at 10 for that reason.

My Strat did not have a tone pot on the bridge pickup and it was too shrill. I attached a tone pot even though I keep it at 10 and it tames the highs.


A lot of Fenders that do not have a superswitch (that are like the current Kiesel 5-way with only 3 lug connections, per side) do not have a tone pot in the "mix" in 1 position (I think that was probably the bridge, but that could always be rewired). At least I think that had to be the case, or maybe they could wire up 2 tones in all 5 pos with the standard switches (beats me how, but that doesn't really mean anything).
I have a Bolt (or 2) wired with 2 tones, and I omit a tone knob in the mid pos, since I rarely use that alone. The hi's are really cranked up in that position, much more than a tone on 10. (But I'd prefer that for that p/up vs bridge or neck.)
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Re: Removing Tone Pot

Postby spudmunkey » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:29 am

At least one version of Misha Mansoor's Jackson has as push-pull to take the time knob in and out of the circuit.

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Re: Removing Tone Pot

Postby texastoast » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:19 pm

If my memory serves me right he also asked about a kill switch on a different post. So I think he wishes to just get rid of the tone pot and not add anything but the kill switch. Actually a push pull as a mute on one side would be ideal. You would have your kill switch tone pot and all.

I have also installed push pulls going to two different caps. I find it redundant as a pot turn would do the same thing. But that is what they wanted.

There is an option that will not be the most convenient but give you some long term options.
And that is to install a variable resistor (like a pot that needs a small screwdriver to adjust) inside the control cavity. You can open it up and make set it and forget it adjustments that way. Just in case you tone preferences change from time to time.


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