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Discussion Starter #1
What happens when you use 250k pots and a traditional humbucker? (Porter Pickups Smooth Humbucker)

Thanks
 

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More treble bleed; might just be a bit dark, or can get real muddy depending on the bucker.
 

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i find them muddy with 500k can;t imagine how they would sound with 250's
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Actually, the pickup is clear and normal sounding. The only problem is that it sounds like the volume is turned way down.

I'm using a strat partscaster and was hoping to use a humbucker in the neck and strat pickups in the mjddle and bridge.
 

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The impact of using 250k vs 500k vs 1M volume pots will depend on how you normally use your volume control.

If the volume is always left up full, then the volume pot loads down the pickup signal less, and more of the full pickup bandwidth is preserved. In the diagram below, you can see that when the volume pot is up full, the signal essentially passes, straight-wire, to the output jack. The amp, or first pedal, sees three parallel paths to ground: the pickup/s, the tone pot, and the volume pot.

If you're a knob-twiddler, then the moment you turn the volume control down a bit, you will have placed a portion of the pot's resistance in series with the pickup, and you start loading down the pickup. At that point, relative benefit of using this or that volume-pot value start to become moot.

Some players, like Jeff Beck, will crank the amp, and keep the guitar volume below max, to not only have the option of turning up to push the amp harder, but also to load down the pickups in a distinctive way. He uses a bright amp and a bright-sounding guitar, but has a "rounder" tone, in spite of that. Part of that results from the loading effect of the volume pot setting.

Fender's traditional strategy to overcome the loading at less-than-max volume settings was to compensate the volume pot with a small-value capacitor, or resistor-cap combination between the input to the pot and the wiper. That gives a "free pass" to high-frequencies when the guitar volume is turned down, since the treble content can pass through the capacitor unimpeded, instead of the pot portion placed in series with the pickup. The "right" cap value will depend on the tastes of the player, the pickups involved, and the volume-pot value. It is not shown in the diagram below.



While it is not customary to do so, there is no law against use of a compensating cap for humbucker pickups and/or volume pots of values other than what Fender normally uses. Indeed, using a slightly larger bypass cap value (e.g, 2200pf) on the volume pot of a humbucker, makes the pot function a bit like a bass cut for the first little bit of rotation, and then turn into a volume control from 6 or 7 on down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
mhammer-I use the volume control all over -up and down. Not gonna change my playing style. I just want to know the SOUND difference between the 250k pots I have in the guitar now and 500k pots. If necessary, I'll go to 500k; but I was wondering the difference.

Currently I have a Porter Pickups Smooth humbucker in the neck position. I thought I could use 250k pots because the pickup only uses Alnico 2 magnets.
 

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Don't change your plying style on my account.

Humbuckers typically don't have as much top end. This is not due to the magnets used (plenty of SC units employ Alnico II), but to the inductance of the two coils and sensing area. If the player desires a slightly or somewhat duller sound, that's their choice, and use of 250k (or even less!) volume pots might help in that regard.

500k pots will retain more top end from your pickups when up full. If you like what you get at full volume, then go with higher-value pots. If you regularly turn down, up, down again, etc., then there is really no effective difference between 1meg, 500k, 300k (a unique Gibson value on some models), 250k, or whatever, until you turn up full.

Like I say, some players leave their volume pot exactly where it was when they took it out of the box at L&M. And if it sounds the way they want, good on them, and happy trails. If they twiddle like you indicate you do, then I wouldn't worry about pot value unless there are occasions in which you want what a higher-value pot provides at full volume.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Don't change your plying style on my account.

Humbuckers typically don't have as much top end. This is not due to the magnets used (plenty of SC units employ Alnico II), but to the inductance of the two coils and sensing area. If the player desires a slightly or somewhat duller sound, that's their choice, and use of 250k (or even less!) volume pots might help in that regard.

500k pots will retain more top end from your pickups when up full. If you like what you get at full volume, then go with higher-value pots. If you regularly turn down, up, down again, etc., then there is really no effective difference between 1meg, 500k, 300k (a unique Gibson value on some models), 250k, or whatever, until you turn up full.

Like I say, some players leave their volume pot exactly where it was when they took it out of the box at L&M. And if it sounds the way they want, good on them, and happy trails. If they twiddle like you indicate you do, then I wouldn't worry about pot value unless there are occasions in which you want what a higher-value pot provides at full volume.

Mark

I think you might be missing one thing that I mentioned. Even with the volume on 10, I can barely hear the guitar being played. THAT is the problem. Sound is clear, but it sounds like the volume is on 1, not 10. Any thing lower and I can't hear it at all. Maybe I'm not explaining things very well?
 

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Even with the volume on 10, I can barely hear the guitar being played. THAT is the problem.
Is this new wiring? Have you checked everything thoroughly?

Can you post the circuit diagram you are using (or that was used by whomever).
This is from the Porter site...FWIW...
Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 2.43.38 PM.png


Something is VERY wrong!
 

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I think you might be missing one thing that I mentioned. Even with the volume on 10, I can barely hear the guitar being played. THAT is the problem. Sound is clear, but it sounds like the volume is on 1, not 10. Any thing lower and I can't hear it at all. Maybe I'm not explaining things very well?
Did you install the pot or pickup? Or if someone else, did they know what they were doing?
Since we're into the realm of troubleshooting a malfunctioning guitar, I'll ask some questions.
Des the volume control actually adjust volume level, or does the level stay the same no matter how you twiddle it?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Is this new wiring? Have you checked everything thoroughly?

Can you post the circuit diagram you are using (or that was used by whomever).
This is from the Porter site...FWIW...
View attachment 227306

Something is VERY wrong!
I am using the Obsidianwire solder free module: Custom Blender for Strat®
(250k pots, .047 caps) It works flawlessly as it has done for the last 18 months or so. And yes, everything has been triple checked and works fine.
The circuit diagram I used was the one you posted from the Porter website.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Did you install the pot or pickup? Or if someone else, did they know what they were doing?
Since we're into the realm of troubleshooting a malfunctioning guitar, I'll ask some questions.
Des the volume control actually adjust volume level, or does the level stay the same no matter how you twiddle it?
I installed the pickup in the neck position. The obsidianwire wireless module has the pots, switch, caps,etc pre-installed on a circuit board. For mor info see obsidianwire.com

Yes, the volume control does actually adjust volume level on all three pickups: humbucker in neck position, strat 57/62 in middle and neck. The strat pickups are adjusted to the level that I want (for practicing at home) but then when I switch to the humbucker, the sound goes WAY down.
 

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Well clearly something is quite wrong since HBs are usually louder than SCs. Using 250k pots will not drop the level of a pickup, and will certainly not reduce an HB below the level of an SC.

Which Obsidian drop-in replacement are you using? They have some tech info on their site that might help to identify where you went wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Well clearly something is quite wrong since HBs are usually louder than SCs. Using 250k pots will not drop the level of a pickup, and will certainly not reduce an HB below the level of an SC.

Which Obsidian drop-in replacement are you using? They have some tech info on their site that might help to identify where you went wrong.
I am using the Strat Blender replacement. Which tech info were you thinking of? I have emailed Obsidianware explaining my problem.

Thanks for all the help, BTW.
 

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I’m gonna have to vote miswire on the new bucker since that same vol control works for the other pups.

Check the manufacturer’s colour code scheme ( is that the right one above, I forgot to look now on new page as I type this) cuz it probably doesn’t match the colour scheme on whatever diagram you found online. It’s not industry standard; everyone does it different.

If that looks good wire the bucker straight to a jack to check it’s fine ( and double check you got the wires right).
 
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