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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
it just occurred to me that i forgot to get pots for my strat build. i do have at least 2 good pots in the strat that i could use, or i have a 500k leftover from something i did to another guitar.
i'm pretty sure i have some .47 orange drop caps in the garage leftover from a build i did years ago, or i could use the cap that's already in the strat now (which is s-s-s config right now) but i don't know what the value of that cap is.

i will be installing an evh frankenstein humbucker at the bridge, and re using the fender singles for the middle and neck. which would be the best choice to use? i know if i was was going H-H i would go with 500k pots but what about H-S-S? which cap to use, or is there something else i should use instead? i don't remember what i used the last time i did this.

edit: i should mention that i am only going to have one volume and one tone for the whole schmegeggy
 

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Try em if you got em.

It will work, but if it sounds like something you don’t like, change em.

I believe most hss strats use a 500 to anything the humbucker is attached to, but if you have all the parts you need wire em up!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Try em if you got em.

It will work, but if it sounds like something you don’t like, change em.

I believe most hss strats use a 500 to anything the humbucker is attached to, but if you have all the parts you need wire em up!
well, i don't have a soldering iron here, so i will be having someone else do the wiring. that's why i'm trying to nail this down beforehand
 

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500k is alright. Not what most folks use, but alright. .47uf is wayyyyy too high a value. You'll want to use .02uf (which will actually be .022uf...because it's 2019).

The received wisdom is 500k for HBs and 250k for SCs, but really it only matters if you leave you volume up full most of the time and tend not to tinker with it.

You may or may not have heard me blather on about this in previous threads, but something I recommend for 3-pickup guitars is to flip the connection at the selector for the bridge and middle pickups. Instead of N, N+M, M, M+B and B, you'll get N, N+B, B, B+M, and M. You forfeit N+M, but you gain N+B. I like it. You don't have to. But it works real good. And if it's a Frankenstrat, rules don't have to be followed, right?
 

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I run 500k. My sc's dont see any use in the band, and i have no issues noodling at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
500k is alright. Not what most folks use, but alright. .47uf is wayyyyy too high a value. You'll want to use .02uf (which will actually be .022uf...because it's 2019).

The received wisdom is 500k for HBs and 250k for SCs, but really it only matters if you leave you volume up full most of the time and tend not to tinker with it.

You may or may not have heard me blather on about this in previous threads, but something I recommend for 3-pickup guitars is to flip the connection at the selector for the bridge and middle pickups. Instead of N, N+M, M, M+B and B, you'll get N, N+B, B, B+M, and M. You forfeit N+M, but you gain N+B. I like it. You don't have to. But it works real good. And if it's a Frankenstrat, rules don't have to be followed, right?
so then, you are saying that the cap in my strat now is likely the one i would want to use? i don't know what the value is, but assume it's the stock one. i haven't taken the pickguard off and looked yet, because the other parts i ordered only arrived today. you are suggesting 500k pots for both vol & tone? the switch set up you recommend is interesting. i wouldn't miss N+M, i never use it anyhow. i don't use N+B on my LP, but if the sound i got from the stat was something i liked, i might use it, i don't know. i will consider that. thanks for that idea. if you could clarify a little on the questions above that would be awesome. i want to make sure i understand what you're telling me. also, i do leave the vol full up most of the time. sometimes i use it to clean up but that's not something i use for every song

I run 500k. My sc's dont see any use in the band, and i have no issues noodling at home.
i doubt i'll be able to get a band going here, much as i would like to. this place is a musical black hole. i can't even buy the pots and caps locally, i have to order them. guitar center has some pots, but (i found this funny) the tech guy told me he doesn't recommend them for "higher end" guitars. i'm trying to understand what you mean by the part i italicized. do you mean at band volumes there could be too much highs in the neck and middle with a 500k, but at madison square bedroom it works?
 

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I don’t know much about the caps and pots stuff but I think I saw something you can buy that comes with a few different caps and some clips that allow you try different values without having to solder them. So basically you can back to back them and decide which you like.
 

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Push pull pot with 2 caps on it. One for humbucker one for the single coils. Something smaller than .022uf.doing this on my tele with 2 p90s. One value for neck pickup and another value for the bridge. But I'll be using .0006 uf on the bridge and 010 uf on the neck. I don't see the point of using a cap that makes useless dark as hell muddy tones. My setup rolls off the ice pick highs and not much else.
 

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so then, you are saying that the cap in my strat now is likely the one i would want to use? i don't know what the value is, but assume it's the stock one. i haven't taken the pickguard off and looked yet, because the other parts i ordered only arrived today. you are suggesting 500k pots for both vol & tone? the switch set up you recommend is interesting. i wouldn't miss N+M, i never use it anyhow. i don't use N+B on my LP, but if the sound i got from the stat was something i liked, i might use it, i don't know. i will consider that. thanks for that idea. if you could clarify a little on the questions above that would be awesome. i want to make sure i understand what you're telling me. also, i do leave the vol full up most of the time. sometimes i use it to clean up but that's not something i use for every song
The cap that's already in there is either the optimal one, or very close to it. If you don't like what it does, then we'll talk about possible useful changes.

I came up with the bridge/middle flip when I decided to Nashville-ize my Turser Tele by installing a middle pickup. Since part of the distinctive charm of a Tele is the neck+bridge combination, I didn't want to lose that. And since I'd be gaining the "cluck" of middle+bridge anyway, I didn't mind foregoing the other cluck position, since it let me keep what I wanted a Tele for in the first place. Indeed, one of the things (among many others) that has made Strats a different animal from a Tele in the minds of owners/users is that a STrat doesn't/can't have neck+bridge, while a Tele does. The suggested switching arrangement was a way of having a big bite out of the cake.

The recommendation for this or that volume-pot value is intended to provide a desirable degree of treble, when the volume is up full. Higher pot values don't lose as much treble to "loading", so HB users need the larger value (500k) while SC users like to "sand down" the edges with 250k. But that really only works when the volume is up full. Once you turn down below max vol, BOTH pot values provide loading. That's why I generally ask those inquiring about "best" pot value how they tend to use their volume control. If they only turn down if they hear the phone ringing or want to say or hear something, then HB=500k and SC=250k. If they are a frequent twiddler of that pot, then they are regularly "disturbing" for want of a better word) the pickups' frequency response (or what reaches the amp or first pedal). In that case the classic formula offers no particular advantage.

But your question is really about what would be the best compromise when there is a mixture of HB and SC and only one pot "to rule them all". There, one aims to tame the biggest risk, which is the top end of the HB, so 500k. "But what if the SCs just sound too damn 'brittle'?" Good question. One way to address that is to have a small-value capacitor to ground (essentially in parallel with) the pickups, when using the SCs. This rolls off the undesired top end. Another way I like is what I call a "bi-directional" Tone control. This provides a nice "rounding off" of the top end in one direction, and the more traditional dulling action in the other direction, with full treble at the midpoint.. Given your wiring chops, though (and no diss intended, but you wouldn't be asking the question you do if you were more experienced in the area), let's save that as a last resort.

i doubt i'll be able to get a band going here, much as i would like to. this place is a musical black hole. i can't even buy the pots and caps locally, i have to order them. guitar center has some pots, but (i found this funny) the tech guy told me he doesn't recommend them for "higher end" guitars. i'm trying to understand what you mean by the part i italicized. do you mean at band volumes there could be too much highs in the neck and middle with a 500k, but at madison square bedroom it works?
I think he means that he doesn't use them live, and if he uses them at home, he's not playing at levels where the highs would feel like an ice pick through the forehead.
The underlined part suggests to me that your local GC carries only the smaller (16mm) diameter pots - the small Alphas. These will not have the lifespan of a pricier pot. I also find that the wipers on smaller cheaper pot tend to have more of a scraping action and can erode the resistive strip faster. But again, if you tend to only turn down on your guitar occasionally, such pots have a lifespan of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of turns. If you don't mind replacing them once a decade, and you're not worried about pot crackle during a live telecast, you're in good shape with the smaller ones.
 

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The new fenders with hss have a stacked vol pot that uses a 500 to the hum, and 250 to the sc’s. I don’t really know what I’m talking about, but I watched a YouTube video that described this. It might have had a modified selector switch as well.
 

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Why not try the 500k pots and see if it is too bright. If it seems too bright you can wire a 500k resistor in parallel at the switch where the single coils are wired, so that when they're selected, they 'see' 250k. To me bright is better than dark. You can turn down bright, you can't brighten the dark tone if the pot is wide open. Or you can wire the 500k resistor across the 1&3 lugs which will make the pot a 250k pot. You could put a switch so the resistor is turned on or off as well.
 
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Here's a bit of happy news....

The standard 5-way switch has two sets of contacts: one for selecting pickups, and the other for selecting the tone control corresponding to the pickup/s selected.

Cheesy is using a single master volume and master tone, so there is nothing for the second set of contacts to select. That means the second set of contacts can be conscripted to do whatever custom-tailoring of pickup tone response he wants.

There are two approaches being advocated here. One is to mimic the loading effects of a 250k pot, whenever only SCs are in use, by adding a 470k resistor in parallel with the pickups/pot. The other is to mimic the preferred tonal response by adding a cap of some value in parallel with the pickup/pot.

The question that prompts is: "which would be better-suited?"

Consider that pots come in only a few standard values. With the exception of expensive and hard-to-find 300k Gibson pots, there is nothing in between 250k and 500k (470k). Maybe 250k is the optimal solution for SC pickups, and maybe it is simply "the closest thing to a solution", compared to 500k and 100k. Yes, a parallel resistor will present the functional equivalent of a 250k pot when the volume is up full. But it becomes hard to predict the tonal behaviour when one turns the volume pot down a bit.

In contrast, there are many different capacitor values that could be selected, when using the SC pickups, yielding a tonal response that is optimized, and with predictable loading effects of a 500k pot. That's what I'd vote for. The pisser is that Strat pickguards make it a royal pain in the arse to do taste-tests.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i'm going to try the 500k pot with the .22 cap, and see how it turns out. i have the pickguard assembled except for the tone pot that i'm waiting for, and i haven't wired anything. i put on the tremol-no, and installed the locking tuners. tomorrow i will do the shielding. after that, i will drop off the guitar next week to have the luthier here install the lsr nut, do the wiring, and the basic set up. i could do the set up myself, but they have to install the nut anyhow, so they might as well throw strings on it and set it up. once i get it back i will set the pick up height, and if necessary, adjust the pole pieces. it's frustrating to farm out work i could do myself, but it just makes sense to let them do the wiring and the set up considering the circumstances right now.
 

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Postscript: Just picked up the February issue of Guitar Player, and was pleasantly surprised to find that one of Fender's "artist model" guitars - the Albert Hammond Jr. model - has the same pickup wiring that I was advocating earlier, with the middle and bridge pickup connections flipped to be able to get neck+bridge. Not that I expect either of us to be rabid fans of The Strokes, but it's interesting that the wiring exists as a factory install.

You will NOT like .22uf. Seriously. I hope that is a typo on your part, and you meant to type .022uf. Tone controls normally bleed some treble to ground, even when turned up full. The larger the cap value, the more treble gets bled off.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Postscript: Just picked up the February issue of Guitar Player, and was pleasantly surprised to find that one of Fender's "artist model" guitars - the Albert Hammond Jr. model - has the same pickup wiring that I was advocating earlier, with the middle and bridge pickup connections flipped to be able to get neck+bridge. Not that I expect either of us to be rabid fans of The Strokes, but it's interesting that the wiring exists as a factory install.

You will NOT like .22uf. Seriously. I hope that is a typo on your part, and you meant to type .022uf. Tone controls normally bleed some treble to ground, even when turned up full. The larger the cap value, the more treble gets bled off.

yes, it should really say "Capacitor, Ceramic Disc, .022uf, 50 Volt"
 
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