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Looking to wire up a completely new pickguard assembly for my Strat. I plan to roll with the standard 5-way switch and 250k pots. However, I want to have separate tone controls for the neck and bridge, in order to leave the middle pup wide open. What are you folks using for tone caps on your Strats? I'm thinking of trying .047mf to start with. Pups are Fender CS Fat 50's and a Seymour Duncan SSL-5 RWRP in the bridge.
 

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i I'm using .0068 in my Les paul Junior, Gibson stock is .015. I'll be using something much less than the the standard .047 on my strat build


 

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Personally I like to experiment. For the price you can buy an number of different size caps and let your ear be your judge.
 

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That's what I did with My Lp Junior. Started at the standard .015 and turned the tone knob to 10. Sounded like pure mud. Went to .1, then slowly made my way to 6800pf or .0068uf. Sounds a little fatter. Very usable tones from 1-10 on the tone now.
 

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I'm going to wire my next strat this way. A really small value for the bridge, and a slightly higher value for the neck. Tone pot one works for bridge and middle, Tone pot 2 is for middle and neck. So you have 2 flavors of tones added to middle pup, but you get an actual tone pot for the bridge!


 

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Just had a go with a MIM Strat I picked up. I replaced the pickups and electronics but the wiring is just the typical strat, tone on neck and middle, that's it. After getting used to my other strat, which has a greasebucket (pretty sure it's just a treble bleed), and the tone pots are wired to neck and bridge, I can't stand the controls on this MIM strat. I am on the hunt for the leads you can connect to the pots and run them out your guitar. I plan to do as Fergie55 suggested and knight_yyz has already done. The videos Ive watched of audio comparisons online really are interesting but I feel it's a sum of the parts thing, that you can't just take a value because someone else liked one on the internet.

When I get around to switching the wiring and I test some pots, if I remember I'll update which one I enjoyed the most

I'd be interested to hear if anyone has a preference to the different treble bleed mods (simple, Duncan, Kinman) and if they like the same one on different guitars or they have different preferences based on the pickups themselves

if you haven't checked this type of video out, I found it very informative on the subject of treble bleeds (sorry if this is slightly derailing the thread?)
 

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if you want a treble bleed you have to decide what kind of curve you want. I watched a video where they played with the values of the caps and resistors and the way the volume reacts is totally different dependent on the method and the choice of components.


 

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Most of my strat builds are wired so the neck and middle pickups are both tied to 1 tone control, and the bridge pickup is tied to the other. For 3 single coils, I'm partial to .047 in the neck/middle and .01 (or rarely a .022) on the bridge, but experimentation never hurt anyone.
 

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I don't know a single person who would select their bridge pickup for a dark mute sound. So it has never made sense to me that people would use the same cap value for the bridge pickup that they would use for the neck...unless there was only a single master tone control.

My own preference is to use a value 1/3 to 1/4 the value of the neck cap for the bridge cap. Takes the edge off and yields a "rounder" tone when you turn it down, without sounding too dark.
 

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Constantly. Just boxed up three last night.

Taming high end to bring out the best in a fuzz is quite sensible. But I've found there are many such pedals that show not the slightest indication that one has even changed pickups, let alone dialed in a darker tone on the guitar. I find that to be especially true of fuzzes, moreso than overdrives. AFAIC, the primary duty of a tone control is to adjust clean sound. Sometimes that affects what a pedal does, but many times not.
 

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I don't know a single person who would select their bridge pickup for a dark mute sound. .
Isn't that how Clapton got his "woman tone" by turning the both tone pots to zero?
 

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I'm going to do the same thing with my tele build. But it only has 1 vol 1 tone, so the tone will be push pull for the 2 caps
 

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I use a bidirectional tone pot. "Rounding" in one direction, "dulling" in the other, and no treble cut in the middle. I use a 1M linear pot for this, so that in the middle there is 500k on each side of the wiper, to minimize unintended treble bleed. I would strongly recommend against use of such a bidirectional control if one was simply going to rewire an existing 250k or 500k pot.
 

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Constantly. Just boxed up three last night.

Taming high end to bring out the best in a fuzz is quite sensible. But I've found there are many such pedals that show not the slightest indication that one has even changed pickups, let alone dialed in a darker tone on the guitar. I find that to be especially true of fuzzes, moreso than overdrives. AFAIC, the primary duty of a tone control is to adjust clean sound. Sometimes that affects what a pedal does, but many times not.
Are you speaking of a recording/bedroom playing situation, or live performance/jamming with friends?

I find it interesting this comment you've made. Saying there are plenty of pedals that don't bring out the tone of pick-ups. Sounds like garbage pedals to me. It's like saying which spices we should add to a McDonald's burger, laughable at best. Similar to hearing guys fawn over and wax eloquent which delay pedals they love most, then you find out it doesn't have a tap tempo... bedroom tone chasing is fine but it's really not all that interesting to me

knight_yyz brought up an obvious tone, Woman from Clapton. I mean I thought it was fairly well known, Jimi's "clean" tones were just fuzz boxes with the volume at 3-5, at which point none of what you've said makes any sense to me, but I am interested to hear how others achieve tones because there are a thousand ways once you introduce all the variables in an electric guitar rig
 

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I am speaking of a low-volume playing situation, but it shouldn't require high volumes for such things to be audible.

So nah. Nothing like that. It's a question both of how the pedal treats the bandwidth of the signal throughout the circuit, and also a question of the guitar itself. One of the things I dislike about guitars like an SG with a pair of P90s is that the pickups are so close together, and have so little high end, that there is precious little tonal contrast between the neck and bridge.

And its not a question of a pedal delivering different tones for different guitars, but whether switching between neck and bridge with the pedal ON yields as much of a tonal change as switching pickups with the pedal OFF. And if doing the latter doesn't yield much change unless you pick a certain way, then one should not expect a pedal to change that. So, the pedal may indeed sound different with a Tele than with a 335, but switching from bridge to neck on either of those guitars may yield very negligible difference. Like I say, some fuzzes are like that. Doesn't mean they are bad pedals. They just don't have the trait of responding differently to different input.

And, similarly, there are fuzzes/distortions where rolling off some of the highs with my bidirectional tone control interacts with the input of the fuzz to produce near cocked-wah type resonances, and others where I can rotate the tone any which way I want, and I'll be darned if I can hear any difference. Just remember, we're talking about fuzz and not overdrives. Overdrives are more responsive to tone-control settings.

Same thing with distortions and wahs. There are some where sticking a wah ahead of the distortion delivers magic, and others where you can wah as much as you want, and the audible output from the distortion is only marginally different and not especially expressive.
 

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mhammer, thanks for expanding on your original statements. Can you name a few fuzz pedals or their circuits which come to mind, that aren't really responsive to input like you say?

One situation I can personally think of, where I strongly prefer a tone knob on the bridge. If you have a fuzz and an overdrive stacked (I am thinking tubescreamer), where the fuzz is before the OD, and you switch the fuzz off... well now I'm just using an OD and I'd like my tone pot on the bridge. This is why I was asking about a live/jam situation or strictly trying to cop a tone for recording, or for bedroom/basement pleasure.

Good discussion, and I re-read my last post, it sounds sort of dickish or confrontational, apologies in that regard.
 

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No problem and no offense taken.

I wish I could name them, but I have so many of the darn things, that I don't really keep track. And if one plays through a half dozen in an evening, all the really sticks out is "Hmmm, I kinda like that one but it doesn't have much variety".

I have a buddy coming over on Saturday, and we'll have ourselves a pedalfest. I'll try and make some mental notes at that time and see if I can answer your question better.

Mark
 
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