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I hate my Strat's tone controls and the volume knob too.

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  • I hate my Strat's tone controls and the volume knob too.

    Don't get me wrong. Those three knobs are vital to how I work with the guitar. I'm just really unhappy with the particulars of how they behave.

    First problem, the volume knob. Output goes down but the treble gets shaved off too. Well known problem, I think. Should I just add the treble bleed cap and leave it at that?

    Second problem, the tone controls are only useful in a narrow range. 10 is great, 9 and 8 are great, 7 is great, 6 is okay, 5 starts to sound distinctly muffled, and it's effectively unusable from there. I'd really prefer something more linear, with less range or a wider usable range. I don't know what my options are here short of going to an active tone control stack.

    I'm thinking seriously about moving to master tone and repurposing the second pot to... something (blender mod?). Thanks in advance for advice/suggestions.

    (In case it matters, this is an HSS Strat with 500K volume and 250K tone pots, hot BG V60s and a BG Hellabucker. The lower tone control is a no-load pot to the bridge pickup.)


  • #2

    i keep my tone controls dimed. i've never liked using them.

    The most important part of my religion is to play guitar.
    Lou Reed

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    • #3
      Sounds like you prefer bright tones. Maybe you don't even need tone controls?

      Or, maybe you'd like a TBX tone control, which operates differently - 5 is normal, 6-10 is brighter, and 1-4 are darker.
      Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

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      • DeepEnd
        DeepEnd commented
        Editing a comment

        You need to swap out the capacitors for some with lower values. The tone controls on your Strat are essentially low-pass filters with the frequency determined by the value of the capacitor. Halving the value of the capacitor will move the frequency up by an octave; doubling it will move the frequency down by an octave. I have no idea what's in your Strat at present but if the capacitors are 0.047uF replacing them with 0.022uF, for example, will yield a brighter sound. Of course, when the control is a 10 the capacitor is out of the circuit and has no effect.


      • peskypesky
        peskypesky commented
        Editing a comment

        kayd_mon wrote:
        Or, maybe you'd like a TBX tone control, which operates differently - 5 is normal, 6-10 is brighter, and 1-4 are darker.

        I may have to try one of those! Thanks for the tip.


    • #4
      It's for people like you they make active pickups.
      Electrics: Fender '73 Mustang RI, Epiphone Inspired by John Lennon Casino, Gibson 60s Tribute Les Paul Studio, Daisy Rock Retro-H Deluxe, Squier Hello Kitty Strat x2Acoustics: Taylor 316CE-LTD, Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QITBasses: Squier Badtz Maru Bronco Bass, Aria CSB-300, Fender Mustang Bass RIAmps: Vox TB18C1, Vox Pathfinder 210, Peavey Transtube Envoy, Ampeg Micro VR StackMy Band: http://mittensband.com

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      • peskypesky
        peskypesky commented
        Editing a comment

        my head hurts


    • #5

      I


      Promit wrote:

      Don't get me wrong. Those three knobs are vital to how I work with the guitar. I'm just really unhappy with the particulars of how they behave.

      First problem, the volume knob. Output goes down but the treble gets shaved off too. Well known problem, I think. Should I just add the treble bleed cap and leave it at that?

      Second problem, the tone controls are only useful in a narrow range. 10 is great, 9 and 8 are great, 7 is great, 6 is okay, 5 starts to sound distinctly muffled, and it's effectively unusable from there. I'd really prefer something more linear, with less range or a wider usable range. I don't know what my options are here short of going to an active tone control stack.

      I'm thinking seriously about moving to master tone and repurposing the second pot to... something (blender mod?). Thanks in advance for advice/suggestions.

      (In case it matters, this is an HSS Strat with 500K volume and 250K tone pots, hot BG V60s and a BG Hellabucker. The lower tone control is a no-load pot to the bridge pickup.)


       

      The trebel bleed mod works great and IMO should be made a stock. I hated losing the brightness when I would bring down the volume, some like it that way but I already have 2 tone knobs so why allow the volume to also mess with the tone? The hardest thing to the mod is getting the pickguard off. 

      Comment


      • honeyiscool
        honeyiscool commented
        Editing a comment
        However, it is not exactly like that. It does change the volume knob into a bit of a tone knob, but one that bleeds instead of attenuates highs. It can have adverse effects on certain overdrive pedals, boosts, etc.

        The best way to have a fully flat volume knob is to go active, IMO.












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