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more advice on les paul wiring specs please

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:16 am
by Lesblues
Having decided to replace the pots and wiring in my Love Rock, I now discover that I have to choose between logarithmic and linear pots, whether to use 500k or 250k pots. Oh and capacitors with a range of numbers that mean absolutely nothing to me!

I play mostly the Blues with some classic rock thrown in for good measure. Definitely not high gain or shredding. More like early British Blues type sound is what I'm after

(I don't gig and in all likely hood never will, so mainly playing at low volume at home, just in case this impacts on the advice you offer.)

So chaps, what do you advise?

Thanks

Les

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:18 am
by Paladin2019
Easy. 500k, log taper for everything. Log will make your tone controls much more responsive.

Caps are 0.022uF as standard, and the voltage rating doesn't really matter. Orange drops are a good cap, and anything more expensive is a waste of money. Don't believe the hype.

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:25 am
by Lesblues
Thanks Paladin,

Mmm, food for thought. I figured 500k for the pots was right and I am leaning toward Logarithmic for the tone. So thanks for confirming this. Still not sure about linear or logarithmic for the volume. I was told that Linear would be better for someone like me who mostly plays at low volumes

"log pots only really come into their own when your playing live (and/or swelling the volume whilst you play - which apparently everyone on the internet does, but i've never seen or heard in the real world i must be missing out haha) - its purely a "correction" thing - if you feel your a little too quite at 7, the roll up to 8 is smooth and pleasant. (doing the same with linear is very jumpy) - the draw back is, the post doesn't really do anything between 0 and 5 (covering only about 4% of the output). If, like myself, your a bedroom virtuoso, stick with 4 linear pots. It really lets you get down into those time percentages, whilst still pushing your amp, giving a much nicer tone."

What do you think?

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:10 am
by DaveWW
I also go for all log (audio) pots now but some people do seem to prefer linear on volume. This is quite a good overall guide and may help you make your mind up. http://www.singlecoil.com/docs/paula.pdf

Dave

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:05 am
by Paladin2019
Lesblues wrote: What do you think?
I don't know where that comes from but as a fellow bedroom player I disagree completely. Plus he sounds a bit clueless when he talks about pushing the amp and getting a nicer tone. Taper doesn't change the tone, output or maximum resistance, its the same sounds just at different parts of the dial!

Log taper pots are often called audio taper and the reason for this is the the human ear perceives volume changes in a logarithmic pattern, making the change in volume on a log pot sound smooth and linear even though on paper it is not. For the same reason, linear pots sound uneven when used as volume controls although some find that useful depending on what they are using them for.

Most people who play your kind of music, like me, use the volume pots not to control volume but to control the level of overdrive/distortion. This is great with low gain amp overdrive and especially great with old fuzz pedals. And for that job I wouldn't be without audio taper. But that's just me!

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:53 am
by jacco
I just wanted to say that I disagree with the 'don't believe the hype' part about caps. My experience is that there are people that don't hear any difference between caps and there are people that do. I have tried numerous types and I can say that there caps I like and caps I don't like. To name a few I generally don't like orange drops and russian PIOs. I do like the green Cornell Dubiliers and Mullard mustard caps. Funny thing is that I don't hear a diiference between the Greco black PIO and 60s black beauties. BTW you could try a lower value cap for the neck pickup if you find it to be too dark. Cheers

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:00 am
by Phantom
The world is full of opinions, and that's what makes us different. Personally I can't tell you. My ear is the judge. I need to hear them side by side, which is something I plan on doing. There's a great company in Germany that has kits that would cost over $100 for 1 LP, NOS stuff etc, I don't care about cost anymore I care about the best application for my Les Paul. Again I trust my ears. It can get a little annoying on message boards to look up info and just when you finally think you have it done, someone totally discredits it and your back to square one lol. However that being said I can definetly tell you that Jacco knows what he's talkin about,and I don't even know him. Take that for whatever it's worth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Phantom

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:21 am
by Paladin2019
In principle I agree with Mr Phantom, however it is a matter of fact, not opinion, that the signal which passes through your tone caps goes direct to earth and is not part of the signal chain. Therefore while the capacitance value is critical, any half decent cap will 'sound' exactly the same as a super expensive one. For the record I use orange drops in my Tele and i have high end copper foil PIOs in my Tokai.

This debate keeps cropping up and I keep getting sucked in...

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:02 am
by JVsearch
I don't really get that there's only 2 wires coming out of the guitar but somehow part of the circuit just goes to ground and isn't involved in carrying the signal at all? The ground is usually part of the circuit isn't it?

Use the 50's wiring scheme for your LP.

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:48 am
by Lesblues
JVsearch wrote:I don't really get that there's only 2 wires coming out of the guitar but somehow part of the circuit just goes to ground and isn't involved in carrying the signal at all? The ground is usually part of the circuit isn't it?

Use the 50's wiring scheme for your LP.
That confuses me too. I wondered if the guitarist acts as a route to earth? On the basis that the earth wire goes to the bridge (I believe) and we hold the guitar and stand on the ground. Or am I just being stupid?

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:50 am
by Paladin2019
JVsearch wrote:I don't really get that there's only 2 wires coming out of the guitar but somehow part of the circuit just goes to ground and isn't involved in carrying the signal at all? The ground is usually part of the circuit isn't it?

Use the 50's wiring scheme for your LP.
Yes, forgot that, 50's wiring is definately the way to go.

One of those two connections coming out of the guitar goes to ground via the cable and amp. It carries signal, but it carries it to ground, so you never get to hear it. The ground wire in the cable wraps around the live wire and acts as a screen for interference. You don't hear interference on a screened cable for the same reason cap type makes no difference to your tone.

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:11 am
by Paladin2019
Lesblues wrote:
JVsearch wrote:I don't really get that there's only 2 wires coming out of the guitar but somehow part of the circuit just goes to ground and isn't involved in carrying the signal at all? The ground is usually part of the circuit isn't it?

Use the 50's wiring scheme for your LP.
That confuses me too. I wondered if the guitarist acts as a route to earth? On the basis that the earth wire goes to the bridge (I believe) and we hold the guitar and stand on the ground. Or am I just being stupid?
If the player is.acting as earth then something is wrong. In fact it's potentially fatal!

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:33 am
by jacco
Yes indeed :D

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:03 pm
by Lesblues
Paladin2019 wrote:
Lesblues wrote:
JVsearch wrote:I don't really get that there's only 2 wires coming out of the guitar but somehow part of the circuit just goes to ground and isn't involved in carrying the signal at all? The ground is usually part of the circuit isn't it?

Use the 50's wiring scheme for your LP.
That confuses me too. I wondered if the guitarist acts as a route to earth? On the basis that the earth wire goes to the bridge (I believe) and we hold the guitar and stand on the ground. Or am I just being stupid?
If the player is.acting as earth then something is wrong. In fact it's potentially fatal!
Well seeing I'm no electrician! :oops:

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:43 pm
by jonah65
an old thread i read awhile back (not on here by the way) about capacitors in the tone circuit was clever- basically, the guy said to buy real cheap (film caps ?) of differing capacitance and connect them via two temporary leads coming out of your guitar (under the edge of the pickguard on a fender, up through the pickup hole on a gibson) using crocodile clips, one at a time until you found your favourite sound. capacitors can be bought on ebay for pennies which can be used.
then you can go out and buy whichever cap you like at that value of capacitance.