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Volume cut switch

Feel free to POLITELY set me straight on this if its too far toward lazy/absurd.

My guitar guy has put two replacement pots into my guitar over the past 3 years. I've been bugged by the lack of control the pots have given me- only seeming effective in the last 25% of roll off. (my first question has been 'is this correct?').
This leads me to my thought. The rolling off of guitar volume has become cumbersome. Even if I had the control I wanted, I play pretty aggressive and usually over or under roll the volume. SO:
Has anyone seen/heard of/done a resistor/cap network with a switch to use as an alternate to a volume pot? Put it in series with the pot wiring, so that the volume could be put at 100%, and just cut the volume to...half?
Follow? Then just set the amp so that the tubes are pushing a bit at ~50% and then blast em with 100% volume.

Thoughts? Values of R values?



Boswell Fri, 03/09/2007 - 03:05
Sounds like your "guitar guy" has not been fitting the correct value/law replacement pots to the instrument.

It wouldn't be much of a problem to fit a switch instead of a pot. Use something like 470K series and 100K shunt resistors. A SPDT switch should select either the raw pickup or the junction of the two resistors to take to the output. You don't need a capacitor if you are just controlling volume - a resistor/capacitor combination would make a tone control.

Kemble Fri, 03/09/2007 - 07:38
Wrong type (value) of pot? Hadn't even considered that.

Yeah, I have to roll down to about 2 or 3 to really clean it up- or even hear a difference. And after that is almost immediately gone. When rolling from OFF to on, it makes a sudden jump too. Like- Nothing...Nothing..Nothing..ON. And then it gets to max rapidly.

So does this mean its too small or too high? I think its a 500K but I'm mostly guessing.

As for the switch, just make a voltage divider? Is that the right term I'm using?

(for the record, the 'guitar guy' is the best all around player any of us around here know of. And has been doing this for decades. So I was hesitant to question it. I actually thought I was doing something wrong)


moonbaby Fri, 03/09/2007 - 10:16
The value of the pot (or a replacement circuit) will be determined by the type of pick-ups you have on the guitar. Active, single-coil, and humbuckers all want to "see" a different resistive value, and this typically ranges from 250K-500K-1Meg. Try going to Dan Torres' website-Torres Engineering. They have all sorts of upgrades, and you can contact them about a switchable attenuator. This guy is THE guitar/amp guru for Vintage Guitar mag and is the best! He also has upgrades for tone controls, BTW.

Kemble Fri, 03/09/2007 - 10:45
I wonder if he (for whatever reason) uses linear pots and assumed I would too. ? I've got a Duncan HB and 2 Duncan single coils. Haven't pulled the back off and looked at what the pot is, so I guess thats my next move.
At this point, there really is no 'roll of and clean up' of my tone. Irritating.

I've been to Torres's site, but never really dug around. I'll do that today. Thanks for the pointers, guys.