Using guitar volume control

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BarneyBarney Frets: 353
Does anybody else have the problem when using the guitar volume for solo boost or even just to clean the sound up you loose to much top end or treble and it starts sounding a bit muddy .....dunno off it's just me cos loads of people so it this way but the sounds just seems to go lifeless to me ?
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3408
    Imposible to answer without some idea of the gear you use and how much valve saturation you dial in on your amplifier.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • BillKatBillKat Frets: 1101
    Treble pass, or bleed as commonly called - the right values keeps the tone intact as you roll the vol off. 50s wiring is another option. I prefer the former, done it to all of my guitars but worth looking into both ways, cheap to do.


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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 353
    Imposible to answer without some idea of the gear you use and how much valve saturation you dial in on your amplifier.
    Just straight into the amp really ..quite a bit of gain on the lead channell..if been using a hot Rod deluxe with omega mod tonight but have noticed it with other amps and guitars as well...guitar was a strat tonight ..
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1868
    I always use guitar volume. As much to reduce top end as to control volume depending on what I'm playing. 
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 353
    BillKat said:
    Treble pass, or bleed as commonly called - the right values keeps the tone intact as you roll the vol off. 50s wiring is another option. I prefer the former, done it to all of my guitars but worth looking into both ways, cheap to do.
    Thanks I have read something about this but not sure how well it works cos I havnt tried it ...I mean the treble bleed not 50s wiring ...I think I need to try this 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33344
    Treble pass can work as effectively as you like - up to the point of increasing treble as you turn down if you want. It all depends on the value of cap and (optional) resistor you choose.

    ”50s” wiring - which strictly speaking was only used by Gibson, but can be applied to Fenders if you want - is more subtle but a lot of people find it more natural-sounding.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 353
    ICBM said:
    Treble pass can work as effectively as you like - up to the point of increasing treble as you turn down if you want. It all depends on the value of cap and (optional) resistor you choose.

    ”50s” wiring - which strictly speaking was only used by Gibson, but can be applied to Fenders if you want - is more subtle but a lot of people find it more natural-sounding.
    Thanks ..I think I will have to look into both of these probs the 50s wiring sounds more like what I would be looking for .. :)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33344
    Barney said:

    Thanks ..I think I will have to look into both of these probs the 50s wiring sounds more like what I would be looking for .. :)
    My guess is that it won’t be effective enough, but you can try it easily. You only need a short piece of wire.

    Disconnect the wire that runs between the two sides of the switch. Connect the pickup side to the end terminal of the volume control (where both halves go to currently) and the tone control side to the middle terminal.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 8859
    On a Strat with a standard length cable straight into an amp with a bit of gain I would start with a 330pf capacitor soldered across the two active lugs of the volume pot, ie, not the one which is grounded to the case. 

    The cap value is largely down to personal preference, and the compromise across the three different pickups. 

    The easiest way to experiment is to run a couple of wires from the pot into the jack socket cavity and solder a cap across those. Tape it up so it can't short against anything and tuck it away so it's not in the way of the socket or the incoming plug and try it. 

    That way you can try different capacitors without having to remove the scratchplate every time. 
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2106
    p90fool said:

    The cap value is largely down to personal preference, and the compromise across the three different pickups. 
    This. It’s also a compromise between how much treble you have at high and low guitar volume pot settings. Because of the way our ears work the perceived sound will also change as you raise the amplifier volume. So what sound right at home won’t necessarily work at gig volume.
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1184
    p90fool said:

    The easiest way to experiment is to run a couple of wires from the pot into the jack socket cavity and solder a cap across those. Tape it up so it can't short against anything and tuck it away so it's not in the way of the socket or the incoming plug and try it. 

    That way you can try different capacitors without having to remove the scratchplate every time. 
    What a bloody great idea! Wisdom!
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33344
    Roland said:
    p90fool said:

    The cap value is largely down to personal preference, and the compromise across the three different pickups. 
    This. It’s also a compromise between how much treble you have at high and low guitar volume pot settings. Because of the way our ears work the perceived sound will also change as you raise the amplifier volume. So what sound right at home won’t necessarily work at gig volume.
    ... and don’t forget the length and quality of the cable. It’s actually the capacitance of the cable which causes the treble loss and so is what you’re trying to balance out with the cap. Although they’re all roughly within a typical range, there can be quite a variation between short and long as well as different quality.

    You can also add a resistor in parallel or series with the cap to modify its effect and how it interacts with the taper of the pot, if necessary.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BillKatBillKat Frets: 1101
    On Strats I have fly leads poking out from under the p/g (leave out some screws obvs) - then can solder on cap & resistor easily to try values. When happy with that trim leads, redo neatly heat shrink etc, shove it into the cavity and nail p/g down. Commence to rock. Usually settle on cap around 680pf to .001uf and resistor 150-200k (in series).


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  • ColsCols Frets: 313
    Just to add another idea, you could try using a treble booster; I've always found they clean up beautifully to a nice sparkly clean tone when you roll off the guitar volume.  You do need to run them into an amp which is already cooking though.
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 353
    p90fool said:
    On a Strat with a standard length cable straight into an amp with a bit of gain I would start with a 330pf capacitor soldered across the two active lugs of the volume pot, ie, not the one which is grounded to the case. 

    The cap value is largely down to personal preference, and the compromise across the three different pickups. 

    The easiest way to experiment is to run a couple of wires from the pot into the jack socket cavity and solder a cap across those. Tape it up so it can't short against anything and tuck it away so it's not in the way of the socket or the incoming plug and try it. 

    That way you can try different capacitors without having to remove the scratchplate every time. 
    Thanks ...I'm going to try this :)
    Great idea 
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  • NelsonPNelsonP Frets: 587
    Wait. The volume goes below 10? How?

     :) 
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 353
    edited July 11
    NelsonP said:
    Wait. The volume goes below 10? How?

      
    Its took me over 40 years to realise this....but yes.. :D
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    edited July 12
    Treble bleeds are the answer but I've heard they take something away too. Not sound but a feeling. I know sounds bullshit but what we hear and feel can sound like bullshit when put into words etc

    The main thing I've done recently is to change all my pots to vintage audio taper so I can clean up so much better. Totally changed the way I play and will never go back

    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 8859
    Treble bleeds are the answer but I've heard they take something away too. Not sound but a feeling. I know sounds bullshit but what we hear and feel can sound like bullshit when put into words etc

    They can also add something, here's my LP with a 470pf cap - definitely too high a value to sound totally natural, but it can be a versatile effect at that kind of level. 

    At that time I had it set up with a fairly radical treble pass cap which I could bypass on a push pull pot. 


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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33344
    For humbuckers with a 500K pot I find the Fender Tom Delonge (yes really ;) ) values of 680pF in parallel with 220Kohm perfect. It does change the taper noticeably though, which you may not like as much.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • LebarqueLebarque Frets: 904
    ICBM said:
    For humbuckers with a 500K pot I find the Fender Tom Delonge (yes really ;) ) values of 680pF in parallel with 220Kohm perfect. It does change the taper noticeably though, which you may not like as much.
    What values do you find perfect for a strat with 250k pots, @ICBM ?
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  • LebarqueLebarque Frets: 904
    Treble bleeds are the answer but I've heard they take something away too. Not sound but a feeling. I know sounds bullshit but what we hear and feel can sound like bullshit when put into words etc

    The main thing I've done recently is to change all my pots to vintage audio taper so I can clean up so much better. Totally changed the way I play and will never go back

    What do you mean by 'vintage audio taper' what difference did it make, @hotpickups ?
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    Lebarque said:
    Treble bleeds are the answer but I've heard they take something away too. Not sound but a feeling. I know sounds bullshit but what we hear and feel can sound like bullshit when put into words etc

    The main thing I've done recently is to change all my pots to vintage audio taper so I can clean up so much better. Totally changed the way I play and will never go back

    What do you mean by 'vintage audio taper' what difference did it make, @hotpickups ?
    The taper is better for cleaning up. I was having all OD and having to go to 1 or 2 to clean up. Now I can go to 5 or 6 and it cleans up. So a smoother transition rather than an all or nothing situation 
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • TwinfanTwinfan Frets: 625
    I've always struggled with this issue, even with 50s wiring and treble bleed caps etc.

    The best solution is to have a pedal always on that will then load the pickups.  Make sure it's the first pedal in your chain or it's after a true bypass tuner.  If you run a short-ish cable to your board it's then only that shorter cable which is affected by treble sucking capacitance rather than the complete cable chain to your amp.

    On my board I use an EP booster set at unity gain but any overdrive pedal will do a similar thing.  Having a buffer instead as the first pedal works when the guitar volume is on full, but as you roll off you don't get the pickup loading interaction like you do straight into the amp or into an overdrive pedal.

    No guitar mods required!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33344
    Lebarque said:

    What values do you find perfect for a strat with 250k pots, @ICBM ?
    1000pF (1nF) and 120K in parallel.

    I do like the effect of the taper being altered though, it reduces the too-steep drop off from 10 down to 8.

    If you don’t, try the same values in series.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 970
    p90fool said:
    Treble bleeds are the answer but I've heard they take something away too. Not sound but a feeling. I know sounds bullshit but what we hear and feel can sound like bullshit when put into words etc

    They can also add something, here's my LP with a 470pf cap - definitely too high a value to sound totally natural, but it can be a versatile effect at that kind of level. 

    At that time I had it set up with a fairly radical treble pass cap which I could bypass on a push pull pot. 


    Don't suppose you have a wiring diagram for doing the treble bleed and push pull function do you @p90fool ;

    Or is it a straight forward thing that a decent luthier could do?
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2094
    BillKat said:i
    Treble pass, or bleed as commonly called - the right values keeps the tone intact as you roll the vol off. 50s wiring is another option. I prefer the former, done it to all of my guitars but worth looking into both ways, cheap to do.
    I have a 2010 USA standard Strat with delta tone that gives tone control on the bridge pup and no tone loss when rolling the volume down. 
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7121
    I use a volume pedal instead, used after a buffer it should be fairly even in tone.

    I will use the guitar volume for softer sounding roll back.

    I don’t find treble bleed mods work for me. At least on the guitars I’ve had with them I removed it due to just making the sound thinner and more scratchy sounding into a gain channel when rolling back, which I don’t want.
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  • It's that annoying relationship between guitar and amp and pedals that seems to work for some rigs, but not for others. I love using my volume on the guitar. The pedal always on approach seems to offer the most consistent sound as you roll it down. I use the prs volume pots on guitars, and they have a capacitor pre soldered on.
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  • LebarqueLebarque Frets: 904
    ICBM said:
    Lebarque said:

    What values do you find perfect for a strat with 250k pots, @ICBM ?
    1000pF (1nF) and 120K in parallel.

    I do like the effect of the taper being altered though, it reduces the too-steep drop off from 10 down to 8.

    If you don’t, try the same values in series.
    Thanks. Yeh, that's what I use currently. Could do with a little more treble when I roll down though...
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