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Old 27th April 2005, 04:10 PM   #1
9am53 is offline 9am53  Canada
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Default guitar electronix

hello there do it yourselfers, I have been building/troubleshooting my frankenstrat for the past couple years. When I got the wiring harness I was financially limited and just wanted to get the thing together, so I cheaped out and got an old squire set of 500k pots and 5 way switch. I just recently decided to take out the tone controls (ala early van halen) and remembered that I have some crappy parts inside the guitar. My question is whether the light guage wire makes a big tonal difference, should I upgrade to better wire, or just scrap the whole thing? What is the difference tonally b/n 250 and 500k pots? Thanks for your help on this simple yet important issue
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Old 27th April 2005, 04:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: guitar electronix

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Originally posted by 9am53
My question is whether the light guage wire makes a big tonal difference, should I upgrade to better wire, or just scrap the whole thing? What is the difference tonally b/n 250 and 500k pots? Thanks for your help on this simple yet important issue
The gauge of the wire is likely inaudible. BUT the guitar would get quieter if you switched to shielded wire. Pots make a slight difference in tone, and obviously affect the passive tone control since it affects the RC time constant of the filter, but these are all fine changes and not that significant.
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Old 7th May 2005, 05:30 AM   #3
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The guage and quality of the wire makes absolutely ZERO difference in the tone of the guitar. If your guitar hums or picks up interference (and it's NOT from the single coils), then switching to shielded wire, tidying up the mess of wire, or shielding the whole ******* cavity (ala the "quieting the beast" article) would improve it. Probabally a moot point if you have non-hum-cancelling (i mean "classic") signel coils. The quality of the pots/switches/jacks won't effect the tone (but the VALUES will!), but should be quality parts anyways. The cheap Squiere pots are not durable and will get scratchy pretty quickly. Quality pots will last for a long time before they start to get scratchy, are harder to break, and generally have a very good feel when you turn them. The squire uses a PCB switch. I heard that these wear out quickly and that the actual wafer switch, like what is used in a real fender, is supposed to last for a decent amount of time. A good quality input jack (you are looking for solidly constructed, not necessarily 24K gold plated) should last longer before it breaks. They also typically hold the cable better and you won't have to jiggle it (like my Friend's squier P bass....) to get it to work after a few months. Again, the cheap parts will not negatively effect the sound, just the reliability,"smoothness" of control, and pops/buzzes/shorts.
The capacitor off of the tone controls is somewhat important. THis capacitor shou be a film type and not a chepa ceramic. Remember that the glossy green (sometimes red) squarish capacitor that looks like a Chicklet is the good kind, and the flat round orangy-yellow one that looks like a smooshed booger is the bad one. The rating in uF of this cap is critical to the sound, and I highly recommend that you get different values and play around with them. Voltage rating and brand here is unimportant.

ANd the most important electrical part, much much more important than anythign I've discussed so far, would be pickups and the amplifier. what's in your fingers trumps everything else, however!
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Old 7th May 2005, 01:09 PM   #4
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you say changing caps will effect your sound.. My gibson SG sounds a bit muddy and junk somtimes..do you think i could play around with cap values and trry to get a slighty better sound or will it not effect it that much?
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Old 8th May 2005, 04:00 AM   #5
9am53 is offline 9am53  Canada
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hey, thanks for the info guys, I found out that the tone pots are not the best in the squires the hard way. Trying to take the plastic knobby part off of my tone knobs I actually pulled the whole pot apart, for both of them!!! So I just wired it with the volumke knob...no caps to worry about. Why do they put 500k pots in squires anyways?? are they cheaper than the 250k ones?
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Old 8th May 2005, 11:26 AM   #6
Giaime is offline Giaime  Italy
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The difference between 500k and 250k is a tonal one, not economical. With 250k the pickup gets loaded more, and it looses some high frequencies. If it is intentional is good, but...
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