Removing tone pots: likely "tonal" effects?

What's Hot
JetfireJetfire Frets: 769
As I'm a ham fisted guitarist, the volume pot on my blacktop strat is kinda in the way, so I'm thinking of having a Jim Root style scratch plate for my HH set up and a single volume knob moved right out of the way. I am assuming I'll need to remove the tone pots too, but what could this do to the tone? 

If I do ahead with this, I prob will make a recording to look back on..
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
«1

Comments

  • ICBMICBM Frets: 42955
    It will be like turning the tone up to 11. A tiny increase in brightness that you may or may not notice, depending on your cables, effects and amp.

    If it is a problem you can always have a simple resistor and cap added inside to duplicate the tone control on 10.

    "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." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 5325
    edited August 10
    The loading effect of the tone control on the pickup is lost. As ICBM states, this will pass additional treble frequencies - possibly, more than you bargained for.

    The old PRS Upgrade Kit included parts to simulate the tonal loss effect of loading. 

    1) 470k resistor between the hot and ground terminals of the output jack socket.

    2) 500k resistor and .022uF capacitor, in series, between the input terminal of the master volume pot and ground.
    Be seeing you.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • jellybellyjellybelly Frets: 341
    Sonic Youth Jazzmasters have this - pretty sure they mostly use neck pickups though, the bridge pickups are super bright!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 1086
    My strat copy doesn't have a tone knob for the bridge humbucker (no other pickups). I haven't noticed any issues with it being overly bright, it's nothing you can't EQ in or out.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • CasperCasterCasperCaster Frets: 308
    edited August 10
    For similar reasons to you most of my Strats are master volume and master tone. I used to rewire them and leave the volume pot hole empty, but now I buy pickguards without the pot holes drilled, and drill them to suit. I've put this picture up before - the walnut coloured Strat on the right has a master volume and master tone plus mini toggle switch and 5-way lever: 

    https://i.imgur.com/CyYmUFV.jpg 

    However, before you do anything try just removing the knob from the volume. It's then a smaller target to hit and might work for you. It's what I do prior to rewiring. 

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • WonkyWonky Frets: 119
    I used to use a guitar on a project many years ago with no tone control and just like ICBM said, it was a very bright sounding guitar.  I compensated for this with my amp settings.  It had Schaller Golden 50's pickups in it and they were anything but that without the tone control.  Not in a bad way mind, just very different.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 17262
    I put 3 of those tiny little Boss pedal knobs on my Strat. Doesn't get in the way and I find it easier and more positive for volume changes.
    Aesthetically might not be to everyone's taste but I don't care.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • HenrytwangHenrytwang Frets: 294
    edited August 10
    A simple one volume one tone circuit works well on a Strat. If you fit a switched pot you can switch out the tone circuit thus giving you an instant tonal change between your preset tone and a brighter no tone control circuit.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 1167
    Worked for Eddie Van Halen! Thing to do is look at how often you actually use the tone control when playing, I’d like to bet most of us don’t , then if you find you don’t use it just adjust the tone on your set up to suit .
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • WonkyWonky Frets: 119
    Worked for Eddie Van Halen! Thing to do is look at how often you actually use the tone control when playing, I’d like to bet most of us don’t , then if you find you don’t use it just adjust the tone on your set up to suit .
    Worked for Ed!  I'd really love to hear that story man.
    That's one reason the guitar I played for that specific project didn't have a tone control.  Didn't use it at all for what I was playing and also I found it give the guitar a slightly wilder feel.  Hard to explain, but sort of un-throttled in a way.  Or maybe tonally open is a better way of putting it.  It did change the tonal character of the pickups, but for that project it really worked well. 
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • I've removed the bridge tone from my Les Paul studio, it makes the signal so much hotter and there's more high end, which works nicely as we play in drop b and as I use a 6505+ live it gives it a bit more cut through.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • thegummythegummy Frets: 2633
    Not sure if I've missed something here but why not just remove the volume pot and where the two tone pots are stock, have a volume and a tone? Then you'll still have a tone control.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • skullfunkerryskullfunkerry Frets: 923
    edited August 10
    On a similar vein to this, any idea where I could get a no load tone pot, like the one they fit to the Charvel Pro-Mod series?
    Too much gain... is just about enough \m/

    I'm probably only member of this forum mentioned by name in Whiskey in the Jar

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • thegummythegummy Frets: 2633
    On a similar vein to this, any idea where I could get a no load tone pot, like the one they fit to the Charvel Pro-Mod series?
    Are they different to a normal no-load tone pot in any way?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • thegummythegummy Frets: 2633
    Worked for Eddie Van Halen! Thing to do is look at how often you actually use the tone control when playing, I’d like to bet most of us don’t , then if you find you don’t use it just adjust the tone on your set up to suit .
    Surely most people do use it beyond beginner level?

    Come to think of it, I don't think I remember seeing the guitarist in my band ever using it, though it's likely I'd just never have noticed.

    It would be funny if the type of people who discuss the tone qualities of the number of screws in trems, and the material the nut is made of, never used their tone control.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • thegummy said:
    On a similar vein to this, any idea where I could get a no load tone pot, like the one they fit to the Charvel Pro-Mod series?
    Are they different to a normal no-load tone pot in any way?
    No, not as far as I know. I googled 'no-load tone pot' earlier though and didn't get anything even remotely helpful...
    Too much gain... is just about enough \m/

    I'm probably only member of this forum mentioned by name in Whiskey in the Jar

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • thegummythegummy Frets: 2633
    thegummy said:
    On a similar vein to this, any idea where I could get a no load tone pot, like the one they fit to the Charvel Pro-Mod series?
    Are they different to a normal no-load tone pot in any way?
    No, not as far as I know. I googled 'no-load tone pot' earlier though and didn't get anything even remotely helpful...
    Would you prefer that it clicked in to position at no-load or was just smooth like a normal tone pot?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 1086
    I never use a tone control with humbuckers, it just doesn't give any worthwhile sounds for me. With singles and P90s I find it useful for getting rid of that horrible scratchy twang you can get under gain. Volume I use all the time as I like single channel amps. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • thegummythegummy Frets: 2633
    This is the one I would recommend, it doesn't click in to position, it's smooth like a normal tone pot but is out of the circuit at 10:

    https://www.northwestguitars.co.uk/cts-split-shaft-no-load-tone-potentiometer-250k-or-500k-for-stratocaster-telecaster-guitars/

    There's the Fender one which clicks in to the no-load position but I disliked it because it makes it a bit harder to adjust with the pinky:

    https://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/parts-c4/electronics-c698/potentiometers-c109/fender-no-load-250k-solid-shaft-pot-tone-p5295
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 42955
    On a similar vein to this, any idea where I could get a no load tone pot, like the one they fit to the Charvel Pro-Mod series?
    Allparts do them in both 250K and 500K.

    thegummy said:

    Surely most people do use it beyond beginner level?

    It would be funny if the type of people who discuss the tone qualities of the number of screws in trems, and the material the nut is made of, never used their tone control.
    I would guess most guitarists never actually use the tone control - many don't use the volume control either, except to turn off between songs.

    Whether I do or not depends on the type of music I'm playing and the band context. If I'm using a very 'structured' sort of sound with specific programmed effects changes, I never use the controls. If I'm playing a more traditional plain overdriven rock guitar style then I do.

    "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." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • JetfireJetfire Frets: 769
    @ICBM suggestion seems to make the most sense. I just never use them because I'm a Neanderthal so why not remove them ?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 17262
    I've used the tone control maybe 4 or 5 times in the last 50 years. Volume control's a different story, I use that a lot. I actually can't stand turning down the tone knob, I'm not a fan of the 'woman tone' in fact it disgusts me. Any EQ I need is done at the amp or a graphic.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Thanks @thegummy and @ICBM :)
    Too much gain... is just about enough \m/

    I'm probably only member of this forum mentioned by name in Whiskey in the Jar

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • thegummythegummy Frets: 2633
    Surprising to hear all this.

    Maybe some people are more likely to tweak their amp or pedals. If I'm playing and it's a bit bright I just use the tone control.

    I'd implore people who don't use the tone control at all, even if they're never going to use it for minor adjustments, try turning it all the way off on a neck humbucker - it gives such a beautiful sound!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 2605
    Tone controls for me as useful as indicator stalks on an audi. 

    There but never used. 
    The only easy day, was yesterday...
    2reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Yeah, I never touch mine on a humbucker equipped guitar and if its there to be messed around with I will.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • thegummy said:
    Worked for Eddie Van Halen! Thing to do is look at how often you actually use the tone control when playing, I’d like to bet most of us don’t , then if you find you don’t use it just adjust the tone on your set up to suit .
    Surely most people do use it beyond beginner level?

    Come to think of it, I don't think I remember seeing the guitarist in my band ever using it, though it's likely I'd just never have noticed.

    It would be funny if the type of people who discuss the tone qualities of the number of screws in trems, and the material the nut is made of, never used their tone control.
    I don't use it because it doesn't do anything to the tone that I want it to do.
    TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE DISASTER
    Dominus Spiritus Invictus
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 1086
    Sassafras said:
    I've used the tone control maybe 4 or 5 times in the last 50 years. Volume control's a different story, I use that a lot. I actually can't stand turning down the tone knob, I'm not a fan of the 'woman tone' in fact it disgusts me. Any EQ I need is done at the amp or a graphic.
    Wiz.  Always thought that "woman tone" sounds awful.
    0reaction image LOL 1reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • LastMantraLastMantra Frets: 665
    I only use about half the travel usually.
    I use the tone control and pickups a fair bit when jamming with my looper pedal.
    MYMUSIC

    I wanna be a door
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • As might be evident from my post above, I never use the tone control... when I specced up my Custom Shop Jackson I did think about not including a tone pot, but I was a bit stuck in my ways back then 
    Too much gain... is just about enough \m/

    I'm probably only member of this forum mentioned by name in Whiskey in the Jar

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.