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Pickup-change. Do I need new pots?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Haans, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Haans

    Haans Altruistic nihilist Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Bergen, Norway
    I just scored a Curtis Novak PB90 that I'm putting in my Peavey Fury. Do I need to replace pots with different values, or should this be a drop in? First time replacing a pickup. Thanks!
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Nope, that is a passive P pickup and a passive P bass (assuming it is a 90s Fury.) They should be 250k pots but, it has been a while, they may be 500k. The pots in the Fury are not great but if they are currently working then I wouldn't change them.
    sbpark, HEADbass and Haans like this.
  3. It depends. If you're changing the pickups because you wanted it brighter & the current pots are 250k Ohm, it would be prudent to replace them with 500k Ohm pots.
    BornAgainBass, ahadl2500 and Haans like this.
  4. ahadl2500


    Nov 28, 2003
    Greenwood, IN
    Need to... no. For the price, I would probably replace them while you are in there assuming the funds are available. $5 gets you a good quality pot; if you want sealed pots you are looking at around $10 a pot. Add on a tone cap and you are looking at $15-$30 for better quality parts than what the bass probably has in it now. Note I am mentioning pricing for CTS pots. I am sure you could spend more or less and still get a decent setup.

    Also the point about the resistance of the pot and the voicing of the pickup is a good one. I recently rewired my electric banjo due to several factory grounding issues (three ground connections came unsoldered). Changed the pots from 500k to 250k and the tone difference was pretty substantial (and exactly what I was hoping for). Some reading on pot values here (Going Deeper Into 250K Vs 500K Pots), but @Killed_by_Death put it in the simplest terms (500K brighter than 250K).
    Haans and Killed_by_Death like this.
  5. Haans

    Haans Altruistic nihilist Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Bergen, Norway
    Thank you! I'll get some new pots down the road, but will test with the stock pots for now.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  6. Haans

    Haans Altruistic nihilist Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Bergen, Norway
    I'm pretty much changing the pickup because it's not great. It tends to get lost in a band setting, and sounds a bit muddy and scooped (vintage, perhaps?). I'm going for a slightly more in-your-face sound, and from what I've read, the PB90 may be a good fit.

    Should both pots be audio taper, by the way? I probably have some lying around, not CTS, but how much would does the quality of a simple resistor matter?
  7. I prefer linear taper for volume, but it's really up to you. Here is a visual of the difference:

  8. Audio versus linear is a really huge can of worms. Try both and decide for yourself.

    Although I prefer linear for volume, as well.
  9. The Mad Zak

    The Mad Zak

    Mar 20, 2006
    Columbus, OH
    Obtained from Curtis Novak Classic Pickups Inc.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What value of Pots and/or caps are best with my pickups?
    I get this question all the time, it is generally followed with... "I read on the net that x is what every one says I should use, what do you recommend."

    First off there is NO electrical requirement, and there is NO wrong answer, and lastly it is one of the cheapest decisions you could make. Pots and caps are a very personal decision much like how spicy or salty you like your food. The hard rules that have been spread around the net, are simply based on a decision made 50+ years ago way before much of the modern amp and recording technology, and the music style was MUCH different as well, these companies bought their parts in mass quantities and it is just what they used.
    I find hard rules such as this to be VERY limiting in creating YOUR personal tone. What I recommend doing is to take the blinders off, throw out the "rules", and find out for yourself! It is VERY informative and very tailored to YOUR ears, best of all it is very simple to do yourself.

    • Here is what you do to test caps, you can adapt this for pots as well.
    • Buy a pack of alligator clips from Radio Shack, preferably the ones that have rubber ends.
    • Order a bunch of different values, and brands of caps.
    • Cut 2 pieces of hookup wire 1 foot long.
    • Solder the alligator clip to one end of each of the hookup wires.
    • Solder the other end of the 2 hookup wires to the solder points in your guitar where the cap would be soldered
    • Reassemble your guitar, and go to town clipping in the different caps.
    • When you find the value you like solder that one in your guitar
    Lastly remember to listen with your ears and not your eyes. #008
    somebrains, Haans and line6man like this.
  10. I would definitely change the pots while doing the pickups since you have it all opened up. Just like changing the fuel filter when you do the fuel pump. They cost only a little bit of money and it will give you that little bit of reassurance that nothing is going to cause you a problem anytime down the road.
    Killed_by_Death and Haans like this.
  11. hombass


    Jul 5, 2012
    500 k pots are darker. Changing tone is in the treble bleed capacitor.
  12. Definitely not the case.
    Yes, the capacitor is the primary means of shunting off treble, but with only a 250k Ohm pot in the circuit there is treble being bled off even when the knob is fully clockwise.
    A 500k Ohm pot solves this problem & a 500k Ohm volume helps brighten the timbre & provide more output.

    Another solution for a brighter sound when the treble cut knob is fully clockwise is to install a no-load pot.
    BornAgainBass likes this.
  13. duke of earl

    duke of earl

    Apr 8, 2017
    Boy oh Boy them furys are sweet sounding pbass thump I dropped a set of bassline 1/4 pounders and they sounded great with the original pots but I switched them for cts 250k and a good quality .047 cap. Sounds the same but it was a personal choice It's up to ones personal taste I quess , enjoy.

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