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Which pots for coil tap pups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Basschair, Sep 11, 2005.


  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    As I understand it (admittedly, my knowledge is limited), 500K pots for humbucking pups, 250K for single coil. My near future pups with be humbucking with coil taps, so the pots will be doing dual-duty. Which pot should I be going with?
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    those ballparks are just that and to my knowledge originated from the guitar (Gibons LP/Fender strat thing) and not bass. Anyway it's splitting hairs and personal taste in my experience and a myriad of other variables could trash those standards. The 500K should be a tad brighter - which is in part why they're commonly recommended with the "typically" darker HB's - which is so in general but not in particular, for bass anyway.

    You might want to check out the bass tone glossary for "coil tap."
     
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Thanks Luknfur.

    Another question: I'm going to go for tone pots for each pup, a blend and a master volume. Should the blend and master vol both be 250K or 500K, depending on whichever I choose?

    Thanks!
     
  4. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Without knowing exactly which pickups/components and how it's going to be wired and running the components through a simulator, it's going to be impossible to give you an idea what it's going to sound like.
     
  5. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    True, but I wasn't trying to ask what it would sound like. Rather, since this is my first time with this, I just wanted to confirm that I needed to choose solely 250 or 500K, and not a mix. Is this correct?

    Thanks!
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    if you look at enough diagrams on the various sites, Bart etc, you'll notice pots values may be consistent or they may vary. Volume pots in general appear to be most critical. I have stuck with the diagrams as a starting point but I've swapped in whatever I had available at the time and the "ONLY" significant issue I found was getting the volumes right when they were recommended as 25K. I know for a fact that I experienced a 25K volume pot where it wasn't recommended (like for typical passives in a passive harness) choked volume to where it wasn't usuable (and seemed it sucked tone). I never stuck larger volume pot values in where 25K's were recommended (ie. active EMG's) simply for the fact that I always had a surplus of them.

    Personally, for openers I would probably keep the pot values the same if I had them readily available. I assume the manufacturer knows more than I do and they have a reason for the established value(s) - but it will definetly work fine and perhaps even better FOR YOUR NEEDS if they're not the same.

    In my experience, there is not enough difference in the tone of a 250K and 500K to give any thought to. Cap values are what makes a difference and the place to make significant changes - they're are lot cheaper, can make a huge difference, and readily avaiable (even Radio shack handles some).
     
  7. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Thanks again Luknfur. I'll do some experimentation with it now that I know neither I nor the bass will explode ;)
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    I meant to mention that but it slipped my mind, historically I have. One of the great things about working on bass wiring is there's not enough current flowing to damage anything. I have done everything imagineable WRONG - and never damaged one component anywhere. I'm guessing you could damage something outside of the bass but if you keep volume down when first checking it out, no problem.