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Pickups and the amount of controls.

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  • Pickups and the amount of controls.

    A while back, I bought a PRS SE 25th anniversary edition guitar, with a mind towards modifying it. It sounded pretty good the way it was so for a long time I left it alone. The pickups sounded simultaneously clear and warm. Eventually I put in a 70's DiMarzio dual sound humbucker in the neck and a Tom Anderson humbucker in the bridge. This gave the PRS a good rock bite to the tone and I was happy with that. I moved the PRS pickups to my modified Epi Dot. The mod was I had a pickup balance pot and a master volume pot; and a bridge tone pot and a neck tone pot. Well the PRS pickups lost the clarity and fullness I hoped would transfer over. My questions: 1- does 2 pickups into 1 volume and 1 tone inherently sound different than 2 pickups into separate volumes and tones? Is one configuration darker than the other? And does my modded configuration change the tone? I am considering changing my Epi back to 2 volumes, 2 tones if that will restore the clarity and fullness of the PRS SE pickups.

  • #2
    Did you use the same value pots?
    "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."


    • #3
      Someone else might know for sure, but I think those blend pots are just two opposed audio taper pots. Even if all the pots are 500k Ohm, there would then be ~80k Ohm in front of each pickup when the blend is in the center. That's enough to noticeably reduce the output and the high end on those pickups. You'll know that's the issue If it comes back up for each pickup when the blend is fully turned to either side. You can actually get better blend sensitivity in the middle switch position if you wire two volume pots as if the pickups are tone caps. The volumes will then work in reverse and the pickups won't totally be off when they are on 10.
      Last edited by Fluoroscope 5000; 04-29-2021, 01:16 AM.


      • #4
        I'm pretty sure the Epi Dot used 500k pots, but I don't know what the blender pot was. The PRS used 2 500k pots.


        • #5
          I've had pots that sound muffled.
          The fix was new pots.
          Not easy to work on a dot, but if you could bypass the pots one at a time you could isolate the issue.

          "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s


          • #6
            Many blend pots are dual M taper. Each track goes from 0-100% resistance in the first 50% rotation, and stays at 100% for the remaining 50% (each track opposite handed). This means that at half rotation both pickups are full output. Movement either way gradually reduces the volume of one pickup while keeping the other at constant full output. At mid point the effective resistance of 2x500K tracks is 250K. Add in another 500K master volume pot and the resistance overall is 167K. Too much loading for humbuckers resulting in loss of treble.

            2 pickups into a 500K single volume and tone control will sound brighter in the middle position when turned full up than each pickup feeding 2 separate 500K volume and tone controls. Each pickup selected individually would sound the same in either case.
            Last edited by Mick Bailey; 04-30-2021, 01:36 PM.