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  • Rolling off volume for clean tones....LP issue

    This is how i do it, old school. Amp set for classic rock degree of overdrive and volume gets quite clean on 5. I'm a lifetime fender guy who's got a LP wraptail special that does this as well as my fenders but i just got a LP standard and haven't had one of these since the 80s. All my guitars are single coil except this new LP. Heres my problem.....when i roll down the volume it never sounds very clean till about 2 and at that point it's becoming too weak and unusable. At 3 it's usable but much dirtier then my other guitars at 5. It just gets kind dull and lifeless that low. I'm looking for the answer, but please note i DO have decades of experience modding guitars so the usual reasoning's are ones i have tried. I expect there is no answer because i've done it all, but I'm posting this out of desperation in hopes theres something i haven't thought of. It may just be the way humbuckes and maple capped mahogany set neck are and nothing i can do about it. In any case, heres what i have tried...

    Pickups are A2 PAF output. Tried putting A5 in them

    tried a new set of mojotone 59 unpotted clones

    tried every imaginable pickup adjustment both height and screw poles.

    Works worlds better when i split them but i want humbucker tone for this, not single coil

    tried removing the covers

    installed faber steel bushings in the body for the bridge and aluminum stop bar, putting stop bar bushing in tomorrow. Studs are steel. These things help by making it more clear but issue persists tho not as bad

    installed treble bleed and tried 250, 500 and 1000pf. No resistor or it would just get more dull and muddiy.

    tone controls are not hooked up

    tail is screwed down all the way and i have also tried it up to relieve break angle.

    installed bone nut

    tried several quality pots and insured the taper was not different then usual by comparing middle position to input lug resistance and also insure pot tolerance wasn't way low. Current volume pot is top end CTS 497k (guitar wired like fender, IE: one overall volume pot)

    Thats all i can recall but i probably did more. Anyways, it just seems like the signal gets reduced as i roll it down pretty much like other guitars, but while it may not seem to make sense, the clarity never happens and the sound stays dirtier sounding than it should, just very compress and rather dull. I don't know if this is a electronic thing of the wood/hardware, but i've done eveything i can think of as electronics go and in HSS strats that i used for years i never had this happen with even hot humbuckers. Any ideas?

  • #2
    Once you get your ears around single coils humbuckers (with the volume rolled down) always seem to sound like you describe. At least to me. And clearly you too. And I'm a humbucker guy. But my main guitar is a Warmoth strat with a JB Junior in the bridge. So I just switch to the single coils when I roll off the volume.

    Not sure what kind of panacea you're looking for. Some kind of humbucker that sounds like a single coil only when the volume is rolled down? But that isn't happening. The LP guys all swear by the "50's wiring". That get's you back to two volume controls and tone controls and A LOT more knob fiddling. Blech. Here's an idea...

    Use a dual gang pot for the volume control and wire the second gang as a mid cut circuit. Now when you roll down the volume you'll also be cutting mids. The typical mid cut circuit is all over the place here and elsewhere but I could find and post it if you're not sure what I'm talking about. You probably wouldn't want the full mid cut effect so you could use a resistor in series with that circuits ground to dial in the amount of cut you want at your sweet spot on the volume control.

    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "If you're not interested in opinions and the experience of others, why even start a thread?
    You can't just expect consent." Helmholtz

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    • #3
      I just want it to clean up better. Not expecting a single coil sound, but it just seems odd to me that with a treble bleed and no tone controls it's far brighter and more cutting with the volume on 10 than when i lower it usually a bleed does the opposite.
      Last edited by daz; 11-27-2023, 06:43 AM.

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      • #4
        Adjust the amp.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mozz View Post
          Adjust the amp.
          Like said, I probably forgot to put some things i've done on the list, thats one of them.

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          • #6
            300k audio pots for volume and tone and 50s wiring works great for my humbucker LP.
            Whereas my P90 LP Pro Deluxe is too trebly with 50s wiring.
            For 50s wiring to be of any benefit, the tone needs rolling down a bit. Which might imply setting the amp s bit brighter
            My band:- http://www.youtube.com/user/RedwingBand

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            • #7
              Originally posted by daz View Post
              I just want it to clean up better. Not expecting a single coil sound, but it just seems odd to me that with a treble bleed and no tone controls it's far brighter and more cutting with the volume rolled off.
              Well removing the tone control almost doubles the amplitude of the resonant peak. Further, the resonant peak on a humbucker will be some thousands of Hz lower in frequency than a typical single coil. Add the treble bleed with no parallel resistor and then the fact that you have to turn down A LOT because humbucker have a much higher output and of course it's going to be shrill and bright when turned down.

              The mid cut reduces mids. The humbucker sounds wooly when turned down because the tone is all low mids (sans treble bleed). I still don't suggest the parallel resistor with the treble bleed because it fouls up the pot taper and then you'd have to turn down to something like .75 to get clean and your sweet spot would only comprise a half digit of knob rotation. It's pretty awful.

              Since you already have the knobs on the guitar you could always install a mid cut separate from the volume control and adjust them independently. It's more knob fidling but it'll get you there. Trust me, I've done it.

              And kudos to you BTW for having the nerve to rewire your LP with a single volume arrangement. I've always hated the four knob wiring on LP's. But then,... That's the classic tone too so that get's lost when you change things.

              EDIT: To give you some idea of what you're dealing with, the resonant peak of the stock circuit with the volume on 10 is about 6dB at around 3kH using an 18' cable. With the tone control disabled, a treble bleed of 500p and the volume rolled off half way the treble peak climbs to 18dB. That's a four fold increase in top end. Not four times more, but four fold. A HUGE amount more top end.

              I think the mid cut would meet your needs.
              Last edited by Chuck H; 11-27-2023, 01:21 PM.
              "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

              "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

              "If you're not interested in opinions and the experience of others, why even start a thread?
              You can't just expect consent." Helmholtz

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chuck H View Post

                Well removing the tone control almost doubles the amplitude of the resonant peak. Further, the resonant peak on a humbucker will be some thousands of Hz lower in frequency than a typical single coil. Add the treble bleed with no parallel resistor and then the fact that you have to turn down A LOT because humbucker have a much higher output and of course it's going to be shrill and bright when turned down.

                The mid cut reduces mids. The humbucker sounds wooly when turned down because the tone is all low mids (sans treble bleed). I still don't suggest the parallel resistor with the treble bleed because it fouls up the pot taper and then you'd have to turn down to something like .75 to get clean and your sweet spot would only comprise a half digit of knob rotation. It's pretty awful.

                Since you already have the knobs on the guitar you could always install a mid cut separate from the volume control and adjust them independently. It's more knob fidling but it'll get you there. Trust me, I've done it.

                And kudos to you BTW for having the nerve to rewire your LP with a single volume arrangement. I've always hated the four knob wiring on LP's. But then,... That's the classic tone too so that get's lost when you change things.

                EDIT: To give you some idea of what you're dealing with, the resonant peak of the stock circuit is about 6dB at around 3kH. With the tone control disabled, a treble bleed of 500p and the volume rolled off half way the resonant peak climbs to 18dB. That's a four fold increase in top end. Not four times more, but four fold. A HUGE amount more top end.

                I think the mid cut would meet your needs.
                You seem to be saying you read my post as suggesting it's bright and thin when the volume is rolled down? Because thats the exact opposite of what i was trying to describe. It gets dull and darker. At 10 it's bright and cutting like it should be and i wanted it be be similar when turned down, but the biggest issue is the lack of cleanup.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by daz View Post

                  You seem to be saying you read my post as suggesting it's bright and thin when the volume is rolled down? Because thats the exact opposite of what i was trying to describe.
                  I got the same impression as Chuck. I guess from this statement:
                  Originally posted by daz View Post
                  it's far brighter and more cutting with the volume rolled off.

                  Originally posted by Enzo
                  I have a sign in my shop that says, "Never think up reasons not to check something."


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by g1 View Post
                    I got the same impression as Chuck. I guess from this statement:


                    I see. Well, that sir was me spacing i guess because i meant to say the opposite. Sorry bout that. I'll change it if the post allows.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by daz View Post
                      ...it's far brighter and more cutting with the volume on 10 than when i lower it usually a bleed does the opposite.
                      This is really odd behavior. Especially since you're using just a capacitor for the treble bleed. I honestly have to suspect something is different about the circuit than what I imagine from your description. See the EDIT in post 7. That would be the correct behavior for the circuit you described.
                      "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                      "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                      "If you're not interested in opinions and the experience of others, why even start a thread?
                      You can't just expect consent." Helmholtz

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Are you sure the volume control isn’t wired backwards, eg like a 5E3, input to the wiper lug 2, output from lug 1 track end?
                        That would behave as per your description.
                        My band:- http://www.youtube.com/user/RedwingBand

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chuck H View Post

                          This is really odd behavior. Especially since you're using just a capacitor for the treble bleed. I honestly have to suspect something is different about the circuit than what I imagine from your description. See the EDIT in post 7. That would be the correct behavior for the circuit you described.
                          Well, i dunno whats going on but it's less of a issue than it was stock, so what i've done hasn't fixed the issue but it IS much better. But i don't understand how disabling the tone and adding a bleed would make it less bright when rolled off, which would be the case if it climbs to 18k which is un hearable. But it's not worse than stock. What is it thats shifting the RP? I mean, is it a combination of the 2 things and if i add the tone pot back or remove the cat what happens? actually, in theory i have no idea, but i do know its less muddy and dull than with either of those or both those put back to stock. I'm not denying what you say because for one thing i know you are using that spice or whatever to get true specs. But somehow they don't seem to correlate to what i'm hearing. And don't get me wrong, it isn't horrifically dull and muddy like it was stock, but it's not brighter and clearer than on 10 like it should be with the mods. it's the opposite albeit i'd say slightly.

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                          • #14
                            An exact wiring diagram (not a description) or photos would be extremely helpful.
                            Originally posted by Enzo
                            I have a sign in my shop that says, "Never think up reasons not to check something."


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was wrong on the cap....i forgot i had it at 250pf. Well, more precisely it's a 270pf.
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