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If I said this i might get verbally beaten to death....

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  • If I said this i might get verbally beaten to death....

    .....but what if the much respected pickup designer Jason Lollar said it? Well, he did and it makes zero sense to me and unless i'm missing something how does this affect your respect for him? He said that a treble bleed cap in a guitar affects the tone in a way he feels is negative....but heres the catch....he says even on TEN. Now, i can think of 1 possible reason that he could be right, and that would be if the pot still has some resistance between the wiper and input lug when on 10. But how many pots would have more then a few ohms. In general a treble bleed cap on a properly manufactured pot should be no different than soldering the cap's leads together then soldering that to the pickup lead.

    So please, defend J.L. if u can, but that just makes me wonder if he deserves the respect he gets and makes me think maybe he's just a guy who winds pickups and has done it enough to come up with some good sounding models but really knows little about theroy even in it's simplest form. I'm just kinda stumped by this. I'm an idiot as electronics go but even to me this is senseless....unless somehow i am missing something.....maybe all pots have just enough resistance to hear a cap's bleed thru ? I think i checked a few in my time if they seemed bad, but i don't recall any resistance that could account for this. Anyways, that statement really got my curiosity up and just wondered what u all think.

    Heres the video. He starts talking about treble bleed caps around 2 minutes and mentions the affect the tone even on 10 around 2:20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZWGITsDCvs

  • #2
    I've never seen a pot go exactly to zero. He's probably confused or wording it wrong. How can people say a tone pot on 10 they can hear difference in cap values? Even a 250k with a tone cap can't really be cutting anything? Someone do the math.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mozz View Post
      I've never seen a pot go exactly to zero. He's probably confused or wording it wrong. How can people say a tone pot on 10 they can hear difference in cap values? Even a 250k with a tone cap can't really be cutting anything? Someone do the math.
      In a similar vein, I was asked by one of the rock stars I used to work for, to change his tone pot from 250K to 500k, because he was "losing too much presence" with the 250k pot in place & the 500k would alleviate the problem. Yes, with the tone all the way up. He's actually a smart guy but I quickly decided not to employ logic, because he had heard what the fix was from a "real authority," one of his other rock star acquaintances... sort of a Spinal Tap moment. So, I lost a couple hours of precious free time on a day off & did the operation in a Boston hotel room, no rush & nobody on my back or looking over my shoulder. Wasn't so bad after all - the guitar was a brand new John Suhr strat-like model and even though I had no amp with me, it was hard to put the axe back in its case because I couldn't stop playing it, it felt so good. (Good job Mr. Suhr, as always!) Did it change the tone? Not as far as I could tell, but Mr. Rockstar thought so and that's what counts. We'll call it, placebo effect. Yes, someone do the math please! It probably amounts to some fraction of a dB at say, 3000 Hz.

      Now we have special pots available, with a gap between full-on and dialed-down a little, so that the loading effect of the pot won't bog down the pickup's brilliance when the control is set at 10. Same pot could be employed in the tone position so that the signal doesn't "see" the tone cap at all when dialed full up. Lookee here for an example of the "no-load" pot:

      https://www.stewmac.com/electronics/...-load-pot.html
      Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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      • #4
        Yeah, i know about N/L pots and actually thats what i use for tone controls. I just do it myself tho by cutting the resistive path near the end. Thats a whole other thing tho. As to the volume pot never going to 100% closed wiper>input, sure. But hearing top end that bleeds thru a few ohms would make eric johnson myths look like childs play. It's the balance between the cap's frequency that goes thru unaffected and the rest of the range thats got what....maybe 5 ohms resistance? That would be probably .0001 DB of extra top end at whatever freq the cap passes. It's just crazy. I have a hard time taking the guy seriously after hearing that.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
          Yes, someone do the math please!
          A little over 1dB at 2kHz according to LTSpice.

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          • #6
            Does anybody even play with their guitar on ‘10’ anyway? That’s crazy loud, gonna be deef from it afterwards, so there’s a difference right from the get go
            Thinking about it, the bleed cap will add an exposed blob of conductor to the signal path, which to some degree will alter its unintended parasitic couplings, eg to 0V / any shielding, other signal conductors (eg other PUs), any environmental EMI.
            Could the presence of the cap be identified in a double blind test?
            Dunno if that’s super relevant though, as his art and craft will be based on innumerable similar experiences and judgments, many of which may fail such a test.
            My band:- http://www.youtube.com/user/RedwingBand

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            • #7
              In a similar vein, I was asked by one of the rock stars I used to work for, to change his tone pot from 250K to 500k, because he was "losing too much presence" with the 250k pot in place & the 500k would alleviate the problem.
              The tone pot loads the PU just like the vol pot and thus damps the resonant peak. I your case the effective load resistance was increased from 125k to 167k with both pots on 10. The effect on the resonant peak should be visible in simulation.
              I tried it and could hear a difference.
              - Own Opinions Only -

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Helmholtz View Post

                The tone pot loads the PU just like the vol pot and thus damps the resonant peak. I your case the effective load resistance was increased from 125k to 167k with both pots on 10. The effect on the resonant peak should be visible in simulation.
                I tried it and could hear a difference.
                I thought I could hear the tiniest difference, but it was not a double blind test. I may have been led to hear that difference because of the expected result. I haven't gotten tech savvy enough to run a simulation. Sure would be instructive to see a graph of a sim.

                Originally posted by Dave H
                A little over 1dB at 2kHz according to LTSpice.
                Thanks Dave! That 1+ dB may explain the tiny difference I heard. IIRC 1 dB is supposed to define "the smallest discernable difference in sound level." Maybe my ears aren't so bad after all.

                Last edited by Leo_Gnardo; 06-23-2020, 04:41 PM.
                Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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                • #9
                  Guitar pots do have a pretty wide spec. I measured some new CTS 250k pots at 210K and 500K at 570K. That kind of variance from the nominal value could account for more of an audible change than expected.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
                    Sure would be instructive to see a graph of a sim.
                    Click image for larger version

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                    • #11
                      Thanks again Dave! Looks like my WAG calc of 3 KHz wasn't far off.

                      And - as far as pots that don't go all the way to zero ohms at one or both ends of the wiper's travel, yes that would IMHO make for a definitely trivial difference.

                      Maybe Ol' Eagle Ears Eric Johnson could tell you whether the pot shaft is aluminum or brass. Whatever, I consider him to be an awesome guitarist. He did an excrucatingly meticulous sound check the day I met him in San Antonio 1992, followed by an excellent concert. Which all goes to support the notion "When you think you sound good, you'll play good." Maybe that extra dB helped my client but I always thought he was an excellent player though vastly underrated. Every little bit helps, I suppose.
                      Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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                      • #12
                        Ok, here we go. I measured what we all can certainly agree is the most common pot for guitar, CTS. I measured 3 of them and with the wiper all the way to the input lug, or in other words on 10, they measured between a 1/2 ohm and 1 ohm. So think about it....put a R/C in line with a pickup with the resistor at 1 ohm and can anyone even begin to suggest that there a human on earth that could hear that? Thats exactly what you have in a guitar with a treble bleed and the volume put turned full up. And thats what lollar suggests makes a guitar sound lousy. Seriously. is this even debatable?!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by daz View Post
                          Ok, here we go. I measured what we all can certainly agree is the most common pot for guitar, CTS. I measured 3 of them and with the wiper all the way to the input lug, or in other words on 10, they measured between a 1/2 ohm and 1 ohm. So think about it....put a R/C in line with a pickup with the resistor at 1 ohm and can anyone even begin to suggest that there a human on earth that could hear that? Thats exactly what you have in a guitar with a treble bleed and the volume put turned full up. And thats what lollar suggests makes a guitar sound lousy. Seriously. is this even debatable?!
                          Heck I've seen pots that only made it down to 100-200 ohms, those were old and worn. Nonetheless, I think you're right on this one. And I'll consider Mr. Lollar to be a world class expert on pickups. Maybe not so much on pots and what a couple of ohms difference at either end of their travel might make. Heck, the humidity/temp/pressure of the air where the gear is being played would make more difference. Plus how much caffeine or anything else is in the player and/or listener.
                          Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by daz View Post
                            Ok, here we go. I measured what we all can certainly agree is the most common pot for guitar, CTS. I measured 3 of them and with the wiper all the way to the input lug, or in other words on 10, they measured between a 1/2 ohm and 1 ohm. So think about it....put a R/C in line with a pickup with the resistor at 1 ohm and can anyone even begin to suggest that there a human on earth that could hear that? Thats exactly what you have in a guitar with a treble bleed and the volume put turned full up. And thats what lollar suggests makes a guitar sound lousy. Seriously. is this even debatable?!
                            I have found some new CTS pots having end resistances of around 30R. This might increase somewhat with frequent use because of track erosion. But even with 100R and a 1nF cap that would only influence MHz frequencies.

                            Seriously. is this even debatable?
                            No.
                            - Own Opinions Only -

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What made it even most surprising to me is that he doesn't just say it's slight or barely noticeably etc, he suggests (at least from my interpretation) it makes a difference to the point it ruins the tone. I get that if he were just talking about when turned down, but thats totally subjective. I can't even use a guitar w/o a bleed cap because it;s what i have always used and developed my tone for many years with them. But the suggestion that on 10 it ruins your tone is to me mind blowing. Maybe early on he tried it with a bad pot (either bad manufacturing tolerance or bad as in worn etc) that had a lot of resistance between the wiper and input lug and based his lifelong opinion on that. Or maybe he lives on placebo lane.

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