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New Pickup,Higher Imp.Pot?
Old 20th June 2009
Gear Maniac
PyroDano's Avatar

New Pickup,Higher Imp.Pot?

I recently had an 57 classic plus installed on my Gibson Sonex 180 deluxe. The guy doing the setup said you really don't get much out of a new/different pickup unless you put a higher impedance POT to go along with it. He also wanted to cut off the excess of the screws that go across the pickup from the underneath saying that if you put metal shavings on it and looked at the pattern??? it's much better without the excess.I didn't go for it.
He replaced my old scratchy(beyond cleaning)Japanese 500 ohm pot,with an old scratchy(beyond cleaning) 2K pot saying i'll get more out of my pickup with more resistance.When i turn the POT more than 3/4 i get a terrible buzzz,,,,and screetch.Not all feedback.....
Does he have a clue?
I'd also like to replace the POT with a brand new one,and possible the switch too.
Where and what POT should i get????TIA
Old 20th June 2009
Gear Guru
kafka's Avatar
Originally Posted by PyroDano View Post
When i turn the POT more than 3/4 i get a terrible buzzz,,,,and screetch.Not all feedback.....
Does he have a clue?
Apparently not, unless terible buzz and screetch are what you're going for.

A 250k will bleed off more of the high frequencies than a 500k pot. Use whichever one you like. It's purely a matter of taste. Buy them here: Standard Control Pots at Stewart-MacDonald, and have them send you a catalog.
Old 21st June 2009
don't visit that nucklehead again as he sounds like one of the screwballs whose butchered countless great guitars. The Stock gibson value for humbuckers is either 300k or 500k. Depending on how your guitar sounds try one or the other. I am guessing that unless your Classic+ is very dark 300k shoulld be fine for both the tone and volume. The sonex is a synthetic body material so the LOWER value pot will sweeten up the top end. If you had a higher output pickup, depending on the magnet material and tone you might want to try as high as a 1 meg, but 2 meg is crazy big and would likely sound very very harsh.If the guitar sounds too dark with 300k try 500k. Also be aware that the tone pot value is significant. A lot of Gibsons of the 80's had 100k tone pots. Upping that value will give you more high end overall. Usually the volume and tone are the same 2x500k or 2x300k but you can mix and match (eg 500k volume and 300k tone) to shave off or add high end. this is useful as higher/lower value pots have a different taper so you can put the one with the better feel on the volume and the other on the tone.
Old 22nd June 2009
Gear Maniac
PyroDano's Avatar

Thanks for all the great information.It won't be going back to him EVER.Lesson learned. He screwed the neck up a little too,One of the strings is buzzing open.I tried to save a little $ by going to him,Which in the long run will cost me more.
I guess I'll try the 300 ohm pot and back to my regular guitar tech.Thanks again.
Old 22nd June 2009
Lives for gear
Iggy Poop's Avatar

I don't mean to hijack the thread but I have a question along the same line. I have a PRS custom 24 (1992) and it has always been a very bright sounding guitar. I've changed the bridge pickup a couple of times and finally settled on the Tremonti for it's slightly scooped sound. I just bought a VHT amp and suddenly the brightness of this guitar became extremely pronounced (feedback city). I'm pretty sure the pot is a 500k or 450k or whatever PRS uses. If I change it to a 250k that would bleed off some of those highs but would it cause an issue with that 5 way rotary switch thing?
Old 23rd June 2009
Hey Pyro

Seeing as the Sonex is a flat top and the guitar has pickguard mounted controls I'd bet its a short shaft model. in regards to the PRS question, if a guitar is too bright the number one treatment I can recommend for it is a Duncan Antiquity humbucker. the Ant uses a Formvar wire and skatter which makkes it a littler dark and have a low end resonance. It saved my maple necked Norlin Gibson LP Custom from ebay. I think on a PRS swapping for a 250k will affect the neck pickup as well, it has a single or master volume right?? The scooped mid thing of the tremonti is working against you as well as mids provide body. Try screwing the pole piece screws in till they are just below the pickup cover, or if there is none just below the pickup bobbin. Believe it or not there is a huge amount of tuning in terms of timbre with these critters. I am a firm believer that any pickup can be dialed in by manipulating these. Higher for brighter, lower for darker, this applies to pickup height too. dial in the bridge pickup, then dial in the neck pickup height and polepieces until the middle position sounds right. Play your amp from a neutal EQ position (everythig n at or near 12 oclock, and dont expect to get good even tone from a 100 or even 50 watt amp at bedroom volumes, as they have circuits built into them to make them sound balanced at about 2/3-3/4 up. Get a little 5 or 10 watt amp for at home.
Old 11th July 2009
Gear Maniac
PyroDano's Avatar

Just a follow up.The guitar is no longer making that sound anymore.I'm not sure it was the guitar at allI think i had the amp head settings all wrong.A guitarist friend came over and dialed it in a little differently and that particular noise is gone.
I now i have a new noise,lol,and i think it's the Maxon cs-550.
I now have a greater appreciation for guitar players.(I'm a drummer kind of)**** just never ends.I did buy a new Gibson 300k pot for it,but for now,I'm leaving the 2k pot in there until the strings need to be changed,Then i may experiment.
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