Will new volume pots clean up my Les Paul?

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Will new volume pots clean up my Les Paul?

Postby Bman (returns) on Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:27 pm

I've been struggling with my LP with CustomPlus/Customs in it. I can't get it to clean up very well until I turn the volume down to about 1.5ish...which is a very narrow window. My comparison is my old Ibanez RG w/ Duncan Distortions and a the stock HB p/u in the neck. This guitar cleans up to bell chime like sounds, especially on the stock neck pickup. It actually cleans up well with the bridge Duncan in it. It's easily my most versatile guitar because of this ability.

My amp is a '73 JMP 50watt Marshall so my clean option is my guitar's volume knob. My Les Paul sounds glorious when it's full throttled. I have a tube screamer that usually doesn't need much use with the Les Paul because the bridge Custom Plus pickup is a tad hot, although it still uses an alnico magnet which is supposed to basically be a hot winded PAF.

I've been told to get the RS pots and have them installed and that will do the trick. But before I go through the excercise I thought I'd ask some folks over here in this forum. Ideally, I'd love to be able to turn down the neck p/u to 3 where it's loud and clean enough to cut through and toggle to the bridge pickup for full on crunch. Right now, I'm forced to clean on my bridge pickup which has a tinny sound.

Worst or (best :) ) option is obviously buy a Fender for my cleans, huh? Or set the amp cleaner and use a dist pedal, but that would rob me of what the tone I've set for myself.

Back to my question: Will installing the 500K pots really do the trick?

My strat by comparison runs a bit hotter than the RG and doesn't clean up as well either. Although I'm not sure if I bought the strat with the Texas/Hot pickups or not. I just bought it off the rack and use it for strumming around the house or through an amp modeller for recording. It performs well in that environment. But the RG's Duncan pickup rocks...so no complaints there.
Bman (returns)
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:09 pm

Re: Will new volume pots clean up my Les Paul?

Postby Mr. Cheezy on Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:54 pm

The majority of Les Paul's and SG's (excluding the Historic models) come with 300k pots these days, 500k pots will open up the tone giving it a "brighter" tone and give you better dynamics.

I say do it, cheap fix.

She slapped a gold sticker on my head and called me special!!
Mr. Cheezy
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Re: Will new volume pots clean up my Les Paul?

Postby handtrix on Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:05 pm

yup, Ibanez RG's (HSH) use 500k's.
Although there are no rules and to personal taste, in my experience the 500k's go well with humbucker pickups as do 250k'sfor singles.
I use my volume alot when playing and like to control the dynamic's as much as I can. I like the sweep of a 250'k for this.
I have nothing against 500k's but I find it tedious in real-time to fine tune the moment I need it turned down.
I go back on it (volume knob) several times where as a 250K I "set it forget it".
In comes the 300k which give me the best of both parameters.

I would also experiment with audio and linear tapers to see what you like.
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