Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tone Control Mod

This post is about a simple guitar tone control modification, which can make your axe's wiring better for your preferences. It's based on a resistor and a capacitor. The values of these parts can be selected from a quite wide range. It means, that you will have a lot of options to choose from, when you will be making this mod.


How it works?

As you can see, the resistor and the capacitor are in the series circuit. The resistor works similar to the potentiometer. It stops some amount of the guitar signal (treble) from passing to the ground by the cap.


The higher the resistor value, the less treble will go to the ground. Good values to choose from are in the 10k to 50k range (it's only my opinion).

The capacitor value is defining the frequency cut-off level. It's just like in a typical tone control circuit. You can stay with your stock cap.

Example of use

Let's assume, that I have a 250K tone pot in my guitar. If I will turn the knob down to 50%, I will get the 125k ohm resistance before the cap. If I will make the mod from the diagram, with the 20k resistor, I will get 145k (125+20) on the same knob position. It means, that my tone control will be working a little bit less drastically, so I will need a greater turn of the knob, to get a very warm tone.

If I will turn the pot knob of my modded circuit to „0”, the resistance before the cap will be 20k – because of the resistor value. It means, that with this mod, I will never get the tone, that I can have with the classic tone control circuit, with the full turn down.

For some of you, it can looks like a disadvantage, but remember, that my modded guitar tone control is not so sensitive on small turns of the knob, so it's more precise. I can adjust this sensitivity by choosing the right resistor value.

I can also adjust how my guitar will be sounding, when I will turn down the tone knob to „0”. If I will choose the right values, I will have a nice, quick to use tool. I will be able, to get my „selected warmth” just by the full turn down of the knob. It's quick and handy.

Probably you will need to test a few values, before you will get what you want.

Here is the example of a Telecaster wiring with this modification: Warm Sounding Telecaster - Wiring Mod