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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight Halen_Fanatic's Avatar
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    03.15.11 @ 03:28 PM
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    Help with Pots!!

    I am in the middle of a guitar "project" to essentially take a piece of shit $100.00 electric guitar I bought on Ebay and try and make it a "better" piece of shit!! LOL ...Really I would like to learn more on the guts and setup of a guitar so I thought i would spearhead my first project with this sucker. The body on the guitar is in great shape with a nice flamy orange finish and a nice ivory colored binding. the binding runs the length of the rosewood finger board too...it looks sharp!! I know the guts in here was crap, so I want to put new tuners, a floyd and some new pickups.

    My question is...is there a way to tell what type of pots are in there? I heard that if I want a bridge humbucker...i need to have a 500K pot. It came with a shitty no name humbucker so should i assume that it had a 500K pot? How do you tell if its good or shitty? Or should i just swap it out as I do the project?

    Really, if shit goes sideways and I screw it up, its no major as I bought it as a projct guitar but some help from you guys would be awesome!!

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Pots are not that expensive -- just get a new 500K pot and wire that up with whatever new humbucker you get.

    A cheapo guitar is unlikely to have decent pots in it to start out, even if they are 500K.

  3. #3
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Go to Guitar Center, buy a 500K Gibson pot and be done with it. I always end up going back to Gibson pots. Since it is a cheapo guitar, I surmise you won't need long shaft pots (long shafts are for Les Pauls, and I mean real Gibson Les Pauls with a thick maple top). Take the old one with you, anyhow just to be certain. You will probably have to enlarge the hole, as metric pots have a smaller shaft than domestic pots. I have a reamer from my RC racing days- it's been a great tool for operations like that.

    While you're at it, get a nice Switchcraft jack. They're not all that expensive and they're heads and shoulders above the import jack that's in the guitar. Get some nice hookup wire from Stew Mac. You can get switchcraft from Stew Mac, I do believe. Get some copper shielding tape from them, while you're at it. I would go ahead and replace the selector switch, as well.

    You will need a good soldering IRON, not a gun. Small guage solder for electronics you will also need. Heat shrink tubing will help make the project look nice and clean.

    Also, a cheapo practise amp (I like the Smokey for this purpose) is something good to have on the bench whilst hooking up your electronics. I test whether or not I have everything connected by hooking the guitar to the amp and tapping the pup polepieces with something metal.


    Pay attention to how everything is wired. Don't panic if you forget how it goes together, as there are a zillion wiring diagrams available on the internet. Wiring a guitar is not brain surgery. If this soft-in-the-head garage tech/luthier wannabe can do it, so can you.
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

  4. #4
    Baluchitherium Mikey Metalhead's Avatar
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    06.12.15 @ 12:43 PM
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    you can also get a electric multi meter pretty cheap these days.

    set it to ohms and measure the pots resistance.. the meter will come in handy
    for checking complete circuits before you put everything back together.
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  5. #5
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey Metalhead View Post
    you can also get a electric multi meter pretty cheap these days.

    set it to ohms and measure the pots resistance.. the meter will come in handy
    for checking complete circuits before you put everything back together.
    +1
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight Halen_Fanatic's Avatar
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    03.15.11 @ 03:28 PM
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    Thanks for the feedback guys!!

    I also contimplated upgrading the switch which was a crappy 5 position switch...i dont use the middle pickup at all and the neck pickup...i may go EVH old school and not hook it up either. Is it just me or are some of you guys never quite happy with the tone from a neck pickup either? I guess i dont wanna change my tone...just want some volume boost, transparity and note articulation which I get from a line driver / booster pedal.

    ...And be honest...does anyone here actually ever use the bridge and body pickup combo for sound??? LOL

    ...might opt for the gibson style 3 way selector switch for a volume cut.

    Thanks for the help on the pots!!

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halen_Fanatic View Post
    I also contimplated upgrading the switch which was a crappy 5 position switch...i dont use the middle pickup at all and the neck pickup...i may go EVH old school and not hook it up either. Is it just me or are some of you guys never quite happy with the tone from a neck pickup either? I guess i dont wanna change my tone...just want some volume boost, transparity and note articulation which I get from a line driver / booster pedal.

    ...And be honest...does anyone here actually ever use the bridge and body pickup combo for sound??? LOL

    ...might opt for the gibson style 3 way selector switch for a volume cut.

    Thanks for the help on the pots!!

    Cheers!
    Like pots, switches are also not expensive, but I would seriously recommend going with Dimarzio for the switch. Gibson are a bit iffy these days. Most cheaper guitars use a modern mass produced style of switch that has a PC board with a photo-etched copper circuit. The switch lever has a spring metal contact point which glides against this circuit. The problem, and why the switch is most likely noisy and may even drop out is because either dirt interferes with the contact, or the copper itself is wearing through to the board. Dimarzio uses the proper construction of a real spring detent, and actual stamped connections/terminals, not photo-etched. and the contacts are very positive. They also are made of much better quality metal and is less sucseptable to oxidation. They come in 5 or 3 way configurations, and should'nt cost more than eleven or twelve dollars. Besides, you can always just leave the center selection out, and just slam between neck or bridge too. I went the switchless route with one P/U, but missed the flexability of different sounds out of one guitar. It's ok if you play just one music style, but it's nice to have options and make a great all around guitar. Cheap or not.
    Good luck man!
    Last edited by SLEEPER5150; 03.10.09 at 08:46 AM.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halen_Fanatic View Post
    I also contimplated upgrading the switch which was a crappy 5 position switch...i dont use the middle pickup at all and the neck pickup...i may go EVH old school and not hook it up either. Is it just me or are some of you guys never quite happy with the tone from a neck pickup either? I guess i dont wanna change my tone...just want some volume boost, transparity and note articulation which I get from a line driver / booster pedal.

    ...And be honest...does anyone here actually ever use the bridge and body pickup combo for sound??? LOL

    ...might opt for the gibson style 3 way selector switch for a volume cut.

    Thanks for the help on the pots!!

    Cheers!
    hahaha...the neck and the neck/middle are the only positions I use on my guitars. Every once in a blue moon I go to the bridge pickup but then I come back pretty quickly...

  9. #9
    Eruption Webbed1's Avatar
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