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  1. #1
    On Fire
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    Default Removing tone knob from guitar changes tone

    I'm planning on doing some modifications to the electronics of some of my guitars. One of the things I plan to do is remove the tone knobs because I always keep them on 10. Anyway in doing my research on how to do this I learned that when you do this it will brighten up your tone a little, almost as if your tone knob was set to "11". I guess this is because the tone knob sucks a little bit of the current even when it is on 10. I though people at the links might be interested since EVH often has had no tone knob. With all the discussion here about how to get Ed's tone through pickups, wood styles, etc, I thought people might be interested that it might have contributed to his sound a bit.
    Any musicians near Boston / Cape Cod want to get together and play some VH? I play drums, guitar, keyboard, bass, and I sing. I want to start a VH tribute band. Contact me if interested.

  2. #2
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by gageroo View Post
    I'm planning on doing some modifications to the electronics of some of my guitars. One of the things I plan to do is remove the tone knobs because I always keep them on 10. Anyway in doing my research on how to do this I learned that when you do this it will brighten up your tone a little, almost as if your tone knob was set to "11". I guess this is because the tone knob sucks a little bit of the current even when it is on 10. I though people at the links might be interested since EVH often has had no tone knob. With all the discussion here about how to get Ed's tone through pickups, wood styles, etc, I thought people might be interested that it might have contributed to his sound a bit.
    Thanks for the info. It's pretty common knowledge around here with us die hards, but there's lot's of guys just starting out tearing down and Eddifying their guitars that might find that their once "perfect" sounding pickup in stock form becomes a little more bright sounding when you eliminate the tone knobs. This can be rectified though by changing the volume pot to a different value. This can help regain some of the warmth. Always great to post tidbits like. Sometimes these little things can become headaches.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  3. #3
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 06:26 AM
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    Default

    In any custom guitar I've built, I never use a tone knob. I don't think I've ever not had the tone knob on full blast anyway, so for me anyway it was pointless to have one.

    Thanks for the interesting info, so I guess my pickups are always on 11.
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  4. #4
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    Default

    The tech who I work with the most sometimes installs a tone "system" (I don't recall what it is formally called) for players who want that warmth but don't physically want the tone knob. For me, I like that balls-out tone. And I can recall one time in the last umpt-teen years when I actually used a tone knob--in the recording studio for a muffed dirt thing, and I could have easily accomplished the same sound another way if the tone knob hadn't been on my guitar.

  5. #5
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    In any custom guitar I've built, I never use a tone knob. I don't think I've ever not had the tone knob on full blast anyway, so for me anyway it was pointless to have one.

    Thanks for the interesting info, so I guess my pickups are always on 11.
    On my VH style guitars, I'm with ya'...No tone knobs. I do have them on my SG and Strat as I also play some southern rock, and I usually roll the tone off on the neck to get that Dickey or Warren tone. The bridge pickups I have, the SG, a SD 59', and the Strat, a Dimarzio Area 61' have a nice clear sound to to them and I usually have them full up anyway.(The Strats don't have Tones on the bridge only P/U selection at any rate). Just the neck P/U's I like the versatility.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! Rick S's Avatar
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    06.23.17 @ 09:49 PM
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    I never use tone knobs not in years and ive been playing in a hardcore/metalcore band for about 9 years. i still play van halen and all kinds of styles but never thought to go to the tone knob anymore with any style i play. i just back off the volume for a bassier sound.

    like eddie said...."if you want to shape your tone do it at the amps end , not a with the tone knob." (then again this was the late eighties when i read that.)

    dont know why but i still adhere to that quote........
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  7. #7
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Donor

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    i've always either disconnected or taped up my tone controls as i've never liked the sound of a guitar with them rolled back.
    that being said i do have 1 guitar that still has a useable tone control and i found that replacing the pot and cap with really good quality ones does have a good overall effect on the tone in general even if you leave it on 10.
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  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing! johnnybeane's Avatar
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    My Wolfgang has a tone.
    WTF!!!

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  9. #9
    Good Enough
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    For me, tone controls are pretty much useless.
    Even on my Les Paul, I always keep them on "10".
    Should I want a variation in tone, I just alternate pickups.

  10. #10
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino5150 View Post
    For me, tone controls are pretty much useless.
    Even on my Les Paul, I always keep them on "10".
    Should I want a variation in tone, I just alternate pickups.
    Oh yeah. For most of the music I play, I can forget about a tone knob on 90% of our catalog, but you know the sound I mean for ABB stuff? That totally rolled off through a high gain Soldano or Engle tone that Warren Haynes gets on Soulshine, and You Don't Love Me No More. I use it for that. Otherwise I find stock tone controls useless. Theres those new units though, you know...the electronic jobs, that are more like an onboard EQ, rather than the traditional smothering your amp with a blanket kind of deal. I'd like to check that out. It offers far more tonal possibilities.
    Last edited by SLEEPER5150; 04.27.09 at 01:53 PM.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  11. #11
    5150 bunnyman's Avatar
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    Tone pots are always "dummy" pots that do absolutely nothing on my axes. Even my '66 ES335 had no functional tone knob. Tone knobs do nothing but rob your tone. I call them the "tone-NOT" knob"...
    Dammit!!! I still smell like cotton candy!!!

  12. #12
    On Fire
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    08.08.15 @ 09:37 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick S View Post
    I never use tone knobs not in years and ive been playing in a hardcore/metalcore band for about 9 years. i still play van halen and all kinds of styles but never thought to go to the tone knob anymore with any style i play. i just back off the volume for a bassier sound.

    like eddie said...."if you want to shape your tone do it at the amps end , not a with the tone knob." (then again this was the late eighties when i read that.)

    dont know why but i still adhere to that quote........
    oh cool, never saw that evh quote before...but yeah that is kinda what i was thinking, that you could roll back the highs on the amp a little if needed
    Any musicians near Boston / Cape Cod want to get together and play some VH? I play drums, guitar, keyboard, bass, and I sing. I want to start a VH tribute band. Contact me if interested.

 

 

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