Also, your tone is YOUR TONE, so unless you are trying to restore a collector guitar to original specs, it’s better not to just blindly follow guidelines and rules and call it a day. Many times, the pickups won’t conform to this rule and you will want to make adjustments. NOTE: Many of the diagrams I see on the internet have the 2nd and 3rd Tabs of the Tone control reversed. The Voltage needs to be at least about .5 volts; anything over that only results in a larger capacitor and has no effect on the tone. Controls the brightness or darkness of your guitar’s sound by adding or reducing the amount of bass/treble in the signal. You are not limited to those two values either, there are many other usable values, including a 1-mega ohm, and a no load pot. Solder the capacitor from Tab 3 of the Tone control to the back of the Tone control pot, being mindful of the polarity of the capacitor. Every electric guitar has knobs to control its sound. The passive tone control on your electric bass guitar is a subtractive device. Tone control in your electric guitar is all over it. Play some chords and licks as you turn down your tone control, listen to the change and find the tone you like. Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. You’ll notice that in the tone knob’s middle range, your sound will get beefy and thick. The ‘Treble’ Knob. Let’s look at the basics of tone control wiring and how to adjust it to get the best sound from your guitar. The smaller the value of the pot, the more the high-end frequencies will leak to Ground, even when the Tone or Volume control is turned all the way up. If you ever feel the need to even things up, simply install a jumper wire to allow the bridge and middle pickups to share the same tone control. The more mids you have, the more you will stick out in a band mix. When choosing a potentiometer there are three things to consider: Quality, Value, and Taper. When you’re familiar with the sound you can achieve through these simple tweaks, try switching from one pickup to the other and see how the sound changes. The other component we need to take a look at when considering tone control wiring, is the capacitor, and here there are three things to consider: Quality, Value, and Voltage. First, we need the Hot wire and Ground wire from our pickup. Solder a wire from Tab 2 to the Tip Tab of the Output Jack, then solder a wire from the Sleeve Tab of the Output Jack to the back of the Volume pot. Turn the volume and tone knobs on your guitar all the way up and select the bridge pickup. Higher quality pots are manufactured to much tighter tolerances and the internal components such as the wiper and the lubricants last much longer. Drawing of physical potentiometers depicting terminals 1, 2, and 3 Drawing of potentiometer schematic depicting terminals 1, 2, and 3 Note that the information presented in this article is for reference purposes only. As you may have noticed, there’s no tone control for the bridge pickup. Adjust the pickup height. A tone control can only reduce frequencies being let through and not add anything extra. These include a “pickup switch” for changing between the neck and bridge pickup, a “Volume knob” for adjusting the volume output to the amp, and a “tone Knob” for adjusting the treble frequency output. The first and most important of the components of tone control wiring are the potentiometers, or “pots” — on not just the Tone control, but also the Volume knob and any other knob on the guitar. DELTA-TONE Some Fender guitars have a unique tone circuit that features a "Delta Tone" Control. Guitar Pickups, Pedals & Parts. My hokey sketch above shows the back of two Fender Stratocaster pickguards. When the tone control is turned all the way up, the tone is at its brightest, and as you turn the knob down (off), the tone darkens (i.e., high frequencies get rolled off). This means that if your amplifier’s volume and overdrive settings are high enough, you’ll be able to change the sound of your instrument just by tweaking its volume knob. You’ll know why if you didn’t skip my long-winded explanation at the start. But if all those controls are there, they must serve a purpose! You’ll notice that the overdrive sound will appear cleaner before eventually weakening. Even with the tone control fully open, the pot itself will add additional resistance and thus warm up the tone. We're obsessed. The range is from .01u to .1u. The capacitor allows high frequencies to pass or be bled to ground, and the pot allows you to control the amount of signal delivered to the capacitor. On some guitars, this setting is marked "Rhythm." If you are looking at the bottom of the pot with the tabs pointing down, number the Tabs 1, 2, and 3 from left to right. This mod requires only a small jumper wire on the 5-way switch. Solder the pickup’s Hot wire to Tab 1 and solder a wire from Tab 3 to the back of the Volume pot. Depending on the brand and model of your guitar, it will have at least one volume and one tone knob and may have more of each. Really this is the definition of tone, and the tone knob is perhaps better named the treble cut knob. The following explanations are valid for most electric guitars, regardless of the pickup type used. Turn the gain control all the way down. When the guitar switch is flipped up (towards you as you're holding the guitar), the guitar pickup that is closest to the guitar's neck (the "neck pickup") is usually selected by itself. Turn your volume knob all the way to 10, but leave your tone knobs at 0. Both ways give the same results; this is just the way that I do it. Turn your tone knobs up to 10, play a note and notice the sound. The same affect on the tone can be achieved by manipulating the EQ settings on the amplifier. But first, some background: In a standard electric guitar, the potentiometers are used as variable resistors. To keep it simple, we’ll say each pot has an input lug, an output lug, and a third lug connected to ground. Obviously, if your guitar has only one knob, your settings will be reduced to its most basic expression. The most common pots in use are the 250k pots and the 500k pots. This will be the simplest design, with 1 Pickup, 1 Volume, and 1 Tone control. Add a wire from the back of the Tone control to the back of the Volume control and you are finished! Sure, you can grab your guitar, crank up all the knobs and play. The knob on the left controls the overall volume of the guitar. As described in this answer, I expected tone control to act as low-pass filter. This component is usually attached to your tone control, and it’s the only difference between the tone control and the volume control. While this is true to a certain extent, a guitar’s volume and tone knobs can be used to alter the instrument’s sound, long before the pre-amp and amplifier come in. The lower the value of a capacitor the brighter the affected tone will be. The tone knobs on your guitar act as a built-in equalizer on your guitar, which control high and low frequencies produced by your guitar's pick-ups. Plug your electric guitar directly into your favorite amp with no effect’s pedals. One set of tone/ volume controls, is used to control the neck pickup, and the other is used to control the bridge pickup. Some guitars have only one tone knob next to the volume knob. The ‘Middle’ Knob. Instead, use your ears and this guide to get the best tone from your guitar. 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