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MarkF786

RS Guitarworks Hamer Kit - Why a 250K Tone Pot?

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I recently purchased an RS Guitarworks Ultimate Hamer Upgrade Kit (though actually I plan to use it in a different guitar with humbuckers, 2 volumes, and 1 tone control). I noticed that the kit includes a 250k tone pot. Everyone else seems to use 500k with humbuckers.

Does anyone know the reasoning behind this? How will it affect the sound?

Thanks!

Mark

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I erased my reply, as I misread your post.

I'm pretty sure you'll notice a bit less brightness in the signal when it's up all the way.

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I always use 500k tone pots with humbuckers. Unlike a volume pot (because of the way it's wired and in parallel with a coil), a tone pot turned down half way (of it's measured value) is the same as a 250k pot... so I don't see any advantage. Why wouldn't you want to be able to turn it up to it's regular value?

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Roy and the guys at RS totally rock and know their stuff so there's gotta be a reason. Why not ask them directly?

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Yep, Roy is the man and is incredibly knowledgeable in all areas of electric guitar building and modification.

RS Guitarworks must have tried out different pots and found that the 250K yields the most useable tone cut. You can probably flip it all of the way down and get an AWESOME tone. It saves fiddliing with the tone knob to get that creamy tone when playing live. Just crank it down and it will sound awesome. Most 500K pots yield a bassy, muddy and lifeless tone when turned all of the way down.

They are experts.

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I will buy your old (Hamer) pots from you when you change them out. This goes for anyone else too...just email or PM me. Seriously.

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The 250k tone is there for two reasons. First reducing the value of the tone control changes the midrange response of the circuit. We find the 250k reduces the upper midrange frequencies that most people find harsh. Next they just have a better taper than using a 500k. Many people talk about Hamer's with a the JB/59 setup not sounding good and to my ears this kit fixes that.

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Or you could just turn your tone pot down to it's half way point... and turn it up if/when you need it.

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Or you could just turn your tone pot down to it's half way point... and turn it up if/when you need it.

It does not sound the same at all. With most guitars using audio taper pots half of the rotation is 25k not 250k and even if you find the point where it is 250k it's already bleeding part of the highs to ground through the cap. The 250k on 10 is not reducing treble.

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I have one of the Hamer Kits in my 95 Hamer Studio. I am using Dz 36ths and it works great. There is no problem with treble for me. Unsolicited comments have been that the guitar sounds very good. People have been asking what it was in fact.

http://drpietrzak.com/music/Hamernew.JPG

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It does not sound the same at all. With most guitars using audio taper pots half of the rotation is 25k not 250k and even if you find the point where it is 250k it's already bleeding part of the highs to ground through the cap. The 250k on 10 is not reducing treble.

SimpleToneControl250k.gif

Half way of it's measured value of a 500k pot in a tone circuit, not "5" on the knob, is EXACTLY that same as a 250k pot.

Not similar, or close, but identical. The signal though a cap, then through 250k of resistance, whether a 250k pot, half the measured value of a 500k pot (250k), or a 250k carbon resistor is identical (assuming they all measure at 250K).

And as most tone chasers know, it's not the high end that some people complain about with a JB it's the high mid spike. And to lower that, you want a lower value volume pot value to lower the resonant peak.

Wow, this is basic stuff.

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People who know how long we have been doing this and how our kits work know our stuff works as advertised. They are tested with human ears not electronics text book. Last post for me on this. The question was asked about an RS product and it's been answered. There's no right or wrong just what works for you.

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I dunno, the actual real-world behavior of electronic components can vary from what they're supposed to do in theory. I wouldn't pass judgment on the RS kit until I've A/B-ed it with my own ears.

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People who know how long we have been doing this and how our kits work know our stuff works as advertised. They are tested with human ears not electronics text book. Last post for me on this. The question was asked about an RS product and it's been answered. There's no right or wrong just what works for you.

MOD EDIT: Accusations and insinuations like those I just deleted are not allowed on this board.

A Lamborghini going 100mph isn't faster then a Lada going 100mph. Sure their rate of acceleration is different (like a pots taper), one can last longer and be quieter when is accelerates/decelerates, one speedometer can even be way off (like a pot's spec can be), but when externally measured going 100mph... they're still going 100mph.

Of course if you said "The 250k VOLUME is there for two reasons. First reducing the value of the VOLUME control changes the midrange response of the circuit. We find the 250k reduces the upper midrange frequencies that most people find harsh." You'd be correct. Because that's what that does. But changing the TONE control down to 250k is exactly the same as a 500k turned down to it's measured value of 250k. Of course that doesn't mean people don't like having their tone pot to it's half way point either.

Many people actually use a 250k VOLUME pot for that very reason, Duncan even recommends it on their site for people who find a JB too peaky.

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*deleted content*

Unbelievable.

It's just a simple potentiometer for crying out loud.

*deleted content*

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Sorry, I take false claims and consumer protection very seriously. And so should we all. We've become a nation of suckers to salesman. Ever been asking any questions in a Best Buy? [shudder] I've worked in the electrical field for well over 30 years and when businesses foul up this basic stuff making claims, it kills me.

A 250k pot simply does not bleed less highs to ground in a typical guitar circuit, then a 500k pot turned to it's measured 250k spot. It's the same.

If you WANT it at the 250k point, sure do as you like.

And remember I'm saying measured. Pots can have a 20% variation. You can buy a 500k pot that's somewhere between 400k and 600k! That can make an obvious difference in tone in a guitar circuit to most people. I don't think there are too many guitarists would couldn't tell that a guitar with a 400k volume pot and 600k tone pot sounds different then one with a 600k volume pot and 400k tone pot. And higher, dead on, and lower can sound better in different applications and per different users taste, as "better" is an opinion, but it also is different.

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Tone pots are for pussy's... :angry:

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I think the reaction is a bit extreme myself - oye. The RS kit I used was great. I have no issues. Order a 500K pot if you want one. I would bet they would even sub it if you asked. This is clearly advertised, and there is no consumer protection issue I see. Over reaction to me.

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There's no reason an RS kit shouldn't be great, or have any issues.

The fact is, a 250k pot simply does not bleed less highs to ground in a typical guitar circuit, then a 500k pot turned to it's measured 250k spot. It's the same... and claiming otherwise to get people to purchase a product is misleading, and just plain wrong.

Extreme? Yeah. I got a bit wound up... but after years of seeing the same few dealers making claims to sell stuff, and yet messing up the basic electronics, I get fed up fast.

I can say Arnold is a great body builder, or a great actor or even a great Statesman... and even believe it... but when I tell you he can lift more then any other man and I'll sell you how to do it... that's simply not right.

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There's no reason an RS kit shouldn't be great, or have any issues.

The fact is, a 250k pot simply does not bleed less highs to ground in a typical guitar circuit, then a 500k pot turned to it's measured 250k spot. It's the same... and claiming otherwise to get people to purchase a product is misleading, and just plain wrong.

Extreme? Yeah. I got a bit wound up... but after years of seeing the same few dealers making claims to sell stuff, and yet messing up the basic electronics, I get fed up fast.

I can say Arnold is a great body builder, or a great actor or even a great Statesman... and even believe it... but when I tell you he can lift more then any other man and I'll sell you how to do it... that's simply not right.

We all have our opinions that are more feel and measurably real. Stainless frets, ash-alder body/fretboards, you name it. Chips in pedals. I will not even start on the personal beliefs related to amps that we can't measure ... guitar cables and silver wire. Some decaf and all will be well. You do not perceive things the way other do - in fact the differences in in our biological make up, and neurology, ensure that is the case. You and I do not see colors the same either though the actual reflected light is exactly the same. We human receivers is just to imprecise to get to carried away with much of this. And, us guitar buyers are used to "mojo" so I do not see anything worth the stress here.

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I tend to find a tone pot doesn't make much of a difference in the first half of travel, so maybe having a 250k makes some sense.

BTW, I did also buy a 500K pot in case I didn't like the way the 250k work.

On another note, the guitar the kit is going into is a Parker Fly!!! It normally has 1 volume, 1 tone, a 3-way mag pickup selector, a 3-way mag/piezo pickup selector, and a piezo volume. I never use the piezos and I hate having to keep a battery in the guitar for it to work so I'm changing it to: 2 volumes, 1 tone, a 3-way selector, and a 3-way coil tap (inside or outside coils, mainly for when in the middle position). I'm really looking forward to see how it sounds.

Mark

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I "shutter" at replying to some of these threads. But I have to say that I've used the RS Hamer Kit on a couple guitars. Once on a 79 Sunburst with a Duncan Custom and a PG set up and it worked great at taking that edge off. The second was in my old Stuido with a set of Vodoo's. I always seem to back that Tone Pot off a notch so this kit was made for me. It says what it does and it does it well. Now it was structured around the JB/59 which the JB with a 250K pot is a common mod.

While we don't live in a virtual world we do "Post" in one.

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I "shutter" at replying to some of these threads. But I have to say that I've used the RS Hamer Kit on a couple guitars. Once on a 79 Sunburst with a Duncan Custom and a PG set up and it worked great at taking that edge off. The second was in my old Stuido with a set of Vodoo's. I always seem to back that Tone Pot off a notch so this kit was made for me. It says what it does and it does it well. Now it was structured around the JB/59 which the JB with a 250K pot is a common mod.

While we don't live in a virtual world we do "Post" in one.

Interesting. I've found all of my Hamers bright but my normal solution was to bring the volume down around 8 which took the edge off. A friend who bought a Newport Pro complained of the same problem, but my volume trick cured it.

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More or less useless discussion except for RoyB's response.

My .02

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Now it was structured around the JB/59 which the JB with a 250K pot is a common mod.

The 250k mod, is the volume pot, not the tone pot.

And if you're happy with a 250k tone pot, that's fine, it has nothing to do with a "The 250k on 10 is not reducing treble," as it is identical to a 500k pot turned to it's 250k measured point, which you could turn up if you need to.

Btw, here's my regular post that might help you if you want to experiment, hope it helps;

Different pot values and how they affect you!

Duncan_Pot_Values.gif

Humbucker graph shown. (Supplied by Duncan)

Humbuckers traditionally come with 500k volume and tone pots, wth .022 caps. Single coils traditionally use 250k pots. Remember, pickups were voiced/made to run at these values, changing the value changes their intended tone (good or bad is an opinion), as well as their output.

The top curve indicates virtually no load, the second curve down indicates a 1meg pot, the third down is a 500k pot, the fourth is a 250k pot and the bottom curve represents a 100k pot. As you can see, higher pots give you more output and raise the resonant peaks output. The resonant peak doesn't shift in frequency, but it does shift in amplitude. The resonant peak frequency of most HBs is around 5k to 7k.

With tone controls (they react differently in the circuit), a 250k pot is the same as turning your 500k tone pot down to it's resistive mid point (5 on a linear taper pot). Even on 10, a tone pot bleeds high end to ground, but pickups were designed in this circuit in mind and some people think they sound cold and glassy without a tone pot in the curcuit. A lot of people in the 80's used guitars without a tone pot, but they also used some rack gear like a Yamaha SPX-90 that killed off anything over 8k, (the SPX-90II went to 12k) so it helped a bit to make up for the loss.

If you want to see what it's like to use different value pots, without pulling breakable knobs and changing out your pots, here's a temporary way to see what it's like.

250to500or500to1megtest.gif

This is how you can hear what going from a 250k to 500k (or even 500k to 1 Meg) volume pot sounds like. Just disconnect the pickups output wire to the pot and put a 250k (or close, 240k or 270k), (or to try 1 Meg 500k or close), resistor in series. It'll sound the same, but you CAN'T turn the volume all the way off, remember this is just a test function. If you like it, go buy the pot.

You can also try doing it to your tone pot as shown. In many guitars with 250k tone pots, I've just left the resistor in permanently; you just can't turn it down as much.

500to250test.gif

This is how you can hear what going from a 500k volume and tone pot down to a 250k pot sounds like. Just put a 500k (or close e.g. 510k or 470k) resistor in parallel with the pots outer lugs. You can even leave it this way, the only difference will be the volume and tone pots taper (i.e. 10 will be 10, 0 will be 0, but it'll be half as loud at a different place on the knob).

P.S. if your "or close" value is slightly higher then the pot, the value will be slightly higher on 10 then the actual double, (or halved value) in these circuits. If lower, it'll be slightly lower.

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