Importance of electronics other than the pickups themselves?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by gnoll, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Say that I want to swap pickups. Should I also look over what pots and caps and things I have in the guitar? I know that the value on a pot like 250k vs 500k makes a difference to the tone, but what about general quality of the electronics and different types of caps and stuff? Will that stuff make a noticeable difference to the tone or is it not worth worrying about?
     
  2. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    low quality electronics will fail at a faster rate
    low quality pots might have weird tapers
    but if they read the right values a resistor is a resistor. won't make a tonal difference.
     
  3. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Reliability, feel, online bragging. That is the order :lol:
     
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  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Pointy Gang™

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    everything matters, but some stuff matters more.
    capacitors will have the biggest impact besides pot values on your sound, but basically both control how much treble comes from your pickups/guitar. Caps make a bigger difference in that aspect. Upgrading from a 500k pot to a 1 meg pot with no cap attached makes a difference, but it's not as big as jumping from .022uf to say .010 uf caps.

    cheap pots have worse tolerances, so you might be up 20% off of the stated value of 250k/500k etc, the wipers in them tend to go faster too ime
    cheap switches tend to fail faster ime
     
  5. FourFour

    FourFour 4/4

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    All I know is, if you put a big orange capacitor in your guitar, your tone automatically improves a solid 10% or more. Could be placebo I dunno..
     
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  6. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    As long as the parts are functioning correctly you’re usually fine. But cheap or corroded switches may introduce some resistance, bad pots may have dead spots or wrong values. I’ve had some stock electronics that are fine, and some that needed replacing. It’s not like the parts are expensive (though some stores overcharge people who don’t know how cheap the parts actually are) so it can be worth upgrading if you can solder.
     
  7. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Ok thanks guys, I won't worry too much about it then as long as everything seems to be working ok.
     
  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Part quality matters, especially as far as longevity and consistency of product, but you don't have to get to crazy with it. The "good stuff" is only a few dollars more than the typically crappy generic stuff.

    The quality of soldering will play an even bigger role.

    Even on a parts hog like a Les Paul (4 pots, 2 caps, switch, tons of wire) only has ~$25 in good.
     
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