Tone Knob Volume, Which way is which?
thefireball
Jul 5 2011, 02:07 AM
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This is a simple question that has bugged for so long, and I want to get to the bottom of this after playing guitar for two and a half years. biggrin.gif

First, think of a guitar with only one volume and one tone knob. That is what all three of my guitars have. When you have the tone knob at the most extreme brightness, it is at "zero" right? ...And when you turn the tone knob all the way to the muddiest, it's at "ten" right? Or do I have this backwards? unsure.gif

Please help. haha happy.gif
Brandon

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del-4fr53e3
Jul 5 2011, 02:15 AM
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The tone knob makes it darker, yes. So 10 would be 'muddiest' I guess. No tone knob would be like minus 1 (the pot being there removes some highs).

Despite that, many/most/almost all guitar makers make 10 the brightest and 0 the darkest. No one answer, but that is the most common. Probably because most people prefer it bright, and prefer to keep all knobs rolled up.

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This post has been edited by Sollesnes: Jul 5 2011, 02:23 AM
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jstcrsn
Jul 5 2011, 02:25 AM
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I have no tone knob , and my pick-up is always in the brighest mode, seeing that I have never used the tone in a show or in the studio

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thefireball
Jul 5 2011, 02:54 AM
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Okay, I see. I figured that it was different for some guitars. I usually only use my tone knob for on the fly changes.

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Mudbone
Jul 5 2011, 03:02 AM
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In regards to passive pickups, the tone knob is a passive circuit, meaning it can only diminish, and not add anything to the tone signal. Its just a resistor that cuts out a certain frequency. So when the tone knob is at its brightest setting, the resistor is bypassed, and that is the unaltered sound of the pickup.Then as you turn the knob, the resistor begins to diminish a predetermined frequency. It doesn't add muddiness. Remember, its a passive circuit, and passive circuits cannot add anything to the signal.

On active pickups such as EMG's I'm not entirely sure how their system works, but I'm pretty sure its same. I've played EMG equipped guitars with and without tone knobs, and they sounded the same. Now that I think about it, EMG does offer active tone controls that are sold separately, but thats another subject biggrin.gif

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thefireball
Jul 5 2011, 03:10 AM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Jul 4 2011, 09:02 PM) *
In regards to passive pickups, the tone knob is a passive circuit, meaning it can only diminish, and not add anything to the tone signal. Its just a resistor that cuts out a certain frequency. So when the tone knob is at its brightest setting, the resistor is bypassed, and that is the unaltered sound of the pickup.Then as you turn the knob, the resistor begins to diminish a predetermined frequency. It doesn't add muddiness. Remember, its a passive circuit, and passive circuits cannot add anything to the signal.

On active pickups such as EMG's I'm not entirely sure how their system works, but I'm pretty sure its same. I've played EMG equipped guitars with and without tone knobs, and they sounded the same. Now that I think about it, EMG does offer active tone controls that are sold separately, but thats another subject biggrin.gif


Thank you, Mudbone. Very helpful. smile.gif

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Ivan Milenkovic
Jul 5 2011, 02:11 PM
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Not really sure mate if you have it backwards (not sure if you can reverse the knob??). I guess this is just a way it is printed out on the knob and they mean without high end - 10, with high end - 0.

On my Strat, it's vice versa, so with high - 10, without - 0. Haven't really noticed on other guitars I played tho..

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Fran
Jul 5 2011, 04:54 PM
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What is the tone knowb? wink.gif laugh.gif

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thefireball
Jul 5 2011, 06:30 PM
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My guitar doesn't have it printed out. You just turn the knob .... I was just wondering how to say it when explaining it..."put your tone know at 10"....

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Sean_1234
Jul 5 2011, 07:01 PM
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in the brightest mode, it's on 10, because that's when you have it rolled up in the same direction as your volume knob when it's at 10 wink.gif

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Azzaboi
Jul 5 2011, 07:55 PM
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This can depend on your tone pot setup on the guitar (and what type of pots you use).

Full Clockwise = brightest tone.
Counter-clockwise = lower tone to 0 (or half tone depending on wiring).
(Matchs same direction as volume control)

If you have one, it controls overall tone, else they control each pickup (also depending on wiring).

Higher quality pots don't rotate but click around different tones (so they don't get muddy or fade out).
However, normal ones you might want to leave on max tone or just roll off a bit (to 7-9) or have the half tone wiring setup (else you start losing quality).

The pot also changes the sound from dark to bright depending on using a 250k vs 500k, etc.

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