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  1. #1

    500k Pot Questions.......

    Guitar in question - 2001 Gibson Les Paul Standard

    Hi, I've been thinking about swapping out my 300k pots to 500k pots (does this make a notice able difference?).......but I encountered several variables that I thought would be good to ask about as to what to buy.
    Firstly, the length, there are 3/8" bushings and 1/2" bushings, what about shaft length? My guitar has the metal plate between the wood body and pots so I'm thinking I'd need the 1/2" bushing.

    What about shaft length and whether or not it's a split shaft or not?

    What about taper? Linear or audio? In other electronics I have (like volume pedals) I prefer linear tapers since it seems smother an less of an on/off switch

    I've heard good things about CTS pots, but are there other "better" ones, or are CTS the gold standard. Do companies measure the pots before hand?

    As for installing, is it a matter of removing the old one and soldering in the new one the same way? I noticed that wires that aren't necessarily ground wires are soldered to the back of the pot (as if the shielding is soldered to the pot, I'll post a photo later today).

    So, can a link(s) be posted to the exact pot I will need?

    Thanks, I know this I a lot of questions

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Los Angeles
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    Re: 500k Pot Questions.......

    Hello,

    You will need the long shaft pots. I use CTS pots either from Throbak or Emerson. They both measure them and usually come in within 515k - 550k. I highly recommend going with one of the 50's wiring kits that come with the bumblebee caps. It really opens up the guitar and makes the sound more 3D. The kits are pretty easy to install. The pots do have that linear taper feel to them and it keeps most of the treble in play all the way down to zero. FWIW I just installed the Throbak on my R7, and the results are stellar. I think the extra dough for this kit is worth it.

    https://www.throbak.com/wiring-harnesses.html
    https://emersoncustom.com/products/l...nt=42585504522

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
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    3,534

    Re: 500k Pot Questions.......

    Sorry to answer with another question, but...

    what pickups are in the guitar?

    Gibson switched from the 498T/490R pu combo to Burstbucker Pro's (originally labeled Burstbucker V's) sometime in 2001. I played Burstbucker Pro's/V's for a number of years, and in this instance the 300K pots were a better match with those pickups, specifically the bridge. Things got a little too harsh and strident when I switched to 500k in my LP with BB Pros.

    I always liked the 498T/490R set ( a good friend even replaced a HFS with a 498 in his PRS with much improved results) and again, in this case I think Gibson probably got it right with the 300K. Good hard rock pickups.

    I like 500K's in my vintage guitars and more traditional PAF style reproductions.

    As for brand CTS is kind of a standard no brainer. Gibson used to sell (maybe they still do?) aftermarket pots (CTS made) with the Gibson stamp that were well received. I've bought RS guitar "Superpots" that are CTS pots picked for a particular spec, but imo not worth the price. For the last couple wiring conversions I bought CTS off eBay. Both suppliers tested resistance for the pots I bought before they were sent.

    Linear or audio is a personal preference, I tend to prefer linear with 50's wiring for volume and audio for tone, but I've owned guitars with audio taper volume and modern wiring that I liked enough not to change.

  4. #4

    Re: 500k Pot Questions.......

    Quote Originally Posted by sonar View Post
    Sorry to answer with another question, but...

    what pickups are in the guitar?
    498T/490R


    What's the difference between 50's & modern wiring?

  5. #5
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    San Diego, CA
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    Re: 500k Pot Questions.......

    Audio taper for volume is best for most people. Linear sounds like an on/off switch. that's why audio taper was developed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdfIZEB2rdM

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: 500k Pot Questions.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Gutch220 View Post
    498T/490R


    What's the difference between 50's & modern wiring?
    I hate to punt, but you're better off doing a forum search. There are very strong opinions on this subject.

    Even in the real world - I like Vintage, while a close friend whom I respect as a player absolutely detests Vintage.

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