#1
I swapped the bridge pickup in my son's Yamaha the other night and it made a world of difference in his guitar...can I improve on the tone/sound by also swapping the the stock pots with something better?
#2
Unless they're old and worn out, I'd be surprised if it made a noticable difference. They're designed to bleed the signal to earth (tone, just the highs; vol, all of it) so if they're working as they should they shouldn't really affect the tone at all when turned up full. But they're cheap enough to replace so...
#3
Different resistance values for the pots can have different effects on tone. What can really change the tone is different capacitors. You may have to go away from stock wiring for that stuff. There is all sorts of tips for that on the internet. Google it. There's waaay too much to post it here.
You can also look up different wiring methods like the "Fender Greasebucket". Lots of stuff to try.
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Last edited by ryanbwags at Feb 14, 2014,
#4
Yeah, smoke too much and your tone goes out the window!


But seriously, you'll see a noticeable difference just from cleaning your pots. They are incredibly cheap to replace though, so your mileage may vary.
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#5
One question might be what if anything you want to do with the pots. For the volume pot, if you use it, it will always affect your tone (throwing a voltage divider adds the series resistance). So you may find that as you roll off the volume, you loose some high frequency response at the same time (some people call it a warmer tone). So that may or may not be what you want. If you do some research, you'll see some recommendations on roughly matching the pot resistance to the pickup, so humbuckers vs. single coils could have a different recommended value (check also with the pickup manufacturer). But that's not going to really fix anything and you'll still have tonal changes when you use the pot (some people solder a bypass cap on the volume pot to restore the treble, which can now almost cause a treble boost when you really lower the volume!).

The tone is going to be little bit of the same, by really dominated by the cap as ryanbwags said above. I don't recall seeing people swapping tone pots for a pickup change.

If it sounds right for you, don't do anything. If you just use your volume pot to mute the guitar, definitely don't worry. If you dial in a crunch tone in the middle, you might want to rig up some external wires and try out different values and then connect up the one that works best for you...
#6
there is a pretty noticeable difference when I experimented one weekend with 250k, 300k, 500k, and a 1 meg pot. But if 2 are the same values it wont be "better" unless you just like the feel of how one pot turns over the other or you like how quick/gradual the changes are when you turn it.
Last edited by cheesefries at Feb 14, 2014,