Hey all,

I have an American Deluxe Stratocaster, with a humbucker-single-single setup. A few years ago, I replaced the stock bridge humbucker with a Seymour Duncan sh-8 invader (I was really into Sevenfold). I'm still into metal, and now realize that Strats aren't the best guitar for this application. I recently found out that the pots in the guitar are 250k, and its not really suitable for the humbucker. I feel like I have a really nice guitar that just isn't suited for my taste.

I'm tempted to replace the volume pot with a 500k pot, but I'm hesitant. I'm hoping to achieve a nice gritty low end with this mod, but I don't want the high end to get even brighter, since it is already really bright (the ebony fretboard adds to the brightness).

I guess I'm just trying to ask if the 500k will give the strat a more articulate and gritty low end, without making the high end overbearingly bright.

Thanks guys!
It will make the high end brighter, so it doesn't sound like what you want. One option though might be to change the tone cap so you can use a 500K pot but turn it down a bit. I imagine you have it parked on 10 all the time now. If you switch to something like a .015 from the (IIRC) standard .022 you might be able to dial out those highs a bit without losing the tightness in the bass.

Before you do any of that, though, make sure you've messed around with adjusting the height of the pickups (you can raise/lower just one side to change the tone) to see if that helps.
I've tried adjusting the pickup height, and it honestly doesn't do much to the tone aside from adding unnecessary noise. So if changing the pot won't tighten up the low end, what would? I guess just an entirely different pickup?
A higher value pot will brighten the tone. A lower value will darken it but may make the high notes too muddy. A new tone cap could help but it will have basically the same effect as a lower pot value. It sounds like you need new pickups or even a new guitar. Like you said, strats aren't the best guitars for metal playing. This is just my opinion though. Maybe you can find a way to make it work.
changing the pot isn't going to change the low end just the high end and the taper. Using a higher value pot makes the taper less smooth (a bad thing) and makes your tone slightly brighter which, in your case, is also a bad thing.

Lowering the pickup gets rid of top end (good) but also makes your bass more mushy (bad).

Raising the pickup tightens your bass (good) but also brings out more top end (bad).

I would suggest using a small capacitor (around 100pf) as a treble bleed cap to filter off some top end then raise your pickup to tighten the bass. If that doesn't work you might need to look at different pickups.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at May 14, 2014,
So if I were to look into a different pickup, based on the pickup's EQ, would I be looking for one with higher bass and lower middle response?
Thank you all for the advice!

And btw Explorerbuilder, I had followed you on Facebook months ago and I must say, I love your work.