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Will Chen
#1 Posted : Wednesday, February 09, 2011 11:16:07 AM(UTC)
Will Chen

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So, being the endless tinkerer, I had my PRS SE Singlecut set up with Lace Alumitone pickups and a modified Fender TBX tones control. As cool as those pups are, I just can't keep my hands of a soldering iron and swapped back in the stock pickups. I also pulled out the TBX tone control and want to put in something along the lines of the ToneStyler.

I believe the ToneStyler works by putting different value capacitors in parallel with your output which has the affect of changing the resonant peak of your signal. The difference between this type of setup and a standard tone is a standard tone controls basically pans between 2 resonant peaks, the natural pickup tone and the tone of a specific value cap in parallel to the pickup. I stumbled across a very cool DIY version on steroids using an 11 position rotary switch here. I'm definitely going to try a modded version of this in the near future...

Edited by user Thursday, March 31, 2011 8:25:33 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Will Chen
#2 Posted : Monday, February 14, 2011 4:14:38 PM(UTC)
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So I wired up my version of this control to a 9 way rotary switch. With positions 1 - 3 offering tones like turning up a tone control with a .022 cap, position 4 bypass, and positions 5 - 9 putting a progressive load across the output to lower the resonant peak of the pickups. While prototyping I was getting some very, very cool sounds but I definitely need to customize the cap values. Position 9 was pretty dark, probably wouldn't use it, and 5 was very subtle. But positions 1-3 and 6-8 were all usable different tones! Once I fine tune it I'll post some pictures, schematic, and cap values...
big_teee
#3 Posted : Monday, February 14, 2011 4:42:59 PM(UTC)
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Looks like a pretty nifty Idea.
I may have to look into that as well.
A take-off of the old vari-tone on steriods I guess.
Later,
Terry
Keep Rockin!
Terry
Big T Custom Pickups
Will Chen
#4 Posted : Monday, February 14, 2011 5:41:50 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: big_teee Go to Quoted Post
Looks like a pretty nifty Idea.
I may have to look into that as well.
A take-off of the old vari-tone on steriods I guess.
Later,
Terry


Similar to a Varitone but actually simplified. A Varitone uses a choke (inductor) to create a notched response. No inductor for this circuit making it smaller and easier to solder.
Tony Raven
#5 Posted : Monday, February 14, 2011 9:24:43 PM(UTC)
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I found these 11-position four-poles yesterday --
http://cgi.ebay.com/Four-gang-1...&hash=item4a9dac66e5
Naturally, thought of your project!! I can never find these things when I get the bug.

But for sheer madness, how about --
http://cgi.ebay.com/Dual-gang-2...&hash=item3357f59d93

So I figure four pickups, with one of these for each, plus one more for master tone... Laugh

It's been many years since I played an actual Varitone, but I recall that the inductor really sucked volume in some settings.

Actually, Will, if I ever get a shop together, I intend to have a couple of demo axes loaded with a circuit like that, to let customers get a better idea of what a difference the capacitor value can make to their tone. (It'd be MUCH simpler just to have a jack mounted on the pickguard & a box of caps, but the switch makes it so much easier to bounce back & forth.)

I find it hard to keep my hands off the amp's knobs, yet I don't tweak the guitar much at all (switches are another matter), so such mods are wasted on me. But I do appreciate how a "multi-tone" could help many players dial in that ideal sound.

All a writer really needs is a blank page and a bad attitude.
Will Chen
#6 Posted : Tuesday, February 15, 2011 9:08:50 AM(UTC)
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Those switches are off the hook! Yep, the Varitone does suck some volume at certain settings but this circuit doesn't because of the omission of the inductor.

You know, I've been a set the tone knob on 10 and rock out guy for the vast majority of my playing life. But suddenly I've become obsessed about wrangling as many tones from the guitar itself as possible. Shifting the resonant peak like this circuit does isn't something which can be approximated by tuning the tone knob on an amp. In my college band, I'd simply load up 3 guitars and when I wanted a specific tone I'd swap out axes. But these days its one guitar and a back up. As such, having a bit more tone control, coil splitting etc is extremely nice as it allows certain voices that you can switch in and out for a song or 2.

I'm extremely intrigued by the tonal possibilities of expanding this circuit and fear I may be getting sucked down a rabbit hole! I mean shifting the resonant peak with caps in parallel is just the beginning, coupled with a high pass circuit (capacitor in series) you could shape a pickups output in some extremely radical ways...
Tony Raven
#7 Posted : Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:06:54 PM(UTC)
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I've tried some active EQs, but it's just not the same as even a simple RC circuit. I'm not being a "natural tone" snob either: for lack of a better term, there's a "charm" factor with a shelved passive cut. You could have a "lows" & a "highs" switch, & use these to create a bandpass of various widths & centers.

All a writer really needs is a blank page and a bad attitude.
Will Chen
#8 Posted : Monday, February 21, 2011 9:18:06 AM(UTC)
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Ok experimented some more with cap values...and made it unusable!!! Mud city. I need to revert back but I fear I may have burned out one of the caps. Now I'm thinking rather than 9 positions, I'd prefer a dual pole setup with 6 positions allowing 2 presets like a traditional tone control, 2 resonant shifts, 1 bass cut position, and bypass. I've got a handful of 6 way 2 pole switches but nothing tall enough for the PRS. Doh! I tried to figure it out on the 9 way, but don't see how to do it without a second pole. May have to go shopping...
Will Chen
#9 Posted : Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:39:01 AM(UTC)
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Alrighty! Got some new pups for the PRS from big_tee and can't wait to put them in. Gonna hit up the local electronics surplus store and see if I can score a couple 6 way 2 (or even 4) pole rotary switches tall enough to mount in the PRS. The idea is to get this tone harness working and also wire it similar to the traditional PRS 5-way (+1) pickup switching.
big_teee
#10 Posted : Tuesday, March 15, 2011 9:12:15 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Will Chen Go to Quoted Post
Alrighty! Got some new pups for the PRS from big_tee and can't wait to put them in. Gonna hit up the local electronics surplus store and see if I can score a couple 6 way 2 (or even 4) pole rotary switches tall enough to mount in the PRS. The idea is to get this tone harness working and also wire it similar to the traditional PRS 5-way (+1) pickup switching.

Do you have a Electrician's License!!!ThumpUp
Terry
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