Cost of Mod: $17
Replacement Parts: 2x Bourns 500k 10% accuracy potentiometer with DPDT switch (logarithmic/audio taper)
Quick Review of Nacho Music’s 500k Bourns potentiometer:
I tested these on my BK Precision 879 and Extech 380193 LCR meters at 100Hz, 120Hz, 1kHz and 10kHz. At all of these frequencies both of my (Nacho Music) volume pots tested within 3% of their 500k ohm rating! My stock CTS pots that come in my Schecter Tempest Custom, vary 15-20%, especially at higher frequencies.
It doesn’t all come down to accuracy, the tone of these are also excellent. I noticed my Pearly Gates were less likely to break into distortion, producing a greater dynamic range. It may be due to how linear the resistance is vs. frequency and it just meshes better together. I also like these better with my ’59/Custom Hybrid (SH-16B) vs the old CTS pots. Feels like I have more precise control overall and from my testing, I do have more precise control!
These Bourns pots seem to have more usable volume control range when compared to the CTS units as well.
Treble Bleeds Note: You can dial in the “constant gain” by altering the value of the (optional) 2nd resistor. This is the one in series with the capacitor of the treble bleed circuits shown below (the blue/green resistor). I recommend putting in a trim pot first, to find the right value, then soldering in a quality fixed resistor (i.e. Dale, Philips, etc.)
Above is a step-by-step video showing how to change any single tone control (guitar) with a push/pull (coil-tap), into a dual volume push/pull (2x coil-taps). This allows for greater tonal flexibility, giving 8 pickup selection options vs. 6 stock.
This video can also be used to change coil taps on any setup, not just a triple control guitar (assuming you have the holes or are willing to make them. If you only have a dual control guitar with one coil tap, you can still use this to show you how to wire up a 2nd.
Keep in mind you can put plain DPDT (Double-Push Double-Throw), the small push/flip types, in many places..). See the diagrams in the video for wiring, which also shows how to pick between the inner and outer coil (which one is on when “tapped”).
You aren’t limited to just doing coil-taps with your DPDT volume pots. You can do series/parallel taps or +180/-180 phase taps or if you want to get creative, or you could even put a battery powered clean boost in your guitar cavity that is turned on when tapped! All of these can be accomplished by moving the wires already shown in a slightly different arrangement (minus the clean boost idea). (See the link from Sweetwater for the wiring diagrams of these various sort of “tap” setups)
Wiring Before Switching out Volume Pots:
One leg of each treble bleed is pulled out in these two photos, to make it easier to notice the female (solderless) lugs on the pots.
Wiring After Modding Coil Taps:
Finished Coil Taps w/ Treble Bleeds Installed:
Finished Product (without knobs installed):
Wiring Diagrams by Seymour Duncan:
The top setup is what is shown in the video, but either can be used. Notice the small differences between this diagram and the one below. The center lug should not be left open, as shown below, this is where the 3-way toggle connects.
Unlike in the diagram above, the white and red wires will be soldered together on the coil-tap DPDT switch (on either side in the center position). Aside from the coil-tap wiring, this is what is used.
For more options on what to do with your push-pulls, check out this great article at SweetWater
Here are a few shots of my Schecter Tempest Custom since I swapped the pickups. My stock SH-1N ’59 (neck) died on me, reads as an open circuit. I replaced it with the SH-PG1N Pearly Gates (neck).
Since these pictures, I also swapped out the bridge with a ’59/Custom Hybrid (SH-16B) which is a very popular combo with the Pearly Gates neck.