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Idiots Guide To Workbench Taper & Cap Values Request


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#1 Hey_Joe

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:18 PM

Would any of you guys who really understand all the electronics part of the way electric guitars work; Resistance and Taper (for the Volume Control), or Resistance and Capacitance (for the Tone Control) put together a brief summation of the parameter controls in WB  Sort of a WB electronics Guide for Dummies for some of us who just never in all our years of playing learned about this stuff. If I needed or wanted changes I always paid for a tech to do the work for me and accepted their discretion as to what and why to do things to the pots when replacing pups. (been playing since I was 8 and ashamed to say at age 60 I know nothing about this stuff). 

I know of course I can try changing things in WB myself and use my ears to discover the difference in settings but I am asking for information as to what to expect by changing these parameters. Of course I can look these things up the on the web. Links to further detailed info would be nice to be included in answer to this but I'm just looking for something brief that describes minor differences in the values we are given and what the symbols mean. It seems the Workbench HD Pilots Guide PDF assumes we know this stuff already by not including any more info than is written.

I can see that many of you understand this stuff based on;
leewit6 in this thread http://line6.com/sup...ues/#entry13405 speaks of the Tele models are .22, not .047, Strat models are .047, not .22. The Gretsch models are off correct specs too. I think there are some others not quite on as well. ReverendLove in this thread  http://line6.com/sup...e-15#entry13193 speaks of changing the tone pot to 470k and the cap to 22n and set the pot to 8.5. for the workaround on the Strat 2/4 issue. stevekc  gave some great resources on the Cap. Values thread  but to one who is not up on this stuff the material in the links make my head spin.

 

Thanks in advance

 

 


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#2 nikoniablue

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:32 PM

It is covered at the level you're suggesting in the original Workbench user guide - which is well worth a read.  (But  any additional specific hints and tips from those in the know are still welcome).


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#3 hurghanico

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 02:39 AM

...Would any of you guys who really understand all the electronics part of the way electric guitars work; Resistance and Taper (for the Volume Control), or Resistance and Capacitance (for the Tone Control) put together a brief summation of the parameter controls in WB  Sort of a WB electronics Guide for Dummies for some of us who just never in all our years of playing learned about this stuff...

 

I think the following downloadable not official document could be very interesting and the right one for you:

 

http://www.vettavill...al 6 290107.pdf

 

in case you need very quick tone recipes go stright to page 7

 

PS. the pictures into the above document are based on the old WB but obviously all the concepts are the same


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#4 nikoniablue

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 06:20 AM

I think the following downloadable not official document could be very interesting and the right one for you:

 

http://www.vettavill...al 6 290107.pdf

 

in case you need very quick tone recipes go stright to page 7

 

PS. the pictures into the above document are based on the old WB but obviously all the concepts are the same

Thanks Gear Head - that was the piece I had in mind.  I may have been mistaken about it being the manual.


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#5 Hey_Joe

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:17 AM

Thanks guys! I had downloaded that info back in 2006 when I had my 300 and 600 1st gen vaxes. But I guess I'm just really dense. Because it's still confusing to me. I'll re-read it a few more times and see if I get it. I thought I could get a better explanation as to what those Workbench values resemble and why I want to use them. Remember - I did ask for an IDIOTS GUIDE and I confess - - I am an IDIOT when it comes to this stuff. If anyone can break it down a little further I would appreciate it...if not, I guess I'll stumble through by trial and error. I'm so at a loss of what is given to us in WB as well as the guide you guys graciously gave a link to I don't know what questions to ask to further explain my ability to comprehend this stuff.


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#6 ozbadman

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:58 AM

I don't know if this helps Hey_Joe, but basically, the difference between the sound of pickup A vs pickup B is determined by two factors. 1) the resonant frequency and 2) the height of the peak at the resonant frequency (also called the Q factor). So, to emulate a different pickup, we need to change the resonant frequency and/or the height of the peak.

 

1) Changing the resonant frequency using Workbench

Using Workbench, we can change the resonant frequency by stacking pickups (this changes the inductance). If we stack pickups in series (like a humbucker), we reduce the resonant frequency (e.g.: from 4KHz to 2.8KHz). If we stack them in parallel (like a strat in positions 2 and 4) we increase the resonant frequency (e.g.: from 4KHz to 5.6KHz). This stacking also affects the output volume, so adjustments need to be made to the level to compensate if you want your pickups to be at a certain level.

 

2) Changing the height of the resonant frequency using Workbench

Changing the height of the peak is not so easy but some amount of control is available with the tone and volume pot values. Note: these will only affect the tone/peak height when these pots are not at 100%.


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#7 Hey_Joe

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 10:35 AM

ozbadman -

Your explanation helps me understand the Tone Shaping document a bit better.

Does stacking actually mean putting one pick on top of the other as with the Strat example in the guide? Is a humbucker considered a stacked pickup (in series)? Does a combination of neck and middle pickup also mean stacked? Maybe I'm getting hung up on the term - "stacked".

In the past I had downloaded a bunch of old Variax custom models from the Andy Z's Institute of Noise and auditioned them and also tried to understand the changes in volume and tone pots but never knew why guys were doing what they were doing, in some cases to mimic a guitar they had but felt they understood why they were making the changes - I didn't. There were quite a few with 2 single coils on top of each other for a hotter pickup. And that's where a lower value for the volume pot comes in - correct?


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#8 ozbadman

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:19 AM

ozbadman -

Your explanation helps me understand the Tone Shaping document a bit better.

Does stacking actually mean putting one pick on top of the other as with the Strat example in the guide?

 

Yes. You are putting both pickups in the same location, then wiring them together. This changes the inductance. It's like putting two resistors in series or parallel.

 

Is a humbucker considered a stacked pickup (in series)?

 

Essentially, yes. True stacking would have the pickups physically on top of each other. But, otherwise, yes. That is why humbuckers generally have a lower resonant frequency than single-coils. i.e.: they sound "warmer", as well as being generally "hotter" (more output voltage). Noiseless strat pickups are essentially humbuckers but with each coil having only half the inductance. Thus, the overall inductance is the same as a strat single-coil, but without the hum.

 

Does a combination of neck and middle pickup also mean stacked?

 

Not really, no. They are not stacked because they are not in the same physical location. Where the pickup is determines what overtones get detected. Stacked generally means in the same physical location. The middle and neck pickups are quite a distance from each other. Additionally, when joined these are usually connected in parallel instead of series. (The strat is parallel, Brian May's guitar is series).

 

 

Maybe I'm getting hung up on the term - "stacked".

In the past I had downloaded a bunch of old Variax custom models from the Andy Z's Institute of Noise and auditioned them and also tried to understand the changes in volume and tone pots but never knew why guys were doing what they were doing, in some cases to mimic a guitar they had but felt they understood why they were making the changes - I didn't. There were quite a few with 2 single coils on top of each other for a hotter pickup. And that's where a lower value for the volume pot comes in - correct?

 

Well, I don't know if they really understood or not. They may have been putting the 2 single coils on top of each other to get a "hotter" signal, but they may not have understood that this also moves the resonant frequency. Yes it's louder, but it also has quite a different tone. The changing of the pot and volume knob is really just to make the tone roll-off the way it did before, or possibly some custom way. It doesn't affect anything while they're both at 10. If your signal is too hot, you need to reduce the level, not change the tone/volume pots. Basically, changing the volume pot changes how quickly the height of the resonant peak will change when you turn the volume down. It's similar with the tone pot/capacitor.


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#9 Hey_Joe

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:30 AM

The changing of the pot and volume knob is really just to make the tone roll-off the way it did before, or possibly some custom way. It doesn't affect anything while they're both at 10. If your signal is too hot, you need to reduce the level, not change the tone/volume pots. Basically, changing the volume pot changes how quickly the height of the resonant peak will change when you turn the volume down. It's similar with the tone pot/capacitor.

an aha moment


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#10 ozbadman

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:33 AM

an aha moment

 

they're always fun


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#11 rmaginnis

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:47 PM

Hi all, I have a JTV69 (korean) and i find that the guitar models and subsequent  tones to be very brite in nature, They always sound too thin and twangy without warm body tones. My amps treble and mids are low as is the presence.Could it be the pot settings resistance?

Help :-)


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#12 edstar1960

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 06:21 AM

Hi all, I have a JTV69 (korean) and i find that the guitar models and subsequent  tones to be very brite in nature, They always sound too thin and twangy without warm body tones. My amps treble and mids are low as is the presence.Could it be the pot settings resistance?
Help :-)


It could be the strings that you are using. What brand and gauge do you use on your JTV69 ? Have you tried different brands and gauges? Heavier gauges and pure nickel strings will produce warmer tones. Strings make a big difference to the tones of the models.

Does rolling off the tone control when using the models get you closer to the tone you want? If yes, then experimenting with the pot resistance settings may help you get closer to the tone you are after.
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#13 rmaginnis

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 07:52 AM

It could be the strings that you are using. What brand and gauge do you use on your JTV69 ? Have you tried different brands and gauges? Heavier gauges and pure nickel strings will produce warmer tones. Strings make a big difference to the tones of the models.

Does rolling off the tone control when using the models get you closer to the tone you want? If yes, then experimenting with the pot resistance settings may help you get closer to the tone you are after.

 

 

I will try changes the Tone Pot settings to see if that makes a difference.I have normally just gone with the default pickup pot setting maybe its time to step outside the box.

I have tried different makes and gauges ( Elixir,D'Adario,fender ) from heavy to lite gauges . My preference is 52 - 10 although I do like 46-9 any how in the end the result has always been the same. I  have tweeked both settings on my amp (Traynor YCS 50) and guitar till I'm blue in the face and am still not very satisfied with the tone. 


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#14 edstar1960

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 09:20 AM

I will try changes the Tone Pot settings to see if that makes a difference.I have normally just gone with the default pickup pot setting maybe its time to step outside the box.
I have tried different makes and gauges ( Elixir,D'Adario,fender ) from heavy to lite gauges . My preference is 52 - 10 although I do like 46-9 any how in the end the result has always been the same. I  have tweeked both settings on my amp (Traynor YCS 50) and guitar till I'm blue in the face and am still not very satisfied with the tone.


Sorry to hear that. Hope the pot changes help. I found pure nickel strings gave me a warmer tone and cut down on the excessive treble on my JTV59. Hope you find the combination that you like for your JTV69. Good luck.
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#15 rmaginnis

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 06:31 PM

Sorry to hear that. Hope the pot changes help. I found pure nickel strings gave me a warmer tone and cut down on the excessive treble on my JTV59. Hope you find the combination that you like for your JTV69. Good luck.

Thanks edstar for your input so far.  I left the volume control pot resistance to the pickup default. The tone pot resistance Ievels I have reduced to 50k from 500k and 25k  from 250k . I know this probably looks like a drastic measure but I'm hoping this will reduce the amount of treble bite and mellow the tone a bit? Also what is the purpose of the capacitance function and how does this affect tone? Ok thats all I promise.


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#16 edstar1960

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:10 AM

Thanks edstar for your input so far.  I left the volume control pot resistance to the pickup default. The tone pot resistance Ievels I have reduced to 50k from 500k and 25k  from 250k . I know this probably looks like a drastic measure but I'm hoping this will reduce the amount of treble bite and mellow the tone a bit? Also what is the purpose of the capacitance function and how does this affect tone? Ok thats all I promise.


Electric guitars have a capacitor on the pot and different capacitor values affect the tone in different ways. It is a subtle difference but will cut top end slightly in the same way that a long guitar cable will. Try the different values and see if you can hear any difference on a guitar model. Take your time because you may find a value that matches the sweet spot of the model.
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#17 fianoman

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Posted Yesterday, 08:48 AM

Does anyone have an updated link to the tutorial PDF? It doesn't seem to be functioning.

 

http://www.vettavill...al 6 290107.pdf

 

Thanks.


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#18 stevekc

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Posted Yesterday, 09:08 AM

This link has very good demos on the impact of different value caps have on tone for generic electric guitars

http://www.seymourdu...mize-your-caps/

 

Same strategy and knowledge works with Line 6 Variax Workbench 


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