Lollar Pickups Blog

Welcome to the Lollar Pickups Blog, where we discuss in detail the finer points of Lollar Pickups and share the latest news from the Workbench.

Tone Chasin’: The Skinny on Capacitors and Potentiometers (Or Caps and Pots) — Part 1

Tone Chasin’: The Skinny on Capacitors and Potentiometers (Or Caps and Pots) — Part 1

By Jason Lollar

Blog Pots and Caps

Finding your guitar tone involves a mix of science and voodoo. This alchemy includes the role of capacitors and potentiometers, also known as caps and pots. In this article, we focus on pots, and separate fact from fiction and explain how they are typically used to give you greater tone and volume control.

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Pickups And Steel Wool: An Amicable Separation.

Opposites Attract – Steel wool is the opposite of good for your pickups.

This picture shows how tiny ferrous pieces of steel wool (or iron shavings, in this case) are attracted to magnetic fields.

(Author’s note: As steel wool can be so harmful to pickups, we are not willing to risk the integrity of our pickups by allowing steel wool into the shop, even for photographic purposes. Because of this, I have used stock images for illustrative aides.)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tell our customers that their beloved pickup has gone belly up because of something that was completely avoidable – the usual suspect; STEEL WOOL! In fact, more often than not, they themselves (or even their “reputable guitar tech”) are the ones to blame. Many times when my diagnosis of, “I’m sorry, but your pickup is dead – most likely due to all the steel wool in it. Unfortunately the only way to fix it is to completely re-wind it” solicits a response along the lines of, “How could that even happen? I don’t use steel wool near my pickups.”

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Tele Wiring Battle Royale – Vintage VS Modern

BATTLE ROYALE!!!

BATTLE ROYALE!!!

Occasionally we’re asked whether we suggest that our customers wire their Tele’s in what is known as the “Vintage” wiring schematic (also known as “Dark Tone” or “Blackguard” styles). A simple answer: No.

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Like a long tailed cat in a roadhouse full of Telecasters

Got a sqealing TeleCATster? We just might be able to help you out with that.

Got a squealing Tele-CAT-ster? We just might be able to help you out with that.

As a follow-up to our last post about pickup potting and the effect it can have on microphonics (which can be found here: http://www.lollarguitars.com/blog/2014/01/what_is_potting/), we thought we’d address the issue some players have with their Tele bridge pickup squealing like an angry cat. This can be caused by an overly microphinc pickup, the bridge plate, or both. We’re here to help you narrow down what is causing the problem and how to go about fixing it.

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If you don’t talk to your pickups about potting, who will…?

"I learned it from watching you..."

“I learned it from watching you…”

We will, that’s who!

Potting is the process of soaking the pickup in melted wax, in order to saturate the components, which will isolate them and reduce movement of the coils. Because of this, potted pickups have reduced likelihood of excessive handling noise, microphonic feedback or mechanical failure. However, if a pickup is potted too much, the pickup can often sound lifeless and dull, lacking character and “vibe”.

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