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Thread: Adjusting the tone knob

  1. #1
    Registered User TonyEarth's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Adjusting the tone knob

    I have a JBovier ELS (4 string solidbody mandolin). Recently I've noticed that the tone knob is kind of a flat "very bright" for about 3/4 of a rotation, and then is just "very dark" for the last 1/4, without much variation in between. Is there a way to adjust the circuit or switch out the potentiometer or something to address this?

    I think this might be a recent-ish development (I remember it having more of an effect when I first got it), though maybe I'm imagining things. I think I've had someone fiddle with the electronics once or twice when I had a noise problem, so it doesn't seem impossible I guess.

    Eastman MD315
    Kentucky KM505
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    Ivan Dunov VL402 Violin

  2. #2
    Layer of Complexity Kevin Knippa's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Central Texas

    Default Re: Adjusting the tone knob

    It sounds like the potentiometer (pot) in the tone circuit might be a linear pot rather than a logarithmic (log) pot. This is a common problem with electric guitars.

    If you search electric guitar forums you will find all manner of ways to improve the circuit.

    If it's a linear pot you could replace it with a log pot. Sometimes you can revers the wiring to the pot and get better results. Note, if you reverse the leads on the pot it will operate backwards (you have to turn it the opposite direction), which might not be to your liking even if you like the change in the sound.

    There are also alterations you can make to the circuit.

    Lot's of things can change the behavior of the circuit but only you will be able to tell if the changes in the operation of the circuit or the resulting sound are to your liking.

  3. #3
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    Default Re: Adjusting the tone knob

    I have a JBovier as well, I don't monitor the tone pot's performance as much as you, but I do notice that it has a different effect depending on the amp I'm coing through.


  4. #4
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Rockville, MD
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    Default Re: Adjusting the tone knob

    Audio-taper pots will tend to have a slight effect as you roll off, then a big effect at the end. Volume is opposite, with audio-taper working as expected. I'm used to tone pots acting this way, from playing electric guitars since the 60s.

    Works ok this way, I'd say, as one usually wants only slight tone changes on the fly, but a responsive volume control is really handy.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Adjusting the tone knob

    If it's a recent change you may have a bit of dirt or corrosion in the pot. Cleaning may help.

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