Modern Gretsch Guitars

Tone Pot vs Mud Switch Preference?

26

I prefer the mud switch and have thought about using different value capacitors. When the guitar has a tone pot, I always have it dimed. I'd like a no load pot that takes it completely out of the circuit.

27

I use a tone control tied to a push/pull pot. Most of the time I prefer F'trons without a tone cap attached - i.e. like the middle setting on a mud switch.

So, in the down position the tone control is out of circuit, and pulling it up activates it.

I can pre-set the treble roll off so it's like a mud switch, plus I have fine control.

Works for me.

29

I’ve had all 3 and the Hot Rod circuit is my preference. For all the Filtertron family.

30

I never had a hot rod but almost bought a guitar with a hot rod set up a year or so ago but didn’t. Kinda regretted that decision.

31

I prefer the mud switch and have thought about using different value capacitors. When the guitar has a tone pot, I always have it dimed. I'd like a no load pot that takes it completely out of the circuit.

– Caliban335

The Billy Zoom circuit does just that.

33

Fingers, tone is in the fingers.

– Curt Wilson

Well I must be playing with my Thumbs.

34

Do people tend to use the tone control more with certain pickups than others? I find I leave my powertron equipped guitar with the tone wide open...haven’t found another setting I enjoy as much. On a blacktop equipped guitar though I find the tone knob to be really useful. I like the mud switch just fine but I play around with different resistors until I find two values that I find most useful for my noodling purposes.

35

I play my guitars wide open more often regardless of pickups but am more apt to flip a mud switch than turn a knob. If I had to pick the guitar that makes the biggest difference when changing tone, it would probably be my Falcon. I don’t know, but wouldn’t be surprised if the previous owner changed resisters. It sounds great.

36

In my experience, the mud switches did different things on different guitars thru the years. I had a early-sixties Gent, and the mud switch was exactly that... mud, out, or more mud. Had a mid-sixties 6120 and the switch rolled off a tiny bit of treble and bass, accentuating the mids, or out, or mud. On my 64 Tenny, it was mud, out, and muck!

On my 2012 6120, the switch in the middle or in the down position is very similar, but in the upper position very bassy! I find I usually keep it in the middle (out) and blend the pickup volumes for tone variations.

On my LPB Falcon, I use the switch all the time... actually keeping it in the down position most of the time, IF I’m playing all the volume controls wide open! Using the switch in the down position, with the individual volume controls wide open, gives the guitar a bit more mids and a real sweet tone! Then, if you roll back the volume on a particular pickup, you’ll dial in a darker tone. But I do not use the switch in the upper position...not exactly “mud”, but bass heavy and subdued. Nothing like the mud switch of old!

37

my current project--well, one of my current projects--is an Electromatic Double Jet with TVJ Filters from the previous owner in which i'm installing a tone switch harness. i seldom use tone knobs unless i'm hunting for something elusive and generally never turn them below 7, using them to take the uber-treble off of single-coil bridge pickups when it becomes painful. i enjoy the Schaller tone switch on my Hopf Twisty project despite its rather radical detents. i'm also looking to the tone switch to give me some of the Stephen Stills tones i so loved in my youth. i actually started a whole tone switch thread on I Love Fuzz because switches and Varitones (and Tonestylers!) intrigue me so.

38

for alternatives to the normal Gretsch capacitor values, check out the tone switches in Musima guitars from former East Germany.

39

my current project--well, one of my current projects--is an Electromatic Double Jet with TVJ Filters from the previous owner in which i'm installing a tone switch harness. i seldom use tone knobs unless i'm hunting for something elusive and generally never turn them below 7, using them to take the uber-treble off of single-coil bridge pickups when it becomes painful. i enjoy the Schaller tone switch on my Hopf Twisty project despite its rather radical detents. i'm also looking to the tone switch to give me some of the Stephen Stills tones i so loved in my youth. i actually started a whole tone switch thread on I Love Fuzz because switches and Varitones (and Tonestylers!) intrigue me so.

– macphisto

Hi Mac --- not long ago I read an interview with Stills talking about different guitars he had used on various songs. I had always thought "Wooden Ships" was a perfect use of the mud switch on his White Falcon, but it turns out he played all those parts on a Gibson Super 400. Doh!!

40

Damn! I thought the same thing about Wooden Ships. Didn’t his Falcon turn out to be something else on “Ohio” as well?

41

well, at least i know which of the live tracks on 4 Way Street are the Falcons (n.b. Stills plays an ES-3xx on "Southern Man").

42

my 500K pushpull tone pot w .015uf jupiter tone cap is the replacement for the thud switch. :)

43

You really only get 3 choices with a tone knob. With a switch, you don't have to hunt for the right spot. You can get a lot more control from a tone pot that gives you a better taper. FWIW, Chet took the Mud switch off & added a Tone pot where the Neck Volume had been. I don't know what circuit he used for the pot, but this is the best way to do it:

44

Notice that the Tone circuit is connected to the input of the Master Volume pot rather that the wiper/output jack. Tone circuits are passive, so you don't want the impedance of the circuit to change when you turn the Master knob. That will change the effect of the tone control. Also, the 500K audio pot is grounded at the opposite end, compared to a normal volume or tone pot, and all 3 contacts are used. This way, the pot has a reverse-audio taper which provides a very linear feel to the tone control, and the tone circuit is completely out of the circuit when the knob is all the way up. I would guess this is the way Chet added his tone control, because he was an electronics guy, and this is a much more logical way to do it. Unfortunately, people who build electric guitars usually have a very limited knowledge of electronics.

45

With the switch isn't it full bypass in 'off' setting, and with a pot isn't it in the circuit a little bit even when rolled all the way at 10?

46

I have never been able to get a tone switch to work for me. I replace the mud switch with a pot and have the shaft threaded to accept the switch tip, so it looks like the original tone switch. My guitar tech has designed a pot using a resistor and a capacitor, and it has a beautiful taper; very even sounding all the way up and down, and never muddy or shrill.

To me, a tone pot with a good taper and cap value is a useful aid; just one component in a chain involving the fingers or pick, guitar, and the amp.

47

With the switch isn't it full bypass in 'off' setting, and with a pot isn't it in the circuit a little bit even when rolled all the way at 10?

– TommyTourbus

Not if you use the circuit I posted here!

48

How many of you actually use the knobs on your guitar more than once a year, aside from the Master Volume?

49

How many of you actually use the knobs on your guitar more than once a year, aside from the Master Volume?

– Billy Zoom

I do a couple of tweaks on the tone pot on my 6122-59. But I've done them so many times for so many years that the tweaks are like "muscle memory" -- pretty much automatic like flipping a switch.

On other Gretsches -- not so much. With the pickup switch in the middle, I tend to make slight back-offs on the bridge volume knob.

50

I tend to use the tone pot quite frequently on my various instruments. There's a certain frequency in the lower mids I like to hit (don't ask me what it is exactly) that playing everything wide open doesn't always allow...even on my tweeds...


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