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Les Paul volume/tone question #2968283
01/11/19 03:24 AM
01/11/19 03:24 AM
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Chicago/NW Indiana
zeronyne Offline OP
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zeronyne  Offline OP
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So after 40 years of wanting one, I finally got a Les Paul. I've played many, but with the type of music I've been into, I mostly just opened the controls all the way up.

So I noticed for the first time that with both pickups enabled, the two volume pots don't independently control their respective pickups individually. When, in this state, I pull one of the volume knobs down to zero, it kills all of the sound.

Is it because they are wired in series? I'm not complaining...just trying to understand.


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Re: Les Paul volume/tone question [Re: zeronyne] #2968314
01/11/19 11:38 AM
01/11/19 11:38 AM
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CEB Offline
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That is the way they work. The controls do work. But if you turn one to zero it does kill the signal. I use that in Rock bands. Turn the bridge wide open and shut off the neck and use the switch to do a trick called the toggle switch cutoff.


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Re: Les Paul volume/tone question [Re: zeronyne] #2968315
01/11/19 11:46 AM
01/11/19 11:46 AM
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Winston Psmith Offline
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Originally Posted By: zeronyne
So after 40 years of wanting one, I finally got a Les Paul. I've played many, but with the type of music I've been into, I mostly just opened the controls all the way up.

So I noticed for the first time that with both pickups enabled, the two volume pots don't independently control their respective pickups individually. When, in this state, I pull one of the volume knobs down to zero, it kills all of the sound.

Is it because they are wired in series? I'm not complaining...just trying to understand.


Standard Gibson wiring scheme; Epiphone Guitars do the same thing. There are some very simple wiring Mods, to make each Volume control independent. Never been an issue for me, I rarely use the Bridge Pickups for anything.

One useful trick with Gibsons - dial your Volume knob back between 8 & 9 to roll off a little high-end.


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Re: Les Paul volume/tone question [Re: zeronyne] #2968436
01/12/19 01:44 AM
01/12/19 01:44 AM
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Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: CEB
Turn the bridge wide open and shut off the neck and use the switch to do a trick called the toggle switch cutoff.


Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
One useful trick with Gibsons - dial your Volume knob back between 8 & 9 to roll off a little high-end.


Another great use for the dual volume and tone controls is to set one low for cleaner, softer tones, and the other high for more overdrive and aggression. In live performances, Clapton with Cream and Page with Zeppelin used to get a lot of miles out of that. I've found it quite useful, myself! Sometimes, it's useful to do that opposite of what would seem obviously intuitive- I've found great results for certain things having the neck-pickup cranked for a full, fat assault and the bridge-pickup dialed-down to a thinned whisper.


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

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Re: Les Paul volume/tone question [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #2968464
01/12/19 01:06 PM
01/12/19 01:06 PM
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Larryz Offline
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The toggle switch cutoff worries me...I was up front at a Marshall Tucker concert and one of the lead players used it so much I thought it wouldn't make it through the gig LOL! It is cool but I fear some early failure. One good thing with the cover plates on the back, all the electronics are easy to get to.

The volume and tone pots with orange drop caps on my newer LP are great. +1 on rolling the volumes down to 8 or even 7. Then one of them up for a clean boost sans pedals for lead and then roll it back down for rhythm. My tech and I were really impressed with the newer fast clean and accurate pots.

I like blending the pickups in the middle position for tone and volume getting the best sound I can. Then in the up position getting more jazzy and in the down position getting a more country pick'en vibe...I have uncovered 57's on my LP and covered 57's on my Epi 175. I run them both the same way and find the uncovered 57's on the LP brighter. I run GHS pure nickel "Rollerwound" 10-50's strings on both guitars. cool



Last edited by Larryz; 01/12/19 01:12 PM.

Take care, Larryz
Re: Les Paul volume/tone question [Re: zeronyne] #2968484
01/12/19 03:29 PM
01/12/19 03:29 PM
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no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
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d / halfnote Offline
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no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
I'm surprised that you apparently never actually explored the controls over those 40 yrs.
While there have been numerous improvements to the design over time, it remains a major innovation.
Whether that is transferred to the current [TM/(c)/etceratificationality] is up 2 U but Mr Les Paul, as may need not my endorsement, will always be, along w/Mr Leo Fender, a king of the electric geetar !

Did I use my personal allotmant for redundancy here ?

Last edited by d; 01/12/19 03:34 PM.

d=halfnote
Re: Les Paul volume/tone question [Re: Caevan O'Shite] #2969201
01/16/19 02:36 AM
01/16/19 02:36 AM
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Northern California
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted By: CEB
Turn the bridge wide open and shut off the neck and use the switch to do a trick called the toggle switch cutoff.


Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
One useful trick with Gibsons - dial your Volume knob back between 8 & 9 to roll off a little high-end.


Another great use for the dual volume and tone controls is to set one low for cleaner, softer tones, and the other high for more overdrive and aggression. In live performances, Clapton with Cream and Page with Zeppelin used to get a lot of miles out of that. I've found it quite useful, myself! Sometimes, it's useful to do that opposite of what would seem obviously intuitive- I've found great results for certain things having the neck-pickup cranked for a full, fat assault and the bridge-pickup dialed-down to a thinned whisper.


I did just the opposite tonight while practicing Caevan, but using the concept you described. I set my neck pickup down low for rhythm (like the Jazzmaster and Jaguar concept). Then in the middle position I brought the volume up on the bridge pup. I blended the two in the middle position to sound similar using the tone pots. When playing rhythm I use the neck pup and then going to the middle using both pups with more volume for a clean lead. I could go to the bridge for more treble, twang and volume. But, I stayed on the neck playing lower volume rhythm and then going to the middle for lead volume without rolling the volume pots up and down. It's like have a clean boost for lead without using a boost pedal. My latest toggle switch trick! thu

Last edited by Larryz; 01/16/19 02:39 AM.

Take care, Larryz
Re: Les Paul volume/tone question [Re: Larryz] #2970172
01/20/19 11:39 AM
01/20/19 11:39 AM
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Near 12th Street and Vine...
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picker Offline
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Another cool trick is to set the pickup selector in the middle, role one control all the way up and the other all the way down. Pick a string with your pinky on the knob that's all the way down, and roll it forward a little bit. The interaction of the two volume knobs pushes the volume up almost all the way with a very short travel of the off knob.
Voila! Volume swells that can be done a lot faster with a lot less effort and movement of the knob. You can't do it with a guitar that doesn't have two separate volume knobs.


Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.




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