Pot Picking

Today I decided to replace the 2nd tone potentiometer (or “pot”) on my Fender Stratocaster (or “Daniella”). Over time, I’ve noticed that this tone knob has been behaving a little erratically. Ever since I’ve owned the guitar, I’ve kept this knob turned down to the 1 (lowest) setting. However, about a year ago I noticed that the tone was sounding a little muffled. If I turned the know to 10 (highest), the tone was too bright and jangly.

Jeremy told me that sometimes either pick-ups or tone pots/capacitors can go bad, so he recommended replacing them. Since it was gonna cost less than $10 to replace the tone pot, I figured I’d try that first.

When I opened up my guitar, I found the tone pot as you see in the picture. I believe whoever owned this guitar before me rigged up some kind of custom pot system. I went ahead and replaced the pot according to this diagram (PDF warning).

This didn’t really correct my problem, and it seems that there is a little more of a hum/buzz than there was previously. I’m thinking that the custom pot setup was a way to cut down on the hum of the guitar.

My option now is to put in a humbucker pick-up which, by nature, is supposed to help eliminate the Fender hum. It’s a learning experience, and it’s kinda fun to fidget with your guitar in this way. Below is a picture of the final setup of my tone pots. Please don’t make fun of the messy soldering on top of the pot (far right). I could really use some helping hands.

Pot Picking

Leave a Reply