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Norlin maple-neck Les Paul Custom - 300k or 500k pots?

mistercoffee1

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Nov 29, 2005
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Norlin maple-neck Les Paul Custom - any regrets switching to 500k pots?

Hello,

I've spent the last few weeks viewing ALL of the treads regarding switching out 300k volume pots to 500k (and in my case, the 100k tone). And I do mean ALL of them from the last several years. I've seen that the vast majority of threads are in favor of this change (I realize this is the LPForum), but only a few people (maybe 3 that I could remember) did not like this change.

My question - has anyone with a Norlin maple-neck Les Paul Custom (T-Tops) regretted switching from 300k to 500k pots? If so, was it too bright or too thin? I've heard one person (not here) state that his 80's maple neck sounded better with the 300k and so he reverted back.
 
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Mike Shaw

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Jul 31, 2001
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I guess a lot would depend on the pup as well as the guitar. I like them in my 77 LPC with Voodoos.
 

mistercoffee1

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Nov 29, 2005
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It's a stock 79 non-pancake body, maple neck, with T-tops. Acoustically, it's got a good bright sound with some snap to it. Plugged in, both pickups are pretty warm and fat.
I wasn't looking to change out pickups, only pots and caps (yeah I know, we all intended to change just one thing)
 

cherrick

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Jul 1, 2002
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5,730
Yeah, change the wiring harness.

Get one from RS Guitarworks or from Dr Vintage ... pre wired for Les Paul.
 

Excalibur

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Jun 12, 2003
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I own a '79 custom just like yours (it's got a metal plate for all 4 pots right?). personally I prefer the 300K pots for volume and 500K pots for tone. I didn't like the way 500Ks rolled the volume down and tone became little more brittle too, don't know about the RS kit though, didn't try them,all I know is they have those special tapered 500K pots. YMMV.
 

mistercoffee1

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Nov 29, 2005
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Thanks Excalibur, yes, it's got the metal plate. Good feedback. Did your's initially have 100k tone? If so, did going to 500 change it much (while keeping the 300k volume)?
 

Excalibur

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Thanks Excalibur, yes, it's got the metal plate. Good feedback. Did your's initially have 100k tone? If so, did going to 500 change it much (while keeping the 300k volume)?

Thanks MRCoffee, I'm glad I helped you a bit. as stock it came with 500K audio taper pot (for the tone). the volume was 300K linear. they started to scratch so I replaced them..first I tried 500K for the volume but as I stated earlier, I didn't like the results.hope that helped.
 

skylabfilmpop

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Dec 12, 2006
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are your pots bad? if you like the sound of the guitar keep the same values. Searching "les Paul Forum Potentiometer" on google will provide you a document with all the pot codes. If you need more treble raise the value of the pots.
 

mistercoffee1

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Nov 29, 2005
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Hi there.
The current pots aren't bad, maybe a hair of scratchiness on towards the zeros, but nothing really noticeable.
I like the thickness of the tone, but it's a little dark.

I've done tons of searches on the pot codes, and without measuring, it looks like I have 300k Volume and 100k Tone.

I'm also very aware of everyone changing to 500k pots on both (RS, Dr. Vintage, CTS pots and superpots), changing from Ceramic caps to anything else (Hovland, Jensen, Orange Drop, etc.), changing to 50's wiring, removing the metal grounding bracket.

Only a few users actually reported that they didn't like going to 500s (Papersoul was one that I recall off the top of my head, and now Excalibur above). Just looking for more feedback from people with guitars from this era, given the specific T-Top pickups, Maple necks, Ebony fingerboards. Without changing pickups, did going to 500's get too bright/brittle/thin?
 

GlassSnuff

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Jan 30, 2002
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FWIW, I like 500k volumes with 250K tone pots. 250K volumes are too dull - you lose the upper mids along with the treble. By using 500K for the volume and turning down the tone control you have more control over how much brightness you lose.

OTOH, I changed out the t-tops the first night I had it and never looked back. ;)
 

skylabfilmpop

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Dec 12, 2006
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It depends on your guitar. Its a late 70's custom right? SO you have a maple neck, ebony board and t-tops. It will be a little too bright with t-tops with these woods. The Neck pickup may fare well though. I put 500's all around in my norlin era custom but changed the bridge PU to a Duncan antiquity which is a great pickup for these guitars especially.

http://www.lespaulforum.com/pots/lpfpots.html
 

CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
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Resurrecting a very old thread here, but I wanted to know if anyone else had experience with 500K pots in a maple neck Norlin Les Paul Custom, equipped with T-tops?

I am thinking of swapping out the pots and going for 50s wiring.

It has a Faber ABR1, so that should take away some of the highs but I am wondering if it will be too bright…
 

dnabbet2

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May 31, 2017
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I'm just in the middle of switching my Standard 80 to 500k pots -- just waiting for some capacitors to be delivered so I can "save" the originals along with the original pots.

By chance, it has a Faber ABR1 bridge installed too.

I'm aware that's not exactly the same animal as the original poster asked about but I'll report back.
 

CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
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I'm just in the middle of switching my Standard 80 to 500k pots -- just waiting for some capacitors to be delivered so I can "save" the originals along with the original pots.

By chance, it has a Faber ABR1 bridge installed too.

I'm aware that's not exactly the same animal as the original poster asked about but I'll report back.
Cool! Does your guitar have a Mapleneck as well?
 

dnabbet2

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May 31, 2017
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No. Mahogany. As I say, it's a bit of a different animal. But I've been reading the same posts as you and finally decided to replace the original 300k and 100k pots with 500k ones.

And like you, I'm kind of sceptical it's going to make much of a difference but we'll see.
 
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charliechitlins

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Nov 16, 2021
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I'm pretty sure nobody has yet made the correlation between neck wood and pot resistance.
Pots and caps are relatively inexpensive.
For 50 bucks you can try every imaginable combination.
Unless you start buying pre-made harnesses, which is like paying somebody to slice your steak for you.
 

stratology

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Oct 30, 2015
Messages
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Shocking suggestion: try it out.

The value of volume pots affects the resonant frequency of the pickups.

When I replaced the 300k volume pots in my 50 year old, fantastic sounding SG for 500k (boutique) pots, the sound changed for the worse. Much worse. Back to 300k - all good again.


What works for one guitar/ set of pickups may not be the best choice for a different guitar...
 

CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
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Shocking suggestion: try it out.

The value of volume pots affects the resonant frequency of the pickups.

When I replaced the 300k volume pots in my 50 year old, fantastic sounding SG for 500k (boutique) pots, the sound changed for the worse. Much worse. Back to 300k - all good again.


What works for one guitar/ set of pickups may not be the best choice for a different guitar...

I’m going to try it out this weekend!
 
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