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troubleshooting tone control problem

 
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jp-90



Joined: 07 Sep 2011
Posts: 124
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:54 pm    Post subject: troubleshooting tone control problem Reply with quote

I have an old Fender lap steel. The tone knob essentially does nothing as you turn it down until the very lowest setting when the tone suddenly jumps way down in volume and sounds somewhat like the highs are reduced. Does this point to a dried up/faulty capacitor as opposed to a problem pot?
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WildIowa



Joined: 06 Mar 2004
Posts: 489
Location: Henderson IA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might sound really rudimentary, but did you clean the pots? Get some Deoxit stuff, or in a pinch put some rubbing alcohol in the pot and see if it's dirty. Beyond that, I am not very savvy.....
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jp-90



Joined: 07 Sep 2011
Posts: 124
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a bad idea. I have some deoxit and might as well start there.
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WildIowa



Joined: 06 Mar 2004
Posts: 489
Location: Henderson IA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curious...did the Deoxit fix this problem?
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jp-90



Joined: 07 Sep 2011
Posts: 124
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No change after using deoxit.
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BluesmanDave



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2815
Location: Sacramento CA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A sudden jump suggests to me that the pot is no good. The pot is a variable resistor, and if it's only doing its job on one end of the rotation, I would guess that some of the resistive material has worn away or the wiper isn't touching down throughout its whole rotation.

Remember, on 10, the tone pot is 'off' and not not sending the high frequencies through the cap to ground. When it's on 0, it IS on, because it IS sending all the high frequencies to ground. So if it's worn out or the wiper isn't making contact through most of its rotation, the symptoms would match what you describe.

Here's a diagram of a pot, if that helps with visualization.


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