EMG Volume pot noise issues.

TonyFlyingSquirrel

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I've verified correct polarity, verified all connections per EMG diagrams, and still, when I do a volume sweep, right as I roll back from 10 downward, right at about 8,7,6 it get a ground noise that only seems to happen while the pot is in motion. I've even switched pots, clean both with contact cleaner, and still this nasty noisy utterance.
Any ideas? I'm stumped and I do a lot of these solder less connections without any issues.
 
I've verified correct polarity, verified all connections per EMG diagrams, and still, when I do a volume sweep, right as I roll back from 10 downward, right at about 8,7,6 it get a ground noise that only seems to happen while the pot is in motion. I've even switched pots, clean both with contact cleaner, and still this nasty noisy utterance.
Any ideas? I'm stumped and I do a lot of these solder less connections without any issues.
I am sure I am wrong but have you tried to replicate the noise plugged into a different amp or switch cables?
 
That type of noise normally means there is a DC voltage on the connection to the volume pot. That could happen if one of the pickups or active controls is not grounded properly, or if you were unlucky enough to receive a faulty product. Maybe you can check the outputs of each pickup with a meter on DC voltage scale when selected via toggle/blade switch. Alternatively if you only get the noise when the bridge pickup is selected, that would give a good clue.
 
To add to the above, if you have another pot, I would swap it out to either rule in or out whether the pot is faulty as a first step.
 
It'll be interesting to hear the difference between EMG's standard Passive tone, and the VPLF that I installed only on the bridge pickup, which will only affect positions 4 & 5. I'm really looking forward to banging out some tunes with this SV set. I have a custom pickguard ordered from Warmoth with a really simple layout, ie; blade, Tone 2, and I'll drill out the pot for the volume halfway between where V & T1 normally sit, then I have something special in mind for the bridge pickup route.

I never understood why Leo designed the Stratocaster to have tone controls for the neck and middle and nothing at all for the bridge. Especially light years before active systems. Passives use subtractive eq, ie; bleeding treble to ground. Why would you want to remove treble from the neck & middle pickups and have no option for the bridge. This is my response to it, just simply having a tone for the bridge, and nothing on the neck and middle since they are already topped off a bit.
 
Let us know how you get on with the SV with the VPLF. The VPLF is mainly used with the X series, as EMG literature describes, though no doubt it will work with other EMGs.

I assume it will affect bridge and bridge + middle, which I would call positions 1 & 2 (per Fender nomenclature).
Why would you want to remove treble from the neck & middle pickups and have no option for the bridge.

Different times, different music, different gear. Removing treble from a neck pickup could give more of a "jazz" tone, for example. The bridge pickup was probably thought as it gives the most treble response to be used for leads when you want to stand out a bit - if you need less treble pick closer to the neck or you go to the middle pickup etc. It was designed before even treble boosters were a thing, let alone Marshall stacks, pedal boards etc.
 
The VLPF should be nice, although I never tried it. I didn’t get on with the EMG passive tone control as IMO it filters the mids too much with the stock 0.1uF capacitor. I changed the tone cap to 0.022uF which made it a lot more subtle and useful for me.

I figured the VLPF is required for the X series pickups because their output resistance is too low for the EMG passive tone control to be effective.
 
I received the VLPF for free when I purchased some other EMG components off of someone on Reverb, so I figured I'd try it. So far, without the instrument strung up, here are my findings.

With EMG Standard Passive Tone:
For positions 1, (as Stratamania described) bridge position only. Rolloff is noticeable as would be expected.
For position 2, bridge & middle, since this is a "series" configuration presumably, with a passive tone. Rolloff is noticeable on both pickups as would be expected.

With the EMG VLPF:
Position 1, bridge only, noticeable.
Position 2, bridge + middle, noticeable only on the bridge pickup, no noticeable difference on the middle pickup.

The above findings are again, pickguard mounted up into the body, no strings installed as of yet.

Will report findings after strung up.
 
If you are only using the VLPF on the bridge pickup, I expect it will change the way the pickups sum together in position #2. The output of the middle pickup should drop relative to the bridge pickup (roughly a 14 / 86 mix). Normally with a passive tone control in position #2 the mid and bridge pickups would be mixed together in equal proportions. It happens because the output resistance of the VLPF is lower (2k) than the standard series EMG pickups (10k ohm).

So a few possible solutions: 1) Raise the height of the middle pickup to compensate. 2) Wire a 7.5k resistor in series with the output of the VLPF. 3) Change the wiring so the VLPF is a master tone control. 4) Use X series EMG pickups that have matching 2k output resistance.

If it was me I'd probably change to use the VLPF as a master tone control.
 
Well, prior to receiving my new pickguard, I decided to string up with the PRS style bridge and install the new locking tuners I just received. I got it all strung up and intonated with the current pickguard, and I can definitely tell that the VLPF is not for me. Just waaaaayyyy too much gain, sooooo much hotter than all the other pickup outputs by comparison. Felt like a tube screamer kicked in once I switched to the 1st & 2nd positions for the bridge & bridge+middle. Swapped out the VLPF for a GFS passive tone, same config, just in series on the bridge pickup, and the results are far more desirable in the 1st & 2nd positions. Having it on the bridge rather than as a master tone, really filters nicely when switching between pickups, and I can pretty much just set the tone knob and forget about it.
The VLPF just reminds me of a really hot buffer, and that doesn't work for the amount of cleanliness in tone that I want out of this guitar.
Now I can't wait for my new custom pickguard to arrive & then swap it over & do a vid.
 
@TonyFlyingSquirrel thanks for the write-up. It would be interesting what you thought of it with X Series pickups (if you get access to some). But it looks like it is meant to work as intended with the X series preamps by the sounds of it.
 
@TonyFlyingSquirrel thanks for the write-up. It would be interesting what you thought of it with X Series pickups (if you get access to some). But it looks like it is meant to work as intended with the X series preamps by the sounds of it.
I figured I'd try it since I have it, and now I know. The passive tone otherwise works fine for the intended purpose.
 
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