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Thread: Too Much Treble Loss on Albert Lee SSS Volume Roll Off

  1. #1

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    Too Much Treble Loss on Albert Lee SSS Volume Roll Off

    Greetings!

    A long time viewer and first time poster. I've played a Morse since buying it new 1999 and just recently acquired a near mint 2011 AL BFR SSS hardtail. The Morse gets close to that Strat tone but not quite, especially those #4 and #2 tones.

    I'm still bonding with the AL and my main frustration is that the treble loss on the volume roll off seems excessive. A volume pedal would solve this but I prefer to control the volume with the guitar and often use volume swells. Currently I'm playing straight into a Bluguitar AMP1.

    I've look a a variety of Treble Bleed options and thought the Kinman series mod the way to go. I've also looked at the 50s wiring mod as another option. Either way I'm hesitant to modify such a beautiful instrument unless it really improves its tone. Have any of you had experience with these types of mods on an AL? Thanks ahead for your input!

    Cheers,

    Doug

  2. #2

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    Doug -

    Are you using quality cables, and are you running through a chain of pedals?
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  3. #3

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    So- a volume pedal won't solve this. Treble loss is the result of capacitance effects in a high-impedance circuit like you have with a guitar. The AL isn't really any different than other guitars with single coils.

    Definitely, cables will make the biggest difference. Using a low-capacitance cable (or just a shorter one) will reduce the treble roll-off. Depending on your signal chain, a buffer or active pedal at the front of a pedalboard might really help as well.

    A treble bleed can help with that (lots of different values out there), but it'll also change your sound slightly. Whether you like that or not is personal preference.

    There are many guys that like the treble roll-off with the volume pot ... EQ your amp bright and play mostly with the volume down a little bit. Then when you turn up for a solo, you also get a brighter tone that cuts through a bit more.

  4. #4

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    Thank you for the quick replies! I've historically run a 12' Monster guitar cable directly into the amp and have a TC Flashback in the parallel effects loop. I've recently added a TC Vibe in the front but that hasn't made a noticeable difference. It's set to true bypass but could be set to buffered.

    My Morse has a treble loss as well but not to the degree as the AL.

  5. #5

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    welcome dnoltemeier

    we have the same taste in guitars...Morse and AL :-)

    I didnīt completely get the problem: you said treble loss when rolling off the volume of the guitar. And the guys directed you into buffering and good cables. I recently discovered that a buffer helped me very much but I had a loss off treble all the time, not only when turning down the volume. And - it depended on the Amp. With some Amps the effect (and the need) of a buffer was more noticeable than with others.

    Regarding rolling down the volume I couldnīt notice something with my AL. Was yours a used one? Was it modified? Other capacitors inside?
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  6. #6

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    Re: treble bleed mod, there are lost of variations and values. I did some testing with circuit modelling software and the DiMarzio values (560pF cap in parallel with 300kΩ resistor) come out best in terms of maintaining the tone. The taper of the volume pot will change a little too. The Kinman values (which has cap and resistor in series will minimise change in taper but won't be as accurate tonally. How much you will notice that is up to your ears to decide.
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  7. #7

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    Doug,
    I haven't had any first hand experience with the AL, but I started experimenting last night with treble bleed caps on a guitar with really hot humbuckers. Like Beej & DrKev said, the values that you read about from the different sources are all over the place. Since I wasn't sure what would be best for these pickups and also since I only had 3 or 4 caps with different values laying around in my spare parts bin, I just soldered the caps to a couple of alligator clips. It works great for doing quick comparisons!



    Here it is installed on the volume pot:



    On this guitar (hot humbuckers), running just a 1000pf/.001uf cap by itself is actually making the guitar too bright with the volume rolled down, so I bought an assortment of resistors to try with it.

    Although I haven't found the perfect combo of caps + resistors to get it just where I want it, it's definitely rectified the treble loss problem on this guitar. I highly recommend experimenting with it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    Re: treble bleed mod, there are lost of variations and values. I did some testing with circuit modelling software and the DiMarzio values (560pF cap in parallel with 300kΩ resistor) come out best in terms of maintaining the tone.
    Kev, just out of curiosity...what would your modelling software show for the difference between these two circuits?

    A) 1000pf cap in parallel with a 200k resistor
    B) 680pf cap in parallel with a 220k resistor

    I put these two different ones together and am trying to decide which one to solder in as the permanent fix on the HH guitar. Both would be a great fix for this guitar, but to my ear I think circuit A has a bit more highs when rolling the volume down.

    Geeze, now I know why some OCD types go with varitone knobs....

  9. #9

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    I had a varitone in my Lucille and LOVED that thing!
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Jason View Post
    I had a varitone in my Lucille and LOVED that thing!
    I can definitely see how they would be useful!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoKart Mozart View Post
    Kev, just out of curiosity...what would your modelling software show for the difference between these two circuits?

    A) 1000pf cap in parallel with a 200k resistor
    B) 680pf cap in parallel with a 220k resistor
    The software was an online circuit SPICE simulator called Circuitlab. I no longer have an account there but looking at the results spreadsheet I saved and guessing for your values, as you turn down the volume knob the frequency of the resonant peak will decrease a little in case A. For case B it will first slightly increase in frequency and then drop slightly. A will be slightly darker, but not by much. Either choice will perform very well.

    BTZ, it's worth pointing out that the values you use are not all that critical. What I have in my Silhouette Special (2nF + 100kΩ) did not score very highly in my simulations but I'm very happy with it.
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  12. #12

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    I'm pretty sure there's an app for that.
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  13. #13

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    I have found the main problem to my treble drop issue. It is not the AL although it does have the normal treble roll-off.

    I unplugged my effects return and noticed a volume jump. Further experimentation determined that running the Flashback Delay and the EB volume pedal in the Parallel effects loop caused a master volume drop and a dulling of the overall tone. Running this in the serial loop returned the volume but the volume pedal now controlled the overall volume instead of the delay intensity as it did in the parallel loop. Although this method of controlling the delay in a single amp with a volume pedal works, there is a cost to it so I may need to get a TC delay with an expression pedal and run it through the serial loop or in front of the amp.

    I am still interested in a treble bleed but the number of options and combinations is daunting. I'm happy with the pot's taper but would like to keep a little more treble when rolled off. I also have a '99 EBMM Morse - have any of you had success with a treble bleed on a Morse?

  14. #14

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    Good discovery!!!! Yeah I have read that TC pedals can do that in loops.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeller View Post
    Good discovery!!!! Yeah I have read that TC pedals can do that in loops.
    I had a tc flashback before my boss dd500 and didn't notice that.

    But had a Nova-System which sucked and zombied my tone! Shame because it was well thought, very convenient and easy to use...
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