No load tone Pots....
No load tone pots are another product or buzzword we often see in internet forums and chat pages. What do they actually do?
The basic idea of a no load tone pot is that when the pot is turned all the way up to 10 (11 if you are Nigel), there is a bypass of the tone circuit completely.
Usually this is accomplished by cutting the trace that is responsible for setting the variable resistance of the pot right at the end (where it corresponds to 10 on the Knob) This can be done by modifying the pot, or by just purchasing one that is made this way.
What does it do?
Referring back to our post on pots found here
, you will remember that even when a pot is turned up to ten, there is still resistance present and in a tone circuit, in one way or another (depending how it's wired) it goes to ground. This means that even when the knob is all the way up, it still is sending SOME of the signal through the tone cap. The value of the pot determines how much. This means that your tone knob is always affecting the signal somewhat unless you bypass it.
If you bypass it totally, you can notice (depending on the rest of your setup) a jump in perceived volume and a jump in high frequencies available.
Do you want one?
That Depends on a couple of things.
Do you like bright tone? If you are going for a darker sound, you may simply not like it.
Depending on the tone cap, the pot selection, and the pickups in your guitar, you may not notice much difference.
Do you use your tone knob? If you do not, you may find no value in having extra highs available on demand.
It really is personal preference. Watch the video below and find out more.