For June, we’re doing a nice and easy way to get a plethora of tones out of your humbucker. This month, we’re talking about the Gradual Tap* Mod. This mod utilizes a Humbucker with a 3-Conductor lead that sounds great tapped. Examples of our humbuckers would be our Unbucker, our Standard Humbucker, or our High Output Humbucker. It also utilizes our Blender Pot.
*Alright…we know that “tapping” is different than “splitting”. Technically we’re “splitting” the coil here. But, we’re gonna call it “tap” anyway.
Normally, when you’re Splitting a coil, you’re taking one of the coils and sending them to ground to cancel out the signal. You can achieve this with a Push Pull Pot, or a regular SPST / DPDT switch. However, what if you want to gradually split it? Our friendly friend the Blender Pot is here to help. Basically, the Blender Pot is acting like a volume knob for the coil you want to Split. Here’s how you wire it up to a Strat with an H-S-S configuration:
How it works:
The Humbucker above has a 3-Conductor Lead. The White is going to the switch, the Black and Shield are going to Ground, and the Red is going to the Blender. The other lug of the Blender is going to ground (Attached to the Master Tone Casing – you can run it to the Blender’s casing if you have metal shielding grounding all electronics on the back of the pickguard).
When you roll the blender, the resistive barrier between the Red (Tap) is decreased, and more of the signal is being sent to ground. Check out how Blender Pots work in our article about Pots here.
We hope you dig it! Next month will be more gradual tap and blender madness. Stay tuned!
Can this be done with a regular no-load tone pot instead of blender pot? I’m asking because I want to replace a mini switch on my Mockingbird with a blender pot and wire it for the gradual tap, but I need mini-size pot to fit it in there. Blender pots are all regular size, but I could mod a regular mini 250K pot to be no-load, I found instructions for this online. So basically, would a no-load tone pot work?
With blender pot theres two sets of lugs.. on the articles that either show a diagram 9r talk about blend pots, that isnt really mentioned, how do u know wich lug to solder to above or below?
When setting up the HSS Gradual Tap using a standard 4-conductor pickup, does the green go to ground with the black and bare!
I have a CTS 250k blender pot here & would like to try this mod. Would this type of pot work?
As long as it’s a blender pot, it will definitely work!
It doesn’t matter if it’s 250k or 500k?
Correct! You’re good either way.
1) What size pot seems to work best for the blending pot?
2) With no blending (pot all the way to max resistance) is there any degradation in full humbucker output?
Thanks for your question. The Blender pot is it’s own separate thing, not like a standard 500K or 250K pot. For a guitar with an H-S-S combination, a good volume pot resistance might be 300K to meet in the middle. To answer your second question, there’s no degradation at all, because the Blender Pot is a No-Load pot – when on 10, it’s completely out of the circuit.