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Pot values in KC Mustang


Ricey
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The bridge position Seymour Duncan JB in my Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang is dark, muddy, undefined and compressed. I cannot currently get a satisfactory bright, cutting, crunchy overrdriven sound from this PUP. It sounds as if the tone control is rolled down, even though it is dimed!

Does anybody know whether the stock KC Mustang volume and tone pots are 500k or 250k? Normally, a Duncan JB would use 500k pots, while the Fender single coil in the neck position would use 250K pots. If Fender compromised and used 250k pots all around, wouldn't some high end be rolled off the JB? I suspect that is the case with this guitar. Conversely, if they are 250k pots and I swapped them for 500k pots to improve the sound of the JB, wouldn't the Fender single coil in the neck be potentially harsh and overly bright? If so,I could swap it out for a stacked single coil that works best with 500k pots.

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250K Audio Potentiometers.

 

Remember, the whole "Grunge" thing was based off grabbing inexpensive guitars from pawn shops and quickly modifying them for heavier music.  Most of those guys did not even know what the word "Capacitance" meant.  Mustangs shipped with 250K pots by default, and I don't think Ernie or Kurt swapped the pots when they replaced the bridge pickups with whatever they used during whatever periods.  There could have been times where a 500K was tossed in there just because that's what they had on hand at the time though.  The official Fender stuff though is 250K pot based.

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I just had my Mustang set up by a Luthier and it sounds much better now.  He said the bridge pup was too low, so he remounted it.  It is still mounted directly to the body, but is now much closer to the strings.  Next time I talk to  him, I will ask him exactly what he did, but, whatever he did, it sure did he trick!  I used to have a Jag-Stang that sounded exactly like my Mustang before the set up, so I swapped PUPs.  Now I wonder if it was the same problem and could have been solved without the PUP swap?  It was the same luthier, so he probably would have done a similar type of set-up.  Is the Jag-Stang a direct to body mount pup as well?

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I think the Cobain Mustangs might have been direct mount, I got to look at some shots of one of Kurt's guitars and it looks like Kurt's own Mustangs were screwed directly into the wood IIRC (not the Compstang though). 

The Jag-Stangs are not the same, the pickups mount through the pickguard.  Also, the Jag-Stang shipped with a relatively weak bridge pickup originally (a 7.5K Ohm DiMarzio H3/H8 I recall) - not so sure about the "Santa Ana" pickup in comparison or if its even the same recipie done by another manufacturer. 

Body mounting pickups does affect the tone a bit because it couples to the body, and on a guitar like a Japanese Mustang or a Jag-Stang that could be a great thing because the pickups couple to the body wood rather than the pickguard giving a more direct connection to the guitar's natural vibrations, and in the case of basswood guitars like these there's a lot of sonic data to pick up due to the less-as-dense body wood.

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