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Epiphone ES-339 Pro - volume controls


Albatross
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Hi, I'm a newbie, as a guitarist starting in February and on this site starting two days ago. After looking at many reviews on starter guitars I bought a Squier Fat Strat and I’m very pleased with it. I guess everyone’s pleased with their first guitar.

 

I’d already seen comments about buying guitars becoming addictive so I wasn’t surprised to find myself quickly looking for another myself. After watching many more video demo’s and reviews I decided to buy an Epiphone ES-339 Pro VS recently, not least because of the positive reviews, it’s size and versatility due to the twin humbuckers and coil tapping feature.

 

I'm well pleased with this guitar. However, I was surprised to discover that with the selector switch in the middle position, if EITHER of the volume controls is set to minimum there is no output at all. I expected that if the neck pickup volume was set to minimum and the bridge volume increased from 0 to 10 the output would be that of the bridge pickup, with volume increasing continuously as the bridge volume control is rotated to maximum. What I see is that maximum volume is reached when the bridge volume reaches about 2 and it does not increase after that. And vice versa.

 

Thinking I might have a Friday afternoon guitar I watched all the videos again to try and determine if this is normal, but it was impossible to tell what positions the volume controls are in at any given time. I contacted the seller, who confirmed that my guitar is operating as normal and I see from posts on this site that it is so, although apparently it does not occur on the Gibson ES-339.

 

Does anybody know why the Epi works this way when the Gibson doesn’t, and whether there is a ‘fix’ worth doing to to the Epi?

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Gibson ES-339 doesn't have coil tapping, it uses standard 500k pots instead of the push pull switching volume pots the Epiphone ES-339 uses. To get the same reaction on the volume controls, like the Gibson ES-339, you would have to use the same style 500k pots on your Epiphone ES-339 and not have coil tapping.

Edited by mihcmac
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Welcome Albatross. Sorry mihcmac but what you said is not correct. It doesn't matter what pots you use or whether there is coil tapping, it is to do with the 'style' of wiring. Usually referred to as 50's style or modern style. There's a Seymour Duncan blog post which explains it here....

Edit: that's not that well written, but it gives the general idea. You could google for similar and get a clearer picture.

 

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Sorry Vomer there is no way a that the double stacked switching Epiphone push pull volume controls will react the same way as the Gibson style 500k pots, like the Gibson ES-339 uses. I have replaced Epiphone push pull volume controls with the larger sized 500k pots and not have the coil tap function. The Gibson/Epiphone style 500k's have a larger radius sweep, are much smoother and don't drop off so quickly. However, on a 339 it is not a simple thing to replace them and if you can live with the way the stock Epiphone push pull pots work its best to leave them alone.

Edited by mihcmac
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Sorry Vomer there is no way a that the double stacked switching Epiphone push pull volume controls will react the same way as the Gibson style 500k pots, like the Gibson ES-339 uses. I have replaced Epiphone push pull volume controls with the larger sized 500k pots and not have the coil tap function. The Gibson/Epiphone style 500k's have a larger radius sweep, are much smoother and don't drop off so quickly. However, on a 339 it is not a simple thing to replace them and if you can live with the way the stock Epiphone push pull pots work its best to leave them alone.

None of that explains the situation albatross describes. You're confusing a relatively simple wiring difference with the nuances of pots.

 

"50's style" wiring = independent volume controls.

"modern style" wiring = in the middle position "if EITHER of the volume controls is set to minimum there is no output at all."

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None of that explains the situation albatross describes. You're confusing a relatively simple wiring difference with the nuances of pots.

 

"50's style" wiring = independent volume controls.

"modern style" wiring = in the middle position "if EITHER of the volume controls is set to minimum there is no output at all."

 

 

Right and the fix is easy if handy with a soldering iron, just flip the two wires on the two legs on the volume pot, repeat for second pot. I wire all my 2 volume control guitars this way.

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The question I was answering was why the current Gibson 339 volume controls, without coil tapping, respond differently then the Epiphone 339 with coil tapping.

 

 

Hey mihcmac;

 

Not to be argumentative as you seem a knowledgeable person and are a heavy and positive contributor to the forum, but regardless of the manufacturer, type, or style of pot, if it is wired into the circuit in the same manner as the current stock pot the OP will still have the same issue of no volume in the middle if one pot is lowered or zeroed out.

 

Just a function of 50's vs modern wiring.

 

I fully agree that the sweep of a pot and the drop off will be impacted by all the previously mentioned attributes.

 

Johnny

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Hey mihcmac;

 

Not to be argumentative as you seem a knowledgeable person and are a heavy and positive contributor to the forum, but regardless of the manufacturer, type, or style of pot, if it is wired into the circuit in the same manner as the current stock pot the OP will still have the same issue of no volume in the middle if one pot is lowered or zeroed out.

 

Just a function of 50's vs modern wiring.

 

I fully agree that the sweep of a pot and the drop off will be impacted by all the previously mentioned attributes.

 

Johnny

 

FYI.... the Epiphone ES-339 has no back cover plate to remove providing access to the pots and wiring, the pots and wiring have to be fished out through the F hole or pickup cavity to make modifications or repairs.. Not easy to work on.....

 

The Gibson 339 is not 50's wiring, it was introduced as a new model in 2007.

 

There is a different issue with a few Epiphone 339 Pro's where one of the pickups was wired backwards causing poor performance and noise. This is warranty issue and not what is being discussed here.

 

...........Comparing why the volume controls on the Gibson 339 respond differently to the Epiphone 339..............

 

The Epiphone has a smaller diameter push pull coil tapping volume control, the Gibson is larger diameter single sweep pot with more windings making it incrementally finer through the full sweep of the resistance. The two guitars volume controls will react differently.

 

On the Epi 339 when the selector switch is in mid position one volume control will shut down all sound and may fall off quicker than you expect. The Gibson 339 has finer potentiometers and the loss of signal would be much closer to the end of the sweep,

 

BOURNS-500K-PUSH-PULL-SPLIT-SHAFT-POT-SET.jpg

the top pots are like the Epiphone 339 volume push pull type used for controlling coil tapping.

 

the bottom pots are similar to the Gibson 339 volume control.

Edited by mihcmac
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Hi, I'm a newbie, as a guitarist starting in February and on this site starting two days ago. After looking at many reviews on starter guitars I bought a Squier Fat Strat and Im very pleased with it. I guess everyones pleased with their first guitar.

 

Id already seen comments about buying guitars becoming addictive so I wasnt surprised to find myself quickly looking for another myself. After watching many more video demos and reviews I decided to buy an Epiphone ES-339 Pro VS recently, not least because of the positive reviews, its size and versatility due to the twin humbuckers and coil tapping feature.

 

I'm well pleased with this guitar. However, I was surprised to discover that with the selector switch in the middle position, if EITHER of the volume controls is set to minimum there is no output at all. I expected that if the neck pickup volume was set to minimum and the bridge volume increased from 0 to 10 the output would be that of the bridge pickup, with volume increasing continuously as the bridge volume control is rotated to maximum. What I see is that maximum volume is reached when the bridge volume reaches about 2 and it does not increase after that. And vice versa.

 

Thinking I might have a Friday afternoon guitar I watched all the videos again to try and determine if this is normal, but it was impossible to tell what positions the volume controls are in at any given time. I contacted the seller, who confirmed that my guitar is operating as normal and I see from posts on this site that it is so, although apparently it does not occur on the Gibson ES-339.

 

Does anybody know why the Epi works this way when the Gibson doesnt, and whether there is a fix worth doing to to the Epi?

 

Ignore every post above. Here is the short answer :)

 

This is normal for your guitar. It is a function for how it is wired. You could go through all the trouble or cost re-wire it, but if you are on the middle selector and zero out the volume of one pickup, why not just switch to the pickup you want to use.

Edited by deeman
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This is normal for your guitar. It is a function for how it is wired. You could go through all the trouble or cost re-wire it, but if you are on the middle selector and zero out the volume of one pickup, why not just switch to the pickup you want to use.

 

yes..

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  • 2 years later...
On 7/10/2018 at 2:34 PM, deeman said:

 

Ignore every post above. Here is the short answer :)

 

This is normal for your guitar. It is a function for how it is wired. You could go through all the trouble or cost re-wire it, but if you are on the middle selector and zero out the volume of one pickup, why not just switch to the pickup you want to use.

You cannot "zero out" the volume of one pickup on the middle selector. That is the OP's original point. Yes, obviously you could select neck or bridge if you only want to use one pickup, but the fact remains that on the middle position you cannot "mix" individual pickup volumes.

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15 hours ago, aircon66 said:

You cannot "zero out" the volume of one pickup on the middle selector. That is the OP's original point. Yes, obviously you could select neck or bridge if you only want to use one pickup, but the fact remains that on the middle position you cannot "mix" individual pickup volumes.

The original question was why doesn't the Epi 339 Pro react or sound like the Gibson 339 with the switch in mid position being able to get much closer to Zero providing better control of the mix. The Gibson 339 uses better hardware, full sized volume pots which allow the control to get closer to zero before it goes off. The Epi 339 Pro uses push/pull volume pots which will suddenly go off well before one of them is gets close to zero.

Edited by mihcmac
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Apologies, my previous post was wrong. It seems that you can alter the mix on the middle selector. As you roll off the neck volume pot it progressively reduces the neck pickup output but retains the bridge pickup output until you get down to around “1” or below, at which point it kills everything. The bridge volume pot acts similarly by cutting the bridge output and keeping the neck output.

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