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ToneShaper Treble Bleed Network (Humbuckers)

ToneShaper Treble Bleed Network (Humbuckers)

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You may have noticed that when you turn down the volume control on some guitars (all vintage guitars), the tone changes too. The treble frequencies are attenuated, and the tone becomes somewhat dull. This is something that many people have never noticed - while it drives other people crazy - but if you check it out then you'll find that the tonal change really is there, even though you may never have noticed. And like many things, once you hear it, it's hard to un-hear it.

The treble-bleed is a resistor/capacitor (RC) network that can be used to address this problem. These things are used in many modern guitars, so if your guitar doesn't seem to sound any different at lower volumes than at higher volumes, then it's likely your guitar has one of these in it. It's easy to see, it's connected across two of the volume pot's three solder lugs.

There are different ways to use these. Some people use just a capacitor, while others use a resistor and capacitor wired in series. But the way that most of the larger players do it (Fender, for instance), is to use a resistor and capacitor in parallel, as shown in the image above. Of course, there are different values that can be used, and there is much debate on forum sites about what's wrong and what's right. And there are people who state that these things "kill your tone", etc. But that's not our experience, and we've put them under the microscope. In electronics, nothing is free. If you get a little over here, you give a little over there, there are no inconsequential actions. But our experience is that these treble bleed circuits pretty handily address the treble roll off. You can give one a try and see what you think.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
Brett Huhn
Tone for my PRS

The Humbucker Treble Bleed is great. It really put the life back into a half cranked pickup. I put them on both Humbuckers on an HH Zach Myers. IT sounds much better than when it was new

Chad Carouthers
Absolutely fantastic!

So easy to install once I got the pot out of my 335 sound hole. They make my volume knobs so usable. It opens up so many great new tonal options with fuzz pedals and my overdrives. Great product, I want these in all my guitars now!

No more muddy tone!

Wanted to turn my Les Paul down and retain the same treble as wide open. This little mod was exactly what I needed to clean up my tone but keep the pickups sounding bright.

George Cuthbertson
Works great

Retains the highs while rolling off volume, just like it's supposed to do. Easy way to make your humbucker usable at any volume.

Jim Cullen
ToneShaper Treble Bleed Network

My first time using this treble bleed network, previously I'd just used a cap. So far so good!

Jimi Hendrix Image


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