Changing the pots in an Epi Ltd Korina Explorer 2016/2017

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by Calin Butoi-Zanfir, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Calin Butoi-Zanfir

    Calin Butoi-Zanfir New Member

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    Hi guys, first post here.

    I recently bought a Limited Edition Korina Explorer and I'm not really that satisfied with the pots that came with the guitar; the volume pot acts as if I turned on the volume at max, suffice to say not really a smooth envelope/swell/crescendo or whatever you want to call it. Also, the tone pots barely make a difference in the character of the tone. Maybe it's because I plug the guitar in an audio interface rather than an amp (which I don't own) or it might be because of the pickups. Anyway, I'm really not satisfied with the pots and I want to change them. Thing is I don't know a thing about pots so I don't really know what to purchase.

    Do you guys have any suggestions or advice on what to purchase? I'm looking for something that has the proper sensitivity to volume/tone increase and that will fit the Explorer.
     
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  2. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Epi-Talk.

    Generally, humbuckers have 500K pots and 0.022uF caps. 250K pots would sound muddy. You may consider changing the caps first - 0.047uF is an option and the difference is found in your ears only.

    I prefer CTS pots, but other brands (e.g. Alpha) may work just as well. I can't see your location, but you can get these from Amazon and eBay. Make sure to get the right shaft length or else your knob will stick up like a mushroom.

    Do you have experience with soldering? If not, you may just want to take your Explorer to a guitar tech.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  3. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    .047's are typically used with those 250k pots in single coil applications like say a Strat. If he's looking to cut more treble, maybe start with a .033 first.

    I also prefer CTS, but Bourns is a good brand as well.
    Explorers should be the short ones. They should be routed to the same thickness as my SG.
    ∆This.∆
    I learned to solder about thirty years ago when my TV repairman neighbor got tired of fixing my headphones for me. He basically told me that I'd watched him do it enough times and let me give it a supervised shot. After that, I fixed my own stuff.

     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  4. Jeffytune

    Jeffytune Well-Known Member

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    I would like to give you a few suggestion to help out, if I may.
    1) Before you start, make sure you have a open clean work area.
    2) Use and old towel to lay the guitar down on, and use a damp dish towel to cover the painted area's on the guitar. A errant drop of solder can ruin your day.
    3) To help avoid issues with soldering inside the guitar, first pull the pots free of the body and lay them aside, place a block of Styrofoam under it and use a pencil to push through the pot's mounting holes into the Styrofoam. Now use this block to set your new pots into so you can work on setting them up to install into the guitar. This way, you can set the guitar aside, work without having to work around the body and if solder drips, it didn't hurt the guitar.
    4) Solder flows towards the heat source. Think of the soldering tip like a magnet for solder.
    5) Only use the amount of heat necessary to get the joint soldered. Overheating the component will ruin it.
    6) I know that some people have very strong feelings on types of capacitors, I will just say that the type of capacitors I like to use personally are the rolled film type, specifically the metal hermetically seal ones. I would also caution to not buy them on and auction sight, they will stick it to you. Buy them from a electrical supply house, I pay $0.20 to $0.25 cents for these caps.

    In closing, just take your time, think through what you want to do and then do it, one step at a time. Before you start, use your cellphone to take a picture of the wiring before you start to have a reference to go back to if you get confused. Also, draw it out, where each wire goes, so you have something to work off of.
    Good luck.
     
    Davis Sharp likes this.
  5. Calin Butoi-Zanfir

    Calin Butoi-Zanfir New Member

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    Wow, thank you guys so much. You guys are a very welcoming community :D

    So, basically, CTS 500k pots and 0.022uF caps. For the caps, I initially wanted to go with the Gibson Bumble Bee, but for a set of 2 capacitors, almost $125 is just way too much. I think TAD Cap Orange Drop 22nF 600V Bumble Bee Capacitors would work just fine. A capacitor is per pot, I presume, right? Firstly I want to learn, if this goes over my head, I'll just go to a guitar tech.
     
    John likes this.
  6. John

    John Well-Known Member

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    The biggest reason I stick around this forum is simply because there is some very informative folks here with a great sense of humor in which I believe is a must. The fact that they are very welcoming is a huge plus as well. With that being said, welcome in Calin. I hope you pull up a chair and stick around..........:cheers:
     
  7. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Not quite. An Explorer is two volumes and a master tone. You only need one cap (though I suggest grabbing a spare or two in case ish happens. The Gibson Bumble Bee has to be one of the biggest scams in the guitar industry. $125 for a "Magic Tone Bean" that's really just a common cap dolled up to look like a vintage capacitor from the '50's.

    Orange Drops are fine, I find Mallory 150's (±5% in whatever value) nice to work with due to the axial leads. I'm usually buying 2-4 at a time so eBay is a convenient method for me, it's not like I need boxes of them so a big supply house isn't usually going to be that helpful after shipping.
     
  8. Jeffytune

    Jeffytune Well-Known Member

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    Again, some people have some very strong opinions on Capacitors.
    The paper and oil ones on e-bay are a rip off.
    You can get a modern made one similar to them from Antique Electronics supply for $3.95.

    https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/capacitors?page=3&filters=Type=Electrolytic

    These are the ones amp techs use to re-cap classic amps, but most techs will tell you, the cheaper versions of this style of caps work just as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  9. Jeffytune

    Jeffytune Well-Known Member

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