The Guitar Wiring Blog – Diagrams and Tips: How to Install a Varitone (Wiring Options) from The Guitar Wiring Blog

Last Updated on September 3, 2020 by Hervé Senni

The Guitar Wiring Blog is an old established site where I picked lots of diagram when I started modifying guitars.

A Varitone switch can be installed as part of guitar wiring in two ways: before or after the volume control. It really is a question of your guitar tone. This article will help you choose the right path.

Before we start analyzing the first type of wiring, let’s look at mine> Varitone project <. As you can see, it has two connections to the rest of a guitar wiring harness: the hot conductor (from the hot path) and the guitar wiring grounding conductor (from ground).

Varitone wiring 1 – in front of the pot

If you use a tone shaping option on the variton and then turn the volume control down a little, the variton effect will be attenuated (to some extent). With the volume drop, you also get the Varitone Impact Drop. You shouldn’t think that this is a disadvantage. The guitar’s volume control can also be a great tone control.

In this diagram you can see that this type of wiring can be used as an alternative to the pot-based tone control circuit:

It can be a cool mod for Telecaster and similar guitars (similar guitar wiring).

Varitone wiring 2 – after the pot

If you install the variton after the pot, the position of the volume control will also affect the work. By lowering the volume, you increase the varitone effect on your guitar tone. In this way you can, for example, achieve a quieter, but also softer sound.

With a low pass filter, the signal limit is lower, so more highs bleed out.

With a notch filter, the notch becomes wider so that the guitar tone is “flatter”. This happens due to a higher resistance in front of the tone filters. That added drag comes from the vol. Pot.

The easiest way to install the variton after the pot is to solder its wires to the female pins as shown in the picture.


By the way, the classic, pot-based tone control can be manipulated in a similar way


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