How to Decrease Potentiometer Pot Values

You don't have to buy a bunch of potentiometers to see how different resistance values impact your tone. You can decrease the resistance value of a pot using the steps below thus turning a single pot effectively into several pots. In this tutorial we'll take a 500K pot and change it to a 300K pot.

Click on any photo below to see a larger version.
I have a Flying V that is too bright. I've tried 3 sets of pickups in it and all are too bright. They are too trebly sounding.

A common remedy for too much treble is to use a lower resistance pot in place of a higher resistance one. The lower the pot resistance, the less treble gets passed though it to the amp. 300K is a common lower value pot.
Increase Pot Value
Here we have a CTS brand pot rated at 500K resistance. Increase Pot Value
It's actual resistance value is 488K. This is normal. I've never had a 500K pot out of the bag that really was 500K. Some are lower and some are higher. Thats just the way of the potentiometer. Increase Pot Value
The trick to decreasing a pot's value is to combine a resitor to it.

Here is a 750K resistor. Using this value we will change the pot to 300K.
Increase Pot Value

The resistor can be attached to the pot two ways. On top, or on bottom.
Increase Pot Value

Increase Pot Value
Here I've attached the resistor to the top of the pot. Increase Pot Value
And the new resistance value is 295K. Increase Pot Value

   500k & 750K = 300K

Combining resistors with different values will change the pot respectivley. For instance, a 1M resistor will change a 500K pot to about 330K. A 500K resistor will change a pot to about 250K.
Increase Pot Value
To figure out what combinations of pot and resistor will produce a specific value you can either
   use this formula: R1ŚR2/(R1+R2)
   use this software: Electonics Assistant
Increase Pot Value