From sonicv–(at)– Mon Jun 29 12:29:42 CDT 1998
Article: 272600 of alt.guitar
From: sonicv–(at)– (Sonic VI)
Newsgroups: alt.guitar
Subject: Re: Q: VariTone Circutery in a Gibson ES
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Date: 29 Jun 1998 11:55:39 GMT
Organization: AOL
References: <359712d9.321020--(at)>
Xref: alt.guitar:272600

I saw the schematic in that big orange Gibson book at the bookstore and the
schematic for the Varitone had the inductor labeled 1.5 Henries. I think this
is the value Torres uses in their Varitone kit.

From marcbob*hippo–(at)– Mon Jun 29 12:29:53 CDT 1998
Article: 272542 of alt.guitar
From: marcbob*hippo–(at)– (Marc Miller)
Newsgroups: alt.guitar
Subject: Re: Q: VariTone Circutery in a Gibson ES
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 04:20:22 GMT
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Some info is provided online by Gibson.

Varitone filter frequency response specs at:

(poor quality) gif image of the Varitone Stereo circuit wiring is at:

The value of the choke coil seems not to be specified, only the part
number (?).

On 22 Jun 1998 08:42:28 GMT, Schmidt.GEMETE–(at)— (Peter
Schmidt) wrote:

>Hi, folks,
>currebntly, I am trying some guitar electronic goodies. I cam across a
>Gibson VariTone circut, as one may find it in an ES type axe.
>Unfortunately, there was no value given for the inductivity coil. Can
>anyone provide values for this?
>The effect seems to provide 2nd order notch filter. I am burning to hear
>how this sounds…;-)
>By the way, I recently found a stompbox (Snarling Dog) with a similar
>circuitry, for the ones who are not knights of the soldering iron…;-)
>Schmidt.GEMETE–(at)— (Dipl.-Ing. Peter B. Schmidt)

To e-mail me, kindly delete *hippo* from my address.
Spammers: meet the Hippo at Newsguy (Super Zippo).

From salvarsa–(at)– Tue Dec 1 13:18:02 CST 1998
Article: 266137 of
From: “Daniel R. Haney”
Subject: Re: Gibson Varitone
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 11:30:24 -0500
Organization: Salvarsan STD
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To: Mark Garvin

Mark Garvin wrote:
> Haney cited:

>> There is a list of varitone frequency rangesat the bottom of the page
>> at
>> A .gif image of the ES-355/Lucille shematic with varitone is at

> First, the 100k tone pots will load a normal bucker. I don’t remember
> the series resistors (10k?) in the original circuit, but they will
> help to lower the Q of the notch and prevent abrupt phasing around the
> center point.

Yes indeedy. The Lucille/ES-355 is just another bright-sounding
Gibson with humbuckers if you put in 500K pots instead of 100k/300K
for volume/tone. For a guitar used more by Jazz players, the darker
sound makes sense, and those pot values are also used on Heritage’s
H-555, albeit with very dark Schaller humbuckers.

My schematics show a 100K resistor in series; confirmed by
Don Brosnac’s ref “Guitar Electronics For Musicians.” He lists
the Varitone pots as 500K, so it’s likely that Gibson has experimented
with the values over the years and reverted to the 100K/300K combo
that I found in a 1990 Lucille.

Plug: Brosnac’s book is a terrific reference.

> Not sure if my schematic specs the value for the inductor, but that’s
> a tough thing to find. Probably need a few Henrys (not milli or
> micro) to react at audio freqs.

Brosnac lists 1.5H, but I’m probably misrecalling the ’79 Gibson
schematic as 3.0H.

> Active circuits could be done easily without the inductor.

Yep, although most opamps have poor headroom with a 9V supply.
You really want +/-15 Volts driving an opamp for the best sound.
A single 6dB gain common emitter stage driving the Varitonesuck
would help a lot, IMO.


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