I am new to the tonal shaping my guitar and have just begun to understand the distinction of the four basic wiring schemes:
1. dependent modern 2. independent modern 3. dependent vintage 4. independent vintage
Before I try to understand the amazingly complex interactions of using treble bleeds with these four basic schemes, I would like to understand what happens when you use mismatched pots. For example, using 400K tone pots with 500K volume pots or using higher tone pot values with a lower value volume pots. I would like the replies to be described in terms of frequency response. Using the four schemes above for example:
1. The standard assuming perfectly matched pots 2. similar slope to standard with less mid frequency hump 3. shallower slope than standard with less mid frequency hump 4. shallower slope than standard with less mid frequency hump
Also, at full volume, with mismatched pots, it makes no difference at all whether the larger pot is the volume or the tone. You'd think it might make a difference due to the tone cap, but it doesn't
But given a choice of where to put two given but different pots, its better to use the smaller one for volume. that's true in all schemes since it will keep a bit more highs as you roll down volume. This is because the overall impedance of the guitar is not increased so much using a smaller pot. Its a small effect though.
Vintage, or 50's wiring as we normally call it, reduces the load on the pickups as you reduce volume, which maintains more highs at low volume. It also completely changes the way the tone pot works compared to full volume, and may make the apparent taper of the volume pot seem steeper than with modern. Its a very personal choice, many LP players love it (but not me, I dislike it)
Independent wiring, causes severe loss of treble as you roll down volume, plus the pot taper is very unreliable and is a terrible idea IMO. The problem that it attempts to solve does not need solving on a guitar where you can select pickups. that being said, it can be OK with one pickup on full and then use the other volume to mix the second pickup partly in.
The most powerful factors that affects these differences is the capacitance of the guitar cable (tries to shunt treble to ground), combined with how much resistance the guitar has at a given reduced volume setting (the higher it is, the more the cable can shunt treble), and the pickup inductance interacting with the cable at higher volume settings (sets the full volume high end character, which is then changed as volume is reduced).