THE RELATIVELY Primitive tone control that most of us find on our stock guitars is really nothing more than a volume pot with a single capacitor attached to one of the pot's legs. The value of this capacitor determines the cut-off frequency for the pot. When the tone pot is turned down, all frequencies above the cutoff point are increasingly reduced. That's simple enough, but it obviously limits the tonal variation that's possible through your guitar's electronics.
An exciting solution to this problem is the new ToneStyler pot from Stellartone, Inc. This passive aerospace- approved rotary switch directly replaces your stock tone pot and offers 16 distinct positions. One position produces the same sound as your stock tone pot full up, while another position lets you bypass the tone circuit. The remaining 14 positions each benefit from a different capacitor value.
Stellartone supplied me with a USA Gibson SG, which was wired so that I could switch between the guitar's standard tone pot and the ToneStyler. In no time, I was addicted to this little wonder. For each setting on my amp, I happily switched through ToneStyler settings until I produced exactly the tone I had in mind. In comparison, the stock tone pot seemed to do nothing more than limit and muddy the guitar's output, whereas the audio grade ceramic capacitors used in the ToneStyler noticeably increased the guitar's clarity and projection. This is a practical tool that enhances the guitar's flexibility and sonic quality.