What is Vari-Tone and How Does it Affect the Tone of a Pickup?

The Vari-tone system is a great tone circuit that has been used in the Gibson ES-345 and ES-355 guitars along with other custom instruments. Gibson says the Vari-Tone selector has fundamental positions, and the six pre-set push button switches place a wide choice of tone colorings at the player's command. It's a combination of capacitors, resistors and a choke that vary the tone when the rotor switch is rotated from 1 to 6. In each of the six positions, a different value circuit is selected when combined with the inductor (choke). It makes the pickups sound full to very thin.

I believe this was a circuit designed by Seth E. Lover and was also used on the Gibson Vari-Tone Amplifier Model GA-80. My favorite amp of all times is the Gibson GA-79 RVT. It was a stereo amplifier and was a perfect match for the Gibson ES-355 Stereo non-tremolo, guitar which is probably the most beautiful guitar ever built.

WRITTEN ON JUNE 12, 2015, BY sltwtr

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