enter image description hereI just bought a New Jackson Rhoads RRXMG with EMG 85 Neck and EMG 81 Bridge pickups. I am having trouble with the control knobs. In theory I should have one master volume, one neck p/u tone and one bridge p/u tone control. There is no markings indicating what each one controls unlike my fender.

The problem is when I switch to the neck p/u, the knob nearest the neck seems to be the volume, middle nob does nothing and the "tail" knob Slightly tweaks the sound.

When I switch to the bridge p/u, the knob near neck does nothing. The middle knob seems to become the volume,and the tail knob again seems to change tone a little. I would think a master volume knob wouldn't change! The only one that stays the same is the tail knob that only slightly changes sound. How can I figure this thing out?

Bonus question, if I have the switch to Neck pickup, when I turn the knob nearest the neck pickup to adjust "Volume". I have a highly irritating "scrubbing/grinding" sound from the amp. Same when I switch to Bridge P/U. Is that just my setup or something to learn to deal with?

  • Do any of the knobs have a centre indent (you can feel a slight click when it's exactly central)?
    – Tim
    Dec 7, 2014 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


It's not unheard of to have NO master volume, and instead to have separate volume knobs for each pickup. When your P/U selector is in the middle position, this then allows you to dial in the exact mix that you want.

The third knob, then, sounds like it's a master tone for both pickups.

The grinding sound when you turn one of the knobs could just be a low-quality or dirty potentiometer (the part inside the knob that scrubs a wiper across a resistor). If you purchased the guitar at a local shop, this would be a good reason to bring it back to them--they may replace the pot for you.

  • After looking at some of the online resources, it really seems like the consistency isn't very high with this model -- Jackson's own website shows a picture with three knobs, but only claims to have a master tone and master volume. Another site claims one master volume and two tone knobs. If you do bring the guitar to a shop, they should be able to rewire it to your preferences.
    – NReilingh
    Dec 7, 2014 at 6:53

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