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Ardis
07-19-2005, 07:29 PM
Just taking an informal poll, as I have little experience with different brands of potentiometers and caps. What do you think are the best pots and caps for Gibson guitars?

Thanks.

alderbody
07-20-2005, 02:33 AM
CTS are the best you can find these days.

RS Guitarworks (http://www.rsguitarworks.com/) have some serious kits for your guitar.

give it a try :AOK

John Phillips
07-20-2005, 07:25 AM
I wouldn't actually recommend CTS any more. I'm still using them (until I can find a suitable replacement type) but I have had some problems with poor quality on the most recent couple of batches I've had.

Worst, a major weakness in the pot assembly that causes the shaft to push the back off the pot and the whole thing fall apart when fitting the knob (on split shafts). And I wouldn't say I'm pushing excessively hard, or any more so than in the past.

They also feel rougher and cruder to turn, as if the shaft is loose in the bushing, and/or not lubricated properly. There seems to have been a fall in the machining or materials quality. I've also noticed that the nuts have been changed from milled to stamped - a small thing, but says a lot. I had one nut actually strip itself while tightening.

I'm not at all happy about this, I've been using them for years and never had any problems until recently. I will be taking my money elsewhere as soon as I can though.

alderbody
07-20-2005, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by John Phillips
I wouldn't actually recommend CTS any more. I'm still using them (until I can find a suitable replacement type) but I have had some problems with poor quality on the most recent couple of batches I've had.

Yes, i know about some recent problems with CTS pots, but as you said you found a few bad ones in a batch.

If one buys a tested and measured set of pots, i don't think that there would be a problem.

I'm sure that RS or any other CTS retailer must have found bad pots in their batches, too. (and an increasing number of bad ones is definately ringing a bell)

But the 'end user' should recieve a good pot after all.


So i'd better rephrase;
CTS are the best till something better comes up... ;)

John Phillips
07-20-2005, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by alderbody
Yes, i know about some recent problems with CTS pots, but as you said you found a few bad ones in a batch.
I wouldn't describe it like that.

I would say I've had at least two bad batches, a few of which failed under mechanical pressure - I don't think I noticed this problem more than about a year ago, but all the ones I've had recently have been poor. The other pots from these batches all looked and felt the same (cheaper and nastier than CTS pots used to be), even though they didn't actually break - this may have something to do with the fact that I now routinely support the back of the pot casing while pushing the knob on. This is a real pain on something like a Strat, where to do that you have to take the pickguard off. Easy enough if you've already taken the guard off to work under it, but not if you've just pulled the knob to clean under it or something.

I'm quite certain the product quality has been cheapened - I'm not going on one or two pots, it's dozens. It's a real shame, as they were easy to get, not expensive, and until now reliable.

Ardis
07-20-2005, 01:30 PM
Thanks for your input, fellas. Besides CTS, are there other brands worth considering? How are the Gibson-branded pots? Or the ones that StewMac sells?

alderbody
07-21-2005, 01:23 AM
Originally posted by John Phillips
I'm quite certain the product quality has been cheapened - I'm not going on one or two pots, it's dozens. It's a real shame, as they were easy to get, not expensive, and until now reliable.

I won't disagree with you John since you have a personal experience, but the pots i got from RS (twice) were the older ones with the closed back and of course no mechanical failure issues.

But even some new-tech CTS pots i got from Warmoth "withstood" many knob changes without any failure.

So that's what i mean when i say that a CTS pot set bought from a reseller should be OK.
And that is because they should test them before selling them as units or sets.

Maybe you weren't quite lucky with the batches you got...

But definately, the new ones look much cheaper than the oldies... :(

Greggy
07-21-2005, 02:05 PM
I have 5 or so older CTS 500K pots with brass shafts. I just bought a couple of CTS 250K pots for a strat upgrade, and noticed that the shafts are silver colored. The feel when rotating the shafts on the new ones was not as smooth or as solid feeling compared to the older ones.

roknfnrol
07-22-2005, 12:37 PM
Hamer USA's pots are killer, I'm not sure you can purchase them though.

Bloozcat
07-22-2005, 01:11 PM
If I'm not mistaken, CTS pots are now being made in China. At least that's what I've heard from two different sources. Apparently there are Chinese made pots out there that look the same as the CTS pots as well. From what I read on Lord Valve's site, the unmarked Chinese pots are made in the same plant as the CTS marked ones. Lord Valve had some of the unmarked pots for sale a while ago.

CGE pots are pretty good, at least they were the last time I used them. Nationals were ok, but weren't as good as the older CTS pots.

The last two batches of CTS pots I got from Allparts were just fine. As a matter of fact, the tolerances were better than usual on both the 250k and 500k pots. Normally, I get a number of them that are on the lower end of the tolerance varriance of +/- 10% (some even as low as 217k/421k respectively).

Turbozag
07-28-2005, 08:46 PM
I hesitate to mention this..

But we've told a couple people, so it'll get out anyway...

At RS Guitarworks, we have designed and had CTS build the prototypes of what we consider the ultimate pots for guitar!

They are CTS made with brass shafts, a special taper designed specifically for guitar, have tolerances that are TWICE as good as the ones available now, and will be a "special" target resistance...

We have the prototypes and blueprints. They rock! But they probably won't be available until September!

Hang in there!

And yes, we have a HUGE bucket of rejected CTS pots which are brand new from the factory!!!

RL in Fla
07-28-2005, 08:58 PM
I hope you're gonna have long bushing models for thick wood . :AOK

John Phillips
07-29-2005, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by Turbozag
I hesitate to mention this..

But we've told a couple people, so it'll get out anyway...

At RS Guitarworks, we have designed and had CTS build the prototypes of what we consider the ultimate pots for guitar!

They are CTS made with brass shafts, a special taper designed specifically for guitar, have tolerances that are TWICE as good as the ones available now, and will be a "special" target resistance...

We have the prototypes and blueprints. They rock! But they probably won't be available until September!

Hang in there!

And yes, we have a HUGE bucket of rejected CTS pots which are brand new from the factory!!!
This is great news. Will they be available easily in the UK? (dumb question probably, but I've never bought any RS stuff before - the stock CTS were fine).

It's not CTS I have the issue with, it's the quality of their most recent pots. If they're capable of making a quality part for someone to spec, I'll buy it. Even if it costs more. I'd rather do a job right the first time around.

FWIW, have they got the circlip above the bushing too?

Ron Thorn
07-31-2005, 12:38 PM
C'mon September.....smoooooth taper, smoooooth taper, no sudden drop off at "8", smoooooth taper.

reallylost
08-04-2005, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by RL in Fla
I hope you're gonna have long bushing models for thick wood . :AOK

Yes - please!!!!

John.

larrylover
08-06-2005, 01:05 AM
Alessandro, the amp maker, has had pots custom made for him. They are expensive, but very, very good sounding and have a smooth, even taper.

rewog
08-06-2005, 08:43 PM
Originally posted by larrylover
Alessandro, the amp maker, has had pots custom made for him. They are expensive, but very, very good sounding and have a smooth, even taper.

$50-00 each ? Wow.
Are they worth it ?
Does a pot make a noticable difference to tone ?
I have heard before that carbon pots are the best, but generally not available these days. If these made a worthwhile contribution to the guitars tone, I would try a set.

Gravity
08-06-2005, 10:57 PM
P&G make great pots! Though I think conductive plastic is a bit of overkill in most guitars. At $50-75 per peice....

larrylover
08-07-2005, 02:44 AM
Alessandro is $40-$50 each. Are they worth it? The tapers are smooth, there is more clarity and openness with his pots.

KLB
08-07-2005, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by Ron Thorn
C'mon September.....smoooooth taper, smoooooth taper, no sudden drop off at "8", smoooooth taper.

Like Ron said, much new stuff has too sudden a taper, coming on too strong around 8-9. I hope the custom RS pots solve this, and aren't overly expensive. Cheers.

Ardis
08-08-2005, 07:10 PM
Those Alessandro pots sound awful tempting, but 50 bucks is a lot of dough for pots... Has anyone actually tried them?

larrylover
08-08-2005, 09:35 PM
They are $40/pot. I have them on three guitars -- a p-90 guitar, strat and humbucker guitar. I think they are superb for the reasons I mentioned in earlier posts in this thread.

rewog
08-09-2005, 04:23 AM
Originally posted by larrylover
They are $40/pot.

They're $50-00 on Alessandro's website:-

http://www.alessandro-products.com/parts.html

Turbozag
08-09-2005, 07:58 AM
Sorry for the late reply all!

$50 for one pot?!

:eek:

The new RS pots will NOT be anywhere near that. And YES, we will have both the long and short shaft models available.

Of course the "taper" is a very important part for us. As is the quality and performance.

The individual pot components are something else we have taken a special interest in with these pots!

Hang in there!!!


:dude

RL in Fla
08-09-2005, 12:39 PM
A little "over the top" would be a smooth shaft/knurled shaft option . I'm so sick of US/Metric/fineknurled/coarseknurled I could spit Q-Knobs . Why somebody won't come up with a speed knob with a set screw is beyond me . About the only option there is Fender amp knobs (with silver caps :rolleyes: ) , or J-Bass knobs (got 4 on my Ibanez AR250 now ) .

The $50 jobs must come in 2 variants , Mortgage & 401K .
Maybe if I was a pro and had a Tele .... :D

reallylost
08-09-2005, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by Turbozag
Sorry for the late reply all!

$50 for one pot?!

:eek:

The new RS pots will NOT be anywhere near that. And YES, we will have both the long and short shaft models available.

Of course the "taper" is a very important part for us. As is the quality and performance.

The individual pot components are something else we have taken a special interest in with these pots!

Hang in there!!!


:dude

Are you taking advance orders?

John.

larrylover
08-09-2005, 03:06 PM
Yes, the website says $50. I think, but am not sure, there may be a 25% discount. Anyone can know for sure by calling Alessandro and asking.

Look, it is a question of demonstrated and proven quality versus demonstrated and proven mediocrity or, at best, the unknown. I am not connected to Alessandro other than being a very satisfied customer. Personally, I have found all of Alessandro's stuff -- amps and parts that he has made to his standards -- to be first rate, superb quality and tremendous sounding. That is my experience with his pots. Alessandro gets it.

Alessandro quality has a price. Or you can pay a lot less for CTS pots that, at best, are of hit-or-miss quality and, to my ears, just don't sound that open, have taper problems, etc. Or you wait to buy RS pots -- which don't exist now -- that will be manufactured by the firm that provides hit-or-miss quality under its own name.

rewog
08-09-2005, 06:51 PM
Yes larrylover, if the pots are as good as you say, I don't think $50-00 is unreasonable for what must essentially be a custom made and low volume (no pun) part.
Also, the Alessandro pots are Carbon. I don't believe anyone else offers that for a guitar, but it is popular for hi end audio.

Finally, a set of these should last a lifetime.

Turbozag
08-12-2005, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by reallylost
Are you taking advance orders?

John.

Not really John. It would be hard to keep up with! Things at the shop stay very busy!

However, keep an eye on our website, and it will be announced as soon as they are on the way!

www.rsguitarworks.net

hipfan
08-15-2005, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by larrylover
Yes, the website says $50. I think, but am not sure, there may be a 25% discount. Anyone can know for sure by calling Alessandro and asking.

Out of pure curiosity (and the unquenchable desire to tweak), I ordered one of the Alessandro pots from the website. The total ended up being $37.50, including shipping. The webstore applies a $12.50 discount to the purchase.

I'll try it out in the volume slot of one of my P90 or hum-b guitars and report back.

Tony

Improviser
08-22-2005, 10:31 PM
Originally posted by ringmod
Hamer USA's pots are killer, I'm not sure you can purchase them though.

+1. These definitely have the nicest taper and smoothest action I've tried in any pots (including RS kits). I understand that they can only be purchased as spares for original Hamer instruments.

aortizjr
08-31-2005, 05:20 PM
What about compared to some of the others available on the market?

Like Alpha or Weber?

Turbozag
09-16-2005, 03:12 AM
We looked at the Hamer pots when we were drawing up the specs on our new pots...

They are better than regular CTS stock for sure.

We had to tweak quite a bit to get the right taper that we wanted. And after a long process, I can now say that we have finalized everything with CTS and the pots are in production as I type this!

Our new RS pots by CTS will have a tolerance that is TWICE as tight as the current production CTS pots that everyone uses (including us at RS). Of course at RS, we hand meter EACH pot and reject MANY that don't meet our much tighter specs.

The new pots will not only have super tight tolerances, but will also be made from quality brass components instead of the aluminum they currently use (which we do not like).

Our new pots are also being made with CARBON resistance paths vs the cheaper crap they use...

Lastly, our new pots have a special custum roll-off taper that was specified by us after much research, trial and error...

It's not cheap to have a company like CTS spec out, draw up and produce a "boatload" of parts like this for us. But we feel like it will pay off in the end....

We anticipate that our retail price on the new pots will run appx. $14.00+ each.

If they are successful, the price should come down upon having another larger batch produced (which will take a WHILE).

We look at having the new pots in hand in about 30 days!

Sorry for the long delay in getting these puppies out! It's been a tedious process getting the specs and details of production right.

Any questions can be sent to me at Lee@RSGuitarworks.net

:dude

hipfan
09-16-2005, 07:25 AM
Great news! I hope they work out as well as anticipated; I'll buy a bunch! :AOK

Turbozag
09-16-2005, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by hipfan
Great news! I hope they work out as well as anticipated; I'll buy a bunch! :AOK

I have two of the prototypes in my R7, and they KICK ASS!!!

The taper is smooth and consistent. No steps or drop-offs...

Keep an eye on our website for an announcement as soon as they have shipped!

www.rsguitarworks.net

Ron Thorn
09-16-2005, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by Turbozag


The taper is smooth and consistent. No steps or drop-offs...



And the heavens parted

:D

Turbozag
09-18-2005, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by Ron Thorn
And the heavens parted

:D

I'll have a sample in your hands before you can say potentiometer!

As soon as I get em, that is!

:cool:

rooster
09-20-2005, 12:26 PM
On my Heritage, they use a GC pot that seems OK, but the taper was off a bit. I ended up putting in the 150K/.001uF combo across the top and wiper, and now, not only is the taper nice and smooth, nothing muds up when I turn down.

Cheap and worthwhile mod.

rooster.

Steve Foley
09-20-2005, 07:29 PM
...guess I need to pay more attention: I just ordered the PRS upgrade kit from your website (http://www.rsguitarworks.net/) this Sunday...oh, well, if it doesn't sound wonderful, I'll try the new pots next....$14 is not too bad....
Thanks for all your doing, TurboZag!

Turbozag
09-23-2005, 12:46 AM
Originally posted by Steve Foley
...guess I need to pay more attention: I just ordered the PRS upgrade kit from your website (http://www.rsguitarworks.net/) this Sunday...oh, well, if it doesn't sound wonderful, I'll try the new pots next....$14 is not too bad....
Thanks for all your doing, TurboZag!

Don't worry Steve! The kit you ordered will make a big difference. We hand meter all pots now and check for propper resistance and smooth response etc...

The bad news is, I just found out today that CTS may not have the new pots to us for another 6 to 8 weeks!

:mad:

We are talking about possibly offering a reduced price upgrade for previous customers who would like to move up to the new pots... the new pots will be offered alone or as part of our new "Uber Kit"...

:dude

Killa-B
09-23-2005, 08:26 AM
I would definitely take you up on that offer....I JUST got my strat upgrade kit. I think you'd seal a good relationship with many customers with that offer.

justonwo
09-23-2005, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by Turbozag
We are talking about possibly offering a reduced price upgrade for previous customers who would like to move up to the new pots... the new pots will be offered alone or as part of our new "Uber Kit"...



I would go for that.

EADGBE
09-23-2005, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by Ardis
Thanks for your input, fellas. Besides CTS, are there other brands worth considering? How are the Gibson-branded pots? Or the ones that StewMac sells? I like the stewmacs. I bought a 1 meg ohm and it was very quiet and smooth.

Turbozag
09-23-2005, 10:59 PM
Originally posted by Killa-B
I would definitely take you up on that offer....I JUST got my strat upgrade kit. I think you'd seal a good relationship with many customers with that offer.

:dude

Ray Gander
09-27-2005, 10:07 PM
I was going to say something brilliant then read that it's been said already so I'll just shut up and wait for the final results to come in .I could use a supplier of better pots.

Barefoot
11-01-2005, 12:11 PM
Any updated information about when the new pots will be available?? Thanx......

Turbozag
11-10-2005, 11:41 PM
The new pots will be here in 2 weeks!

We are going to offer them on a pre-delivery first come first served basis on our website!

Because of the large volume of inquiries and requests, we feel like we're close enough to go ahead and let the frenzy begin!

Look for them on our on-line store sometime tomorrow!

Go to the "STORE" and look in the "Special Buy" Section.

The description will have all the important details.

www.rsguitarworks.net

Our initial order quantity is limited. Our second production run is larger but will not be delivered until 02/06.

tWreCK
11-11-2005, 08:33 AM
I can't find the "Special Buy" section in your store?

Turbozag
11-11-2005, 09:27 AM
My bad!

It's the section called "On Sale (NEW)"

The pots will be up there by about 3 PM today.

Sorry for the confusion!!!

RSRelic
11-11-2005, 01:58 PM
The new RS "Super-Pots" are now up on the website:

http://www.rsguitarworks.net/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=46&products_id=237

Thanks for all the inquiries!

tWreCK
11-12-2005, 02:52 AM
Will you have thes super pots available in strat values as well?

Turbozag
11-12-2005, 06:52 AM
Originally posted by tWreCK
Will you have thes super pots available in strat values as well?

Eventually, yes.

However, this current initial order is for a limited number of the 500k pots in both short and long shaft.

We are waiting on the prototypes for the 250k pots.

hipfan
11-12-2005, 07:02 AM
Originally posted by Turbozag
Eventually, yes.

However, this current initial order is for a limited number of the 500k pots in both short and long shaft.

We are waiting on the prototypes for the 250k pots.

Ah, this was going to be my question too. I would add that Gibson-style pots in the 350K range would be of interest too for some of us (umm, well, me :) )

350K's seem to be a really useful compromise when 500K's are a little too peaky and 250K's are a little too warm. I understand, however, that unpopular, niche values like 350K likely would be difficult to place a sufficient order from CTS for.

Turbozag
11-12-2005, 07:33 AM
Originally posted by hipfan
Ah, this was going to be my question too. I would add that Gibson-style pots in the 350K range would be of interest too for some of us (umm, well, me :) )

350K's seem to be a really useful compromise when 500K's are a little too peaky and 250K's are a little too warm. I understand, however, that unpopular, niche values like 350K likely would be difficult to place a sufficient order from CTS for.

Maybe not. We are considering doing the 350k too.

We are also looking into some high-quality push-pull pots!

RSRelic
11-12-2005, 07:47 AM
How about a poll on the next one?
http://thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=112278

Lex Luthier
11-12-2005, 08:54 AM
You guys going with the shaft clip like old school CTS and Centralab pots? The feel of the pots changed when CTS did away with the clip and let the wiper ride against the can, it increased the friction. The clip-style pots had a much smoother feel and rotated much nicer.

SarasotaSlim
11-17-2005, 07:36 AM
I snooped through this whole thread and never saw any mention of Bourns pots. They were kind of a fad back when people were making nuts out of brass.
http://www.bourns.com/

I had a couple put on a guitar way back then and they were really smooth. They are sealed and I think they have ball bearings.

Turbozag
11-17-2005, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by SarasotaSlim
I snooped through this whole thread and never saw any mention of Bourns pots. They were kind of a fad back when people were making nuts out of brass.
http://www.bourns.com/

I had a couple put on a guitar way back then and they were really smooth. They are sealed and I think they have ball bearings.

Yea, back in the 80's they were hot.

I only just recently yanked a set out of my 1970 Deluxe and replaced them with an RS upgrade kit.

The taper on em sucked, but they lasted well in my guitar.
They were expensive too, even in 1980 they were about $16 each IIRC.

The "Super-Pot" pots will arrive at RS on Monday!