How to loosen the Vol knob on a Strat for pinky swells

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by thirstypirate, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. thirstypirate

    thirstypirate Member

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    I have an American Dlx Strat with the S-1 equipped vol knob and I find that the knob is too tight for accurate and easy pinky swells. I would like to make it feel closer to the way the pots on a Tele turn. Is there a way to adjust the pot to make it turn with less pressure.
     
  2. cram

    cram Member

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    is the knob cover touching the plate? if so, you could pull the plate off and adjust how high the pole sits.

    I had actually gone through the bonehead solution of stuffing something in the knob hole to make it higher and posted here about it whereupon I was enlightened to this obvious possibility.
     
  3. reeced

    reeced Member

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    Aesthetically, might not look so good, but putting a heavy duty tele type knob on there will certainly make it easier to turn.
     
  4. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I have an S1 and it's somewhat easy to turn so they must vary. I don't know if you can just change the pot, as I haven't seen the guts. Someone wrote me on how to change the resistive element which I could change it to a 500K or whatever, but I'm not sure on if that would effect the friction of the turn. There's gotta be a way.
     
  5. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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  6. cram

    cram Member

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    yah have you tried to spray contact cleaner or whatever it's called?
     
  7. jamison162

    jamison162 Supporting Member

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    Yep, clean out the gunky grease and lube it with something thin and slick.
    Then put on a LP Speed Knob if you really wanna do volume swells that way.
     
  8. thirstypirate

    thirstypirate Member

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    Thanks for the help...

    When I take the knob covers off the actual pole itself is hard to turn. Because of the S-1 system the poles is hollow and has a small pin sticking out of the center where the switch inside the volume knob activates/deactivates the S-1. I'm about to take the pickguard off for the first time with this guitar and see if it will be easy to clean the pot or if the S-1 has some kind of unforseen problem waiting for me. I don't have any deoxit or anything of that sort (I'm out to sea right now) but we do have alcohol and swabs for cleaning solder jobs. Is there any reason I shouldn't try that?

    I also thought about changing the knobs, but the only option might be the Tele knobs that go on those S-1 eqipped guitars or I would lose the ability to use it, and honestly I'm starting to use it a lot lately.
     
  9. thirstypirate

    thirstypirate Member

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    I took the pickguard off and sprayed out the pot with some Power Duster which is just compressed CO2, I believe. It only made a small difference but enough of one to make the pinky swells useful for now. It's still not as fluid as the Tele. I'm currently out to sea but as soon as I get home I'm going to try the Deoxit to see if I can get it to turn smoother.

    Thanks for the all the advice.
     
  10. reeced

    reeced Member

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    Just a thought - the larger the diameter of the knob, the easier it should be to turn.
    How about two or three rubber O-rings slipped tightly over the thinner part of the knob ?
     
  11. thirstypirate

    thirstypirate Member

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    That's a creative idea. I'll see if I can find some around to give it a shot.
     
  12. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    I just picked up some contact cleaner at Radio Shack that has a lubricant in it.....really lubed up the directional switch on my bike! I'll give it a try on some pots and let you know...or better yet, just go get some and try it yourself....it's probably something you can use anyway!
     
  13. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    I actually like the "gunky grease". I don't do much volume swell and I like to have the volume pot tight so it doesn't get moved by my pinky easily and stay put.

    So after searching for a "long" time (before the internet age), I was finally able to get those red thick grease from CTS and I apply a thick dab into the pot casing and the shaft busing. The result, just how I like it, "tight" to turn.

    If you get rid of those thick red (or yellow sometimes) grease, the pot will turn much much looser.
     
  14. thirstypirate

    thirstypirate Member

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    Unless I missed something... there wasn't any grease on the pots. I acutally don't think that spraying the canned air in the pot helped either. It seems like I might have tightened the post back down more than it originally was. With that adjustment and some kind of lubrication it could be just what I'm looking for.

    Oh yeah, I haven't found any little o-rings yet, might have to wait till morning and ask around.
     
  15. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    yup, but contact cleaner won't budge that stuff. use a bit of naphtha (zippo lighter fluid) to flush the pot, turn it vigorously, and it should loosen right up.
     
  16. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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  17. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    I don't know what type of contact cleaner you use but both Deoxit and the other brand I use do wash it away.

    The CTS rep who got me the thick red stuff actually advised me not to use any of the spray cleaner/lubricant or stuff that is abrasive as they will damage the resistive track. He instead got me some lighter red lube you found in the pot, along with the thick red stuff.
     
  18. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    on run of the mill cts pots from allparts that i sell all day long, neither deoxit nor cailube does all that much, while naphtha loosens them up instantly and dramatically.
     
  19. thirstypirate

    thirstypirate Member

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    I used some naphtha since I had it around and there was no change. There doesn't seem to be any gunk or dirt in the pot. It's just tight. Maybe that Astroglide is the ticket. :crazyguy

    BTW walterw, I really like gearing up at Alpha. VA Beach guitarists would be at quite a loss if we only had GC. I love my Barber pedals I bought from you guys.
     
  20. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    well then by all means bring it in and let's see if we can figure something out!
     

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