Let's talk guitar pots...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by scottlr, Jan 24, 2008.


  1. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I like a pot that turns down (volume or tone) smooth and consistent, rather than nothing nothing nothing, then everything. Do I want a linear taper pot? I never can remember. Somehow I prefer to look at 5 as halfway open. Why would anyone want it any different than this? If I turn up to 2, I expect approximately 20% of full. At 7 I expect 70% full. Please enlighten me on this. I am sure "some" of my guitars perform like I expect, while others have a pronounced hump then nothing.
     
  2. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Linear taper is usually not very good for a volume pot. Even though the resistance changes linearly with rotation of the pot, the perceived volume doesn't change linearly. Usually, a linear pot will give you the sudden drop you're complaining about. You're looking for an audio taper pot.

    The RS Super Pots have a very nice taper. They were spec'ed specifically for guitar.
     
  3. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    What about tone pots? I expect the same from them. I have an RS kit on my LP & Tele. As I recall, the Tele tone pot seems more linear, then.
     
  4. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    i think linear is good for tone pots, but try finding a 500k linear cts pot with a brass shaft.

    I use alphas and they sound good for the tone pots. and cts pots work great for me for my volume pots. the RS superpot is a good call for the volume pot, but its just a better tolerance brass shaft cts 500k audio pot. and their tone pots are stock alphas. You could get those half the price from stew mac.
     
  5. frankencat

    frankencat Lex Luthier Gold Supporting Member

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    Are you sure? That's the first time I have heard that. I always thought they used CTS pots.

    +1 on the Alphas being good pots though. I know some folks don't like them but I have had success with them in a few guitars. FWIW I have CTS pots in my PRS and LP's. ;)
     
  6. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    I hear you loud. I love that kind of pot... for volume swell.

    Tomo
     
  7. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    You sure about that on the superpot? I thought the taper was custom made for RS.
     
  8. StJimmy

    StJimmy Member

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    I had always heard that, but I recently put a 500K linear CTS pot in a Hello Kitty and my perceived volume from the guitar is exactly linear. It is a smooth and linear volume increase from 1-10 and likewise on the way down from 10-1. There is absolutely no sudden drop.
     
  9. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    See, I want the tone to go down evenly as I do the volume. It seems tome that if it doesn't, there's a whole lotta sweet spots you might be missing out on. I "think" it might be the tone pots that bug me the most. My RS kit tone pot on my Tele does NOT give that wah sound like Danny Gatton got when he worked the tone pot. On mine, I get nothing from 10 to about 3, then 3-0 is everything in that little space, so it's hard to dial in that sweet spot. I can't say it's as noticeable on the RS Kit on my LP, though.

    For volume swells, I am usually doing those so quick the taper doesn't seem to bother me as long as I cut off the attack.
     
  10. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    Linear volume and audio tone works for me. Linear comes on fast from 0 to 1 or 2 then even the rest of the way. Linear doesn't fall fast enough from 10 to 7 for some people, as in p90's or humbuckers still too hot, so audio would work best for that clean at 6 type thing. And if you use a treble pass cap it all changes again. Many ways to setup a volume control.
     
  11. ARch

    ARch Member

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    Let me start by saying I know jack about pots.

    Now that that's out of the way - I love the taper on my RS long shaft kit's Tone and Volume pots! I got the full kit with caps and pots and I can finally dial it down to 2 on volume and still get something that still has tone. The stock Gibson pots hit about 6 before they went dull, and 3 before they were dead.
     
  12. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    You know, I can't really recall any guitar I've ever had that the volume pot wasn't OK, cuz I work the volume like crazy. It's the tone pot that seems to be FUBAR on the ones that are not right (can't easily dial in the sweet spot). And, it's mostly the Teles that have this problem.
     
  13. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Does anyone find the RS pots' damping stiff or tight? Any good recommendations for high quality pots that aren't so hard to turn? I'm not much of a set and forget type player.
     
  14. AndrewSimon

    AndrewSimon Member

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    1 drop of WD-40 should do it....
    (apply with Q-Tip at the base of the shaft)
    .......... just don't blame me if it becomes too loose.

    ;)
     
  15. Rig James

    Rig James Gold Supporting Member

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    Give the Dr vintage kit a try. These kits really are great stuff and Rick is a very helpful, knowledgeable guy with all things electronic. The pots are the best I have used and I really like the caps too. The way these kits are put together (if ordered that way) are works of art, they just drop right in and even come with a shield to protect the guitar.
    Give it a try,
    James

    http://doctorvintage.com/drv1_controls.html
     
  16. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    i think they say the taper is different, but call cts and they will say nothing is changed. i talked to some guys here in boston who work for some big company. they tried to get cts to supply the same pots and they told this company that the pots arent changed.
     
  17. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Thanks for the rec., not sure if I'm ready to go that deep for a couple pots though. That's the most expensive I've seen.

    Phil Jacoby told me he liked PRS OEM pots, anyone know how much those go for and how easy they are to come by?
     
  18. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    I found my vintage 50s and early 60s Duo Sonics, Musicmasters 's pots are very smooth and very soft feel when you turn.

    Tomo
     
  19. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    I thought it was how the ear hears the taper that causes people to use audio taper instead of linear...The ear percieves linear taper as zero, zero,zero,zero 8, 10 something like that although it is going from 1,2,3,4,5,-10.
     
  20. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    This is true, but 0-3 sounds like off to almost full on and 4-10 is a very small change in volume.
     

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