Potentiometer question?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by TweeDLX, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. TweeDLX

    TweeDLX Member

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    I've noticed there are several different types of materials used to make pots.
    Conductive plastic, carbon, cermet, wirewound...maybe more. Any caveats on using these (I know carbon is the most commonly used for tube amps) alternative types in an amp? Pros, cons? TIA for your insight.
     
  2. phsyconoodler

    phsyconoodler Member

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    All are good,it's just the Quality of manufacture that makes one better than another.And wattage handling too.And application,whether it's in the signal path or designed for a specific purpose like bias,power handling or ??
     
  3. TweeDLX

    TweeDLX Member

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    Psycho,
    Can you elaborate a bit more? Would I want to use a wire wound pot for the tonestack? Volume? Or a conductive plastic pot? I figured they each have an application, but I don't have a clue...(what else is new?). :)
     
  4. phsyconoodler

    phsyconoodler Member

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    Well a wirewound pot would wear out because of the mechanical nature of the wiper rubbing on the wire,so it would be better in a situation where it wouldn't get turned on a regular basis.And it handles more wattage,so bias,or voltage regulation where a higher wattage is needed.
    Plastic would be better is a spot where precision is involved like instrumentation.Carbon is cheap and easy but a hot-molded carbon element can last for eons.It's all about what's right for the application and the technology.Do you need sealed,plastic element pots for a guitar amp?Not really,but it can be a selling feature.
    All my new amps are getting sealed military spec PEC pots just because I can.They are a hot-molded 'carbon' element.
     
  5. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks Member

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    there's no reason not to use sealed pots if you can afford them.

    Hot molded carbon has been used in military and industrial gear for ages.

    conductive plastic is good but I'm not sure whether the price difference and the added precision is worth it in a guitar amp...
     
  6. TweeDLX

    TweeDLX Member

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    Hey guys, Thanks for the responses. I always enjoy adding a nugget or two to my personal data banks. I might try out a few different types just to see what if any difference I can hear/feel/discern...imagine.... :)
     

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