Pull pull pots - CTS vs Dimarzio vs Bourns vs Alpha

CubanB

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2,152
Does anyone have experience with all of these and know the differences in terms of the feel or the taper or the reliability?

I have experience with CTS regular pots (like them) and Dimarzio push pull pots (like them) but not the others. Does anyone know what the Bourns are like?
 

AdmiralB

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3,060
AFAIK Alpha doesn't make a switched pot with a 3/8" bushing, although I like their pots a lot in general. I don't have any experience with DiMarzio, but I'd bet theirs are Alphas since 1) they don't make components like this, and 2) they've cataloged these pots since before anyone but Alpha was making them.

I like the Bourns the best. But you can't get them in all styles, nobody carries them.

What I like:
  • They're good pots. They have a good feel, a good taper, and they come in the right values. Others have expressed issues with Bourns reliability on the GTR series in general but I have not experienced this;
  • They come in both push-pull and push-push;
  • They have the right bushing size, 3/8-inch, and they come in the right lengths;
  • They can be had with solid, fine knurl, and coarse knurl shafts.
What I don't like:
  • The solid shafts are 6mm, rather than 0.250. I understand this, since by making these they cover all knobs - if you have 6mm knobs, you're set, if you have 0.250 knobs, you use a sleeve. But it's a bit of a hassle;
  • You simply can't get the fine knurl push-pulls anywhere, unless you're willing to buy 1000-piece lots. Nobody stocks them. You can get push-push in fine knurl from Mouser, though. I have a Gibson R8 that came with Bourns push-pulls on the tone knobs, for coil cuts...and they used coarse-knurl and just crammed the knobs on - cracking them, of course.
I've used the new CTS push-pulls, the ones with the little PCB on the switch. Those do come in fine knurl, and they work, but I don't like the feel - the switch doesn't have the positive 'click' tactile feel that the Alpha and Bourns give.
 
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walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
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40,968
i've had good luck with the bourns versions that allparts sells, both push-pull and push-push.

well-made, full-size bushing and good taper.

(edit: the push-push ones may not be bourns, the shell looks different, but they are pretty solid. i'm also a fan of the bourns blend-balance pots for basses and such.)
 
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Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
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38,086
the push-push ones may not be bourns, the shell looks different, but they are pretty solid
Pretty sure these are not Bourns, but they work ok and have a very light turning touch.
Push -push is far easier to handle in performance situations, imo.
 

Mighty Melvin

Member
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2,711
What I don't like:
  • The solid shafts are 6mm, rather than 0.250. I understand this, since by making these they cover all knobs - if you have 6mm knobs, you're set, if you have 0.250 knobs, you use a sleeve. But it's a bit of a hassle;

Huh. You must be getting them from somewhere besides Mouser, because the datasheet that the Mouser catalog page refers to has the solid shaft at 0.250" or 6.35mm. I'm sure that they make them both ways. If you're in the potentiometer business you have to make everything.

Anyway, I use Bourns from Mouser because why not. Bourns has done me a couple of favors over the years. Plus, I can have all kinds of parts ride in the box with the pots. I don't play nearly well enough to have to worry about how my pots sound but I do like a nice curve. Or lack of curve since I prefer linear pots.
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AdmiralB

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3,060
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