Questions about vol/tone pots

bobbycheetah

Member
Messages
4
I'm working on replacing the stock pots and 5-way switch in my 96 (MIK) Hamer Slammer Series Daytona (3 single-coil pups).

Current pots are cor-tek D500K "back" tone, D500K "front" tone, and ??? volume pot. When I measure the Ohms on the tone pots, my multimeter shows as .421 & .441 M Ohms - which makes sense they are 500K. For the volume pot, it reads 5.55K Ohms. What I have researched so far is that "in general" pots are 250, 500 and occasionally 1M.
  • Why did Hamer use 500K's? (not really expecting an answer on this one)
  • Should I replace with the same or 250K's? (thinking why not try it, if I don't like it, go back to 500K)
  • What is really throwing me tho is the vol pot. 5.55K? I've not heard of this value being used.
  • Should I try to find & replace with same pots from cor-tek - do they exists anymore? I haven't been able to find them. Or, go with CTS (which requires boring out the holes in the pick guard - really not wanting to do that)
  • I've not been able to find a clear answer on the "D" designation on the pots. I've only been able to find info about "A" and "B", Linear vs Logarithmic. "Log" being described as how the ear truly hears. Should I look/ask for "Log" pots for tone/tone/vol?
I look forward to any help and answers and thank you for taking the time to view!
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,062
It's reading 5.5K because the pickups are attached. Disconnect the selector switch from the volume pot and you'll get the true reading.

If you like the way it sounds, keep the 500s. If you think it's too bright, 250s might help. I wouldn't bother re-sourcing those; if you don't want to ream the pickguard, Alpha makes quality pots with the smaller bushings.

Measure a tone pot on '5'; if it's half of full-up, then it's linear. But you really want log, or "A".
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,224
i myself would go with full-size CTS just because they're so much better quality, and with actual singles i'd go with 250k for all of them. five seconds with a tapered hand reamer to open up the pickguard slightly, nothing to it.

either way you indeed want "A" or audio taper.
 

KGWagner

Member
Messages
3,245
I agree with Walter - use the 2 watt CTS parts. They're not only higher quality, they're more robust mechanically so they're liable to last longer. I wouldn't drop to 250K, though. You'll lose some high-end, which if you're interested in doing you can always adjust out with the tone control or some other EQ in the signal chain. Eliminating frequencies is easy, but you can't generate them later if they get nipped in the bud right at the guitar.
 

Jerry

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
654
If you go with CTS pots, you'll possibly need new knobs as well. The metric and " 'Merican" pot shafts typically differ in size.
If you have an American Strat, pull a knob and see if the Hamer knob fits your Am Strat pot.
 

bobbycheetah

Member
Messages
4
Thank you all for your helpful replies!! I've decided to go with the alpha 500k pots. Now to see what kinda mess i can make with the soldering iron.
 

sidehatch

Member
Messages
1,207
i myself would go with full-size CTS just because they're so much better quality, and with actual singles i'd go with 250k for all of them. five seconds with a tapered hand reamer to open up the pickguard slightly, nothing to it.

either way you indeed want "A" or audio taper.
I have heard many times that you want "B" taper for the tone controls and "A" for volume. I've always used "A" but what do you think?
 

Mr. Duque

Member
Messages
218
Why don't use 500k for single coils too? If it's too bright you can cut it with the tone knob. If you put 250k and it's dull you can't "return" the high ends.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,224
I have heard many times that you want "B" taper for the tone controls and "A" for volume. I've always used "A" but what do you think?
you've heard wrong then ;)

linear tapers are terrible for tone pots; clean or dirty, they make pretty much no difference until you get close to "0" whereupon the tone goes dark like throwing a switch.

linears are useful as volume pots when you play strictly clean, which is why i recommend them for bass guitar or jazz guitar volumes.
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,062
linear tapers are terrible for tone pots; clean or dirty, they make pretty much no difference until you get close to "0" whereupon the tone goes dark like throwing a switch.

linears are useful as volume pots when you play strictly clean, which is why i recommend them for bass guitar or jazz guitar volumes.
"B" isn't always linear, it depends upon the nomenclature used by the manufacturer. Sometimes it's a different log taper, faster or slower. And sometimes they call it "A1", "A2", etc. So you gotta know what "B" means, for the specific item you're considering.

In the bad old days, there were often several different 'versions' of the various tapers available. Well, except for linear. Hard to make variations on that one.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,224
In the bad old days, there were often several different 'versions' of the various tapers available. Well, except for linear. Hard to make variations on that one.
my linear pots are more linear than your linear pots!

fair enough, there's some murkiness in the letter names; these days, most of us know "A" as "audio" and "B" as "linear".
 

bobbycheetah

Member
Messages
4
I received new pots yday. The new pots have an extra "tab" on them off to the side. This affects how they are seated - for lack of a better term - on the pick-guard. What is this tab for? Trying to upload some pick of the old/new side by side...



 
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AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,062
Those are locating tabs for panel-mounting the pots. There would be a little hole in the panel, off to the side of the main hole for the shaft, and that tab would go in it. It keeps the pot from rotating.

In guitar applications, just bend it over flat. Or bend it back and forth a few times until it fatigues and falls off.
 

vortexxxx

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,502
I think he means that the pots have a small tab sticking upward that would normally keep the pot from rotating as the tab hooks onto something.
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,062
skip the image icon, just copy/paste it directly into the post field.
Looks like a Photobucket issue to me, not user-error. I tried to look at the images in photobucket, it showed me one for about five seconds then blew up with a bunch of permissions errors.

But he's talking about the anti-rotation tab.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,224
he's talking about the anti-rotation tab.
right.

either way, if that tab is a bent-up piece of flat metal just bend it down flat again, while if it's a molded projection just snap it off with your wire cutters.
 

bobbycheetah

Member
Messages
4
Thanks for your replies. Hope all had a nice Christmas. I am not able to drag/drop pics into my post, and copy/paste only results in the pic's file names. If I understand the rules correctly, only supporting members can drag/drop directly from their pc's.

Your answers seem logigal. I'll try to snap it off or bend it over.

pot1.jpg pot2.jpg

trying the "direct link" code from photobucket...
http://i376.photobucket.com/albums/oo202/bobbycheetah/control-pots/pot1_zpshbmr1zad.jpg
http://i376.photobucket.com/albums/oo202/bobbycheetah/control-pots/pot2_zps4hthnwoh.jpg

they work for me, but is that only because I'm the owner? Spending more time on this now than working on my guitar. I've looked around for "how to post pics" in this forum but only found the discussion regarding direct drag/drop from supporting members.

found it! using the Direct Link code from photobucket and using that for the "image" icon to imbed the URL. now the pics are in the post above. Thx again everyone!!
 
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