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Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by papaschtroumpf, Jul 21, 2016.
Yeah, I gotten a few of mine via Amazon as well.
I get Bourns from AllParts.
I also highly recommend The Art Of Tone. Their prices are a tad lower on the bay than the zon! Good quality and excellent customer service/support. I once had a couple pots in a lot that exhibited a goofy taper and he promptly shipped (on his dime) replacements "before" receiving (also on his dime) the defective ones back. I did try a few pots from MojoTone, but was a little less pleased than with The Art Of Tone.
In all seriousness, Amazon for me as well. We pay for Prime, so I buy my parts with free two day shipping because, like any other guitarist, my tone instantly becomes GARBAGE until I can replace/mod/change that ONE thing...
Even with two day shipping, I basically avoid the instrument altogether for the full 48 hours until I can get my grubby little hands on that package.
Old thread, but FYI I went AllParts, and the guitar has been randomly losing the bridge pickup lately. I thought is was the switch but after more investigation it seems to be the vol pot.
Getting smaller Bourns replacement off Amazon.
Sorry Sir! Don't like Bournes, nope, don't like 'em at all! But that's just me.
I'm a CTS kinda guy too... but... here's the "internals"... why cheep pots suck...
as far as any noticeable tone improvement resulting from a change in pots, Nah... not gonna happen.. well not at, or above the threshold of usability/noticeability... BUT... that doesn't mean cheep pots don't suck...
Guys that change their pots and notice huge improvements in tone are either succumbing to confirmation bias, or the new strings they installed upon reassembling it.. or something else they did knowingly, or not . . . Despite what the sites selling expensive "tone improvement" pots all say .... Pots DO NOT improve tone to a useable degree... playing at home with the Baby crying, and the wife watching "As the World Turns" followed by some dorky Game Show... or at 110 db AC-DC levels, you ain't gonna notice jack..
the "payload" in a pot is/are the element and the wiper... ( the mechanical construction can suck too). But.. the element is a carbon film deposited on a non-conductive substrate ( piece of plastic, phenolic, fiberglass, etc..) .. in a cheep pot that carbon material, the "stuff" the signal actually travels through, is very thin... (in any pot it's thin, but in the el-cheepos, they abuse the privilege...)
So as you are using the pot the wiper.. the "thing" that moves when you turn the knob, gets dragged across the carbon... as it does so, it's wearing the carbon away... eventually to the extent there's isn't enough remaining to conduct the current, so ya get dead spots, thin sound, scratchy noise.. all "qualities" few want in their guitars.. and that wiper usually has only one contact point. when it is compromise, you're outta business. Cheep pots suck like a trained mosquito.
Now.. in better pots... the carbon is much thicker, more durable, which permits a major improvement in durability... and the wiper usually has 2 maybe 3 contact points allowing for redundancy that reduces issues as the carbon wears, or if it's used in dusty, dirty environments ... one contact may get funked up but the other is still making good contact, so ya know nothing... ignorance is bliss ya know...
so. considering a good pot is less than 10 bux.. and a pack of Camels is about the same these days... skip a few packs of cancer sticks and replace the cheep stuff with good stuff...
Me too - always good prices and easy to deal with. I usually use the ebay store FWIW.
If that is the case (and you are correct in your assessment) then look at who manufactures them. If it is a long-time manufacturer like Bournes then you'll get fairly decent pots.
The one thing I forgot to.mention is that the quality of the switch is pretty important. Because the metal they use on the contacts is fairly critical as these can break easily with repeated use. In my opinion there is more friction between the switch contacts than the pot element and the wiper (which can be lessened with lubricant).
In the non-guitar world I've seen more switches go bad then pots. You can make the argument that switches are used less often then pots, but the forces applied tend to be greater on switches. You mileage may vary.
What really pisses me off is that there's like 20 electronic parts shop near me that have lots of resistors and capacitors and whatnot, but none of them have pots with lugs, just the stupid PC board mount ones, so I have order them from Germany.
The AllParts kit comes with CTS pots, yet one of them went bad in 6 months. At least it's not a very expensive repair.
I've been getting large Alpha pots from Guitarfetish for awhile now. Prices are good and I haven't had any undesired issues with them.
As someone with an electronics background, I have to laugh when I hear all the guitar guys raving about CTS pots. They're pretty much pedestrian, everyday, common pots. Nothing special. About a half-step up from the cheapies like Alpha.
I'd say Bourns or Allen-Bradley are what I'd consider a quality pot. I know some guitarists don't like the taper of Bourns "guitar" pots, but you can't really fault the construction. And you don't have to buy their "guitar" line of pots, either.
CTS and bourns are good, but alpha will also work.
To me it comes down to the feel you want (I like the little bit of friction with CTS) and the taper (not all audio tapers are equal, some are steeper than others).
Crap, finally got the Bourns from Art of Tone via Amazon, and it doesn't fit. Definitely very smooth action and low friction. It's a 3/8 bushing when the guitar has metric holes (8mm). I thought I had CTS but the pot are actually Alpha.
I can't seem to find a source for metric pots that is not eBay except for alphas. Are there any?
Of course the other solution is to enlarge the hole but I hate doing that as the only safe way I know is to use a dowel and sandpaper.
5/16" pots would work. Your 3/8" pots might work if you have a reamer and some masking tape. Of course, you might need different knobs.
Art of tone has 8 mm alpha. Got several from them in the past - the good ones with brass bushing
You could twist the wire around the lug and solder in place.
I've tried twisting it one time and it doesn't hold, the lugs are not really big enough to twist several times and it's a pain, and the connection probably won't hold if I move the wire repeatedly.
They're poor quality pots as well probably, so why bother and not order decent ones?