Best volume/tone pots for teles?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by joel_ostrom, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. joel_ostrom

    joel_ostrom Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm sure this is a topic of debate amongst tone purists - but i'm looking for some good pots to upgrade on my main tele. The taper sucks on them. It'll go up to about 80% with very little volume output then it goes from nothing to everything in about 1/8 of a turn.

    I've heard that a set of pots with matching tolerances can improve your tone, subtle as i'm sure it is.

    I've looked into getting some from Singlecoil.com - they're expensive but the taper is supposed to be really good and they have extremely low tolerances and come in matched sets.

    has anybody dealt with them before? or have other pots to recommend?
     
  2. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

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    I think you need to get some "audio taper" pots/250k ohms. What you have now are 'linear taper' pots. Audio taper pots go from zero to 10 in increments, not like the ones that usually come in teles, [linear taper]... or Fender amps either. My 1979 Princeton Reverb amp goes from silent on zero to 'way too loud' before it hits one. I need to change that pot also. USA made pots are good...best.????? Anyone else ?????
     
  3. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    I've bought from singlecoil.com before. Dirk Wacker is a really nice guy to deal with, and I got the parts I needed. He is specialized in vintage/repro parts which are expensive, so up to you to decide if that's what you want. Personally, for what you're doing, I wouldn't bother having them shipped from Germany to Canada.
    What kind of pots are in there now?
    A good place to start from are CTS 250 audio pots, not too much that can go wrong there.
     
  4. stratman323

    stratman323 Banned

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    I completely disagree. It sounds to me like you have an audio taper volume pot, which accounts for the strange taper. What you need is a linear taper (B) Alpha pot.

    If you look on the internet about the audio versus linear taper argument, you'll find lots of stuff that directly contradicts other stuff. I know, I looked a few years ago! The truth is that you can use either. The UK's best parts retailer has this useful glossary on this page.

    http://www.axesrus.com/axeElectronicsPots.htm

    Since pots are cheap, try a linear taper one & then an audio taper one. The one that you like best is the one for you, regardless of what the rest of us say. But I got fed up (with standard Fender audio pots) with turning my volume control down to 8 & finding that I lost half my volume. Now, with a linear volume pot, I need to turn down to 5 or 6 to reduce the noise my guitar makes by an equivalent amount. So I have more subtlety & control with my linear pot.

    If you try both, let us know how you get on.
     
  5. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

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    I stand corrected. I am always confused as to which does which.. I have read incorrect info on that, also... thus the confusion. Thanks for the correction and for the link... Now I won't forget again.................
     
  6. stratman323

    stratman323 Banned

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    The reason so many of us get confused (I used to!) is that people state with certainty that one is better than the other, & the truth is that both log & linear work for volume. It's really a question of how you use your volume control, what it is that you expect it to do. For me linear is better, but Fender (US & Mexico) tend to use log, & most people seem happy with that. But then again many Japanese guitars have linear (B) volume pots & most people seem happy with those.

    That's my take on it anyway. Luckily it can be even cheaper to change a pot than it is to fit many upgrade caps.
     
  7. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

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    I recall a story that I heard years ago about how Roy Buchanan or Danny Gatton,[I can't remember which], tested the pots before buying for their guitars, because the roll-offs were so different from one to the other... Those would be the audio log pots, then... It was to match the 'technique' used in getting the whining volume swells, so it was a matter of how fast or slow that the guitarist wants the volume to go up and back down on the knob. To do a volume swell by only having your pinky do a small turn on the volume knob is a lot easier than having to have it turn the knob a whole turn... Now that's being really custom...
     
  8. stratman323

    stratman323 Banned

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    Yes, for volume swells a log pot should be better.
     
  9. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    Are any pots still actually made in the USA any more? CTS have been produced in Taiwan for a few years now. (But they are excellent pots).
     
  10. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

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    rs guitar works has cts make to rs guitar works standards..... what they call a 280 and 500k super pot. it is just for volume and is of tighter tolerance than standard. +-10% i think instead of +- 20%
     
  11. stratman323

    stratman323 Banned

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    Don't rule out Alpha pots. In my opinion the quality is as good as CTS, & they have the bonus of being less stiff to turn than new CTS pots are. It's easier to get 250k B (linear) pots in Alphas too, if that's what you want.
     
  12. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

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  13. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

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    allessandro makes very high quality pots also...but expensive.
     
  14. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

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    Actually the Allessandro pots are the same pots made for them by PEC. They just have their name stamped on it and charge 4x the price.
     
  15. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

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    One small problem w/ the PECs....they are slightly over 1" in diameter, and

    too large to fit the Telecaster Control Route....Work fine in Strats and some

    other stuff though....Maybe they offer a smaller Diameter ?....I got these from

    Antique Supply in AZ.
     
  16. joel_ostrom

    joel_ostrom Tele-Afflicted

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    Do they do matched sets? whats the taper like on them?

    the ones i've been talking to Dirk about (at Singlecoil.com) has a 60:40 ratio. Its mostly the taper, the minimal tolerance and the ability to obtain a matched set that i'm looking for.
     
  17. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

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    My bad, I listed the ones for amps. The RV2 1W series is the regular 24mm size. The amp version is only $12 but the guitar version is $38 :eek:.
    That would get 29 Alpha pots, should be able to get a matched set out of that.

    Melle, you can get better prices if you sign up with their wholesale side, CE Distribution https://secure.cedist.com/. No discount on those pots though.
     
  18. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

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    Thanks for that....good to know.
     
  19. king5697

    king5697 TDPRI Member

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    I am a big fan of pots from RS Guitarworks. I just installed the vintage upgrade kits on my 2 strats and am going to install a vintage upgrade kit on my 72 Tele Deluxe when my new Lollar pickups arrive.
     
  20. superhand

    superhand Tele-Afflicted

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    I like CTS they do what they are supposed to do and they are easy to solder.
     
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