Good and Bad pots and tapers.

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Corvus, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Corvus

    Corvus Tele-Meister

    May 22, 2019
    Birmingham UK
    I have two Roadworn Teles with CTS log 250k and the volume pots will operate over about two thirds without going "dead" but they do drop a fair bit of treble. I have a Vintera 50s Tele - log CTS 250k and everything goes off just over half way with such a drop off in treble that I've fitted a treble-bleed cap and resistor.
    I've got a "Vintage" Brand import tele where the no-name pots work wonderfully and bright over the whole range and I've got two cheap Squier Affinity teles where the cheap pots also work over almost a full range. Same regarding the tone pots.

    The question - why don't expensive CTS pots work over the whole range without the sudden drop off? I have read it's because pro players like to reduce volume quickly when playing at high volume to reduce noise???? But most of us are home players mostly and we'd like the pots to work properly. Maybe it's something to do with the frequencies single coil pots put out because Gibsons tend to work well with their pickups. Surely Fender could specify a custom taper?

    My Fender Teles sound great flat out but I like to be able to adjust my stage volume without too much treble loss and to have a bit in reserve but I haven't found the answer yet.
    Has anyone found the ideal pot for a telecaster - or has anybody experimented with linear or reverse taper pots?
  2. tedtan

    tedtan Tele-Meister

    Nov 18, 2015
    Kansas City
    This comes down to the specific taper of the pot, and CTS offers several different tapers, as well as custom tapers, so I'd say this is on Fender for their pot selection.

    For what it's worth, I've found the CTS pots offered by WD music, with WD's custom taper, to work very well with both humbuckers and single coils. They offer the ability to roll off the volume fairly quickly for leads/cleans, but also work over the full range of the pot.
    dodona likes this.
  3. BCblues55

    BCblues55 Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    Nov 11, 2014
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    I’ve done a lot of experimentation, and I’ve found that a CTS 250k linear volume pot and a CTS 250k audio (log) tone pot work great. I also use 50’s wiring. With this setup, I can turn the volume down and maintain treble at any point on the volume pot, so I don’t need a treble bleed. FYI, I use a 500k linear volume pot with humbuckers, but even on my humbucker guitars, I still use 250k audio pots. Works for me, but YMMV. Telecasters are SO easy to mod, it’s worth it to just try a couple of mods and see what works with your amp and playing style. Have fun!
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