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Trying "Vintage Taper" potentiometers

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Wallaby, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I'm giving some "vintage taper" potentiometers a try, from a well-known retailer. Has anyone else tried them?

    I'm familiar with CTS pots and like them fine, I'm hoping the 30% taper on the "vintage" models give me greater use of my volume range.

    The guitar they're going in uses modern wiring, no bleeder or anything else that would affect the taper.
     
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  2. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Watching this with interest.

    :) Peter
     
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  3. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, I used one as a volume pot for a while. It was closer to linear (obviously) than the usual 10% taper, which made the volume jump a bit more from 0, and smoothed out that bump in volume that normally occurs around 8. I liked the taper.

    I don't think it would improve a tone control much, though... probably not enough to warrant the time or money required to change it.
     
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  4. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Thanks, it sounds like I'll like it!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  5. tedtan

    tedtan Tele-Meister

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    I like the vintage taper pots for the reason you mention - they allow better control of the volume and tone knobs by offering a more useable range.

    Curious to hear what you think once you've tried them out yourself.
     
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  6. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    Are you talking about the "vintage taper" CTS pots from Art of Tone?

    I've got a couple of those on the bench. They will be used for volume control along with a couple of standard taper pots for tone on a LP style with P90's.

    I'm not expecting a whole lot of difference from them, but figured I'll give them a try.
     
  7. Bearzooka

    Bearzooka TDPRI Member

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    I had a mojotone vintage taper for my volume. I dug it, great for volume swells.
     
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  8. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted

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    The vintage taper pots will remove that quick roll off from 10 down to 8 that standard audio pots have. It gives a more gradual reduction of volume when rolling down. I found that I prefer the quick roll off that standard audio pots provide but if you are looking for a smoother transition, the vintage taper should fit the bill.
     
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  9. jdiego

    jdiego Tele-Meister

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    Didn't know these vintage taper pots exist.

    Does they make a difference similar to changing modern wiring to 50's wiring on a Les Paul?
     
  10. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    No, these are the Mojotone version.

     
  11. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    ...me too!!
     
  12. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted

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    They will slightly change the taper of the volume pot but they do not offer the same effect that you get with the volume and tone pot with 50's wiring.

    A linear taper pot specs out at 50% taper and a standard audio pot is usually between 10-20%. The vintage tapers are a 30% pot that is suppose to be closer to the taper of the older pots used back in the 50's and 60's.
     
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  13. nomadh

    nomadh Tele-Afflicted

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    So audio taper pots are not set to a curve that matches our hearing or perception of loudness and they for some reason changed it from back in the day when it was correct? Is it more dependant on type of circuit or active vs passive or the old type is better in a guitar circuit than a radio for instance?
     
  14. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are they priced differently than audio or linear?

    Not a big fan of audio taper.
     
  15. elpico

    elpico Tele-Afflicted

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    There a many different tapers for log pots. Have a look at the left side of this pic:

    [​IMG]

    Which one works "best" in any particular circuit position is completely subjective. Your hearing/perception of loudness changes wildly depending on the sound in question, the volume level, the room you're listening in, and the state of your ears at that hour of that day. I don't think it would be accurate to say any of them more "correct" or more "vintage" than any other. They're just a variety of tools to choose from to do a variety of jobs.
     
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  16. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    $5.95 at Musician's Friend.
     
  17. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    RS Guitarworks has been selling a "Superpot" made by CTS to their specs. Same idea, not quite linear taper. I like them on humbucker equipped guitars but i don't find myself jockeying the volume knob on strats or teles as much.
     
  18. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have the Mojotone Vintage Taper in several of my guitars, I really like them. I do a lot of volume control stuff, like violin swells, and just controlling my sound in general. They are made to order for Mojo by CTS, Mojo has a video on their site about them.

    Whenever I redo a guitar those are what I use.

    Also, the Mojo vintage tapers are very low torque. A lot of fellas like a pot with high torque so keep that in mind if you are looking at these.

    Musicians Friend has them as the same price as Mojo but with free shipping, $5.95.
     
  19. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Meister

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    I have tried both the 500K and 250K 'vintage taper' CTS pots from Mojotone. Currently, have them in 4 guitars. Good stuff, good price.
     
  20. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Well, they're in. I ordered four 500k vintage taper pots, and metered them before assembling my harness.

    Two of them were at 510k and 515k and I used those for the volumes, the other two were at 500k and 490k, so they became the tone controls.

    I have a couple of experiences with other pots that help me a) appreciate the c-clip and dish-back design and b) appreciate that the shafts aren't brittle.

    I cleaned 'em and lubed 'em and in they went. This is the fourth version of the wiring harness for my semi-hollow, and it's definitely my favorite.

    The other details are .022 cap for bridge, .015 for neck ( PAF-style humbuckers ), regular 3-way Switchcraft switch and "modern" wiring using push-back wire. Simple, classic, and it sounds really good.

    The slower taper is noticeable and effective, I like them a lot.
     
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