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Old 6th February 2007, 06:38 PM   #1
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Default Good guitar amp potentiometers

I'm looking to replace the volume pot on my guitar amp. I replaced the tone pot with a Precision Electronics Components piece, and it sounds great. The only problem is, they're extremely hard to find, and I've only found the linear varieties for sale--no PEC log pots to be found anywhere.

Can someone recommend a pot that's a step up from the standard cheap Bourns/CTS type, but with a body that's not much more than 3/4" in diameter? I thought about springing for an Alps, but the Blue Beauty is just too big.
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Old 7th February 2007, 03:07 PM   #2
Apex Jr is offline Apex Jr  United States
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Default POTS

You didn't mention a value ..... !

I have some 500K Allen Bradley Carbon pots that
are Rev Log (Audio) at $2.50 ea

Most of the other Mil-Spec's I have are also Linear
but have lots of values

Steve @ Apex Jr.
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Old 7th February 2007, 08:36 PM   #3
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Sorry, I did indeed neglect to mention that it's 250k I'm after...that's a big part of what's making it difficult; lots of audio pots out there but many aren't made past 100k.
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Old 7th February 2007, 10:40 PM   #4
Apex Jr is offline Apex Jr  United States
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I have a linear 250K Mil Spec - RV4NAYSD254A
also at $2.50ea I've been selling to the Guitar amp guys.

Steve @ Apex Jr.
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Old 9th February 2007, 03:39 AM   #5
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Why not use Alpha pots available from mouser?
http://www.mouser.com/search/Refine....31vf&N=1323038

They're great quality and reasonably priced. I've used them in a lot of guitars and guitar projects. They're quite popular.......
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Old 9th February 2007, 03:53 AM   #6
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Thanks, but they're too big (remember I need them 3/4" or less, 24mm is almost an inch) and they're linear taper, which I don't want...I'm looking for audio/log taper. I'd also like it to be an "upgrade" over the regular cheap stuff--not that the cheap stuff is bad, but the $7 PEC linear pot I have sounds noticably better. I'll keep snooping, hopefully something will come up...
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Old 9th February 2007, 05:18 AM   #7
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Those are by no means "the cheap stuff", they're that price because Mouser is the biggest consumer, and otherwise, electronics component supplier in the entire country and likely world.
The only real step up are wire wound or ceramic.

I was thinking those were 3/4 inch but they're 7/8. Regardless, that's exactly where you want to look. 90% of the suppliers you find will be getting their stock from Mouser.

I would also love to hear what makes other pots of the same materials and design superior to the alphas, this should be a good one.......



.
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Old 9th February 2007, 06:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrFrankenstein
I would also love to hear what makes other pots of the same materials and design superior to the alphas, this should be a good one.......
. [/B]
....? I surely didn't mean to put any attitude across in my last post.
I initially wanted a more expensive pot just because the shaft of the stock pot was wobbly and didn't turn perfectly smoothly, and I thought a higher price would probably, at least, mean better build quality. In my limited experience a higher price component won't necessarily sound a lot better but it will be more reliable in general. In the case of the Precision Electronics Components pot this was correct, and to my surprise I noticed a smoother more pleasing tone coming out of my amp--I wasn't really expecting that. But as I look around the net a lot of people (including some on this forum) really prefer PEC to "cheaper" ones like Bourns and CTS.

Again I'm not trying to give attitude, but the PEC pots are made of the "same material," carbon and steel, as the other stuff. The same can be said of Alps pots, which many people think are worth the $25. So I invite you to guess as to why--are people's ears deceiving them, are they strictly buying into higher price=better, or what?

Anyway, if Mouser had the Alpha pots in audio taper I'd definitely give them a shot for $1.50 each and be glad to be proven wrong. Thanks for the tip...
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Old 9th February 2007, 09:24 AM   #9
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I didn't mean to insinuate you were giving attitude, I was expecting some know it all from the peanut gallery to chime in and insist some $12 pot from some top secret but reputable company was superior to all others.

No pot for audio is worth more than a few bucks, that's all I was getting at.
The wire wound or ceramic will be a little bit more expensive but not always and if they are, they're worth it but if they get much more than 3-4 dollars a piece, you're wasting money.
I use the alphas in the finest of guitars and they've served me well over the years. I've used a lot of different brands and types of pots in different projects including the audio taper. The VERY best pot I ever used was ceramic and I got it from a mass electronics surplus center in Cleveland Ohio for a few bucks. It was tough as nails, looked identical to the ones I linked only was steel and ceramic but ultimately I broke the shaft when trying to bend it open a bit so it would properly grip the knob I had been using it with.
The only thing making it so great was it was a bit more durable but since it was mounted in a guitar, it's not like it was going to be seeing any abuse aside from what I did to it trying to bend the shaft open a bit more

Like I said, I use the Alphas in some extremely high end, customized guitars and think of it this way, with a 2 meg Alpha wide open, I get the exact same sound out of any guitar I own as I would just wiring the pickups directly to the output jack of the guitar. I've used a jumper wire to compare and there is absolutely no difference.
So when they're that transparent with passive guitar pickups, you can safely assume in an active circuit they'll perform just as well.
They also have an incredibly smooth feel.

If you dig through Mousers catalog, I'm sure you can find the 3/4 or smaller Audio taper models you're looking for and they won't be more than a dollar and a half.

.
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