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Old 27th February 2012, 03:29 AM   #1
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Default Alps potentiometer channel differential.

I am using a 24 stepped ladder potentiometer using 1% tolerance resistors and the other day I checked the outputs (before soldering in) and it was perfect in both channels. on the other hand, I checked an Alps and Noble potentiometers and I measured a big difference between channels, like one channel measured 140 ohms and the other channel measured 147 ohms. sometimes it measured less and sometimes it measured way more. it was "never" matched to the other channel. I never knew it was a big difference from channel to channel. live and learn lol.
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Old 27th February 2012, 04:42 AM   #2
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That's nothing, I had a 6-channel ALPS pot with more than a 20% variance between some channels.
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Old 27th February 2012, 05:12 AM   #3
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wow 20% is a lot . The higher that I could read was a difference of 19 ohms between channels.. Now I take Alps and Nobles out of my book unless they are 24 stepped ladder using 1% tolerance resistors
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Old 27th February 2012, 07:10 AM   #4
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Readings as low as 140 to 150 ohms suggest you were right at the bottom or top end of the rotation. That's around 0.4db error which is excellent for a pot at the extremes.
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Old 27th February 2012, 08:50 AM   #5
jaycee is offline jaycee  United Kingdom
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In reality, with channel matching that tight, you're not going to hear any difference.
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Old 27th February 2012, 01:38 PM   #6
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AFAIK about 0.3 dB is about the minimum you can detect when using headphones... speaker operation is less critical. Hence <1 dB matching is usually considered fine.

When using 4-gang pots, some manufacturers have added series resistors at the bottom of the first section so you don't get more channel imbalance than with a 2-gang pot.
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Old 27th February 2012, 02:02 PM   #7
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if you know that your potentiometer is more than a 20% variance between channels, will you use it in your amp that you build using very good parts tolerance like 1%? will it matter to you that one channel is lower or higher than the other?
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