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Unread 12-07-2011, 06:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Hi everyone!

I promised in another thread to put up some recordings - here they are:

Christopher Lyngedal's sounds on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

On the Soundcloud page, I've uploaded 8 tracks, 4 with CTS EP086 500k pots, and 4 with RS Superpots (I believe they are built to 550k specs).

Some further info on the clips:

In the "heavy" clips, I do a heavy doublestrum on a E5 powerchord on the 7th fret A-string. Then I roll the volume down by one number. (I have pointer washers, so it's kinda accurate) When I reach 0, I start going back up to 10.
The "soft" clips - a single B-major barre chord on the 7th fret E-string.
Tone controls on 10, never touched during the recordings.

I did my best to keep the strums even and so on, but I did mess up a few places. Oh well. (The harmonic on the 7th fret is a bugger sometimes)

Pot specs:
The standard CTS pots - Bridge 517k. Neck - 503k.
RS Superpots - Bridge 576k. Neck - 574k.

Gear/setup:

Epiphone SG G-400 with SD JB/Jazz set (with magnet out-of-phase when in middle position mod), Tonepros Tune-O-Matic, full-face pickguard, speed knobs. Ernie Ball Regular Slinky's 10-46 gauge.
Before: Home-made wiring harness, standard CTS pots, ceramic caps, switchcraft jack, Epi switch, braided wire. Wired 50's style.

Now: The Tundratone Special - SG Style Wiring Harness Complete.
RS Superpots for volume, CTS 550k high-spec pots for tone (measured 555k/553k).
Neck cap: Cornell-Dubilier .022 uf 600v PIO.
Bridge cap: Aerovox .022 uf 200v PIO
Obviously wired 50's style

Planet waves 10ft cable.

Bugera 6260 2x12 combo. Stock Bugera 6L6 tubes. High-gain input. Amp setting: Clean channel w/crunch mode engaged. Gain 10 o'clock, Bass/Mid/Treble and Presence 12 o'clock. Channel volume 9'clock.

Microphone: Zoom Q3HD. Camera off, mic sensivity set to "Low".

Pick: V-Pick Snake Pointed Unbuffed.

PICT0010 (2).jpg
PICT0011 (2).jpg



I think that's about it... Please point it out if I forgot anything in this post


PS: The point of this video is not to bash on anything/anyone. This simply illustrates the difference between two different types of volume pots. Yes, I didn't ONLY change the pots. I changed the whole harness. I know.
But I still think these clips are a good indicator on how the pots behave, and what the taper is like.

Feedback greatly appreciated. Feel free to ask any questions, and please point out any mistakes I might have made. I here to learn!
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Unread 12-07-2011, 09:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Wow! that took some time to do, nice job. I thought the RS Superpots had a nicer tone and more even taper. And yes they have that noticeable volume jump at end of their sweep between 8.5-10. The CTS pots seemed more like linear, sounded harsher and had a more pronounced drop off between the numbers 2-0.

Last edited by roadhog96; 12-08-2011 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Added the numbers that I noticed the pronounced drop off
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Unread 12-08-2011, 01:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

I found that with the CTS pots, there's hardly any difference from 10-2, then from 2-0 works like a on/off switch :S
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Unread 12-08-2011, 01:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

thanks for the effort!
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Unread 12-08-2011, 01:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyngedal View Post
I found that with the CTS pots, there's hardly any difference from 10-2, then from 2-0 works like a on/off switch :S
I noticed that when I heard your clip too...and you know what that implies. The CTS EP086 pot you used for volume control probably has a linear taper based on that behavior. So you're contrasting linear taper to whatever taper the Superpot uses.

If you have a multimeter in hand, put the dial at '5', put the one of the probes in the middle lug and the other probe on one of the side lugs. If it reads ~250k, it's most probably linear.
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Unread 12-08-2011, 06:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5F6-A View Post
thanks for the effort!
This took quite some time to do, so I really appreciate it

Though I must admit, it feels pretty damn great to finally be able to give something back to this "community". I'm glad I did it

EDIT: Just realized - my first "thank" Made my day!
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Unread 12-08-2011, 06:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz59 View Post
I noticed that when I heard your clip too...and you know what that implies. The CTS EP086 pot you used for volume control probably has a linear taper based on that behavior. So you're contrasting linear taper to whatever taper the Superpot uses.

If you have a multimeter in hand, put the dial at '5', put the one of the probes in the middle lug and the other probe on one of the side lugs. If it reads ~250k, it's most probably linear.
I did specify I wanted audio taper/logarithmic tapered pots, when I bought them from a guitar workshop in Denmark Street, London. (Noden Guitars Ltd.) I think I even measured them myself before i put them in my guitar when I got back to Norway. I'm 90% sure they were audio taper :S

But what you're saying does make sense in way, so I'll check this when I get back from school. Doing music theory right now, then a session of maths

Stay tuned!
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Unread 12-08-2011, 09:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyngedal View Post
I did specify I wanted audio taper/logarithmic tapered pots, when I bought them from a guitar workshop in Denmark Street, London. (Noden Guitars Ltd.) I think I even measured them myself before i put them in my guitar when I got back to Norway. I'm 90% sure they were audio taper :S

But what you're saying does make sense in way, so I'll check this when I get back from school. Doing music theory right now, then a session of maths

Stay tuned!
Okay, here are some actual values of the old CTS pots:

Neck volume
10 503k
9 416k
8 245k
7 89k
6 57k
5 38k
4 27k
3 16k
2 2k
1 0
0 0

Bridge volume:
10 517k
9 462k
8 270k
7 149k
6 72k
5 43k
4 33k
3 20k
2 6k
1 0
0 0

Soooo... definitely not linear pots, that's for sure!
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Unread 12-08-2011, 10:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyngedal View Post
Okay, here are some actual values of the old CTS pots:

Neck volume
10 503k
9 416k
8 245k
7 89k
6 57k
5 38k
4 27k
3 16k
2 2k
1 0
0 0

Bridge volume:
10 517k
9 462k
8 270k
7 149k
6 72k
5 43k
4 33k
3 20k
2 6k
1 0
0 0

Soooo... definitely not linear pots, that's for sure!
Whoa...nice. Those values totally surprised me. The taper really sucked then.
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Unread 12-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Could you post the numbers for the RS pots, please? I understand this is kind of a pain and completely understand if you don't have the time, or just don't want to.
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Unread 12-08-2011, 12:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknhorse1 View Post
Could you post the numbers for the RS pots, please? I understand this is kind of a pain and completely understand if you don't have the time, or just don't want to.
I'd love to - but that means I have to disconnect them from my harness, right? :/

I don't have the time right now, and to be honest, I don't really want to mess around with the harness any more than necessary. This is a pre-built harness from TundraTone, and it looks and sounds amazing, so I'm afraid I'll mess up something :/

But what I WILL do, is to order more RS pots after Christmas, as I'm working on two other guitars. (One will be a gift to a very special person, the other will be my backup guitar) And then I'll measure them and put up the specs!
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Unread 12-08-2011, 02:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknhorse1 View Post
Could you post the numbers for the RS pots, please? I understand this is kind of a pain and completely understand if you don't have the time, or just don't want to.
I've got a set sitting around....I just measured both so, here you go.

RS values:
At #.....Pot 1............Pot 2
10........542..............531
09........516..............498
08........394..............384
07........272..............282
06........178..............219
05........149..............161
04........110..............128
03..........79................89
02..........31................38
01...........2..................1
00...........0..................0

Papa

Edit: Clyngedal,
Enjoyed the clips. Thanks
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Last edited by Papa; 12-08-2011 at 06:22 PM.
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Unread 12-09-2011, 12:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa View Post
I've got a set sitting around....I just measured both so, here you go.

RS values:
At #.....Pot 1............Pot 2
10........542..............531
09........516..............498
08........394..............384
07........272..............282
06........178..............219
05........149..............161
04........110..............128
03..........79................89
02..........31................38
01...........2..................1
00...........0..................0

Papa

Edit: Clyngedal,
Enjoyed the clips. Thanks
Thank you

So now it's been proved - RS Superpots have a far better taper than the standard CTS 500k's
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Unread 12-09-2011, 07:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa View Post
I've got a set sitting around....I just measured both so, here you go.

RS values:
At #.....Pot 1............Pot 2
10........542..............531
09........516..............498
08........394..............384
07........272..............282
06........178..............219
05........149..............161
04........110..............128
03..........79................89
02..........31................38
01...........2..................1
00...........0..................0

Papa

Edit: Clyngedal,
Enjoyed the clips. Thanks
Hey man, thanks for doing that. I think people can see the difference pretty well. I do like the way my RS pots work for sure. They are a little expensive though.
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Unread 12-09-2011, 03:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Awesome test!

I noticed a difference immediately the day I installed RS pots. I have them in all my guitars (except one) now. The one I don't have them in is my Strat and that's loaded with a harness made by Jonesy. NO need to mess with that one.
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Unread 12-09-2011, 05:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknhorse1 View Post
Hey man, thanks for doing that. I think people can see the difference pretty well. I do like the way my RS pots work for sure. They are a little expensive though.
They're not completely outrageous though if you look at what you pay for a 550k spec audio taper CTS. I mean the good ones, brass shaft, brass bushing, nice smooth and quality feel. WD Music charges $11+ for their 550K (CTS 500XL) pots and an RS Superpot is only $5 more than that.

Just sayin'

Cheers,

Steve
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Unread 12-10-2011, 01:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Considering you are comparing a $6 20% CTS 500K audio taper pot to a $16 550K pot with a custom taper it's not really surprising that their is that much of a difference. If you were to compare the RS pots against the best 10% CTS50K from WD music ($12) the results would have been much closer except the CTS 550K's from WD have a smoother taper with no jump between 10 and 8. Thanks for taking the time to do the testing and posting your results.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 08:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknhorse1 View Post
Hey man, thanks for doing that. I think people can see the difference pretty well. I do like the way my RS pots work for sure. They are a little expensive though.
If we compare the price of RS Superpots (or other high-spec pots) to the hundreds and thousands of dollars we spend on guitars, amps and effects.....

You see the picture :P
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Unread 12-11-2011, 11:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyngedal View Post
If we compare the price of RS Superpots (or other high-spec pots) to the hundreds and thousands of dollars we spend on guitars, amps and effects.....

You see the picture :P
I have them in my guitar. As far as pots for your guitar, they are the most expensive (from what I have seen). It was just a comment, but it may well play into someones decision. You need 2 of them so it's $10 more. I personally didn't like paying that much for a pot. I could learn, and get used to pretty much any pot that was in my guitar so, YMMV.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 01:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesy View Post
Considering you are comparing a $6 20% CTS 500K audio taper pot to a $16 550K pot with a custom taper it's not really surprising that their is that much of a difference. If you were to compare the RS pots against the best 10% CTS50K from WD music ($12) the results would have been much closer except the CTS 550K's from WD have a smoother taper with no jump between 10 and 8.
I agree and here are some numbers to back it up:
I tested 2 of each. All four pots are CTS audio taper.
550k +/-10% (brass shaft/brass sleeve).......500k +/-20% (aluminum shaft and sleeve)

.....Set 1, 550k +/-10% ...........Set 2, 500k +/-20%
_____Pot 1___Pot 2____________Pot 1___Pot 2
10___558____547_____________533____477
09___532____524_____________481____420
08___400____389_____________297____299
07___272____261_____________129____151
06___146____144______________71_____77
05___101____102______________50_____54
04____76_____72______________35_____38
03____52_____46______________24_____27
02____26_____21______________10_____11
01_____1______1_______________0______0
00_____0______0_______________0______0

RS values:
At.....Pot 1..........Pot 2
10......542............531
09......516............498
08......394............384
07......272............282
06......178............219
05......149............161
04......110............128
03........79..............89
02........31..............38
01.........2................1
00.........0................0


Now mind that I am not a proponent of any particular way of setting up a guitar. Although a short time member, I have been reading this forum for years. I do however, have nothing to gain.

I have respect for Jonesy and what he has done for others. I present these numbers as useful facts. I know that Jonesy doesn't need my backup.

I am not in competition with Jonesy nor am I a customer.
I simply build my own harnesses for myself.

To the point:
Most people will spend $300 to $3,000 on a guitar. Most think nothing of upgrading pickups while spending $70 to $300. Why would you worry about spending $20 extra on a good set of pots?

Papa
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Unread 12-11-2011, 02:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Thanks for the data Papa, nice post and useful unbiased info.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 04:29 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa View Post
I agree and here are some numbers to back it up:
I tested 2 of each. All four pots are CTS audio taper.
550k +/-10% (brass shaft/brass sleeve).......500k +/-20% (aluminum shaft and sleeve)

.....Set 1, 550k +/-10% ...........Set 2, 500k +/-20%
_____Pot 1___Pot 2____________Pot 1___Pot 2
10___558____547_____________533____477
09___532____524_____________481____420
08___400____389_____________297____299
07___272____261_____________129____151
06___146____144______________71_____77
05___101____102______________50_____54
04____76_____72______________35_____38
03____52_____46______________24_____27
02____26_____21______________10_____11
01_____1______1_______________0______0
00_____0______0_______________0______0

RS values:
At.....Pot 1..........Pot 2
10......542............531
09......516............498
08......394............384
07......272............282
06......178............219
05......149............161
04......110............128
03........79..............89
02........31..............38
01.........2................1
00.........0................0


Now mind that I am not a proponent of any particular way of setting up a guitar. Although a short time member, I have been reading this forum for years. I do however, have nothing to gain.

I have respect for Jonesy and what he has done for others. I present these numbers as useful facts. I know that Jonesy doesn't need my backup.

I am not in competition with Jonesy nor am I a customer.
I simply build my own harnesses for myself.

To the point:
Most people will spend $300 to $3,000 on a guitar. Most think nothing of upgrading pickups while spending $70 to $300. Why would you worry about spending $20 extra on a good set of pots?

Papa
If one knows what to look for, he will find in the measurements that you've posted that

1.set CTS pots (10% tolerance) are 20/80 or 80:20 taper
2.set of CTS pots (20% tolerance) are 10/90 or 90:10 taper
set of RS Superpots are 30/70 or 70:30 taper, MOSTLY ( compare the data for 10-8 with 1.CTS set, it looks like RS are ~ 20/80 there - some might call that 'bump' or 'drop' ... )

( divide the value measured when on 5 with the value measured when on 10 )

I just thought that some might find this useful/important.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by korus View Post
I just thought that some might find this useful/important.
I did! I've been trying to get a better grasp on an explanation of how the ratios
are used in reference to audio curve.

I do believe that is the best explanation I have seen.

I have some 1976 Centralabs around here. A friend of mine was talking about how the taper value was different. Ratios are the reference that he was using.

Papa
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

I do most of my fine adjusting between 7 and 4. So having the sweep less sensitive through there works. When using the volume to add gain, or for a solo boost, I find the "immediate" response of the pot in the upper register to be desirable.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

You could also remove the 8 - 10 part of the sweep all together by setting your amp loud enough so you don't need to go that high on the pot. You may have to add a bit of treble to compensate.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 06:21 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Personally I like a smooth taper with no sudden drop and use the 5-10 range on my volume pots the most. Tone pots I normally use 10-7 to dial in the sweet spot unless I roll them way down from 3-0 for the woman tone. It also depends on what guitar I am playing.
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Unread 12-12-2011, 10:29 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Do you happen to have a photo of the 'before'/homemade wiring?
There could be one of 2 things :
a. stock pots were audio taper on tone pots and you've measured these and were linear taper on volume pots.
b. wiring was different / not the same before and now

Anyway, the recording of CTS pots are EXACTLY like linear taper would behave. Please check/measure all 4 other pots, my guess is that 2 are audio and 2 are linear, and that linear were volumes and audio were tones, but you've measured audio ones once they were out of the guitar.

Sorry to bother. But most importantly - thanks for your effort and sharing your experience with us.

Last edited by korus; 12-12-2011 at 01:46 PM.
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Unread 12-12-2011, 03:04 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by korus View Post
Do you happen to have a photo of the 'before'/homemade wiring?
There could be one of 2 things :
a. stock pots were audio taper on tone pots and you've measured these and were linear taper on volume pots.
b. wiring was different / not the same before and now

Anyway, the recording of CTS pots are EXACTLY like linear taper would behave. Please check/measure all 4 other pots, my guess is that 2 are audio and 2 are linear, and that linear were volumes and audio were tones, but you've measured audio ones once they were out of the guitar.

Sorry to bother. But most importantly - thanks for your effort and sharing your experience with us.
No photo of the old wiring, sorry :/ But the wiring worked exactly like it should have, except for the rubbish pot taper. And it was all done "properly", 50's style.

I'm 100% sure about the pots being audio taper - all 4 of them. I marked all the pots before I put them in the guitar, so I haven't mixed the volume and tone pots (which were all of the same brand).

Does anybody else have pots of this type to compare with?
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Unread 12-12-2011, 03:42 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyngedal View Post

I'm 100% sure about the pots being audio taper - all 4 of them. I marked all the pots before I put them in the guitar, so I haven't mixed the volume and tone pots (which were all of the same brand).

Does anybody else have pots of this type to compare with?
EP-0086-000 - CTS 500K Split Shaft Audio Pot

CTS 500K Split Shaft Audio Pot | Allparts.com

EP-4986-000 - CTS 500K Linear Tone Pot

CTS 500K Linear Tone Pot | Allparts.com
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Unread 12-12-2011, 04:50 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

just read the codes on the pot.
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