Audio VS. Linear

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by tiedstick, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. tiedstick

    tiedstick V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Hey folks. Haven't been here in ages due to ongoing health problems. Good to be back! :)

    SO...I bought some CTS 500K matched pots for my LP and 2 vitamin q's. This whole time, I thought all pots were the same besides for their resistance value.

    Today the pots came in, and I was surprised to see two of them were labeled "audio" and two of them labeled "linear."

    Basically, I'm "59-ing" my LP out. With regaurds to that, my question is which ones should I use for my volume controls and which ones should I use for tone?

    Thanks for any help! :cheers:
     
  2. xsouldriverx

    xsouldriverx V.I.P. Member

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    to my understanding audio can be used for everything. but if you have to split it
    audio-volume
    linear-tone

    dont take that to heart. im sure hillbilly will come along to save the day.
    btw nice to hear youre back.
     
  3. tiedstick

    tiedstick V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Cool. Thanks bud!

    I just started doing a little research. Seems like most people use audio pots for all of them because the change is easier to hear.

    Linear however are smoother(?) So I suppose like you said, they would make more sence in the tone positions.

    Thanks again and I appreaciate the welcome. :)
     
  4. hillbilly

    hillbilly V.I.P. Member

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  5. tiedstick

    tiedstick V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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  6. meka

    meka Senior Member

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    Our ear is not linear. The measure for "how strong the sound is" is dB, which is logaritmic measure. That's why volume pots are not linear. On the other hand, tone pots do the same as volume pots, but just with a band of freq, so I suppose "audio pot" = "logaritmic pot". Of course, it's just something I know from theory, have no idea how practicly applyable this is.
     
  7. Christophe

    Christophe Member

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    About pots, linear and audio:
    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/ton...onics-compilation-information.html#post882057

    Yes, it's really better to use audio for volume, no question about it, as it's the way our ears works.
    However, I don't think there's a concensus on tone. Some prefers linear, some prefers audio. I think it really depends of your ears and of your guitar.

    But if you find that your tone control is acting more like an on/off switch than a full-value control, it may be that you would benefit by changing the type of your tone pot: if you have a linear (B), change it for an audio (A), and if you have an audio (A), change it for a linear (B)

    Hope this helps
     
  8. tiedstick

    tiedstick V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks meka and Christope!

    I am CONSTANTLY tweaking my volume pots while playing, but my tone pots are usually a 'set-it-and-forget-it' kinda deal.

    So it sounds like I should be good with what I got. I'll be dropping them in this weekend so I'll let you guys know what I think. I suppose I can get 2 more audio pots later on if I wanna experiment more.

    Thanks for the help. :cheers:
     
  9. tiedstick

    tiedstick V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Hey real quick not-so-related question:

    What do you guys use to lube your pots? My new CTS pots are very tight/sticky and hard to turn. I can't find DeOxit anywhere. What about WD-40? I was thinking teflon oil perhaps???:hmm:
     
  10. Jayjayman

    Jayjayman Senior Member

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    Audio..its obvious isnt it?
     
  11. Neodustin

    Neodustin Senior Member

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    If I were you I would order some DeOxit from Stew Mac rather than spray anything else inside the pots. I'd rather wait an extra week for shipping for piece of mind.
     
  12. FF_Pedals

    FF_Pedals Senior Member

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    Where did you buy your pots?
     
  13. FF_Pedals

    FF_Pedals Senior Member

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    If you use 50's wiring, use the linear pots for volume.
     
  14. korus

    korus Senior Member

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    Linear pots for tone are pure nonsense. You do not want any other than audio taper there.

    Vol pots are more complicated matter. Linear taper is to slow, audio taper is too fast. Hence custom taper like RS Superpots (not affiliated,just happy customer).

    my .02$
     
  15. Christophe

    Christophe Member

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    Based on which theory?

    I would rather say the exact opposite, based on the bio-physical explanation of human hearing of volume (which IS log-audio) and tone (which is NOT log).
     
  16. FF_Pedals

    FF_Pedals Senior Member

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    I think it depends on the wiring scheme. 50's wiring needs those RS superpots for volume and audio pots sound good in the tone.
     
  17. korus

    korus Senior Member

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    Too much education calls for theory when one is not needed.
    No, no theory, just plain common sense.

    Lets go to the facts. Here The Secret Life of Pots you can find this http://www.geofex.com/article_folders/potsecrets/pottaper.gif

    500 k linear taper pot and 500k audio taper pot have the same effect only when both are either on 10 or on 0. Any other setting between 0 and 10 is different for these 2 pots.

    Further, tone pot is just a simple variable resistor.That is why this graph explains its effect properly.

    Now, MY theory/thesis : Most people (~90% of overall population with regular hearing ability) start to notice difference in highs when you turn AUDIO taper (LOGarithmic taper) used as a TONE pot in a guitar from 10 to 8 or even from 10 to 7. [end of theory/thesis]

    On this graph one can see (y axis) that this equals ~ 32% for 8 or ~23% for 7 and this translates as 3 or 2 on LINEAR taper pot, cause it is - linear.

    So if anyone would like to have usable range from 0 to 3 or from 0 to 2 using LINEAR taper pot instead of having usable range from 0 to 8 or 0 to 7 using AUDIO taper pot he/she is strongly advised to do so - use LINEAR pot as TONE pot in his/her guitar. To me, that is nonsense. And the fact that this is rather stupid should not stop anyone for doing it that way.

    Now some notes.

    1st note: all this is valid only for those who actually use their tone pots/who DO NOT keep their tone pots always on 10. If you keep your tone pot(s) always on 10 use no load pot : Project Guitar :: Checking DC resistance on your potentiometers

    2nd note : estimation that effect of audio taper pot used tone pot starts at 8 or 7 is based on bedroom guitar situation. any real playing situation live with at least bass and drums bring these values even lower - to 5 or 6. go figure.

    3rd note : TONE pot in a guitar is practically VOLUME pot for particular freq range. hence audio taper should be used just as it is used for volume pot

    I really do hope "Linear pots for tone are pure nonsense. You do not want any other than audio taper there." is much clearer now.
     
  18. LiveOak

    LiveOak Senior Member

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    Tidestick, I am glad you are back and hope that your health issues are over and gone.

    As far as the audio vs. linear thing, there are lot's more qualified folks on here than I will ever be. So, I just play the hell out of my stock 2006 LP Std, 60's neck and I dig the tone so it is all good man! :)
     
  19. Christophe

    Christophe Member

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    Yes, thanks, I think I know what pots are :)
    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/ton...onics-compilation-information.html#post882057

    And I also agree with you that the effect is at the end the same, that the only thing that change is the behaviour you get when turning the pot.

    If I understood it well, your "nonsense" is just based on your experience of using a log pot for tone on YOUR guitar, with YOUR pickups, in YOUR situation. And thus you extrapolate that what is good for you is the situation for "most people (~90% of overall population with regular hearing ability)"...
    Is that right?

    Well, ok, thanks for the explanation. I think it's easier to put your advice in context now...


    Personnaly, I would still recommand for MORE theory than that, in order to make a decision, because I'm really not sure that what's fit you will fit me. And as I can understand people telling me what's fitting them, I'm a bit less trustful to people telling me that doing things different than them is "nonsense". No offence, of course.

    I would still say that choosing log or lin for tone pot is really a matter of circonstance, you have to test with your guitar in your situation.
    However, volume pot is NOT a "more complicated" matter, on the CONTRARY, it's a much easier matter, because science already answers this one (and I talk about REAL science here): human ear is percieving volume as log, so use a log if you want to have a usable pot at all (instead of a on/off switch).


    No offence I hope.
     
  20. FF_Pedals

    FF_Pedals Senior Member

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    Christophe, je pense que la difference qu'on dispute pour le potentiometre de volume se manifeste quand on utilise le schemat des anciens modele de les annees 50s. Tu vois maintenant que le control de 'tone' change la performance du control volume et maintenant les potentiometres audio sont pus les meilleurs pour cette application. La plupart du puissance volume se trouve entre 8 et 10, clairement audio n'est pas le choix pour le style 50s. La plupart des gens ici utilise la configuration des 50s et ca c'est le raison pour notre argument.

    Wow my french is bad. Just trying to get our point across :laugh2:

    You can't use audio for volume pots with 50s style wiring.
     

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