CTS EP086 500k VS RS Superpots - With audioclips!

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Clyngedal, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Clyngedal

    Clyngedal Senior Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    236
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    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) :slash:

    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:lol:

    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 :fingersx:


    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! :D
     
    WhiskeyMike, korus, kingedb and 4 others like this.
  2. roadhog96

    roadhog96 Senior Member

    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    117
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    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.
     
  3. Clyngedal

    Clyngedal Senior Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    236
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    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
     
  4. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,121
    Likes Received:
    1,783
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    thanks for the effort!
    :thumb:
     
  5. Raz59

    Raz59 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,009
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    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.
     
  6. Clyngedal

    Clyngedal Senior Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    236
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    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 :thumb:

    EDIT: Just realized - my first "thank" :D Made my day! :D
     
    5F6-A and rocknhorse1 like this.
  7. Clyngedal

    Clyngedal Senior Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    236
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    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 :dude:

    Stay tuned!
     
  8. Clyngedal

    Clyngedal Senior Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    236
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    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!
     
  9. Raz59

    Raz59 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,009
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Whoa...nice. Those values totally surprised me. The taper really sucked then.
     
  10. rocknhorse1

    rocknhorse1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,780
    Likes Received:
    2,754
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    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.
     
  11. Clyngedal

    Clyngedal Senior Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    236
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    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! :D
     
    cheeseflavor and rocknhorse1 like this.
  12. Papa

    Papa Senior Member

    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    971
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    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
     
  13. Clyngedal

    Clyngedal Senior Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    236
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Thank you :)

    So now it's been proved - RS Superpots have a far better taper than the standard CTS 500k's :thumb:
     
    kingedb likes this.
  14. rocknhorse1

    rocknhorse1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,780
    Likes Received:
    2,754
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Hey man, thanks for doing that. I think people can see the difference pretty well. :thumb: I do like the way my RS pots work for sure. They are a little expensive though.
     
  15. kingedb

    kingedb Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,467
    Likes Received:
    9,018
    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Awesome test! :applause:

    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. :D
     
  16. cheeseflavor

    cheeseflavor Premium Member

    Messages:
    1,226
    Likes Received:
    201
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    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' :thumb:

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  17. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

    Messages:
    17,053
    Likes Received:
    4,264
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    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.
     
    Clyngedal likes this.
  18. Clyngedal

    Clyngedal Senior Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    236
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    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
     
  19. rocknhorse1

    rocknhorse1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,780
    Likes Received:
    2,754
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    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.
     
  20. Papa

    Papa Senior Member

    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    971
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    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
     
    korus, jonesy and Clyngedal like this.

Share This Page