Gibson Branded Pots Suck (A Rant)

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by Malchik, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Malchik

    Malchik Senior Member

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    So I brought the accursed guitar back to the dealer and he heard the sickening crackle emitted by the volume and tone pots. He's sending the guitar back to Yorkville Sound to have the hardware changed. I have never felt this much anger and resentment towards Gibson before. I'm just so ill right now I might sell this guitar, take a loss and buy a custom shop start. This is the QC that 7700 buys you.
     
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  2. Hatefulsob

    Hatefulsob Senior Member

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    I have stated this before here; the pots on my '13 Trad are quiet and have a very smooth even taper from 1 to 10, both tone and volume.
    Could it be possible that a (I'm guessing) true historic uses exact replicas of 50's pots, and they just weren't as precice in 1957 as more modern parts?
     
  3. Malchik

    Malchik Senior Member

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    Customs do not use historic pots, they use standard "Gibson" stamped pots and ceramic caps that they use across the hall at Gibson USA. Also, the pots they use on their True Historic line are simple CTS 500k audio pots, nothing vintage specific to my knowledge.
     
  4. redcoats1976

    redcoats1976 Senior Member

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    gibbys arent supposed to be beginner guits either,though.never had any electronic issues with my 20 year old ric 330.
     
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  5. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    Excuse me all to hell, but I do failure analysis as part of my daily work. The thing that strikes me sort of "odd" here, is that multiple pots are bad, or in fact, all four are bad.

    Doesn't that ring an alarm?

    It does it me. Either the pots are so damn bad, that we're just getting kee-rapp-ola from Gibby, or, something else is at play. I'll go for the latter.

    A pot being bad happens. Not all that rare, but not too common on a relatively new guitar. Having two fail, and I'd call that just damn bad luck. Three? Go buy a lottery ticket for the same odds. All four? C'mon....

    Maybe the "batch" of pots used for assembly got contaminated. Maybe something happened with the finish, was there evidence of overspray onto the pots (ie, they did a touch up on the back with the covers off, pots installed and got spray in em). Maybe the guitar was subject to bad conditions in initial storage, shipping, then at the dealers? See where I'm going with this... having 'em all go bad really not a scenario I can see happen as a result of QC issues with the pots.

    I understand the plight of the new guitar owner. I got my Tribute with known defects that I'm still working through. My own defects were at the hands of unscrupulous employees at the dealership (big box). On the other hand, I can deal with it myself for a few bucks in parts and a few minutes work. For those parts, I'd have just gone to the dealer, said - hey listen up, you get me some CTS pots, and I'll install 'em myself and lets move on. Cheaper than shipping, and its a win win sort of thing. Not that Gibby should be winning here, but we're talking only $35-$40 in pots, and the dealer would probably be glad to oblige if they had the wherewithal to see the big picture. Just sayin!
     
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  6. Malchik

    Malchik Senior Member

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    One tone pot works, I flushed out all four pots very thoroughly with cleaner and nothing changed. The guitar was tested on multiple amps with similar results.

    My 2016 4003S had amazing pots, only the one push-pull pot used to switch a tone circuit felt a little cheap. I think the push-pull was an Alpha pot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  7. motorboy1

    motorboy1 Member

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    Yup pots suck. I bought a 2017 traditional and noticed pots felt cheap, turned loose and the volume taper was horrible. Bought a replacement CTS 500k pot kit from a guy on ebay for $50 all prewired with russian PIO caps and vintage volume taper. Best money you can spend on a Paul. Totally opened up the sound of the guitar.
     
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  8. fredrocks

    fredrocks Junior Member

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    I can't believe the cavity isn't shielded on a $7700 guitar. Pitiful.
     
  9. scottatgc

    scottatgc Member

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    Wow, you paid that for something that was not hand wired? You need to pull the board out and rewire it with real pots and caps.
     
  10. jap545

    jap545 Junior Member

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    Their pots do often blow. They are loose and often wobbly. Feel cheap somethimes. i wish they would upgrade a bit. some i have taken the retaining washer off of the pot shaft. it really doesnt serve much purpose and stiffens up the shaft..yep..i said it..
     
  11. rogue3

    rogue3 Senior Member

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    To the best of my knowledge...a good pot is all about the conductive track the contact slides on.And tight tolerences.Nevermind the taper or the resistance.Thats where its going to take some effort.If its sprayed on,thin and cheap...it'll work for a while,but additionally,there will be higher failure rates right out of the gate. At these prices a pot should last the lifetime of the instrument.Fail,from what the op says.

    This was a forever sticking point with wah's...for example.They take a beating. Fulltone made this go away with an industry standard pot that went from 15,000 turns to 150,000 turns, stated lifespan.Quality traces and tighter tolerences.My 20 year old Fulltone wah is still performing just fine.

    I had a volume pot failure years ago on a late 80's lester,and i replaced with an RS Guitarworks superpot.Gibson should be using these,they are not expensive. Mine is still going strong. i'll be pushing up daisies before that pot fails it seems...

    yet Gibson is pushing them out like what the op describes? That is the best example of slumping quality control i can think of.A brand new Gibson guitar sounding like...scratch.

    to the op,rant justified.

    I have zero problems with my newer fenders...and to be fair,my 7 year old R8's and late 80's lesters are just fine, except for the one failure i mentionned.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
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  12. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Yet a Mexican Fender comes stock with CTS pots..:hmm:
     
  13. rogue3

    rogue3 Senior Member

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    :thumb:I was going to say...my Roadworn Tele twists the volume very nice.Its my favorite for volume swells...it has a perfect feel...tight and smooth with a light easy turn, not sticky..and sounds clean.
     
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  14. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Yep, my Classic 70's Strat has a wonderful taper and all pots are with 5% of 250K..
     
  15. apfelbaum

    apfelbaum Senior Member

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    I'm with Len(y)a, (sorry don't have the tilde available.) It seems unlikely that there would be three or four bad pots in a brand new guitar. I think it may be more likely that the output connector / the switch or a bad ground may be the issue. I'd double check everything with a multimeter. It's terrible that you are going through this, but, even Ferrari's leave the factory with flaws sadly.
     
  16. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Member

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    Anything manufactured and sold by anyone can have flaws escape the QC process. How a company handles such issues is the important and telling part of the picture. Personally, I would have contacted Gibson directly, firmly, but politely reminding them how much you spent on one of their products and how displeased I was with the specific problem of said product and asked them how they wanted to handle it. After listening to their offer, if I wasn't thrilled with their approach, I would suggest that they simply reimburse me for the cost of having the pots "professionally" replaced with quality units. If They wouldn't go for it, I would let them know that the alternative was return for a full refund! FWIW, I would never again mention or admit to "ANYONE" involved that I had already, personally sprayed anything into the pots!
    Just My $.02,
    Gene
     
  17. Malchik

    Malchik Senior Member

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    It is handwired, some mod edited my original post with that pic.
     
  18. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Member

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    HOLY CRAP! I wonder why a moderator would do such a thing? You used a pic to illustrate an important aspect of what grew into a 38 post thread and now we find that bit of info was misleading? :confused:

    No offense intended to any moderator, but I feel kinda cheated!

    Just Sayin'
    Gene
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  19. vintageguitarz

    vintageguitarz Member

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    Here's the problem, there just aren't any Pots made in the USA or any other 1st world country with high industrial manufacturing standards, and that includes CTS and Alpha pots. You'll notice neither company proclaims that theirs are US made ... oh "made for American Guitars" alright, but in these days likely made in some sweatshop in China. And the ways rudimentary mechanical analog devices are made, they aren't made in a fancy Foxconn factory either. Think a ratty old building with paint peeling off the walls and 12 year old's (like at Apple factories) making those Pots. So you get some good ones and you get ones that are crap or they fail within weeks or months. Also branded electronics from China, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc, may share a single brand name stamp but made at dozens of different sub-contractors in little villages to Shanghai.

    For my shop, I bought up all the English and German 250k and 500k pots I could lay my hands on years ago for customer rebuilds and repairs. Think ahead, I still have a lot.

    Never the less, shame on Gibson for not cherry picking the best that can and then doing better inspections before assembly and shipping. No excuse for that.
     
  20. LtDave32

    LtDave32 Sua Sponte Super Mod Premium Member

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    *Mod Note*

    Uhh, guys.. When a moderator edits or otherwise moderates a post or thread on this forum, there is a record of it. Upon edits or deletions, you may not see the record, be we do. It even says what mod edited it and when, with an option to give a reason why.

    I'm seeing a lot of conclusions being reached without a damn single fact.

    there is no record whatsoever of any moderator on this forum editing Malchick's post.

    If it's a simple picture of the innards of a Les Paul tone circuit, this has been shown hundreds upon hundreds of times within these pages without a single stroke of moderation, so I have no damn idea what you're on about. If it's a problem to you, then repost the picture and we'll see what the problem is, won't we?

    God, I love this place..
     
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