CTS 500K pots the Long & Short Explained with Pics

flats750

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Yeah around 1976-77 or so the carved maple tops got a little thicker and Gibson went to the long shaft pots mounted on the metal plate for the LP Customs and Standards.
Did the top actually get thicker? Or did they just not route into as deep from the backside?
 

donepearce

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One overall thing. Whatever the pot type, buy the right tool (like a socket wrench with a built-in handle) to do it up. I hate seeing people trying to fit these with a pair of pliers. I know that at some point they are going to slip and wreck a beautiful finish.
 

CRAZYokiSKATER

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Very valuable information here!! Just wondering, but do Epis use short and long shaft or just the cheepos. I recently got an Epi Les Paul, and I figured that I could change the pots right away. would the tone be better?
 

jonesy

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Very valuable information here!! Just wondering, but do Epis use short and long shaft or just the cheepos. I recently got an Epi Les Paul, and I figured that I could change the pots right away. would the tone be better?

Pretty much all the epi's and other import LP's all take the short shaft pots. Yes you would notice a dramatic difference in how your V & T controls function, and you will reduce the muddiness with 50's wiring, better pots, caps and switch. Not all CTS pots are made the same so the taper and quality will vary.
 

jonesy

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One overall thing. Whatever the pot type, buy the right tool (like a socket wrench with a built-in handle) to do it up. I hate seeing people trying to fit these with a pair of pliers. I know that at some point they are going to slip and wreck a beautiful finish.
:thumb:

I use a 1/2" nut driver with a rubber coated handle and it works great for the CTS control nuts.
 

BJunior

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I am thinking about changing the 300k volume pots on my 2012 Classic Custom, would i need the longer or shorter ones?

Bit of a noob at this.
 

jonesy

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I am thinking about changing the 300k volume pots on my 2012 Classic Custom, would i need the longer or shorter ones?

Bit of a noob at this.

If it is a Gibson Classic, long shaft pots.
 

BJunior

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Thanks!

I have heard good and bad things about changing the volume from 300k to 500k, what can you expect if you do change them?
 

jonesy

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Thanks!

I have heard good and bad things about changing the volume from 300k to 500k, what can you expect if you do change them?
The 500K or 550k will add more clarity and reduce muddiness, the 300k will sound a little more compressed with less highs. The tapers will also vary a little from pot to pot, some smoother than others.
 

UEF

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My 06 Custom has 2 short and 2 long - is that normal? I assumed it was to account for the contour of the body face
 

jonesy

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Hmm, I have never seen a mix of long and short shaft pots like that in a stock factory harness, but they did that because the carved top is thicker by the neck volume and tone controls then it is by the bridge controls.
 

Freudster

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My 05 Custom also had 2 short for the volume and 2 long pots for the tone. That was a head scratcher!
 

lespaul1765

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I am thinking about changing the 300k volume pots on my 2012 Classic Custom, would i need the longer or shorter ones?

Bit of a noob at this.
just something i recently found,,i changed the stock pots on my 2011 lespaul with duncan jb in bridge and jazz in neck to a 50's wiring kit i bought online,,which has cts 500k pots and luxe capacitors..
it made guitar so bright sounding i reverted back to stock gibson pots and wiring..
maybe the original 57 classics would not have sounded so bright,,but i wanted to keep the duncans.. just an observation,,hope this might help anyone thinking of making the change.
 

cynic79

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The JB has a reputation for being a pretty bright pickup. It works great for hot-rodding a Fender-style guitar with 250k pots, but your mileage may vary with higher value pots.
 

Tchap

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Thanks for posting this thread Jonesy. I'm just glad there are people like you on the net. I've figured or been shown most of the info you are imparting during my 40 some year internship with guitar playing, but, it's taken so long. At least the younger generations will hopefully appreciate what you're doing; the fact that instead of calling all over the place or driving all over the place, they can just tune into threads like this from you to understand what manufacturers used to do or do now to figure out how to improve their instruments.
 




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