Vintage taper metric pots?

jlee

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Do they exist? I had ordered a VIPot harness for my ‘81 Tokai ES100J, but canceled the order. Can’t bring myself to drill out the holes. I’ve done it before, but can’t seem to bring myself to to do it on the ES.

So...are there any quality metric shaft pots with a vintage taper? I have a Creamtone harness with metric CTS and like it. No complaints, but if I can source the pots alone, i’d probably just swap out the volume pots and save some cash.

Read that Bourns makes a metric pot, but can’t find it via Google.
 

jlee

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Bourns does make metric pots. Vintage taper specifically? Not sure, but I've gotten them from this guy:

https://axegrinderz-guitar-tone-products.myshopify.com/
Thanks! How is the taper? My complaint with the stock Tokai pots, is that they're too muffled when rolling back the volume down from "8" to "4". They don't seem to clean up as clearly as the CTS metric pots. I don't necessarily need VIPot sparkling clean up, but would like a bit more clarity than I have now.
 

Roxy13

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Thanks! How is the taper? My complaint with the stock Tokai pots, is that they're too muffled when rolling back the volume down from "8" to "4". They don't seem to clean up as clearly as the CTS metric pots. I don't necessarily need VIPot sparkling clean up, but would like a bit more clarity than I have now.
They were definitely an improvement over whatever my Burny SG had in it (maybe Noble? no date codes and only some code on the sides). Since that guitar might be a custom order as I haven't seen it in any of the Burny catelogs, I also didn't want to enlarge the holes. When I had to replace my 3 way I actually tracked down a Gotoh one!

I haven't used my new VIPots yet but that's on the menu for tonight for my Gibson SG to replace the PCB.
 

Roxy13

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I've only seen metric CTS pots at Philadelphia Luthier and there isn't much info about them on the site. Last time I had an order there they were on backorder so I haven't tried them yet. I was going to grab some then just to see what I thought. Interesting that Creamtone will make a harness with the metric pots. The Jackson Luthier guy told me all metric pots are crap and he won't use them. I don't notice any difference between the ones in my History and other US spec CTS pots I have.
 

luis

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CTS metric pots are good but the shafts are a bit soft and can break. I use them usually and have put in my1981 ES-100 with good results with a pair of Sprague military Hyrel caps.....

Tokai use CTS metric pots (made for them I guess) since 2005 at least for some models....
 

wulfman

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CTS does make them but what do you mean by vintage taper? Usually A taper is used for tone and B is used for volume.
 
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jlee

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By vintage taper, I mean the volume pot cleans up a little quicker from 10 down to say 8. Kind of a quicker drop off from 10 to 8, then the taper becomes a bit more even. Although I am finding that the metric CTS pots react much in the same way that the Creamtone USA "vintage taper" pots and RS Super Pots do...so...
I just ordered some Bourns audio taper pots. Might get some CTS metric as well.
 

zombiwoof

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Vintage audio taper is different than the audio taper on the stock current CTS pots. I think the vintage taper is 30% and the newer ones are 10%. That's why there are so many custom taper pots on the market that mimic the taper of the vintage audio pots in the 50's-60's guitars.
Al
 

Roxy13

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If you are used to the metric CTS pots you may find the Bournes a little stiffer to turn. I've never thought it was a problem though, but some people don't like it.
 

jlee

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I’d bite the bullet and ream the holes for CTS pots. Probably a lot easier finding the taper you want.

I use this $3 tool from harborfreight. Works great, just go slow and test the fit often until you sneak up on the correct sized hole.

https://www.harborfreight.com/t-handle-reamer-66936.html

Yeah, I have one and have done it to other guitars. Tapered reamers are too long to fit in a semi-hollow.
 
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jlee

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If you are used to the metric CTS pots you may find the Bournes a little stiffer to turn. I've never thought it was a problem though, but some people don't like it.
I’m not terribly picky about ease of turning the pot. More concerned about how it cleans up. Just don’t want a pot that’s going to roll off too much of the highs. I don’t mind a little treble roll off, but the stock Tokai pots roll off too much.
 

Roxy13

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I’m not terribly picky about ease of turning the pot. More concerned about how it cleans up. Just don’t want a pot that’s going to roll off too much of the highs. I don’t mind a little treble roll off, but the stock Tokai pots roll off too much.
I'll be curious to see what you think compared to your CTS ones. I use a tapered reamer too so you need to have a guitar with a cover on the control cavity to use it. I wouldn't do that with a semi hollow either then, and I wouldn't want to drill it either. I have a drill press and still wouldn't want to.
 

jlee

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I did drill out the holes in my old Burny RSA-100. All worked out fine, but for some reason I’m feeling very apprehensive about enlarging the holes on my LS-120 and ES-100. I have a dozen VIPots sitting in my toolbox right now collecting dust. I’ve done it on pretty much every MIJ I’ve owned in the past, including my ‘80 LS-80, but I can’t bring myself to do it with these 2.
 

bluesriffdev

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I remember, when looking for pots to replace in my Greco, that the options for metric pots were somewhat limited. I was pleased to see that philadelphia luthier supplies (and I think the seller 'guitar-trade' or 'guitartrade' on ebay has them) had metric CTS pots, but they're just like any normal CTS pot. I couldn't find the specialty 5-10% pots with vintage taper like a lot of places have now for imperial sized pots. So I just bit the bullet and reamed it.

I'd recommend doing what @jkes01 said. If you don't have an angle grinder, I'm sure any hardware store with a shop section (for cutting wood to size) could do it for you, and then you could go and pick up a new non-molested reamer then and there.
 

Emiel

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I managed to enlarge the pot holes in my '81 ES100 by simply using a thick pencil and some sanding paper. It takes a bit of time but the task itself is really easy. Remove the pots, take a large pencil and wrap a piece of sandpaper round it. Then use the pencil to sand/enlarge the holes. Now replacing the pots, that’s another story…
 

bluesriffdev

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I managed to enlarge the pot holes in my '81 ES100 by simply using a thick pencil and some sanding paper. It takes a bit of time but the task itself is really easy. Remove the pots, take a large pencil and wrap a piece of sandpaper round it. Then use the pencil to sand/enlarge the holes. Now replacing the pots, that’s another story…
Yeah. Replacing pots in an ES is a bitch. I recommend some fishing line or thread.
 

Roxy13

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Even a hacksaw could cut the reamer fine. Hadn't thought of that but a good idea.
 


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