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A or B Pots and why ?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Jefro, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Jefro

    Jefro Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2008
    Canada.
    Hey Guys, I need to buy a bunch of pots as I'm looking to do some experiments on my vintage noiseless pickups but I keep coming across A & B type Pots and I'm getting mixed information when I search such as...

    A = Volume Pot
    B = Tone Pot

    But than I come across another post or site stating the opposite...

    B = Volume Pot
    A = Tone Pot

    Then I come across some "like CTS Pots" without the A or B claiming they are for Volume or Tone. And some people stating to use all A's. So I was curious if anyone here could provide some solid answers or shed some light into this whole A & B situation or Linear/Taper/Log stuff etc as I'm really starting to get confused.
     
  2. Celeste

    Celeste Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    55
    Jan 17, 2009
    Maryland
    the A and B refer to the resistive taper of the pot. I believe that the designation is not an industry standard.

    For a volume pot you want an audio of log (log rhythmic)taper. They just make what you hear correlate better whit the amount you turn. There a few available audio/log tapers, but any will be good.

    Tone is a matter of what you like and are use to. I have seen bot log and linear tapers used. You can tell what you have now with a ohm meter. Disconnect the pot, measure the resistance between the two end terminals. Now turn the pot to the center position and measure between the middle terminal and one end. if you get half of the end to end measurement then it is linear, if not then log.
     
  3. Jefro

    Jefro Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2008
    Canada.
    Okay so as I'm trying to figure all this junk out I hope you can bare with me...

    A = Audio ?
    B = Bot ?

    What is up with the whole Tapers and Linear.

    I've noticed that Fender stuff is marked (Vol or Tone) and for example, 250K, 250K No Load & 250K Push/Pull. But I do not recall ever seeing them marked "linear or taper" etc... etc... or A or B as they seem to only have the 3 part #s.
     
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  5. Celeste

    Celeste Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    55
    Jan 17, 2009
    Maryland
  6. BOD2

    BOD2 Strat-O-Master

    526
    Feb 28, 2008
    Scottish Borders, UK
    In the current scheme of things...

    A = audio taper
    B = linear taper

    But according to an article I just dug out... it used to be the other way about ! That might explain the confusion.

    Potentiometers (Beginners' Guide to Pots)

    On a newly purchased pot, however, A = audio and this is the one you always want for a volume pot. The tone pot can be either. Theoretically it should probably be a linear (B) pot but I think Fender used the same audio pots throughout to cut down on parts stock.

    Some interesting stuff about pots in general here ...

    The Secret Life of Pots
     
  7. BOD2

    BOD2 Strat-O-Master

    526
    Feb 28, 2008
    Scottish Borders, UK
    Ha .... SNAP !
     
  8. Jefro

    Jefro Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2008
    Canada.
    Hey thanks alot guys! I've got a really good understanding of things now and am just about to continue reading those links above.

    Always appreciate the input everyone has to offer ;)
     
  9. Lowdown

    Lowdown Strat-Talker

    466
    Jan 25, 2009
    Sydney,Australia
    Yep. A-Audio:usually used for volume.B-for tone. But really that's only if you(which we tend to do at times,lets face it)want to be pedantic about things.
    I have used the A/B pots in 1 Strat but now tend to just use A's in everything. To me,it doesn't matter squat.As long as it's an A for volume,you'll be fine.'tis all to do with the roll-off.
     
  10. Jefro

    Jefro Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2008
    Canada.
    Thanks... I was in at the shop today and talked to the tech and he told me to use just the CTS A250K's all round since the human ear will preserve the change better vs using B/Linear pots. Also said Linear pots can be a PITA as very small turns can make a huge change.
     
  11. Sprocket

    Sprocket Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 22, 2008
    De'ville, Florida
    I cant think of anything that Id really want a Linear pot in...if youve got one you know what Im saying, you turn the knob just a little and it becomes ALOT and too soon...and then the rest of the pots motion is useless.

    Wanna good example, try a Hotrod Deluxe/Deville and try turning the "master" up...youll soon notice youll only be able to get it to 3 comfortably...the rest is useless, where you would want more adjustablity in a wider range.
    BUt if you were to use it, Id think itd be more beneficial as a tone pot...but would render it almost useless. My Epiphone Les Paul was like this.
    Id rather replace a linear pot than use one.
     

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