Difference between CTS and standard pots

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Tsukasa, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. Tsukasa

    Tsukasa Strat-Talker

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    Hi guys,

    Can you tell me the difference between those pots, I will change all the pot on a strat and I don't know what to put.
     
  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    CTS is just one manufacturer of potentiometers. They are as standard as any.
     
  3. Tsukasa

    Tsukasa Strat-Talker

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    Really all the people said CTS is better, thanks!!
     
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  4. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    CTS makes quality pots. So do Alpha, Bourns, Honeywell, Panasonic and others.
     
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  5. Tsukasa

    Tsukasa Strat-Talker

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    Thanks I have one alpha A250k for the volume but I need 2 B250k for the tone and I was wondering witch pot I will take.
     
  6. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    Supposedly CTS are superior than penicillin but in reality Fender pots are just as good.
     
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  7. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

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    And Fender never actually made any pots. :)
     
  8. Groovey

    Groovey Dr. Stratster

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    CTS has a good reputation. A good "feel." Alpha, Bourn sometimes don't "feel" as nice.
     
  9. chicago slim

    chicago slim Senior Stratmaster

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    CTS makes Pots to different manufacturer's spec's. The trick is figuring out the differences.
     
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  10. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Most Honored Senior Member

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    Vendors too.
     
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  11. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    I wouldn't use B type on tone controls, I'd use A type.
     
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  12. joesatch

    joesatch Strat-Talker

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    CTS makes all the pots for usa strats.
     
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  13. Impulsive guppy

    Impulsive guppy Strat-O-Master Silver Member

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    Is that because one is linear taper and one audio taper?

    One time I got the wrong ones.
     
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  14. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    I was gonna ask the same thing...what's the dif?
     
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  15. WelhavenT

    WelhavenT Strat-O-Master

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  16. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    All the pot taper does is shift the feel of the knob and the relative output from a linear type to a non-linear type.

    In most cases non-linear is "more relative" as it mimics your ear's correlation to volume or changes in volume or tone.

    Linear is more difficult for some to interpret.

    All we are talking about is the relative amount of rotation between the beginning, mid-point and end of the sweep / resistance curve

    There are MANY variations and it's not a straightforward discussion, there are tapers that are stepped, weighted, compressed, asymmetrical - goes oon and on...

    Then there is the tolerance, or "acceptable variation" in resistance or taper, or both.

    All you *really* need is a quality brand in the correct resistance value, and the correct shaft type and diameter for your application.

    Metric or imperial, number of splines if splined shaft required, Linear or audio taper to your own preference, and the correct resistance to match your needs.
     
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  17. AJBaker

    AJBaker Strat-Talker

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    I've found CTS pots to have a bit more resistance when turning. I like this, since Alpha pots sometimes feel too 'loose'.

    The knurl of the shaft is different, so you need the right knobs for the right pots.


    If you're looking at audio taper (aka logarithmic), bear in mind that there are different types of audio taper. Some have a fairly flat audio taper (closer to linear), and for others it's very steep.

    To give the numbers: You measure the taper of a pot by turning it to half (on a strat, this would be setting the volume knob to 5). Then you measure the value from one lug to the centre lug, and compare it to the total value of the pot (=measuring from the two outside lugs).

    On a linear taper pot, the value is 50%, so a 250k pot set to 5 will measure 125k.
    On an 20% audio taper pot, a 250k pot set to 5 will measure 50k.
    On an 10% audio taper pot, a 250k pot set to 5 will measure 25k.


    All manufacturers make different types of audio taper pots, but I've noticed this general trend: most CTS pots I've come across have been 10% taper, and I once even saw a 5% taper on a Gibson branded pot. 10% is great for tone control, and good for volume, but you get a big jump in volume from 7 to 10 (great for swells).
    I also once bought some CTS pots advertised as 30% 'vintage' taper, but they turned out to be 20% taper (crazyparts in Germany).


    Most Asian audio pots I've seen have had a 20% taper which works quite well for volume, with a bit less of a sudden increase in volume as you turn up.


    Overall, I strongly dislike linear pots in guitars, since I usually turn my amp way up then turn down on the guitar. With a linear pot, I end up trying to adjust between 3 and 4 on the volume knob to get the sounds I want.
    On a tone control, linear is just useless, I've found.


    I like 10% (or even 5%) taper on tone pots, because most of the effect is in the first 100k of the sweep.


    For volume, 10% and 20% are both fine. I prefer 10% on Fenders with a single volume control, and 20% on Gibsons with two controls (gives a finer adjustment for blending the volume of the two pickups).
     
  18. Tsukasa

    Tsukasa Strat-Talker

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    I m confused, I was thinking to put one log on the volume and two lin on the tone or three lin. my guitar is a stratocaster.
     
  19. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    If they work and they're not noisy, leave them alone. Spend your time playing.
     
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  20. Tsukasa

    Tsukasa Strat-Talker

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    They will not work I have only one pot.
     
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