questions on potentiometers

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questions on potentiometers

Postby groovyw53 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:25 am

I have to rewire a J bass copy. the bass sounds and plays fine but the pots are awfully scratchy and make a very noticeable jump in volume from say 80% to full open. So I'll replace the pots and I'd like to have some that go up as gradually as possible.
I've read topics here in the forum and many webpages about the audio vs linear debate and honestly I'm quite confused. Some say audio, some linear and some say it'll make no difference.

So I'm basically asking if it's possible to make the volume controls work smoother in a standard passive v/v/t wiring, and which tipe of potentiometer will work better

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Re: questions on potentiometers

Postby Rhian Batson » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:18 am

I don't think one is really "better" than the other in all applications. It IMO depends more on how you want the pot to behave (embracing one's inner engineer) and obviously what you prefer. From my non tech understanding, a audio pot is going to be very even in response because it's design takes into consideration the resistance in the passive circuit in a way that a linear pot does not - ie: a audio pot turned up 50% from 0% or "off" will be exactly 50% activated, while a tapered pot will not have that accuracy. My buddy Ian swears by audio pots as volume controls for this very reason. I've also read that a linear pot is better suited for the tone control because the treble bleed off to ground via the cap is perceived as smoother for the exact reason that makes it an "lesser" choice as a volume control - hah!

I myself prefer linear pots all the way around. No major reason other than that's what has always been in my basses, so I am used to them & like it therefore expect and want the behavior of a linear pot in my bass - its predictable & consistent I suppose. I also have never been convinced that one really is better than the other. Like so many things in life, I believe alot of it to be perception. If you perceive one to be vastly superior to the other, then you should use it and be done. I mean you can always switch it back if you want. Either way you're still going to play the bass.
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