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  1. #1

    POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Ok..
    From what I've heard original Burst's had audio taper pots .. so why is Gibson putting in these linear pots ?? I just got my R8 a few weeks ago and don't mind the linears but i keep hearing that the audio's give you alot more range and control ... Is this true ????

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member reswot's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    I'm no expert, but I think that I've heard the old pots had a taper that was somewhere in between linear and log (audio).

    The log pots give you a smoother taper from from 0-5 and quite abrupt changes from 7 - 10. The linear give you more abrupt changes from 0-3 and smoother from 5 - 10.

    Apparently, Gibson feels the current linear pots are a better match; others feel the log pots are better. I prefer the log pots on a tone control, but can go either way for the volume.

    That said, I swapped the pots in my 05 R8 for CTS audio pots. I wish, though, I'd kept the linear pots in the volume positions.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member JVIoneyman's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    I HATE LINEAR TAPER!!!!

    Audio Taper gives you a smoother sweep from 0 - 10 unlike the ones on the Historics that have two tones on the knob. Look up RS KIT if you want an easy way to replace them. Most people like them...I am about to upgrade to it as well, but I haven't had the toie yet. The True tone rs kit is the one most people get, but the new super pots they came out with is supposed to have a better taper.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesjuke's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    I have the RS True Tone kit & I don't have any abrupt volume or tone changes anywhere on the whole taper 0-10.

    Made a huge difference from the linear tapers that had a large volume drop from 6-10.
    "Brings me the most special feeling I most ever had"

  5. #5

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Here's a graph that I made a few years ago when I was putting an RS kit into my 03 R9. It compares the resistance between the RS CTS pot (audio taper) and the stock Gibson pot (linear taper).


  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Pearly Grapes's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Dano;
    Interesting graph. Looks like furthur evidence that I want to keep the Gibson volume pots in my '03 R9 & put the RS pots in the Tone position. Thanks for posting it!

    PG
    Never Stop Playing!

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member sliding-tom's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Nice DANO! Thanks!
    From what I know and have heard, 50's audio pots were somewhere like a 60/40 taper whereas nowadays they are mostly 80/20 - so a linear is closer to a 60/40. I don't like the modern audio taper and get along well with linear (and audio for tone).
    Just because you're bending strings doesn't
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  8. #8

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    what does having audio tapers in the tone position do for ya ? and i guess the graph means the linears are a smoother pot ? :bonk

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Zinc Alloy's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    no, it just shows that the resistance curve is linear. It doesn't sound linear to the human ear. In theory you need a log tapered pot for a linear sounding taper.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member reswot's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbovisme
    what does having audio tapers in the tone position do for ya ? and i guess the graph means the linears are a smoother pot ? :bonk
    With linear tapers on the tone, the change is too gradual for most people; they have to turn down to 3 or 4 to get the sound they want, but audio is quicker=better.

    On the volume pot the "roll back" from 10 to 7 is also pretty dramatic. The linear pots give you more gradual taper as you clean the guitar's sound up.

    It's really an individual preference. As I said, I swapped out the stock pots for audios (like I use in all of my other guitars), but I believe I really liked the linear volume pots better. Probably not so much, though, that I'll swap 'em back in....

  11. #11

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Hey Reswot, what is that in your Avatar?

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member reswot's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    That's my R8! 8 5811


  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Quote Originally Posted by reswot
    That's my R8! 8 5811

    Damn! I love plain maple!!!

  14. #14

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Thanks Reswot. I think your paint job is one of the best I have seen. It has more red on the lower bout than my 05 R8.

    I can send you a photo, but never bothered to learn now to post pics here.

    Acoustically loud, balanced, beautiful to the eyes and not too much cost - the 05 R8s are a great achievement by any measure.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member reswot's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    If you send the pic, I'll be glad to post it for you... Click my user name to get to my email address.

  16. #16
    All Access/Backstage Pass Black58's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Linear taper is good for a light switch. The human ear works differently. That's why they cal it an audio taper.

  17. #17

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Pardon a noob Q (R8 owner for 5 days now...), but what's this RS KIT that I see mentioned a lot?

  18. #18

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Happy shopping, Stringrazor

    http://www.rsguitarworks.net/catalog/

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesjuke's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Stringrazor,
    Do a search in the Tone Zone- just type in RS Kit & read a lot of the posts that show up & follow the link provided by Pooker.
    I see it as what's inside the Holy Grail. It will change your guitar like you won't believe.
    "Brings me the most special feeling I most ever had"

  20. #20

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Playing R9s and an R8 through EL34 Bogner Shivas with Timbuckers and stock electronics.

    The Timbucker evalgelists were right, as were the Pigtail evalgelists, maybe it is time to try an RS kit.

    What I want to know please, are you guys true believers or lukewarm believers? How many guys automatically do the change with no second thought? How many did it and think it was no big deal?

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesjuke's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    I think it's the single most important mod you can do on your guitar.
    After all it makes a huge improvement on it's own & will also enhance all the others getting the most out of them.
    "Brings me the most special feeling I most ever had"

  22. #22

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Thanks for the pointers. Being new to LP ownership, I have lots to learn about LP tones. Right now tho', I like what I hear from my R8 w/o mods.
    Last edited by Stringrazor; 02-18-06 at 10:17 PM.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member hanknc's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    FWIW, here's an interesting article on Sprague Black Beauty (bumblebee) capacitors...

    http://www.reed-electronics.com/tmwo...tion=Viewpoint


    Hank

  24. #24

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Honestly, I cannot tell if he is saying they are better for our applicaion or worse, or not commenting.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member hanknc's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Sparta, I posted that in the wrong thread. Sorry 'bout that!

  26. #26

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Hi-

    Well, it still kind of applies as it is control cavity stuff. Either way, I just don't get his point.

    Thanks.

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member omboy's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    i dislike audio taper for volume pots. . . that huge jump between 10 and 7 is annoying to me when i roll back the volume to clean things up, and it makes it hard to get some middle position combinations. but then, i like 300k volume pots for bridge pickups, too *most of the time*

    it all depends on the individual guitar/pickup combo and personal preference.

    go forth and experiment! pots are cheap.

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesjuke's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringrazor
    Thanks for the pointers. Being new to LP ownership, I have lots to learn about LP tones. Right now tho', I like what I hear from my R8 w/o mods.

    I liked the tone of my R8 so much I was afraid I would lose what it had, at least it's particular 'voice'.
    The only thing I didn't like was the limitations of it's controls.
    Once I went ahead & put the RS Kit (True Tone) in I found that it had everything that it already had plus more.
    I am so glad that I did the mod.
    "Brings me the most special feeling I most ever had"

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member bluesjuke's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Quote Originally Posted by omboy
    i dislike audio taper for volume pots. . . that huge jump between 10 and 7 is annoying to me when i roll back the volume to clean things up, and it makes it hard to get some middle position combinations. but then, i like 300k volume pots for bridge pickups, too *most of the time*

    it all depends on the individual guitar/pickup combo and personal preference.

    go forth and experiment! pots are cheap.
    I don't get this. I have seen this posted before.
    I had the"huge jump" that you mention when I had linears in my guitar. It was gone when I installed the audio pots.
    "Brings me the most special feeling I most ever had"

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Hate to bring up this OLD thread but I am going through this now. Can you do classic Alex Lifeson volume swells with the Gibson linear pots? How about the stock tone pots....are they audio taper?????

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Where do the RS Superpots and DiMArzio pots fit into all of this?
    You could be my kind of crowd
    A little bit edgy, a little bit loud

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member DMB70's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Where do the Dr Vintage pots figure into theses choices?

  33. #33
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    I decided rather than buy more pots I am going to use what I have! I replaced all the pots in my 04 LP Standard with CTS audio. The neck volume has a 500K audio taper but I rarely touch the neck volume. I might just replace the bridge volume with the original stock linear taper 300K Gibson pot. I doubt I would notice a big difference if I ordered a CTS linear pot vs my Gibson. I also doubt puting all the stock tone pots back in would notce any difference from my CTS audio tapers. I say that because I believe Gibson uses 500K audio tapers for the tone anyway.

    Hopefully having a neck audio taper and bridge volume linear taper won't be weird, but like I said.....I only use the neck volume if I am setting the volume for a particular song. I only roll around the bridge volume within songs.

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Quote Originally Posted by papersoul View Post
    Hate to bring up this OLD thread but I am going through this now. Can you do classic Alex Lifeson volume swells with the Gibson linear pots? How about the stock tone pots....are they audio taper?????
    I doubt you will be able to do smooth volume swells with a linear volume pot. There is very little change in volume from 10 down to 1 or 2 on the knob then an abrupt cutoff of volume. Audio or one of the custom tapers would be better for that.

    And current Gibson production guitars use 300k linear volumes and 500k audio tones. Most players that use distortion don't like the linear volumes, and the 300k value tends to make the pickups sound darker.

    Al

  35. #35
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Quote Originally Posted by zombiwoof View Post
    I doubt you will be able to do smooth volume swells with a linear volume pot. There is very little change in volume from 10 down to 1 or 2 on the knob then an abrupt cutoff of volume. Audio or one of the custom tapers would be better for that.

    And current Gibson production guitars use 300k linear volumes and 500k audio tones. Most players that use distortion don't like the linear volumes, and the 300k value tends to make the pickups sound darker.

    Al

    Sounding darker is good! Most amps and speakers are too bright anyway!

    I always thought linear pots rolled evenly from 10 to 0.....much more than audio taper. This is what I have always read, inlcuding the graphs people have displayed. I know that it seems many prefer the linear for this reason .Using an audio taper live becomes tough because you have to be very, very accurate witht he volume knob or you could accidentally turn it off! LOL.

    I guess this is where the special taper pots come into play like the WCR taper pots or Hamer. I don't believe Hamer makes long shaft models though. Maybe Dimarzio.

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Quote Originally Posted by papersoul View Post
    Sounding darker is good! Most amps and speakers are too bright anyway!

    I always thought linear pots rolled evenly from 10 to 0.....much more than audio taper. This is what I have always read, inlcuding the graphs people have displayed. I know that it seems many prefer the linear for this reason .Using an audio taper live becomes tough because you have to be very, very accurate witht he volume knob or you could accidentally turn it off! LOL.

    I guess this is where the special taper pots come into play like the WCR taper pots or Hamer. I don't believe Hamer makes long shaft models though. Maybe Dimarzio.
    Most of the things you are saying about linear pots are my actual experience with audio pots, and vice versa. I guess you'll find out if you have ordered linear for volumes. Gibson puts linear volume pots in their production guitars and most people complain about them doing nothing down to 1 or 2 on the knob and then cutting off abruptly. Contrary to what you are saying, most guys on these boards seem to prefer audio pots for volume and tone. But, whatever you want, it seems like you are answering your own questions here. I was just trying to help.

  37. #37

    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Quote Originally Posted by zombiwoof View Post
    Most of the things you are saying about linear pots are my actual experience with audio pots, and vice versa. I guess you'll find out if you have ordered linear for volumes. Gibson puts linear volume pots in their production guitars and most people complain about them doing nothing down to 1 or 2 on the knob and then cutting off abruptly. Contrary to what you are saying, most guys on these boards seem to prefer audio pots for volume and tone. But, whatever you want, it seems like you are answering your own questions here. I was just trying to help.
    +1

    My new R0 has the CTS audio taper pots and the roll-off is very smooth no abruptness at all.

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Quote Originally Posted by zombiwoof View Post
    Most of the things you are saying about linear pots are my actual experience with audio pots, and vice versa. I guess you'll find out if you have ordered linear for volumes. Gibson puts linear volume pots in their production guitars and most people complain about them doing nothing down to 1 or 2 on the knob and then cutting off abruptly. Contrary to what you are saying, most guys on these boards seem to prefer audio pots for volume and tone. But, whatever you want, it seems like you are answering your own questions here. I was just trying to help.
    Quite a few guys on this forum and others have said they prefer linear for volume because audio is too abrupt. I know I mentioned volume swells but there are only a few times I would ever do that.....and that is ony if we covered those songs. For just cleaning up the tone...linear seems to do better....it is a more gradual change so you don't have to nail it on stage and accidentally turn off your guitar! LOL. Below 5-6 on my CTS Audio taper pots...it is so quiet you can hardly hear the guitar. The biggest change happens from 6-10...not much below that. With linear, and if you look at a graph comparing linear to audio, you will see the drop in volume is much more gradual with linear hence you have the ability to clean up the tone from 10 down to about 2-3 and then volume drops off. That is perfect if you use the volume knob to clean up the signal....sort of as a gain knob.

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member GeeZero's Avatar
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    FWIW, the theory behind audio taper (for volume) is that our ears are more sensitive to volume increases at low volumes than high volumes.

    For instance, the AUDIO taper RS in the chart above increases about the same volume at each setting (as far as our ears hear it). So it SOUNDS linear. In particular, from 1 to 7, each setting should be distinguisably louder from quiet to moderately loud at 150K. From 7 to 9 would sound like the same increases in volume at each setting. These are also called logarithmic because of that sag in the chart.

    The Gibson LINEAR taper LOOKS more linear, but doesn't sound that way. For instance, it jumps from quiet to moderately loud 150K between 2 and 3 (as far as our ears hear it). From 3 to 10, each setting increases very little compared to that jump.

    I think this fits with everyone's observations. Linear decreases very gradually from 10 to 3 and jumps from 3 to 2. Audio decreases more drastically than linear from 10 to 7, but continues its same relative differences on down to 0.

    I think Gibson switched to audio taper on Historics in 2009.

    I have no idea how these affect tone pots, tho.
    -Steve

    "COAs? We don't need no stinking COAs!"

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: POTS ???? AUDIO or LINEAR TAPER ??

    Quote Originally Posted by GeeZero View Post
    FWIW, the theory behind audio taper (for volume) is that our ears are more sensitive to volume increases at low volumes than high volumes.
    By this are you saying we are going to hear the difference in volume more at low volumes playing at home compared to playing with a band at high volume?

    Makes total sense. I have not tested these pots in my LP with the band. I just joined a new band so I am going off my home experience at low volumes.
    I turned up much louder tonight and the response was better...not as drastic and I could still clean up the gain without making it too quiet. That is why some guys say they like linear.....they can more control gain than volume.

    Either way I thikn I am pretty happy for now and will stick with it till I find a real problem while playing with the band.

    So, essentially I replaced the neck volume in my SG with a 500K audio, in my 2004 LP I replaced the neck vol also with a 500K audio and the bridge vol with a 300K audio. I am going to stop worrying and just play. LOL!

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