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Linear vs. Audio-taper for tone pot?

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  • Linear vs. Audio-taper for tone pot?

    I have the attached wiring diagram I got straight from the factory. I used it, but then realized that the tone pot already inside the guitar was an "A" (audio-taper) type as opposed to a linear like the diagram calls for. Therefore either the diagram or the factory is wrong...

    What difference would this make, if any, for the tone pot? Linear vs. audio taper?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Assuming the pots are the same value (resistance) it shouldn't make much difference in the overall tone shifting capability of the control. It will change the amount of tone change for a given amount of knob rotation. The linear pot will spread the change more evenly over the rotation arc, where the audio taper will skew the change toward one end of the control arc; you'll get a lot of change with a small amount of rotation, and then very little over the rest of the control range.

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    • #3
      I was rewiring one of my guitars and read that linear taper pots are supposed work better for tone controls. The explanation sounded great on paper. I installed linear tone pots that do nothing from 10 down to 3. All adjustability occurs from 1 to 3. I may have done something wrong, but that was my experience. Bottom line, there is nothing wrong with audio taper pots, IMHO.
      Originally Posted by wedgehed II


      Instead of searching for intelligent life in the universe, NASA should send a probe to this thread.

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      • #4
        Problem solved now. Thanks for the help guys!

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        • #5
          Linear pots change resistances evenly from 0-10. But we humans don't hear things like that. As our hearing isn't sensitive to all frequencies in our range of hearing evenly. If we listen to a pot that changes resistances evenly it will sound as if nothing is happening for a little bit and then all of the sudden the volume changes suddenly . So audio pots are designed to follow our hearing sensitivity curve. Both work. They sound the same on 0 or 10. It's just that in between they have a different taper. Audio pots sound like the volume change is more gradual. They're designed to work like that. Some people say linear pots work better for on-board effects. Also some people prefer linear pots for volume and tone controls as they don't have to turn them as much in some spots.

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