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The durability of smaller pots?


RockNote

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Compared to full-sized pots, how do you consider the smaller ones? Let us take the Pentavocal as an example: one full-sized and four smaller ones. Are the smaller ones more likely to break down, do you think, for instance when being accidentally stomped on?

 

11916_Red_Witch_Pentavocal_Tremolo_Effec

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for operation they can be quite durable, the BI Tech conductive plastic (CP) pots at Mouser have a 100k cycle life and cost

 

Stomping on them usually snaps shaft off but knobs do a lot to protect them; if the knob is very close to panel face they support the shaft when it flexes, and threaded bushing with good hardware really helps too. Bourns has some beautiful sealed cermet/CP pots with metal shafts which are very durable, but in general smaller pots are more delicate (to turning and stomping) wire handle pulls can be added to avoid stomping

PW355-26D.jpg

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Thanks very much for your immediate replies, guys! I am particularly grateful to Tedmich for providing this level of detail. It has a soothing effect on my durability neurosis. I feel I am not alone in my obsession. :)

 

Yes, it's a rotary switch, but that is beside the point. :)

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no, it's not. a rotary isn't a pot. a pot is a variable resistor. a rotary switch physically switches between lugs.

 

 

Ah yes I see how that difference has bearing on whether or not the small pots are durable.

 

Anyway, I haven't personally used the 9mm ones but I use the 16mm regularly without incident. I think the large CTS pots do tend to have a better feel to them and might be a bit more durable, but I've used the small ones on instruments as well with no problem. Now, the 9mm might be a different story, but what I'd be more concerned about (in terms of stomping on a pot accidentally) is whether or not it's pcb-mounted. All pots will eventually wear out if you use them enough (though i've used ones on 70s and 60s gear that are still going strong and some of those weren't anything special either). I've seen many a pedal be completely destroyed when a pcb mounted pot gets stepped on and, consequently, puts pressure on the board causing it to crack and break the traces. That is generally not worth fixing as you basically have to rebuild the pedal. If you've got offboard pots, however, and manage to stomp one into oblivion it can just be swapped out at the cost of labor and a pot which should be a few bucks at most or as lows as 50 cents.

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Yes, it's a rotary switch, but that is beside the point.
:)



Well, no, it's totally the point. ;) It means it isn't a pot, and isn't built like a pot. Might as well compare a pot to a toggle switch.

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keep it in your pants beaudlaire, he's the one that said the rotary switch was "a large pot" and when i said they aren't close to the same thing he basically said "lol what's the difference?"

 

 

listen, after I finish working on forum spleen tonight you wanna go beat up the poor?

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keep it in your pants beaudlaire, he's the one that said the rotary switch was "a large pot" and when i said they aren't close to the same thing he basically said "lol what's the difference?"


:)

Well, if I must elaborate: I'm sorry for mistaken the two. However, I maintain that it doesn't matter - for two reasons both of which are conclusive (i.e. each reason will render the distinction between rotary switch and pot irrelevant in the context).

1. The focus is here on "smaller" pots. Smaller than what?, you say. Hence the reference to a full-sized pot (or rather: rotary switch) compared to which the "smaller pot" is smaller.
2. The issue here is the physicality of pedal design, not the electronic aspects of it. What I am concerned with is wear and tear, use and (accidental) abuse. In this regard, stomping by mistake on a (full-sized) rotary switch is no better and no worse than accidentally stomping on a (full-sized) pot.

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Do you by any chance mean the
knobs
? The pot or rotary switch is what's inside the chassis.

 

Yes and no. The knobs are of course what you may accidentally hit, or what may receive blows if the pedal is dropped. But I trust the knobs themselves are durable enough - or, should an accident happen, they can at least be easily replaced. My concern was therefore rather what might happen to the less visible parts of the pedal than the black (or differently colored) knobs. Especially the insides of the pedal (the pots), but actually also the "pin" (probably not the right word) of the pot, i.e. the metal pin upon which the plastic knob is fastened.

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Personally those damn small knobs piss me off! Especially on delays where you gotta get that right delay time & the knob is so damn small -just a hair movement sends it off time.

I think pedal companies do this so their logo designs looks bigger instead of spreading the pots out & putting on bigger tweakable knobs. Maybe?

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boss pedals uses pretty small pots, and they last forever

 

Boss's pedal layout ensures that the knobs are tucked away from accidental stomping. That is, a design that cannot compare with today's typical boutique layout.

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