If you are considering changing the volume and tone pots in your new Chibson, you'll quickly discover that there are two different types. These are normally referred to as "audio" and "linear" taper. So which to you need?
There is technically no correct answer to that question, as it often comes down to preference.
The difference in the two pots is in the taper, or how the resistance changes when you rotate the knob. At "0" or "10", there will be no difference in the two pots. It's what happens in between.
Linear taper pots reduce their resistance in a straight line. In other words, "2" is 20% of the pot's value, 3 is 30%, 6 is 60% and so forth.
Audio taper has a taper that drops off exponentially quicker from "10" to "9" and the slowly tapers out as you continue to decrease the settings. In essence, a curve rather than a straight line.
Either pot will work for volume or tone, but they have advantages and disadvantages depending on the taper.
If you use an audio taper pot for volume, the result is a volume that swells in intensity as you move toward "10". This is actually closer to how the human ear works, and many players find this an advantage if they use the volume control to create a volume swell. The disadvantage is almost all of your pot's range is between "7" and "10", with very shallow drop off after that. Some players find it more desirable to use a linear pot for volume, preferring to have a more subtle shift between "10" and "7", and better control over the volume levels all along the taper.
It's not unusual for most players to prefer audio taper pots for tone controls, but linear will work here as well.
Gibson uses linear taper pots for volume controls and audio taper for tone.
When purchasing a potentiometer, you also want to pay attention to the value. Common values are 250k, 300k, 500k and 1meg. Gibson installs 300k for volume and 500k for tone, but most players tend up upgrade the volume pots to 500k for humbucker pickups. It tends to open the pickup up a bit more. 250k pots are usually found on single coil pickups, such a Telecasters and Strats, but again there is no real rule. Many people experiment with different values of potentiometers.
Note: When choosing a full size potentiometer (about the size of a quarter), the most popular brand is CTS. If you install these on your Chibson, be aware that you will have to enlarge the holes in your guitar a bit as the shafts are a bit thicker than Asian metric pots. You will also have to purchase new knobs, as the spleens on USA standard pots are different than those on the shaft of the Asian pots.
If you don't wish to purchase new knobs, Bourns makes a very good quality potentiometer with the Asian size coarse spleen shaft. You will likely still have to enlarge the holes in the guitar if it came fitted with mini pots (about the size of a dime) but you will be able to install your existing knobs.
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