Fender Strat pot question.

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Fender Strat pot question.

Postby David King » Thu May 24, 2012 2:39 pm

I need to make some custom knobs for a custom guitar that's going to be using Alessandro pots. These are the $50 pots made by PEC in Toronto.
They claim to have 1/4" dia, fine knurl split shafts. These shafts are purported to be identical to the original CTS Fender Strat pots and the original Fender knobs will fit according to many unverified sources on the web. So far so good. Meanwhile Stewmac sells Strat pots that they claim are also 1/4" dia, fine knurl, split shaft pots. They also sell replacement knobs that will fit either the fine knurl or the coarse knurl Asian pots.
Here's the rub. I have never seen an actual 1/4" fine knurl pot. Every one I've ever encountered on Fenders and Gibsons is actually a 6mm (.235") in diameter.
All the Allparts CTS split shaft pots with fine knurl are 6mm.
Can someone here please square this circle for me? Did Fender EVER use a 1/4" fine knurl pot in any of their guitars. Can someone measure the Stewmac pots if they have one at hand? (Stewmac was so certain of the accuracy of their catalogue they wouldn't humor me with a measurement). Alessando won't answer my emails or their phone. There must be a Fender historian who can tell me the dates of changes through the years but so far nothing about this on the web.

Thanks in advance!
David King
 
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Re: Fender Strat pot question.

Postby David King » Thu May 24, 2012 5:57 pm

OK I've determined that both the Stewmac and Alessandro sites are wrong. Strat pots always have and always will have 6mm shafts. Sorry for the suspense or suspended disbelief. Now - back to your previously scheduled entertainment.
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Re: Fender Strat pot question.

Postby Joshua Levin-Epstein » Fri May 25, 2012 1:17 pm

David, Are these Alessandro pots any better than new CTS pots?

Joshua
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Re: Fender Strat pot question.

Postby Greg Robinson » Fri May 25, 2012 1:38 pm

Joshua,
The Allesandro pots are a little stiffer than CTS, they have a longer rotational life (25k vs 10k), lower rotational noise, and a higher power rating (1W vs 1/2W), which would marginally reduce resistor noise (which isn't a huge part of the noise floor when using passive magnetic pickups anyway).
They're also significantly more expensive than CTS.
The Allesandro pots are actually just a custom spec'd PEC (Precision Electronics Components) pot.
MIMForum staff member - Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Fender Strat pot question.

Postby David King » Fri May 25, 2012 1:40 pm

Joshua,

Presumably they have a smoother action and taper and are longer lasting thanks to the hot carbon deposition method. If you need actual bomb-proofness then I suppose their "Military specification" will be attractive. I've never seen or heard one in person so I can't comment on the sound. If $$=sound then obviously they are exactly $36.52 better than CTS. That said new CTS pots can be all over the map in quality. I reckon 20% could go straight into the trash.

BTW I got a nice note from Stewmac this morning acknowledging the confusing wording regarding shaft dimensions on the CTS pot description page. Their marketing team should have it straightened out soon.
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