Billy Zoom's Jet Set

Billy Zoom Help the dummy


You were kind enough to respond to my post here

Like Homer Simpson says "I'm just not that bright" :)

Is there a cure to make my 53 Vintage Select tone control sweep work right? I am competent at soldering and have done several pickup and pot replacements and duplicated wiring harnesses in other guitars. If you could tell me what solid shaft Pots and what type to use for master volume and both pickup volumes and the tone. That would help me if it would solve the sweep problem. Do I use the same wiring as the stock came and just replace the original pots wired like they are in there now? Your help is appreciated. If you sell the parts I need I would gladly buy them.


The originals has 1 meg, linear taper pots. I prefer a 1 meg audio taper for the Master, but that's a personal preference. Just switching to 1 meg pots will improve the sound. The linear taper is more gradual, so you don't have to find that sweet spot between 2 and 2.07. Using that circuit I posted will give you the most usefull tone control, and it's out of the circuit when it's all the way up. I used to stock the pots, but I don't anymore. For some reason, CTS doesn't like to sell linear pots....they're probably the hardest company to do business with anyway, unless you're a govt. contractor and need a million of something. They won't even sell linear pots to Gretsch or Fender. I can check my sources & see what's available...lots of things are post-pandemically out of stock though.


I checked my usual sources and nobody has them anymore. Allparts had them, but they're sold out. Alpha 1 meg linears are available, but the threaded shanks aren't long enough to go through a wooden guitar top. FWIW, all regular size CTS elements are interchangeable, so it you find any 1meg linear CTS pot, you can swap the resistance element into a CTS with the right shaft/shank length, etc.


All of the factory pots in my 53RI Jet are 500K linear (Standard D) taper.

I was surprised, but the code is clearly visible on all four: 450GT36R504B1S.


All modern Gretsches have 500K pots. Linear is B taper.

6 These are linear. You can search NTE 501-0047 also. They won't tell you the value or taper...all of these companies are almost impossible to deal with. You'll have to cut the shaft to length, and you'll need a ground tab for it....I have many of those. When I carried pots, that's what I had to do too! BTW, these are Canadian, they work well if they work....but some don't. I got some duds. The Mexican Clarostats don't seem to be around anymore. Good luck. I just spent an hour searching. That's about my limit these days.


Here's what I've found as far as what the last three numbers of the CTS codes mean. The B here would refer to a 20% tolerance; it's the next number that describes the taper.

Billy, this also seems to address the question of different audio/logarithmic tapers. That "30%" seems to be what the Mojotone pots and similar "vintage" or "J" pots are claiming.

That would make the ideal 500K audio tone pot 450GT36R504A8S, and the ideal 1 Meg linear 450GT36R105A1S, assuming you like Standard torque and would prefer a 10% tolerance, and that the "30%" pot actually exists and does what some people say it does.


Apparently that audio pot exists, or can be made to exist, and may be available in six months if you buy bulk.

But this reminds me of my weather app that said, "Rain stopping in 11 minutes" (or something close to that) for hours at a time. And I'm pretty sure it's based on the idea that they'll only make it if you ask them to and place a minimum order -- strictly from Customville, Jack. They're over ten bucks each if you "only" order 250. The price gets much better for 750 or more, but how do you sell the other 749?


Antique Electronic Supply carries the CTS J taper pots. In between a linear and audio taper.


Powdog, beat me to it!

No 500K, though. Only 250K and 1 Meg.


These look like they’re made by CTS.


No...they won't fit. I gave you a link and a part number for what you need.

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