Bourns Mini Pots

The Bourns PDB181-GTR 24mm high life potentiometers were designed for use in guitars and in our search to find a superior sounding and performing pot we found them to be our favorite mini pot. They are manufactured with a brass bushing, metal shaft, a long life carbon element, 18 spline knurled shaft, 3/8″ diameter shaft, a standard torque and come in either audio or linear tapers. Each pot comes with a nut and a washer. These pots are of the same high quality as all the Bourns pots that we use and there is no degredation of tone when using these mini pots instead of the full sized pots.

Superior Taper: We found the taper of the Bourns pots to be superior to every CTS pot we tried (even some very expensive custom pots). Whereas the taper every other pot we tried would run from 10 to about 2 or 1.5 and then lose all volume, we found the Bourns pots taper functioned from 10 down to 0.5 before losing all volume.

Torque: Many aftermarket pots have a high torque and feel very stiff but these feel silky smooth as they are turned. The high quality craftsmanship of Bourns is felt from the very first moment you lay your fingers on them.

Tone: We are big proponents of using high quality components to get the best tone you can out of your guitar. We found the tone from the Bourns pots to not only be strong and robust but they also had an added bonus. We had always found the upper mid register of a guitars tone to sound kind of “floppy” when using high gain or overdrive, especially when using a neck pickup. With the Bourns pots we found the upper middle register much smoother and with no flop to it.

18 Spline: With an 18 spline these pots take metric (import) knobs so U.S. spec knobs, like Gibsons knobs, will not fit but Epiphone knobs and other import knobs will. Standard knobs can be made to fit on 18 spline pots by reaming the center of the knob with a 15/64 drill bit.

3/8″ Diameter Shaft: Be aware that if your volume and tone pot holes are not 3/8″ (9.52mm) in diameter then you will need to open them up for the new pots to fit. Don’t worry this is easier than it sounds and a step by step is available on our Instructions & Diagrams page. The bushing (the threaded part of the shaft) is 3/8″ (9.52mm) long and so this a short shaft pot and will not fit Gibson Les Paul’s that have a thick guitar top.

Audio: The Audio taper falls off rather quickly as you volume down with a clean tone (i.e. your tone will drop about 50% from 10 to 8.5 and then smooth out from there) but when using overdrive you can “clean up” your tone without losing volume. As you decrease the volume the amount of drive from your guitar decreases so your overdrive breaks up a lot less and you end up with a much cleaner tone and no real volume loss until you get down to about 3.

250K or 500K: These pots are available in either 250K for single coil pickups or 500K for humbucker pickups. The difference in values is that the higher the value the more highs from the pickups will come through. Since single coils are naturally bright the 250K pots are used to bring them under control. Humbuckers on the other hand are darker so 500K pots are used to brighten them up a little. In some cases we have had customers who wanted a darker tone from their humbuckers and so they used 250K pots instead of the 500K.

Tolerance: These pots have a manufacturer tolerance of +/-15%. We have worked with these pots for over 2 years and we have found that the pots still sound and function better with the manufacturers tolerance than other brand pots 10% tolerance.

Turn Around Time

Due to the expansion of our customer base, our turnaround times are 3 to 5 weeks from the time you order. We have recently picked up two guitar manufacturers that we are building wiring harnesses for, and the word of mouth about the quality of our work and customer service has expanded our customer base tremendously. Each kit is built to order, and in the order it was received. It will take some time for you to receive your kit, but it will be well worth the wait, guaranteed! - Bill Brown/owner BCS Guitars.

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