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Thread: Trying my first electric...ES1F

  1. #11
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    Wow...I never even considered that. I just clicked on "purchase." My guess is they're a standard size? The only mini pots I could find in a quick search are short shaft...
    And the doctor said "Give him jug band music; it seems to make him feel just fine..."

  2. #12
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Short shaft should be fine, especially with the smaller diameter pots. The top isn't that thick. Long shaft pots are normally pretty long, so you then have to use a second nut to get just the right amount of shaft poking out of the hole.

  3. #13
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    Thanks, Simon! I guess I can hold onto the full size pots for my next build
    And the doctor said "Give him jug band music; it seems to make him feel just fine..."

  4. #14
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    I've got an unfinished ES-1 and I have tried full-sized pots in the F-hole. You can fit a single one in at an angle, but I haven't tried it with full-sized pots and the full wiring harness. I prefer to use stiffer wire (vintage-style cloth-covered push-pack) than that supplied with the kit, which adds an extra level of complexity when trying to fit it all through the F-hole. Mini pots make it all so much easier. And if you have to force a part through the hold, you're more likely to break a solder connection, so that it all has to come out again to be fixed. I much prefer full-sized pots, but it will be mini-CTS pots used for the ES-1.

    As you say, it never hurts to have spare pots handy.

  5. #15
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    John, here's a couple of tips for when it comes time to do your soldering & wiring of the pots & switch assembly (harness):

    Make yourself a "breadboard" with the same layout as the holes in the top of the body. You can use cardboard, but thin MDF is better IMO.
    This makes it easier to get your pot-to-pot wire lengths right as well as not having to chase loose pots around your bench.

    When you're ready to install the assembly/harness, use lengths of surgical tubing slipped over the pot shafts (threaded through the holes in the body). Doing this allows you draw the pots up through the holes. The same can done with fishing line, but I prefer the tubing.
    Like everything nowadays, there are vids on YT on this method.

    I also second using 16mm pots for these guitars. CTS and Bourne both make 16mm linear & log mini pots if name brand is part of your selection criteria, but you'll pay a premium for them.
    Alpha work just fine for me, but that's another thread
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  6. #16
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    Thanks. I have a small thin piece of plywood I can use to lay out the controls, and the tubing would probably work better than fishing line.

    I'm having a hard time finding the mini pots...Stewmac has Alphas but they don't say if they're audio or linear taper...I'd assume they're audio. Any ideas on other suppliers?
    And the doctor said "Give him jug band music; it seems to make him feel just fine..."

  7. #17
    Mentor McCreed's Avatar
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    Try Antique Electronic Supply (AES). They have heaps of minis. CTS, Bourne, Alpha...


    They are just one of a plethora of US suppliers. You shouldn't any problem finding (practically anything) given your location.
    And way cheaper than what we can get on our Island Continent.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  8. #18
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Stew Mac have a very limited range of pots for sale, and I certainly wouldn't buy a pot if its taper wasn't stated.

    I've bought parts from the UK branches of these US suppliers.:

    Allparts https://www.allparts.com/collections/potentiometers
    WD Music https://www.wdmusic.com/electronics-...ionmeters.html

    Note that the Allparts own-brand pots are made by CTS.

    I also use Amazon if I'm struggling to find a particular pot in stock.

  9. #19
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    Hi John,
    Looking forward to see how this turns out. I just finished an ES1 with full size CTS pots. It was tight to get them through the f hole when on the wiring harness. I used a pretty stiff harness that meant that once it was through the f hole it was easy to get them all located correctly. I didn't use tubing or anything but this was because I had some extra access as my jack is on the side (les paul position). Fingering 1 pot into position lifted all other up far enough that enough of the switch and all other pot shafts could be reached from above. I would really recommend some masking tape around the f hole while installing the harness though.
    Simon knows his stuff about pots, helped me immensely with a DPDT pot that would fit through the f hole, so would go with any of the suppliers he suggests.
    1 final thing. Don't forget about the bridge earth wire. My kit wasn't drilled for one and I forgot to drill and install it before fitting the bridge bushes. Thankfully I have minimal interference / hum but definitely worth fitting 1 when you have the chance.
    Good luck

  10. #20
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    A stiff wiring harness built on a template certainly helps get things in quickly. I've done this on a couple of 335-stye guitars and the output jack was the only bit I needed to pull through with some string. The rest was done with fingers as everything else then lines up beneath the holes.

    Just don't forget:

    1) To arrange the wiring so that it doesn't cross the F-hole but goes around it. So marking the F-hole position on your template is a must.
    2) To mask off around the F-hole when fitting the harness. You don't want to scratch the finish putting it in.

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