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  1. #1

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    On my Eastman AR503CE, I changed the pickup, and pots a few years ago.

    I have concluded that the CTS pot shafts are loose to the extent that they will sometimes vibrate within the pots, creating an unpleasant high frequency buzz. I can make the buzz go away temporarily by playing with the position (rotation). I am quite sure the buzz is from loose shafts (not loose knobs). Stuffing some tissue between the top hat knob and the guitar body will make the noise go away as well.

    Anyone have a more elegant permanent solution?

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  3. #2

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    Have you tried a good contact cleaner? I think most techs use Deoxit D5 to clean pots but it’s primarily intended for metal to metal contacts. They have an F5 product intended for faders might also be a little better for pots.

  4. #3

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    I would just put in new pots and be done even if they are CTS.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    Have you tried a good contact cleaner? I think most techs use Deoxit D5 to clean pots but it’s primarily intended for metal to metal contacts. They have an F5 product intended for faders might also be a little better for pots.

    The buzz is mechanical in nature. I can hear it unplugged.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark View Post
    I would just put in new pots and be done even if they are CTS.

    Any brand preference? I am not sure what makes CTS so popular. I don't recall seeing a lot of other choices, where you could order in low volume from the usual instrument part suppliers. I also have a push pull pot in that guitar.

  7. #6

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    CTS are much better than the cheaper stuff they put in from China believe me.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielleOM View Post
    The buzz is mechanical in nature. I can hear it unplugged.
    You might try putting a rubber washer around the pot shaft to dampen the vibration. You can buy collections of various sizes in plumbing supply shops or hardware stores. It might not help, but it’s worth a try as a temporary fix.

  9. #8

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    I have the same problem with my Eastman, what a small world?!?

    I did the same, replaced the pots and the pup--and the rest of the electronics.

    I hear a vibration when I play acoustically as well. At first I kinda liked it, I got--what sounded like--acoustic distortion

    Then it got annoying. Meh, it's a problem that I can deal with.

    I think I might switch from 500k to 1meg pots for my next guitar mod--and hopefully these will be more secure.

    A new speaker and a new pickup would be nice too... but I gotta remind myself that paying for lessons is having a greater effect on my playing than paying for gear.

    I think I've spent enough money on gear for now... talk to me in a couple of months...around my birthday... and things might change

  10. #9

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    I had to change the tone pot on a Benedetto because the shaft was loose and vibrating. It was one of the push-pull types, for coil splitting the pickup. It took me awhile to diagnose it. I could put a rubber band wound around the shaft under the knob and fix it, but I ended up changing the pot, and eliminating the coil split, which I never used. It's certainly possible for the shaft to be loose enough to cause unpleasant sounds, even with high-quality pots. I think the original was a CTS, and I don't really believe CTS pots deserve their reputation. They're not better, IMO, than any other brand. But like Gibson, they have built up a reputation, deserved or not.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    I had to change the tone pot on a Benedetto because the shaft was loose and vibrating. It was one of the push-pull types, for coil splitting the pickup. It took me awhile to diagnose it. I could put a rubber band wound around the shaft under the knob and fix it, but I ended up changing the pot, and eliminating the coil split, which I never used. It's certainly possible for the shaft to be loose enough to cause unpleasant sounds, even with high-quality pots. I think the original was a CTS, and I don't really believe CTS pots deserve their reputation. They're not better, IMO, than any other brand. But like Gibson, they have built up a reputation, deserved or not.
    I tried the rubber band (cloth covered hair product) and that took care of things for now. It might be a little too restrictive as I feel more physical resistance when I move the pot now. A different size might have worked better.

  12. #11

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    The elastic around the shaft under the knob does inhibit movement, which may or may not be a bad thing. I didn't like it that much and wanted a more permanent solution. I've had other pots vibrate, and on one set stopped the vibration by changing the knobs from chicken-head to balanced round knobs. Another possible fix that I've used is a piece of the sticky plastic net-like thingies they sell for removing screw lids and for keeping things from moving on shelves or tables, cut to size to fit under the knob. Archtop vibrations are constantly moving targets, and sometimes they are hard to find, with surprising causes and now and then surprising fixes.