Sound Quality and Bassman Volume controls – Wire Wound Potentiometer replacement

Nothing kills the sound of the Bass Guitar like a scratchy volume potentiometer. With inbuilt electronics in most modern bass guitars the need for a quality potentiometer for the volume and increasingly the tone controls is never more important. When i started playing bass guitar the cheap carbon ‘pots’ were the order of the day – the linear and logarithmic types of pots were commonly used as no internal electronics was built into the guitars. With the early inbuilt high impedance f.e.t. amplifiers, the need for a better quality ‘pot’, as potentiometers are widely referred to in the industry, became apparent . Over the last few years wire wound potentiometers have been used by some of the more ‘upmarket’ bass guitar manufacturers, not because they need to handle high power (the traditional realm of the wire wound ‘pot’), but because of their durability and their inherent ‘quiet’ electrical qualities.



The above image of a fairly standard 3 watt wirewound potentiometer shows that, physically, these ‘pots’ are virtually identical to their carbon counterparts. I have retro fitted my 1979 Bassplayer with a w/w pot. and am very happy with the results.

Thanks to Australian Resistors – details at