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When you open the volume up completely on a humbucker setup, if that guitar has anything lower than 500k pots, a lot of treble frequencies will simply get lost when the signal hits the pots. Single coil setups work just fine with 250k pots.
People change pots for a number of reasons. Some like to leak a bit of that treble, so they put 250k pots on humbucker guitars. Others just want to replace cheap pots their guitar came with. Either way, we’ve chosen the 4 best guitar pots for you to consider. All of these were picked due to their build quality, impact on the signal, and overall performance.
Fender Stratocaster Strat 5-way Wiring Kit – CRL Switch – CTS Pots
What we have here is a full replacement wiring set designed for Fender Stratocaster series that comes with everything you could possibly need. Sure, it’s not just the potentiometer, but the offer is too good to skip, especially if you want to refresh your old Strat. Every component within the kit is a quality-made piece that guarantees great performance no matter what.
To list the most important elements of this kit (see full specs), you get a real GRL five-way switch that is usually what is recommended for Strats, a CTS 250k with split shaft pots, and a Switchcraft output jack. All of these components are super high-quality stuff, and most of it is made in the United States. What Strat owners usually go for when it is time to refresh the electronics is to get pretty much these exact components.
Seymour Duncan YJM-500
Seymour Duncan is no stranger to building electronics components for electric guitars. Their pickups are about as good as it gets, but they also have a line of products designed to support their pups. In this case, it’s a very special pot that was designed in cooperation with Yngwie Malmsteen. It comes with his signature pickups, but Seymour Duncan decided to release it as a standalone product.
What we have here is a set of high-speed, high-quality 500k potentiometers (see full specs) with strong construction and a split shaft design. What makes these special in comparison to other 500k pots is the fact that the lubricant Seymour Duncan used was specially formulated for smooth operation. It was one of Malmsteen’s requirements he came up with when they designed the whole thing.
These guitar potentiometers can be used both for volume and tone control. The quality is top-notch, and these perform great no matter what guitar you put them on. That special lubricant really does wonder when you need to roll off the volume quickly. It’s butter smooth and remains that way even after years of heavy use.
DiMarzio 500K Push-Pull Pot
Much like Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio also features a great line of pots designed to support their pickups. The one we have here is a great 500k model that can do wonders on just about any guitar. However, these are designed to work with split coil pickups as well.
The potentiometer itself is a high-quality piece that comes with a nicely machined shaft and a push-pull mechanism. This makes them suitable for just about any split coil pickup configuration. With that said, you can also use them with standard humbuckers.
Just how good these are can be seen from the fact that push-pull operation is both smooth and completely stealthy. There are no pops or any other impacts on the signal when you use this feature. Overall, the quality of sound is great, and the pot retains its smooth operation for a long time. These should be on anyone’s list of the best guitar pots.
WD Music WD500
WD Music offers a great cost effective solution to equipping your guitar with quality made pots. The ones we are looking at here are rated for 500k and come at a price which makes them pretty hard to ignore. Whether you need to swap faulty pots or just want a good upgrade, WD Music WD500 will get the job done.
Build rock-solid, WD Music WD500 features split shaft and 24-spline design. These are super-easy to install no matter which guitar you’re trying to upgrade and will clean up your tone real nice. Whether or not they are better than the rest of the pots on our list is hard to determine but, we admit, unlikely. On the other hand, they’re around 6 bucks apiece!
Once you install them, these pots perform very nicely. There are no issues when it comes to the smoothness with which the potentiometer works, nor does the signal suffer any. On the contrary, it cleans up rather well especially if you had bad pots before. If you’re on a serious budget, well, these are probably the best guitar pots for you.
All of the pots we have listed here meet our requirements to the T. They will provide you with great signal strength and quality, while their operation is smooth and reliable. Whichever one you go with, you definitely won’t regret it.
The key requirements here are really not all that intricate: you want a solid pot that delivers high reliability, zero crackle, strong durability, and a good bang for the buck. All of the listed puppies fit that description so feel free to browse around some more! Good luck!