Cracking and Scratchy Volume & Tone Pots and Swithces

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by houseguitarshop, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. houseguitarshop

    houseguitarshop Squier-holic

    Apr 1, 2010
    Scratchy Volume Pots, Tone Pots, and Switches

    Here is a thread to let people know ways to fix or improve the sound if your squier if it has a scratchy Volume pot, Tone pot, or switch.

    a little trick for those cracks and pops in the volume and tone pots, and also the switch.

    If you plug the guitar in to an amp, just take about 10 minutes, and turn the crackeling knob a whole bunch back and forth,

    it works well with the entire side of you hand you can just roll the knobs then. For the switch just switch it back and forth a ton. What you are doing is rubbing the dust out of the pot.

    after a little you should be able to hear some if not all of the cracks and pops going away. most guitars just need to get the dust out of them and some corriosion off the pot.

    some pts, however are helpless causes, and just need to be replaced if that trick does not work.
  2. houseguitarshop

    houseguitarshop Squier-holic

    Apr 1, 2010
    a qoute from vintageguitarz out of Squier history Thread

    Actually the crackling and popping sound is caused by little shorts and dead spots as corrosion occurs inside the pots across the crappy cheap quality copper base contacts as the "wiper" in the pot is turned in the crappy cheap Chinese pots. On good US, Japanese, or European pots from the past and present an electro-conductive coating that protects the pots contacts from the corrosion (for most of the life of the pots) is applied to the copper contacts. These won't last forever, but a hell of a lot long than the junk from China.

    Sweeping the wiper brush back and forth (by turning the knob repeatedly) MIGHT help for a short while, but not long as the poor quality copper they use in China has a high iron content, will just rust again quickly. (the Indonesian and Indian electrics is just as bad junk)

    Better just buy some good US or European made pots and throw the Chinese junk in the garbage where they belong. Replace the 5 way switch while you're at it. Maybe even get some decent Alnico pickups in it too. GFS has a great variety and they are US made. Vintage sound to Texas hot, I love em.... at 1/3 the cost of Seymour Duncan's.

    I've been restoring Vintage guitars and Hot-Rodding guitars for 40+ years.
  3. houseguitarshop

    houseguitarshop Squier-holic

    Apr 1, 2010
    qoute from p90special out of the squier history thread

    Take a q-tip dip it in alcohol and put it on the divit in the pot to let the alcohol go down into the pot, do the twisties as houseguitarshop mentioned, will make as good as new. I have never replaced a pot unless it was really broken. You can also use professional electronic contact cleaner, but alcohol has always worked well for me. I've even used it on switches where no sound was coming thru but worked after dosing with some alcohol.
  4. MiK_Squier_II

    MiK_Squier_II Squier-holic

    Jul 18, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    Yep even works with old CTS and other high end pots that the same phenomenon happens
  5. YeahDoIt

    YeahDoIt Squier-holic

    Jan 14, 2010
    Florida, USA
    I have used a drop of baby oil (it's petroleum oil, heavier than kerosene but lighter than petroleum jelly) or contact cleaner spray from Radio Shack. Put it inside the pots and rotate the pot shaft a few times.
  6. fenderbender1

    fenderbender1 Squier Talker

    Sep 13, 2011
    An update from my crackling volume pot on my recently bought Chinese Strat. I bought some contact cleaner and after unscrewing the scratchplate (whilst guitar was still strung!!), managed to get the tube from the aerosol under and sprayed all the pots. After two or three sweeps of the volume knob it works a treat and there is no noise whatsoever. Thanks for all the advice, by the way. Now onto my amp!!
  7. houseguitarshop

    houseguitarshop Squier-holic

    Apr 1, 2010
    yeah same thing works for the amp, good luck