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OCD! Turning a couple of control knobs feels rough/squeaky

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by songwriter21, Mar 11, 2016.


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  1. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Hi All,

    So I have a bass that I put some new knobs on, and I think I may have slightly bent the shafts of my volume and treble pots. Putting the new knobs on, with set screws, I think I torqued the knobs a little too much to one side, and also had to give a little force to get the knobs on (pushed in/down those little yellow, orange, and red shaft indicators). Now my volume pot feels gritty and wobbly when turned, and my treble pot actually squeaks. Looking at them, I can't tell at all that they're bent. They were silky-smooth before, as the blend and bass knobs are fine. I plugged my bass in, and the sound is totally unaffected, so that's good, but the feel still bothers me. I went into the control cavity after I made sure that the pots were screwed in tightly, and there's no play that I can see, yet the volume knob is rough and the pot a little wobbly (on top, on the top of the body), while the treble knob squeaks. It's fairly annoying to me. I don't get it.

    What to do? Order new pots to satisfy my OCD, or are these annoyances fixable on the current pots?

    Any help is appreciated....thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
  2. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Set screw knob on split-shaft pot?
     
  3. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Nah, it came with set-screw knobs.
     
  4. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    You damaged the pots by pushing too hard. Get new pots.
    Also, get new knobs that are the right size for the shafts of the new pots.
    Set screw pots should slide on with no resistance.
     
  5. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Hmmm, I was afraid of that. Perhaps I didn't have the screws loosened enough....

    Well, hopefully these two pots with labor won't be much, as the cavity is fairly uncluttered and simple. My luthier is cool with me, and sometimes drops everything and does my work right there, and for free. *fingers crossed*
     
  6. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    I misread what you said. Yes, set-screw knobs on split shaft pots.
     
  7. Are you sure they are not rubbing on the body? I've had that happen on a precision bass one time. New knobs, pushed them on, tightened the set screws and they were hard to turn. The bottom of the knob was dragging on the body. If so just loosen them up and pull them up a bit and tighten the set screw. Otherwise see above posts!
     
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Don't touch my motorcycle handy man. LOL.

    I had a blend pot that was pushed on splined type. When I push the knob on I thought it had ruined the pot as it didn't work and felt as you describe. I was going to replace it and pulled the knob off. The grindy feel went away. I tried it through the amp and it worked fine. Pinched the pit shaft together and pushed the knob on gently this time wiggling it. Try pulling up on the knob hence pulling the shaft back up into proper position and see what happens.

    It may straighten out. If the pots are butchered anyway, you have nothing to lose.
     
    songwriter21 likes this.
  9. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Set screw on split-shafts:

    • Locate set screw on slot (split) so that the halves do not collapse. This prevents off center wobble.
    • Wobble can cause bottom of knob to scrape on the pot nut or worse yet, the knob rim on the body.
    Good chance the grind is one of these. Pull knobs and check. Then carefully straighten the shafts and reinstall so the that the knob is just proud of the nut.

    Edit to add: This is not OCD behavior. This is best practices. If it isn't right it needs to be fixed.
     
  10. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Thanks for the replies, guys!
     

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