Reading pot codes How to read pot codes, and what they mean An early s pot from a Gibson guitar. Once decoded, the writing on the back or sides can be very informative If you've been reading articles about dating a vintage guitar, you may well have come across mention of pot codes. The pots, or potentiometers to give their full name, are the variable resistors that control volume and tone. Better quality pots are often stamped with a number of codes; typically part numbers, date of production, manufacturers codes and resistance values. Many pots don't carry all of this information, but the better quality guitars produced in America regularly do. So where are these codes?
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POT CODE DATABASE
The pots are what the knobs are mounted to, essentally manually adjustable resisitors that control the voltage across a circuit. The codes were created by the Electronic Industries Association EIA in s to identify the product source and date of manufacture. The first string of numbers is usually the part number, or sometimes the pot value. In the second string of numbers, the first three numbers are a code identifying the manufacturer. The next two numbers after the manufacturer number are the year, and the last two numbers are the week of the year the pots were made. So a pot stamped is a CTS pot made in the 33rd week of Note that this does not mean a Muff with a pot was actually made in , it just means it was not made much earlier than
In particular, the rectangular and oval consoles were fitted with 'Preh' brand volume control potentiometers - "pots", which carry a manufacture date in code on them. A typical Hofner console, fitted with these pots Simply undo the small screws holding the panel on, and lift it out of the body. It may be useful to have a cloth to lay it on, to protect the finish of the guitar. This is the underside of one of the 'Preh' brand pots - the code is stamped into the brown fibreboard base.
Return to the Main Index. Sometimes there just isn't enough information on electric instruments and amps to allow them to be properely dated. And many people ask me to try and determine the year of their old amplifier, or to help them with the year of their older off-brand electric guitar.