Left Handed Pots & Knobs?

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Left Handed Pots & Knobs?

Postby bingo328 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:01 pm

So I was looking for a new set of speed knobs for my LP on eBay and stumbled across some "Left Handed" speed knobs. I never knew there was such a thing! It doesn't matter to me personally because I've never pay attention to the numbers on the knobs, many of my guitars didn't have any numbers on the knobs anyway. I know there are such a thing as left handed pots but many makers don't use them on their lefty guitars.

I then stumbled onto a Les Paul forum that had quite a heated discussion about left handed pots and knobs. Many swore there was no such thing. Some said Epiphone used them and Gibson didn't. Many said just use RH parts and quit complaining.

Personally I don't care which way they turn I just wish makers would be consistent. All I know is now I have to guitars where the knobs work in opposite directions. One of them has LH pots but I'm not even sure which one it is at this point. It's tricky when you get used to one guitar and then switch. It's embarrassing when you go to crank the volume to rip a solo only to find you accidentally turned your volume completely off!

So my questions to all of you are:

1. Assuming your holding a guitar in the normal playing position, which way is the knob supposed to spin? For example. is all the way clockwise supposed to be full volume or no volume?

2. How do you feel on the LH vs. RH knobs and pots debate? Do other lefty players care which way the knobs turn, and do you use or even pay attention to the numbers on the knobs?

3. Do any of you know of any quality manufacturers of left handed pots and/or knobs?

Thanks Guys!

Scott
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Anti Clockwise = Anti Social

Postby wayne » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:05 pm

I just test drove my guitars to confirm that Anti Clockwise = Anti Social.
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All my knobs are designed to be operated left handed. :D
Which way do righty knobs turn ?
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Re: Left Handed Pots & Knobs?

Postby Neal » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:52 am

On a left handed guitar the volume knob should rotate counter-clockwise to increase the volume. It's the same direction as on a right handed guitar - just mirrored.

I'm not sure any of my guitars have numbers on the knobs, and I certainly never look to see if they do. But I do care which way the knobs turn yes, I want all my guitars to be the same - I've never owned a guitar which operated in the opposite direction. They are set-up the way they are for a reason. If one of your guitars is operating in the opposite fashion to your other one, one of them is wired as if it was a right handed guitar - tis a simple fix if you have a soldering iron!

The issue is more in the range of the 'sweep'. On most left handed guitars all the manufacturer does it use right handed hardware and wire it backwards so that the pots operate in the direction they should. Unfortunately this screws things up and what you'll find is that there is an abrupt and non-linear change in volume levels as you rotate the knob. For example if you have the volume completely off, turning it up to 2 or 3 will make minute changes and then all of a sudden above 3 it's just full volume with very very very little change all the way up to 10. If you used a proper left handed pot the change in volume would be smooth and gradual all the way up to ten. For a correct left handed pot you need what's called a reverse-log pot. This pot has the taper running in the opposite direction and will properly replicate the feel and response of a right handed knob.

Obviously this is only going to be an issue for you if you like to micro-manage the pots whilst playing, or if you use them for effects such as volume-swells. It's all about having that little bit of extra control over your sound.

It's not something that desperately bothers me personally, but I am thinking about getting some left handed pots put in my Chapman ML2.

Here's a link to a set of Left Handed EMG Pots as an example. As you can see it's a cheap problem to rectify ;)

This is a topic I want to do a post on at some point for sure :P Did you know that some manufacturers do lefty specific pickups too...
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Re: Left Handed Pots & Knobs?

Postby Kieran89 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:59 pm

Yeah my guitars turn anti-clockwise to increase as well. I never really thought much about it but now you mention it there is a pretty noticeable increase early on and then not much of a change as I rotate it fully. Doesn't bother me but I guess it would when I get better and maybe like to fine tune things a bit more, right now I always have everything on ten lol :lol:
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Re: Left Handed Pots & Knobs?

Postby Southpaw » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:34 am

bingo328 wrote:3. Do any of you know of any quality manufacturers of left handed pots and/or knobs?


http://www.allparts.com/CTS-Left-Handed-500K-Pot-p/ep-0086-l00.htm
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Re: Left Handed Pots & Knobs?

Postby bingo328 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:30 pm

thanks for the replies all. When you say that your knobs turn counter-clockwise to increase volume which way are you looking at them? At this point I'm thinking my very expensive LP Custom actually has RH pots! When playing the guitar I turn the knobs clockwise (ie. towards the neck) to increase the volume and the knobs also correspond that way. Is this the way your guys guitars work?
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Re: Left Handed Pots & Knobs?

Postby Neal » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:18 pm

Hopefully this works...
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Re: Left Handed Pots & Knobs?

Postby zleepyBKK » Mon May 21, 2012 1:21 am

hi scott

don't know if you're still keeping up on this thread..seems abandoned in time. anyway, i just fell across it because i was pondering the same question..

i have 5 guitars. all of them are manufactured as left-handed guitars but only 1 of them has what would appear to be L/H pots (i.e. volume increase with clockwise rotation towards the neck). the culprit in question would be my gibson 335. both my fenders have anti-clocwise volume increase. so perhaps it is only gibson that is fitting their lefties with left-handed pots?

i must say, i'm well used to anticlockwise turning pots and my 335 (a recent addition to my guitars) threw me at first and still haven't been able to get used to it. in fact i don't gig with it because it was always frustrates me as i automatically reach and turn down for when i want up and vise versa. i'm now planning on having R/H pots put in it.

i think it would be fair to say that R/H anti-clockwise volume increasing pots would seem to be the most commonly used in left handed guitars. but 1 drawback which has always bugged me a bit , but have always just accepted it as unchangeable law of the land (much as i do with uncomfortable right handed scissors) is getting that violin sounding effect you'll hear people get when winding the volume in with their pinky finger (anti-clockwise) after the note is plucked. unfortunately us lefties CAN'T do this (unless we sew our hand on backwards! --or have annoyingly unfamiliar and quite uncommon L/H pots. -- eg. my gibson 335, or your expensive gibson lp custom!

cheers,
dan.
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Re: Left Handed Pots & Knobs?

Postby Steve EF-15 » Mon May 21, 2012 6:29 pm

Neal wrote:Hopefully this works...
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Re: Left Handed Pots & Knobs?

Postby EvanStill » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:28 pm

I have two almost identical Fender American Stratocasters. Both turn anti-clockwise but one gives me actually no real volume control. It's more like on/off. While the other one works fairly well. Maybe it's a bad pot. Fender has been really strange with lefty guitars. I remember playing a Telecaster Deluxe where all pots would still go like if they were mounted on a right handed guitar. I have experimented with linear instead of logarithmic pots. To my ears, that didn't yield any gains. I believe that any good quality pot soldered the right way will work. Never tried a lefty pot, because they are hard to come by here in The Netherlands. If I get the chance I will surely want to try.
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