While most guitarists may pay attention to some of the obvious parts of their guitars, such as the pickups, the strings, and the guitar itself, paying attention to the details of your guitar can provide such a dramatically improved experience.
Take the potentiometer, for example. Also known as the Pot of your guitar, this is quite possibly the most overlooked element of any guitar. While you may traditionally know it for being the control dial that turns the volume/tone of your guitar up and down, many pots have a collection of other features and functions you may not know about.
In short, the pots of your guitar are rated based on their resistance. This rating is extremely important on the tone of your guitar, which is normally set at either 250K or 500K. 250k is traditionally used on single-coiled guitars, whereas the 500k is used on humbuckers, so you should be starting to see why it’s important to match them up.
If you’re unsure, cranking up a humbucker guitar with a pot of only 250K, your high-end treble frequencies, similar to the ones you can create with a treble booster pedal, will simply become lost, and your sound won’t be as powerful or optimized as it could possibly be.
To help you enjoy the best experience with your guitar, we’ve searched far and wide and found the five best pots available on today’s market. We’ve taken everything you need to think about into consideration, ensuring that you can easily find the one that’s right for you.
CTS Pair 450G Series 250K Short SOLID Shaft Audio Taper Pots
Starting off our list, we’ve chosen the CTS 450G Series, one of the highest rated and most popular Potentiometers in today’s market. These particular models measure in at 250K, making them ideal for your single coil guitars, or any with a cheap guitar pickup.
Despite being a pair set, which means you’ll be able to upgrade two pots on your guitar, whether that’s your control or tone, or any other paired dials you have, this is still an affordable set that costs next to nothing. This price range ensures these are suitable for all musicians, regardless of their budgets.
These models are highly durable, solid state and operate within a 10% tolerance. While professional and more dedicated musicians may require less tolerance than this, this will be accurate enough for the vast majority of guitarists.
Whether you’re replacing a broken pot on your guitar or investing in an upgrade from your default stock pots, this is an ideal set that can trust and will enjoy for many years to come.
- Incredibly affordable pickup set
- Contains two pots for a full guitar upgrade or replacement
- 250K resistance; ideal for single-coil guitars
- Highly durable and easy to install
- 10% tolerance for accuracy
Allparts EP-4685-000 CTS 250K Long Thread Pot
Supplied by Allparts, this is a very similar pot to the model listed above and is also designed and produced by CTS, the same manufacturer. When it comes to pots for your guitar, CTS has been described as the industry-standard, and this is no exception.
This pot comes with a 250k resistance, making it ideal for your guitar with a single coil sized humbucker pickup, and helping to make sure they sing. This particular model also comes with a long shaft, which makes sure it’s perfect for deeper guitars, and ensuring everything fits and works properly and easily for you.
The shaft itself is also split at the top, which makes it effortless to put your favorite top on the top of the pot, guaranteeing that you can use your original dials, meaning there’s no variation to the aesthetics of your guitar.
One downside is that even though this model is slightly less expensive than the model above, there is only one pot per purchase, meaning if you want to upgrade or replace more than one pot, you’re going to need to make multiple purchases.
However, this is still an incredibly popular pot that performs extremely well, remains highly durable and effortless to install.
- The 250k resistance that’s ideal for single-coiled guitars
- Produced by leading manufacturers CTS
- Long shaft for optimal compatibility with all guitars
- Split shaft for effortless fixture of dials
- Only one pot per purchase
Kumises MI0321 Guitar Wiring Harness Prewired Two Pickup 500K Pots
Another incredibly affordable pots set, this one containing a complete wiring harness that you can install into your guitar for a full high-performance upgrade that you’re simply going to love. This is a two-pickup set that has everything you’ll need.
In addition to the two pots that mean you can upgrade or replace your volume and tone controls, you’ll also find a 3-way toggle switch made of solid and highly reliable chrome, and an in-port for plugging in your cables for recording your sounds or connecting them to an amp.
All the components of this set are already wired together, meaning you’ll only need to connect up the odd ends into your guitar, fix them into the right places and holes, and you’ll be good to start playing again. In short, despite all the features, the installation process here is effortless.
This particular model measures in with a 500k resistance, making it perfect for double-coiled humbucker pickups, and maximizing the amount of sound you’re producing, as well as retaining the overall quality.
Finally, the tone pot contains a .047 cap, and you’ll find all the mounting nuts and washers you need to make the installation. You will need to install the harness using a soldering iron, but this is either really affordable to purchase one, or you can get a professional sound store to do it on your behalf.
This set is really affordable, suitable for all budgets and musicians of different dedication levels and makes a great set that you’re going to love.
- The 500k resistance which is ideal for humbucker pickups
- Complete wiring harness with everything you need to upgrade your guitar
- The tone pot is tipped with a .047 cap for universal fit
- Includes a 3-way toggle switch for complete guitar control
- Requires soldering during the installation process
- Does not contain installation instructions
C.B. Gritty 2-Pack 500k Long Shaft Guitar Volume Potentiometers
If you’re looking for a super-affordable 500k resistance pot that will make your humbucker guitar sing, all without breaking the bank, this is the exact set you should be looking for. This particular device is compact and small in profile yet contains the power and performance similar to its larger counterparts.
You can use this potentiometer for replacing or upgrading either your volume control, or tone controls, or both since you’ll have access to two pots per purchase.
Despite the smaller profile, you can still enjoy all the benefits that come with a long shaft, making it easy for you to fit any dials onto your guitar, regardless of how deep your body is, or how thick your guitar’s panels are.
Thanks to this compact size, these pots are ideal for any type of guitar, whether that your electric guitar, cigar box guitar, or any electrical guitar-like instrument you may own; ensuring this set’s position as one of the most compatible and versatile pot sets available!
All purchases include all the washers and mounting nuts you’ll need to install it properly the first time.
- ¾-inch threaded long shaft for fixing all the dials you may own
- Suitable for all kinds of electronic guitar-like instruments
- 500K resistance making it ideal for humbucker guitars
- All mounting nuts and washers included with your purchase
ToneShaper Pot Pack for Gibson 500K Audio Pot Set (4-Pack)
To conclude our list of the best pots for your electric guitar, we’ve opted for this pack from ToneShaper, that doesn’t just contain two pots, but four, allowing you to make a full upgrade to your guitar.
Ideally, you’ll want to use two of the pots for your tone controls, and two for your volume, all of which register at 500k resistance which makes them ideal for your humbucker guitars. While these pots are designed to be used by Gibson, check the measurements and you should be able to use them in most guitars.
These low-torque pots are extremely easy to use thanks to this exclusive design by CTS, the leading manufacturer. This design includes ½-inch bushing lengths which ensure your dials can be connected, regardless of the thickness of your guitar panel.
All the hardware you need for installation is included with your purchase, including the nuts and washers, all for an affordable price which is still cheaper than most of the single or double packs on this list.
- Includes four pots for the opportunity to completely upgrade your guitar
- 500k resistance for humbucker guitars
- ½-inch bushing for ultimate compatibility with most guitars
- Designed and produced by CTS
- Specifically designed for Gibson (unique sizes, always check before purchase)
As you can see, when it comes to purchasing pots for either your single-coiled or humbucker-coiled guitar, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Any of the five sets above are ideal, so just make sure that you’re checking the resistance you need and the price you’re willing to spend.