Reverse Taper 1 Meg pot

We are fortunate to count Paul Gagon as a member here, so it seemed natural to give him a home to stretch out in and relax a little. Maybe exercise the grey matter and present a little history of the guitar and bass (amps too!) from his perspective as one of the eminent designers of our time.

Got questions? Great! Good questions might be, "What are the EQ mappings for the M Series preamps?" Or, "What was the thought process behind the MJ-4?" Troubleshooting questions should remain in the regular forums (he reads those too). Finally, please be mindful of how I feel about tech questions via PM or email.

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Reverse Taper 1 Meg pot

Postby guitarzan » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:54 am

Why did Leo use a reverse audio taper pot on the bass tone control on the L series basses? My understanding is that the reverse tapers were for use on left hand instruments...as if it is wired normally for use on a right hand instrument the taper would work "abnormally". This just doesn't make sense to me.... and of course those pots are a bit hard to find....
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Re: Reverse Taper 1 Meg pot

Postby Paul Gagon » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:23 pm

Hey there guitarzan,

The reason for using a reverse audio taper pot for the bass control is because that gives the smoothest and most balanced response through the pot rotation. In other words, as you move the bass knob down a little bit, the bass response goes down a little bit. These reverse audio taper pots are used in a variety of circuits......like certain gain control circuits. The reasoning is the same. You’re trying to get a seemingly linear response from the pot rotation. If you were to put in a standard audio taper for the bass control you would notice that virtually nothing happens until you hit the end of the rotation them WHAM! It all happens.

Hope this helps,
Paul
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Re: Reverse Taper 1 Meg pot

Postby guitarzan » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:36 pm

Thanks for the explanation Paul. But isn't that what a standard audio taper is supposed to do as opposed to a linear pot? My understanding is that an audio taper is a logarithmic emulation of what the ear thinks is linear. A reverse would be sort of the opposite, at least in theory. But, then analog stuff is never all theory. Our ears are funny and sensitive organs.
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Re: Reverse Taper 1 Meg pot

Postby Paul Gagon » Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:25 pm

Hey there guitarzan,

Here’s what I’ve found. When you're turning up the volume level on a signal, Audio tapers work real nice. When you’re increasing the resistance to low frequency signal flow, like in the G&L Bass control, the reverse audio taper has a more linear feel to the control. Just for fun, try an audio taper, then a linear taper, and finally a reverse audio taper for the bass control and see which one you like best.

Thanks,
Paul
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