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Centralab Pots Are Being Reissued (Update: Don't Buy Them)

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,547
ViPots have been out for only a couple years ..good to hear you’re back to playing with that intensity
Yep. Cause I'm an old idiot, pumped full of drugs and get confused, I had the wrong pot. I remember getting a few sets, the were expensive as hell and we couldn' t solder anything to the case 'cause they were steel or sumptin. I do remember they had three letters but obviously not VIP, and they didn't have that fancy engraved logo on the back, so when I saw that I knew my memory was f'd up. Chemo brain sucks.

I can't remember the name. I'll check with Nick, he helped me solder the ground, as I was flippin' out trying to do it. He used a common ground to connect them. They are still in the guitars and are real nice, but the taper is not Centralab. They were recommended by one of the old MXR designers and worked at Whirlwind. Sorry, I'm a mess, but even if I have to remove one, I'll find out.

I cannot play anymore. I cannot do much at all, except have surgeries. The dude I was died.
 
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Dave P

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
993
Similar, but the Bourns pots are a little different, mechanically. These are all different options from Bourns....
They are similar, and my experience with both Bourns, Alpha, and also CGE has not been great. The old sealed Bourns pots from yesteryear were really nice, kind of stiff to turn though.
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,547
OK, the potentiometers I meant to reference, and was confusing with the VIP pots are PEC brand. They apparently are no longer available, which is a shame, as these very expensive, mil spec pot has been the best I've used. I did post about them back when though. Sorry for any confusion I may have caused.
 

Dave P

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
993
OK, the potentiometers I meant to reference, and was confusing with the VIP pots are PEC brand. They apparently are no longer available, which is a shame, as these very expensive, mil spec pot has been the best I've used. I did post about them back when though. Sorry for any confusion I may have caused.
Alessandro was having PEC make knurled shaft pots for him, they were $40 a pop. PEC is still around, though.
 

Wound_Up

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
54
It's a Chinese Alpha pot.

r-vaxl_3_1.png

index.php



They will put whatever logo you pay for on the back. China doesn't recognize trademarks.

HOWEVER - the one in the photo the OP posted is Photoshopped. Look at the "R in a circle" at the end of the text. It's going right over the rounded over edge of the pot and perfectly straight and crisp, not to mention higher resolution than the actual image of the pot. Just photo editing. Pretty sweet use of Photoshop's "emboss" feature.

Either that or wherever these WD pots are from. They look exactly the same. Same radius on the front of the 'wafer', same trapezoid lugs. Looks quite close to me. It'd be quite simple to photoshop that clean and do what you said with the emboss feature(not saying they used this exact pic, obviously).

The WD pot also doesn't have the notch at the top like the Alpha pot does, but it's at the bottom like the pot in question. Even the wafer appears to be the same color. The lugs also, have the same hash marks across the bend like the pot in question. Though they could be reflections. Probably not coincidence that they also share another feature lol.

Also, if you compare the wafer on the Alpha to the Centralab and WD, the Alpha wafer sticks out quite a bit past the lugs where the other two have a wafer that ends basically at the lugs. It doesn't extend far past them like the Alpha pot.

I did a reverse image search and WD was one of the first results it showed. I'd say it's a match.

Screenshot_20240327-104404_Google.jpg

Vs

IMG_2047.jpg

Vs

The Alpha pot. Look at the two corner pieces of the wafer, how they stick way out vs the WD/Centralab that doesn't.

r-vaxl_3_1.png
 
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Wound_Up

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
54
Finally, if those are WD 550K pots that the Centralabs are made from, if they actually exist, then those pots from WD POSSIBLY come from CTS. They worked together with CTS specifically to develop their 550k pots. But CTS has different lugs. So who knows?

With all of the evidence, it appears that they may possibly just be CTS pots with a different back cover/photoshop job/whatever.

The WD 550k pot is a potentiometer that was developed by WD Music Products in collaboration with CTS.


Edit: nevermind. The 550k WD/CTS pots look like normal CTS pots so who knows what those other WD pots are. Oddly enough, the WD/CTS pots use the same stated 9% tolerance as those new Centralabs are supposed to use. I've never seen that on any others except what's been posted here. Coincidence? Possibly.
 
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NickiC

Active member
Joined
Jun 30, 2022
Messages
123
Last order of RS superpots I bought were all over 550k.
Ask and they’ll send you above 565k-570k+.
*Long & short shaft CTS
 

bern1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,282
Good news, I hope it happens. I’m sure mine will last a little longer….
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
363
I wonder how well the composition of the resistive disc will be copied. Somehow I feel it will be like other electronics that have been reissued and be just Centralab in name. Will have to try, though, in case they are still a good pot.
 

Tone Ranger Audio

Active member
Joined
Dec 26, 2023
Messages
200
Looks like the Centralab pots are for sale now on Reverb. Was tempted to snag some, but referred back to this thread and said no way Jose.
 
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