Tips & Tricks: How to protect the pots from unintentional maladjustment

Tips & tricksIt is so annoying: you have spent hours to find the perfect tuning for a pedal while the minutes of the transport to wherever or even the seconds of a single touch are enough to lead to a maladjustment of the pots.

Some pots can be turned quite smooth and are situated pretty prominent at the topside of a pedal.

Measures of manufacturers

Manufacturers rarely think about the disadvantage that the position of the pot perfectly predestines them for unintentional maladjustment.
But there are some exceptions: The pots of the Ibanez and Boss pedals are slightly sunk.
The Ibanez 7 series allows to countersink the pots totally.
Orange too had a refined idea: a robust metal bracket protects the pots of their pedals from unintentional maladjustment.
And the DigiTech Hardwire series provided protection caps to cover the pots.

What a resourceful guitarist can do

But what about the pedals with pot that lack any protection?
Some guitarists like to use the famous duct tape.
Of course, it is suitable to fix the pots but one the one hand, you will have to remove it, whenever you want to alter the adjustment and on the other hand, you are unable to look at the position of the pots.

Tapestry Audio

Tapestry Audio invented a product which is supposed to protect the pots for unintentional maladjustment: the knob-stop.
The knobs can be fixed with a little screw which can be removed without any tools.
Thereby you can change the adjustment easily and fix the screws by hand.

Stompshield

Stompshield offers a kit which contains knobs and small “protection cages” that can be mounted on the pedal.
Although the pots are protected from unintentional maladjustment, they still can be controlled pretty easily.

Beatwalk

Beatwalk offers a kit that works quite similar to the Stompshields.
But you will have to change the visual appearance and the kits are relatively expensive.
If you want to protect a pedal with 8 pots, you will need two kits.
With regard to a whole pedalboard, this might prove costly.

Loknob

Loknob also offers caps which can be put over the pot to save the setting.
But their functional principle is a different one.
The original knob of the pedal has to be replaced by the Loknob which only can be turned when it is lifted a little bit.
You can find many different styles of knobs and they work pretty fine. But in fact, they are also very expensive: a single Loknob costs about 10 bucks.

Budget version

For those who are not willing or able to buy new and expensive knobs for all of their pedals, there is a cheap alternative: rubber washers.
They are available in every DIY store (or you get one free with every flip-top bottled beer).
After removing the knobs, you put a fitting rubber washer over the potentiometer and refit the knob.
Unintentional maladjustment is prevented but with a little more strength you can still turn the knob.

Besides: these rubber washers are also perfect to prevent the fix the guitar strap.

 

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