Guitars are meant to be played. Almost every part of it is designed for a musician’s hands to manipulate – so every aspect should be designed to handle the rigors of the road (or studio, or bedroom). Unfortunately, some guitar makers choose quantity over quality, and cut corners on stuff that most people don’t even notice. One of the more maddening cuts is to mount potentiometers (or “pots”) directly to the circuit board in active instruments:
Circuit boards can be fragile, and even a minor impact on the knob can break it. Doesn’t seem very smart to directly mount a component that gets so much use (such as a volume knob) onto a fragile, expensive component, does it? This bass had a broken volume pot, causing the entire circuit to short, and prevented the bass from having any output whatsoever. Cleaning the pot wasn’t going to cut it, so it had to be replaced.
Instead of mounting a new pot directly on to the board, we opted to attach it via flying leads – small lengths of wire that isolate the pot from the board:
We then mounted the circuit board inside the control cavity, safely away from any components that receive daily use and abuse. A simple solution to a potentially expensive problem.