CTS pot date codes | Fender Stratocaster Guitar Forum
If you've been reading articles about dating a vintage guitar, you may well have come across mention of pot codes. The pots, or potentiometers to give their full. resource to decipher pot codes (CTS) for mid to late 60's, the 70's into the '80's. Join Date: Jan ; Location: Wixom MI; Posts: 4, I know there are a million threads on this but I haven't found anything definitive on the web for CTS date codes. Could someone possibly point.
Reading pot codes How to read pot codes, and what they mean An early s pot from a Gibson guitar. Once decoded, the writing on the back or sides can be very informative If you've been reading articles about dating a vintage guitar, you may well have come across mention of pot codes.
The pots, or potentiometers to give their full name, are the variable resistors that control volume and tone. Better quality pots are often stamped with a number of codes; typically part numbers, date of production, manufacturers codes and resistance values.
- Dating Guitars – Pot Codes
- CTS pot date codes
- Reading pot codes
Many pots don't carry all of this information, but the better quality guitars produced in America regularly do.
So where are these codes? Normally they are stamped or inked onto the back or sides of the pot. So reading them will require opening control cavities, removing scratchplates, or in the case of a semi acoustic, removing the pots entirely.
Codes can be worn, obscured by solder and other components, or simply very small. Finding them is not always easy; this is obviously not something for the faint-hearted, but once performed a few times, nowhere near as daunting as it might at first seem. There are many exceptions and variations to the general rules described below, some of which are highlighted in the examples at the end.
Part numbers Many pots do not have part numbers, but the larger guitar manufacturers did list pots by part number in their spare parts manuals. You can look up Gibson potentiometers by their part number in the Gibson pot index on this site.
Manufacturers codes There are very many electronic companies worldwide producing potentiometers, but most American vintage guitars of the 20th Century used pots by just a few manufacturers.
The codes were created by the Electronic Industries Association EIA in s to identify the product source and date of manufacture. The first string of numbers is usually the part number, or sometimes the pot value.
Gibson Brands Forums: Pot Code Info ???? - Gibson Brands Forums
In the second string of numbers, the first three numbers are a code identifying the manufacturer. The next two numbers after the manufacturer number are the year, and the last two numbers are the week of the year the pots were made. So a pot stamped is a CTS pot made in the 33rd week of Note that this does not mean a Muff with a pot was actually made init just means it was not made much earlier than The Muff could have been made months or even years after the pots were purchased as it is known that Electro-Harmonix bought the pots in bulk, as did Fender, and other companies at the time.
Stackpole and CTS made the pots in large runs also, so they may have shipped pots dated earlier than the year Electro-Harmonix ordered them. And remember, even the dates indicated by the pots aren't that exact. For example, if you buy a brand new CTS pot today, they are dated a month or two in advance! It's worth mentioning since a lot of people rely on pot dates. That said, it's not uncommon for pot manufacturers to post date pots anywhere from a few weeks to as much as 18 months.
The standard today is no more than 18 months, but back in the s and s, who knows? Some large parts distributors would even return parts if the date code was "expired" and want "fresh" parts in return. This seems silly, as we're talking about electronic parts not eggs. But if you think about it, parts like electrolytic cacpacitors, this could be an issue.
Then the parts maker like CTS would have to eat the returned inventory, or sell it off to someone that didn't care about date codes, and probably at a discounted amount. What I'm saying is that pot and capacitory date codes are not a reliable indicator of guitar build dates.
Dating Guitars – Pot Codes | The Strumming Monkey
Though they are one piece of the puzzle and something to consider, don't put too much faith into a pot date. The source-date codes are under the framework of the "Electronic Industries Association", which is a non-profit organization representing the manufacturers of electronic parts.
It can be stamped or marked on any product to identify the production source vendor and date of manufacturer. Source-date codes have been published by the EIA since The EIA can be contacted via mail: Source-date codes weren't an industry standard until after WWII.
But I have seen them used on Stackpole pots on electric National guitars as early as The first time date-source codes were published wasso I guess you could see them as early as the late 's.
Most Fenders from to have dated CTS pots. On popular Fender models, the pot date can be very close to the actual date of the instrument. On less popular Fender instruments, such as LapSteels, pots can be as much as two years earlier than the actual date of the instrument.