If you have a guitar, then you might know about potentiometers or simply, “pots”. Two of the most common options for pots are Alpha and CTS.
So, what are the differences between Alpha vs. CTS pots?
Alpha pots are less expensive compared to CTS. Although the CTS pots are more consistent, with more long-lasting and performance. In contrast, the Alpha pot is easier to use and has a rather sturdier build than CTS. This makes the Alpha more user-friendly.
That was just a tiny sneak peek of what’s about to come.
If this seems helpful to you then come along with us to our next segment. Where we will go through every tiny detail about Alpha and CTS pots and differentiate them thoroughly.
Alpha Vs CTS Pots: Quick Overview
Before we begin with our detailed comparison, let’s take it slow and learn the basics first. This should give you a general picture before we get into the more detailed comparison.
Of all the types of pots of guitars, Alpha and CTS pots are two of the most prominently used pots.
We compared the features of the CTS pots and Alpha pots side by side to give you a better understanding. Here are the fundamental differences between Alpha and CTS pots:
Looks like there are quite a few significant differences between the two pots. Now, as we have a basic idea about Alpha and CTS pots differences. We can go through in-depth comparisons for a better understanding.
Alpha Vs CTS Pots: Head to Head Battle
In this segment, we’re going to go through all the comparable facts in detail. This will give you a lot of proper insight into which one to pick.
Let’s start then:
In the case of longevity, CTS pots are more reliable and better performing than Alpha pots. Even customers often complain that a couple of Alpha pots were scratchy from the start.
CTS potentiometer longevity calculation shows that it lasts for an average of 3 years. With such long durability and tolerance, it beats Alpha pots in this sector.
Winner: CTS Pots.
CTS pots have super consistency in their performance. Its good build quality greatly impacts its overall performance. On the other hand, the consistency of Alpha pots is not as great as that of the CTS.
And the difference in their consistency can be greatly noticed if you use one after the other.
The place where CTS pots are made has very different working principles than Alpha pots. So the consistency and quality are different in the products.
Winner: CTS pots
If you have no idea what a taper is, then you will not be able to understand this feature. So let’s get an idea about what the taper of a pot is.
First, how the volume or tone control drops defines audio taper in guitar wiring. It’s pretty simple.
Now comes the tricky part. Tapers are divided into two categories: audio and linear.
The volume value falls in a consistent manner with a linear taper pot. Thus degree 10 is 100%, level 9 is 90%, level 5 is 50%, and so on. The audio taper is made to function in the same way as your ears do.
Level 10 on a linear taper is 100 percent. However level 3 on your guitar knob will be close to 50 percent of the pot’s value this time.
CTS has a drop of roughly 5% from each level. While Alpha pots have an audio taper with a typical resistance tolerance of 士 20%. For specific adjustability on a pickguard or control plate, each pot contains a flat washer. A lockable washer, as well as two hex fixing nuts.
CTS pots provide the smoothest and most accurate audio taper. Alpha is mediocre, but they’re a more user-friendly pot because they’re easily found, reasonably priced, and well-made.
CTS audio taper pots with a tolerance level of +/-5%, make it a better pot than Alpha.
Winner: CTS Pots
CTS pots have higher quality than alpha. With varying degrees of accuracy, based on how often you want to spend, down to roughly 5%. They also provide additional alternatives for the more discriminating guitar player.
On the other hand, Alpha pots don’t fare well with CTS when it comes to quality. Their poor building structure plays a huge role in that.
Winner: CTS pots
Ease of Usability
This is often the most important factor for regular users. The ease of usability of a pot enhances your guitaring experience manifolds.
Problems like solid-state amp fading can be an irritating issues. Make sure you know about these problems and solutions.
Since there are various kinds of guitar-like Acoustic and portable guitars. So, the pots will be chosen according to those factors.
According to consumer feedback, the Alpha pots are more user-friendly and easy to find. Since they are very popular and affordable. So it is easier to find their service when you get any problem with your pots.
Their basic structure and build make them a good pot for beginners who’re learning to play guitar.
But that doesn’t in any way mean that CTS pots are complicated. They are just more advanced than Alpha pots. So here, Alpha pot wins. Just be careful not to have guitar string too far from fretboard edge.
Winner: Alpha Pots
Alpha pots can be a good option for you if you can separate good pots from bad ones. We did a wide market survey to find out the best available Alpha pots and tested them out. From our intensive testing and tuning, we believe these 3 pots to be the best in the market. Here are our recommendations:
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You will find Alpha pots cheaper than CTS pots. The price of Alpha pots starts from around $10. On the other hand, CTS pots start from 23$ each. The price difference is not very high from one another.
Though the price range changes with time and quality. Alpha pots are the best option for you if you’re short on budget. But CTS pots can be worth the money spent due to their superior quality and durability.
Winner: Alpha Pots
Exactly like this, you can also make differences between fender vs. CTS pots or CTS vs. Bourn pots. That was all we had to share about Alpha vs. CTS pots. Now it’s decision time!
It might be difficult to decide between a CTS and an Alpha pot. There are several factors and problems that you must consider before picking one. However, it is also dependent on the consumer’s consumption.
If someone is adamant about exclusively using one guitar. And because they want more precise sound adjustments, the CTS pot is the best option for them. It has a nice tonal set up to bring forth the instrument’s inherent character.
Though, on the other hand, if someone is searching for a reliable, budget-friendly pot, Alpha is the one. But at the end of the day you are the one to take the decision, so choose wisely!
Which Pot Is Better, the Alpha or the Bourn?
The bourn is better than alpha pots. There are decent results using Alpha, and Bourn pots at various times. It came down to what was in the parts bin at the moment. Whether the knobs that were intended to use required a single or split shaft. TL:dr – As simple as AB (Alpha, & Bourn).
What Is Alpha Products Inc All About?
Alpha Prod Inc is a leading supplier of Rotary & Sliding Potentiometers and Encoders around the world. Potentiometers, encoders, trimmers, and other bespoke resistance devices, and knobs are all available. They’ve been providing customized products to major OEMs throughout the world since 1978.
Where Are Alpha Pots Being Made?
Basically alpha pots are being made and packed in China. China is known widely for this technical thing. The fender that we use, is made in Taiwan.
We hope this article helped you to differentiate all the details between Alpha Vs. CTS pots. Now you can make your decision by assessing all the pros and cons.
It’s best to try out both options and then stick with the one you prefer. This will help you in the long run.
Till the next visit, enjoy your musical work!