Modifying the Master Volume Control

Last updated 9/24/02    


Here is how I changed the Master Volume Control on my Hot Rod DeVille to make it a little more user-friendly:

I decided to keep R45 at 47K and instead try changing the pot from the stock 100K linear pot to a 250K audio pot. It's not simple to change the pot, though. The shaft of the pot is permanently attached to a bracket assembly which is also soldered to the PCB as well as the three connections to the pot itself. This is complicated by the fact that Fender won't sell a replacement pot to a nobody like me. So, instead of searching the world over trying to find one of these, I decided to just make one myself. It's a little bit of work to replace it and fabricate a new bracket, but it's really fairly easy to do.

Below is some more details on how I did this.

First thing to do was to de-solder the old pot and remove it. Now I have a template to make the bracket which holds the pot securely to the PCB. To make the bracket, I used some leftover thin gage galvanized sheet metal cut from a 5"x7" piece I found in the rain gutter/roofing aisle at Home Depot.
I then cut the piece with my Dremel tool equipped with a cutting wheel. It took about 5 or 10 minutes to make all the cuts. After cutting, I spent about 5 minutes filing the rough edges and squaring everything up.
The next step was to make two bends. That gets it into it's final shape. Then I compared it to the original, and it was nearly a perfect match. Marked the center point for drilling a hole, also.
Here, using a round file, I am getting the hole I previously drilled to just the right size to receive my new pot. To hold it in place, I used a C-clamp clamped to a piece of wood, which was held by a small table vise to keep it from going anywhere.
Here is the whole assembly ready to go into the PCB. I took a side by side picture, but my camera apparently ate it... I used some hot glue to attach the pot to the bracket. It worked out pretty good. Time to solder it to the PCB.
Here it is installed in the PCB. It works! Love those Dremel tools... Total cost of project: Around $5.00 U.S.

Now I suppose you want to know how it works, right? Well, it did make the Master Volume a little easier to control, but it's not a radical difference... It makes the zone from "0" to "2" a lot more manageable. I was originally going to use a 500K audio pot, but then decided to go with a 250K audio. The 500K would probably be perfect. Changing R45 to a higher value in combination with replacing the pot may work better, but I am content with it as it is.


Back to Hot Rod DeVille Mods