Clarostat Mil Spec PotentiometersBack in 1979 Stars Guitars (by extreme special arrangement with Clarostat) ordered
5000 of the 380C3 Series Mil Spec Stainless Steel pots. Because we bought so many
we were allowed to specify the type of taper, shaft length and lug type we wanted.
I have a couple of buckets full of 250KS, 250KZ, 500KS and 500KZ pots. These are
absolutely the best pots money could buy then or now for use as volume and tone
controls in guitars and basses. They are incredibly durable and will not develop the
"scratchies" during your lifetime. The 250K pots are normally used for single coil Strat type
volume/tone circuits and 500K for humbuckers.
What do the "S" and "Z" mean? The S and Z are the taper types of the resistive elements.
An S taper is a modified audio taper which means that the resistance increases (or decreases)
logarithmically so that the human ear perceives the most natural change in volume or roll-off
The Z taper is a modified logarithmic (aka: reverse audio) which gives an even more natural
sounding increase/decrease in perceived volume or tone roll-off.
These are simply the best sounding and most durable pots you can get...except that you can't
get them anymore. Clarostat merged with Honeywell Sensing and discontinued the 380C3
Series and does not even offer the S or Z taper in the replacement series.
Asking $8.50 each, includes U.S. or APO shipping. Discounts will apply for orders of more
than four. Please specify value and taper, i.e. 250KZ or 500KS etc.
NOTE: Press fit knobs will not fit on these 1/4" shafts and will require very careful
gluing to an enlarged shaft hole, even so, they will sit an 1/8" or more off the surface
of the guitar. I recommend converting to a knob with a 1/4" hole.
The Clarostat Name & the Grounding Washer
As these are stainless steel pots you can't use normal resin core solder on them for grounding
a lug to the case or to the rest of the volume/tone circuit. Most of these pots have a internal star
washer with a wire soldered to it and one end of the resistive element (normal volume mode).
Don't try using acid core solder, your guitar and soldering iron won't like you, use normal resin
core solder for making connections from the pickups to the lugs and the rest of the circuit.