[sdiy] Resolution of analogue potentiometers?

Michael Zacherl sdiy-mz01 at blauwurf.info
Fri Feb 15 02:22:02 CET 2013

On 13.2.2013, at 09:12 , Magnus Danielson wrote:

> On 02/13/2013 12:53 AM, Michael Zacherl wrote:
>> on some VCOs I have about 15 octaves on a 300° pot.
>> That's not very practical in many situations, but doable.
>> Often I just touch the front of the knob to move it for fine adjustment.
>> (I do have additional 'fine' pots)
> This is a case where the resolution of the pot is not the real limit, but the range of the pot. A small fine-tune pot makes sense even if you have sufficient resolution on the coarse tuning, since it becomes hard to do fine-tuning anyway.
> Using ten-turn pots or gears helps with bringing it to one knob, but sometimes you turn many turns to get where you want. The two-pot arrangement make sense in this regard.
> So, I don't think it's the actual resolution of the pot which is the limit, but rather if it is a good control interface achieving both speed of adjustment and fine-grained control.

sure, my question was out of curiosity, rather trying to get a feel for it in the always preset analogue vs. digital discussion.
I'm familiar with many kind of tuning pot arrangements.
And even my modified VCOs w/ wide range single turn pots are playable.
After all that years I'm pretty good at dialing in the wanted frequency even without using the fine tune pot.
It's also a matter of aesthetics: for instance if I had octave switches, would I want to change the sound in wide steps when playing live?
Neil's pointer to this Bourns pot-guide is quite useful to get the idea and also to use the correct terms when asking. ;-)

thanks, Michael.

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