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razmatei

Wobbly Volume & Tone Knobs

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Hi.

 

Just got my new Epiphone LP Standard and at a closer inspection I think that all 4 knobs are somehow wobbling when I rotate them. Its as if they are not mounted perfectly straight. All 4 of them exhibit the same behaviour (more or less) Should I just leave them be ? They seem to be pretty firmly mounted so I would hate to do maintenance on the thing just because of this. Is this normal in a brand new Epi ? Other than that all seems to be OK ++

 

Thanks

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No, I would say that isn't normal, but not a big deal, and an easy fix. The knobs fit onto a split shaft on a potentiometer. You can take the knobs off. I use a string and wrap it around the shaft under the knob. Then with both side of the string pulled together, gently lift up. Work from side to side and the knob should come off. Once the knobs are off you can gently open the gap in the shaft with a screwdriver. Go slowly. Put the knobs back on and you should be good to go. If they are still wobbly, then the shafts need to be opened up a little more.

 

Welcome. By the way, pics or it didn't happen.

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Razmatei,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

+1 on everything JC said.

The knobs were simply not mounted straight. Common occurrence. (I hesitate to even call it a problem)

As explained, it is an easy fix. Was the same on all of my Epi's.

 

Sometimes, if the knobs are not too close to the body, you can just straighten them with a little finger pressure.

If they are to close, don't scratch you guitar. Remove as explained and start over.

 

Notice that JC repeats the word gently.

 

Congrats on the new guitar and let's see those Pics.

 

Willy

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I'm thirding the "gently". Do it right the first time. If you have to bend them back, they may break. Poteniometer shafts are very brittle and will break if you bend them too much or too many times.

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I'm thirding the "gently". Do it right the first time. If you have to bend them back, they may break. Poteniometer shafts are very brittle and will break if you bend them too much or too many times.

 

I am tempted more and more to leave them as they since they are not touching the body when I rotate them. But somehow, by looking at how they wobble it seems that the potentiometer's axis itself (the one where the knob is mounted on) is bent... Is this possible ? Could they be so careless ... when they mount the knobs on ?

 

Sorry for being paranoid but I am more worried that whomever put the knobs on the pots pressed with too much vertical force and bent the axis ... may be its just me ... I'll post some pictures as soon as I reach home :/

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Hmmm...not sure if the potentiometer shafts themselves could be bent and still work properly. Its common for the splines to get bent, especially if the knobs have set screws on them. But being bent all the way down (on all four) seems unlikely. Are you sure that the pots are seated to the guitar correctly? Do the shafts look like they wobble without the knobs on them?

There should be two nuts on the pot threads. One to adjust the height of the pot (inside the cavity) and the nut that secures it (on top of the guitar). It could be possible that the adjustment nut is threaded all the way to the bottom of the threads and is slightly cocked, causing the pot to sit unevenly. Or, if that bottom nut is missing altogether, it wont sit straight up either.

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Hmmm...not sure if the potentiometer shafts themselves could be bent and still work properly. Its common for the splines to get bent, especially if the knobs have set screws on them. But being bent all the way down (on all four) seems unlikely. Are you sure that the pots are seated to the guitar correctly? Do the shafts look like they wobble without the knobs on them?

There should be two nuts on the pot threads. One to adjust the height of the pot (inside the cavity) and the nut that secures it (on top of the guitar). It could be possible that the adjustment nut is threaded all the way to the bottom of the threads and is slightly cocked, causing the pot to sit unevenly. Or, if that bottom nut is missing altogether, it wont sit straight up either.

 

I attached pics with the axe and the wobbly knob (one of them). What do you guys think ? You can see in the picture that the distance from the edge of the knob to the body on the left side is smaller than on the right side. When I turn the knob, it wobbles. All 4 knobs exhibit more or the less the same "mount"(some more than the others). They are working fine but they feel ... odd when adjusting them during play. I dont know what to think. On one hand these amber knobs feel brittle and while I might be able to pull them out nicely...I wonder if they will fit so tightly back in ...

post-25086-001471900 1285685310_thumb.jpg

post-25086-070583900 1285685317_thumb.jpg

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Something is definitely crooked. Cant tell with the knob on though. If you feel comfortable with it, you should take the pot out and examine it. That will tell you if it is bent at the shaft or not.

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I'm thirding the "gently". Do it right the first time. If you have to bend them back, they may break.

Poteniometer shafts are very brittle and will break if you bend them too much or too many times.

 

I agree with this.. they ARE brittle, if you "open the shaft gap"

too much, one ear might snap off.

 

Some shafts look like a cheap 'white-ish pot-metal' type metal...

and that is brittle indeed.

 

CHEEKS

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Let's not overcomplicate a simple matter of the knobs being crooked on the shafts. Spreading the shaft would only be necessary if the knobs are loose. They probably can be repositioned without removal.

 

I'm hoping that is the case, but I cant say that I've ever seen plastic (non-set screw) knobs crooked on a pot shaft before. They usually cant go on crooked, unless they are oversized or worn out.

 

Take the knobs off and see if the shaft wobbles.

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If your a do-it-your-selfer, great -- open it up and figure it out. However, if you bought this new at local store, take it back and ask them to look it at. They should be more than willing to do that on a new, under warranty guitar.

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If your a do-it-your-selfer, great -- open it up and figure it out. However, if you bought this new at local store, take it back and ask them to look it at. They should be more than willing to do that on a new, under warranty guitar.

 

Well, I bought it online from Thomann and there lies the dilemma: should I send it back to Thomann OR should I go to a guitar shop and have them sort it out ?. If its something minor then it would not worth the hassle of sending it back, but if by the look of things the pots are broken then ... well ... may be I would consider sending it back.

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Well, I bought it online from Thomann and there lies the dilemma: should I send it back to Thomann OR should I go to a guitar shop and have them sort it out ?. If its something minor then it would not worth the hassle of sending it back, but if by the look of things the pots are broken then ... well ... may be I would consider sending it back.

 

One more important detail: the shaft is full, not split. The photo shows the pot only from the side but the knob being transparent I can clearly see that the shaft is full.

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I'm hoping that is the case, but I cant say that I've ever seen plastic (non-set screw) knobs crooked on a pot shaft before. They usually cant go on crooked, unless they are oversized or worn out.

 

Take the knobs off and see if the shaft wobbles.

Taking the knobs off is indeed the first step.....and, to the op, am willing to guarantee your pot shafts are split, just look "solid" through the knob And, yes, the knobs can go on crooked even though being press-on .... mine was the same way when I got it new.....gently removed knobs, carefully put them on and pushed them down level....originally, they'd rub the guitar surface on one side of the knob if too low - have since replaced them with speed knobs, they seem to be easier to put on "level"...don't know if it's due to the different knob design, or just not being the horrible stock Epi knobs (I have a great distaste for the originals, even though I replaced the amber stockers with amber speed knobs...wasn't the color, just the way they felt in use.....the amber seems to work pretty well with the honeyburst, me thinkst)

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And, yes, the knobs can go on crooked even though being press-on .... mine was the same way when I got it new...

 

Hmmm...I didnt realize they could. They are typically such a snug fit and the groove shave to pretty much line up, that I didnt realize it was a possibility. Seems like it would take more work to put them on crooked than straight.

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Sounds like you'll just have to take the knobs off and check it out. If you decide not to return the guitar and there are no major problems with the pots, I would just put new knobs on it (or get someone else to). I agree with the post above that the Epi knobs are not very good. They just don't "feel right", but that's just personal opinion I guess. I had my ebony LP Standard for about all of 2 hours before I replaced the knobs with black speed knobs. They feel much better and look awesome too.

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Razmatei,

 

When turning the knobs do the shafts seem to turn on their axis?

If so, the knobs are on "cocked".

As others have mentioned, the odds of all of them being bent are very small.

The odds of them being on crooked...not that unusual.

 

The string method for removal was discussed. Others use a cloth.

Hope the video comes through. (not mine but useful)

 

By the way, I suggest doing it on a towel on a table. Not on your lap.

 

Otherwise, you have already expressed your other two options. Can't decide that for you.

 

Willy

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I have owned a couple of Epi Les Pauls and each time the knobs have been wonky. This is just how they are put on, the pots themselves are fine. You just need to remove the knobs and carefully reattach them. I use a bandanna and wrap it aorund the shaft underneath the knob and pull up. Some people seem to think a shoe lace is best, but whatever works for you. IMPORTANT - if you have coil splitting pots tou need to pull the swithch out first, then remove the knob, this will help to prevent too much force being applied to the coil tap and breaking the shaft.

 

Oh and welcome to the forum by the way! You have a very nice looking guitar there.

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No need to remove knobs.

 

Lay a micro fibre cloth next to the knobs. Lay a tablespoon on the cloth and fold back over the top of the spoon. Insert cloth covered spoon under the lowest point of the knobs and gently lift knob using spoon as a lever to adjust it.

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You mean I gave away my secret knob removal technique for nothing?

 

Now I will struggle to sleep tonight. 😯

 

of course not! i printed out your technique for future reference:)

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I use two spoons 180 degrees apart to remove knobs.

 

Here's how to remove knobs from push-pull coil split knobs without breaking the pot shaft out of the pot.

 

Pull out the knob, lay micro fiber cloth next to pot then use long nose pliers to grip the shaft and gently ease the knob up levering the spoon against the jaws of the pliers. Turn the knob 180 degrees and lever some more until it comes free of the shaft. Obviously you can only use one spoon for this as you should be gripping the pot shaft tightly with your other hand

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