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Potentiometers (pots) can be used to control a variety of functions inside an electric guitar. Most often they function as tone and  volume controls.

Potentiometers are differentiated by their electrical characteristics.

     Value is the resistance between the two outer lugs. The most       common values are 250k  (for single-coil pickups) and 300-500k       (for humbuckers),

     25 k  pots are used with active electronics.

Taper is the ratio of wiper travel to the resistance between the

wiper and the outer lugs.

Logarithmic pots (also known as "log" or "audio" pots,

and marked with the letter A) are used for volume controls,

due to the human ear's response to loudness being roughly logarithmic.

Linear pots (marked with the letter B) are mostly used for tone controls.

Besides the common pots used for volume and tone controls there are other types

These pots can be used for coil tapping humbuckers Push-pull pots - these pots incorporate an on-on DPDT switch on the underside of the pot that's actuated by pulling the shaft outwards and pushing it back in. The switch is electrically independent from the pot and can be used for a number of functions.

Push-push pots - a variation of the above, these pots also incorporate a switch which is

activated and deactivated by pushing on the middle of the knob.

Pots Info Page