Knobs for Electric Guitar Effects Pedals
Set Screw Knobs
- Most guitar pedals utilize knobs which feature a set screw located in the side of the knob's grip. Such a screw allows the knob to be positioned in any fashion on top of its potentiometer's shaft, then set by tightening the screw. Set screw knobs usually feature an internal brass sleeve that mates with the potentiometer, offering superior installation and product lifespan. Many boutique, or smaller, pedal companies utilize these knobs as they are typically more expensive and made from top-quality materials.
- These knobs install on split-shaft potentiometers, much like those typically found on electric guitars. Friction holds these knobs in place, and their position on the potentiometer is determined by the alignment of the matching grooves on the split shaft and the knob's interior. Press-on knobs are typically cheaper to produce, plastic and are found on many mass-produced guitar pedals.
- These "vintage" style knobs feature a skirt, or position indicator, engraved or painted along the bottom of the knob itself. This position indicator can either be numeric or a simple arrow designed to show the knob's position quickly, and facilitate repeating a favored setting if desired. Many older pedals from the 60s and 70s feature aluminum or chromed skirted knobs. Examples of skirted knobs can be found on Fender amplifiers and Gibson Les Pauls from the mid-1970s.
- These knobs feature a prominent pointer and lack numerical indicators. A common version of these knobs are "chicken head" knobs, an art deco style featured on many vintage amplifiers, signal processors and radios. Pointer knobs are typically longer and larger than skirted knobs, and they require more room on a pedal to rotate fully. Their larger size does make them excellent choices for rotary switches or potentiometers with built-in "off" switches.