For today’s post, I thought I would do a post on how I replaced the wah pot in a Fulltone Clyde Wah. In the process of finding a replacement, I definitely learned a lot about the Fulltone Clyde. At Fulltone’s site they have a replacement pot available, but no way to ‘order’ it direct. I sent them a email but didn’t hear back immediately, so I started to do some research. I found out that Fulltone use to sell these pots, but stopped. Apparently there were a lot of people switching out pots for a few bucks and getting something close to the Clyde. I also read that they quit shipping them all together and you need to send in the broken unit. That was a deal breaker for me, so I was off to find a replacement.
After doing some research about the original Vox Clyde McCoy wahs, I saw that it’s a very ‘special’ pot that is required. Builders like Fulltone and Teese have contracted out to pot manufacturers to create pots to match their exact specifications, so it’s not as simple as finding a pot with the same resistance and dropping in there. Basically, the pot is a 100k ICAR tapered pot. You can find various pots on eBay as well as other retailers. I hear the pots commonly found on eBay ‘work’ but don’t sound as good. I also found that Area 51 was selling CTS ICAR tapered pots so I purchased on from there.
The next day, I received an email from Fulltone saying that they would send me a pot, but I needed to email/fax a proof of billing or send a photo of the wah. I didn’t have the receipt, so I took a photo of the wah with a piece of paper where I signed my name and dated the paper. No problems.. and the pot was on the way. I was happy to get a Fulltone replacement, so I’ll be saving the CTS ICAR pot from Area 51 for another wah project down the road.
Here is a photo of the wah opened u. My two new pots. The one with the dust cover is the Area 51 pot, and the one right of it is the Fulltone replacement pot.
For me to do this replacement, I need to desolder the original connections. I have a little solder bulb (not sure if that’s what you call it) for sucking the wet solder and a hot soldering iron.
I used some colored alligator clips to help me remember what wire goes where and desoldered the connections. I also moved the loop (loop provides tension against the rack) away from the rack (rack is the straight gear).
I then used a wrench to loosen the nut locking the pot in place and replaced it with the new pot. The photo below is the new pot locked in place and ready for soldering. Tighten the pot tight, but not too tight to damage the pot.
Here is a shot of the new pot with wires soldered into place. It’s important to use a HOT iron and to create good solder connections!
The next steps are pretty important. Depress the wah so the pot is cranked to full treble and match the gear to the rack, but ‘click’ the wah. If you set it to the max without accounting for the footswitch, every time you’re clicking the wah on or off, you’re damaging the pot by forcing it to go beyond what it’s capable of doing. Once the gears are lined up, position the loop to press against the rack and tighten it.
That’s basically it. Slap the cover back on and give it a spin. Overall, it sounded real close to the other Clyde Wah I happen to have. It’s interesting how different components can color the tones differently, and I’ll be writing another post about this down the road. Hope this helps!