Impact of Dust on Electronic Components


Thread Starter


I'm a musician, and I recently had an odd occurrence with my Les Paul. The tone simply changed in the middle of a song from warm and fat, to very trebly, and at one point turned very muddy, faded out slowly, then came back very screechy. When looking at the wiring to see if something was loose, I blew in the tone/volume pot cavity since it looked a little dusty, and got hit with a face full of dust. I continued to blow it out until no more dust was visible, then plugged the guitar back in. The tone was then back to normal. I am assuming the tone issues were due to dust on the electronics and connections? Have you ever heard of this kind of issue with an electric guitar?
The tone or volume pot is a variable resistor that has a contact that moves across a wire or carbon film to vary the resistance.

So YES, dirt and dust can affect pots or potentiometers or even rotary switches; anything that has a moving electrical contact and is not sealed.

Buy a can of compressed air for next time and store the guitar in a clean dust free case.

happy playing