Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Discussion of anything not related to audio or music production
re:dream
Posts: 4554
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
Location: Hoerikwaggo's sunset side...
Contact:

Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by re:dream » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:33 pm

I just want to know.

The thing you twist to turn volume up or down is called a pot.

For potentiometer.

Now all of a sudden they are called knobs.

This is really inviting misunderstanding.

Why the change?

Is it an age thing?
Last edited by re:dream on Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

crofter
Posts: 1058
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:35 pm
Location: The foot of our stairs

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by crofter » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:49 pm

been called knobs for as long as I can remember and I'm 60, not new at all.The pot's the mechanism, the knob is the interface.
Core2 quad q660, 4gig ram, Win 7 home premium SP1.
P4 2.8 ghz, Gigabyte GA- 81E2004P, 1.5 gig ram,XP Home, SP3.
dual core pentium laptop 2 gig ram Win 8.
MOTU 8Pre,Tascam FW-1804,Zoom R16, Ableton live 8.4
Cubase 7


regretfullySaid
Posts: 8913
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:50 pm

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by regretfullySaid » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:20 pm

Why do brits call fries chips?
ImageImage


102455
Posts: 1633
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: Location: Location:
Contact:

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by 102455 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:29 pm

crofter wrote:The pot's the mechanism, the knob is the interface.
Exactly. The knob is the part you see - the bit that's attached to the pot. The pot is the part behind the scenes.

You don't call your car an engine. You don't call a light bulb a filament.

clydesdale
Posts: 350
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:28 am

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by clydesdale » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:37 am

A fader is a potentiometer too but you don't call it a pot do you? You call it a fader. Stop being pedantic. :mrgreen:
LIVE 9.1.7 x64, PUSH w/PXT, APC40, KEYSTATION PRO88, Radium61
Win8.1 Pro, 4820k(4.5GHz)/32GB/840ProSSD/RME Babyface

H20nly
Posts: 15838
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:15 pm
Location: The Wild West

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by H20nly » Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:58 am

shadx312 wrote:Why do brits call fries chips?
because they call chips crisps.

more importantly, they call sausages bangers.

true story.

dazzer
Posts: 1240
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 10:24 am

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by dazzer » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:35 am

Language = English (as in the adjective of England)

Angstrom
Posts: 14668
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by Angstrom » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:09 pm

Because people are used to software, which has no voltage being measured and so no potentiometers.
Software has GUI elements which represent variables and can be adjusted, these "knobs" have as much in common with a potentiometer as a doorknob. No voltage.

Even on an analogue synth, I turn the knob, which is attached to the stem of the pot, which moves the wiper on the track which varies the resistance. The knob is the part I interface with.

doghouse
Posts: 1413
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by doghouse » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:40 pm

Knobs might actually be pots, encoders, switches...who cares what you call them, just don't call me late for supper.

TheNobleNemesis
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:58 am
Location: Earth, Virgo Supercluster

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by TheNobleNemesis » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:19 pm

You don't turn a door lock, you turn a door knob.

re:dream
Posts: 4554
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
Location: Hoerikwaggo's sunset side...
Contact:

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by re:dream » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:24 am

OK, OK, I am a pedant :oops:

And it is probably a while since a real potentiometer ever sat under one of those , um, rotary encoders.

mikemc
Posts: 5454
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:14 pm
Location: Maryland USA
Contact:

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by mikemc » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:35 am

"Most people on this board twist their knobs."

This is correct no matter what the interpretation of the noun in question.

re:dream
Posts: 4554
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
Location: Hoerikwaggo's sunset side...
Contact:

Re: Why do people call pots 'knobs'?

Post by re:dream » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:51 am

You see what I mean. We already are subject to enough unkind stereotyping as it is. Guys.

Post Reply