What are Linear Taper Potentiometers?

Audio Taper Potentiometers

Linear Taper Potentiometers are potentiometers that change resistance in a linear fashion as you turn the wiper of the potentiometer. For example, a 20% turn in the potentiometer will change the resistance 20%. It's a perfectly direct relationship, as you can see in the diagram below.

This is in contrast to log tapers, whose resistance changes logarithmically as the wiper of the potentiometer is turned. Linear taper potentiometers are the most common type of potentiometers and are used in most applications where potentiometers are used, except for audio. Log tapers are used pretty much exclusively for audio applications. However, apart from this, linear potentiometers are the type that are predominantly used.

Characteristics Curves

The characteristic curves for linear and audio (log) tapers are shown below:

Potentiometer Resistance Taper Characteristics Curves

You can see the direct relationship that linear tapers have, while you see the parabolic relationship that audio (log) tapers have.

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