Mods: Davies 1900H Clones

A couple weeks ago I bought a pack of knobs from Modular Addict. I wanted to replace the nasty gray wart on the Doepfer A-185-2 Precision Adder with something nicer. So I ordered a handful of Davies 1900H clones in purple. They fit the Doepfer just fine and improve the look tenfold. But then I decided to give something else a try. I pulled one of the Rogan knobs off one of my Mutable Instruments modules. It turns out they work pretty well on the D shaft potentiometers. I say, “pretty well,” because they don’t work perfectly. They are just a tiny bit off center, but it’s hard to discern visually and doesn’t cause any out-of-whack feel when operating the knobs. This resulted in a second, larger order for more knobs (in purple and black) and some searching for a Davies knob (clone) suitable for the larger knobs on the MI modules.  They were found and ordered and all replaced shortly thereafter.

Why? The Rogan SoftTouch knobs are not exactly bad knobs. They’re pretty solid if you ask me. But I have one problem with them. They have quite the grip on them. Because of their ever so sweet SoftTouch coating, if I bump a knob while adjusting another parameter or plugging in a patch cable, I frequently wind up moving the knob I bumped. Even with the more spacious panel designs, Eurorack is still a somewhat cramped format. By switching to the Davies style knobs I have found that the incident rate of accidental wiggles have dropped drastically. In fact, there really haven’t been any. Certainly, it can happen, but it takes a lot more to jostle them out of place.

The Modular Addict Davies 1900H Clones are great little knobs. The molding is good, the set screws are nice. They have threaded metal inserts, so you don’t have to worry about stripping them out like plastic threads. Remember they are not purpose build for D-shaft potentiometers, but they will fit the roughly .25 inch D-shafts without being grotesquely out of place. You do need to be careful when screwing them on the D-shafts. I found that a good install meant making sure there was just a tiny bit of clearance underneath them, otherwise they bind up. If you do something crazy like installing them on the normal 6.4mm/.25″ shafts they are designed for, they go on easily and fit beautifully.

If you’ve been thinking about trying these little guys out, be it a matter of style or function, I highly recommend them. They’re great for wiggling or just adding a bit of flair.