Replace knobs on the Arturia MicroBrute (and other gear with D-shaft knobs)

Replace knobs on the Arturia MicroBrute (and other gear with D-shaft knobs)

Posted by Rebecca on Oct 2nd 2020

How to replace the knobs on your Arturia MicroBrute.

TL;DR: You love your MicroBrute. You do not love its rubber knobs. Here's how to swap them out.

You'll need:

Potentiometer adapter sleeves: Slip onto potentiometer shaft before putting on the knob. Gently tighten the knob set screw so you don't put too much pressure on the adapter.

1/4" shaft knobs: Pay attention to the outer diameter (OD) and height of the knobs you choose. For the MicroBrute we suggest the Magpie knob.

Ready for more details? Read on.

The number one question we get from customers is . . .  Will this knob fit my gear? (We get this question so often, we wrote a post about it.)

With the MicroBrute, most people want to replace the knobs because the "soft-touch" rubber coating is breaking down with age. That's what customer Matt Davis was facing when he decided to re-knob his MicroBrute. As he puts it, "In a lion’s share of cases, rubber is the first thing that needs replacement. Soft-touch coated plastic components are no exception, becoming tacky with age." 

In this case, cleaning may only accelerate the process, stripping away more rubber and making the knobs even more sticky. Your best option is to replace the knobs.

Here's how Matt swapped his knobs and ended up with a MicroBrute that doesn't just look killer but also is so much easier to use.

"The rubber [on soft-touch knobs] is getting filmy and sticky and disgusting to use." All photos courtesy of Matt Davis.

Check your potentiometer.

Synths and similar audio instruments often use D-shaft potentiometers (also called flatted potentiometers). These can be a little tricky to fit properly with knobs, since not all D-shafts are the same size, and you need to think about the orientation for the indicators. 

We often suggest pairing a potentiometer adapter with a smooth shaft knob as a work-around for these challenges. Is this perfect? Nope! But it sure can get you pretty close to perfect, and it opens up a lot more aesthetic choices, since smooth shaft knobs are more widely available.

"The brass adapter . . . allows using a set screw knob on most non-smooth shafts."

Choose your knob.

Now you are ready to choose a knob, press it onto the adapter, and secure it with a set screw. And, that's it!

We love how our Magpie knobs fit on the MicroBrute—their slim, 12.5mm outer diameter sits perfectly inside the dial markings, and the height sits flush against the surface. Plus, the knob comes in 13 colors to match any aesthetic.

Check out Matt's full post for more details on rubber vulcanization, D-shaft pots and knobs, and lots of pics of sweet gear.

Matt chose The Magpie knobs in teal: "The hue of the teal and depth of the shine isn’t getting captured correctly by the camera, the metal has a kind of internally radiating gleam to it."