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Unread 02-23-2008, 11:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

I have seen on this forum and others about people using Vitamin Q capacitors. What the heck do they do. Are they worth installing? Where would I get some and for how much?

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Unread 02-23-2008, 12:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

They are Sprague Axial Lead Harmetically Sealed Paper in Oil Capacitors (PIO), used for the tone control(s).

Being military-spec sealed means getting NOS (new old stock) ones is probably safer than other NOS PIO's which likely have drifted in value.

They sound the same as the vintage "Bumble Bee" and "Black Beauty" PIO caps that came in the 50's and late 60's Gibsons, but they're longer lasting.

They govern how the tone controls sound, and most love them for a vintage tone.


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I have seen on this forum and others about people using Vitamin Q capacitors. What the heck do they do. Are they worth installing? Where would I get some and for how much?

Willy
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Unread 02-23-2008, 01:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

I like them on the neck PU.
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Unread 02-23-2008, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

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Originally Posted by Willy View Post
I have seen on this forum and others about people using Vitamin Q capacitors. What the heck do they do. Are they worth installing? Where would I get some and for how much?

Willy
They gave my Les Paul more off a classic sound. I found they rounded out my tone and gave my Les Paul a woodier tone. They sound great for Hard Rock, Classic Rock, and Blues.

Contact Holy Grail for some Vitamin Qs.
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Unread 02-23-2008, 04:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Qs may be the best cap for the $ I think.
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Unread 02-24-2008, 02:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

VitaminQ's will make ANY Pickups sound better in your axe, along with Vintage Wiring AKA 50s wiring, and your guitar will respond much better to tonal variations , the value of the cap also can control how much your tone is thickened with 500K Pots a .015 cap wont thicken as much as .047
.022uf is the industry standard for humbucking pickups , but dosent have to be the only answer
one of my Les Pauls has a .015uf Cap for the neck , and .033uf VitaminQ in the bridge , the other Les, is .022uf VitaminQ's for both neck and bridge with WCR Fillmore Pickups
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Unread 02-24-2008, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

All kow is that it'll make your guitar a step nearer the wonderful 58-60 LP tone.... I love them!!
And Yes... Hal is our man
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Unread 02-24-2008, 12:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

I received some about a month ago but still haven't gotten them in the guitar yet. Why? Well, I had ordered some RS pots with the intention of changing everything at the same time and doing the 50's wiring. Then I started reading about folks having a hard time (breaking pots) trying to put the knobs back on the RS pots. And then reading comments on how 50's wiring made the guitar brighter. Well, I really like the tone of my LP the way it is and I can't decide if I want to change out the pots and do the 50's wiring now. I do want to get the Vitamin Q's in though, but not until I've made up my mind. Any thoughts on this?
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Unread 02-24-2008, 12:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

LP, you dont have to change your pots if they are working fine, Just solder the Vitamin Q's into place, and check out your tones, If you need any help or assistance I'd be glad to help lend a hand. PM me your concerns, no need to remove knobs if you dont need a pots change
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Unread 02-24-2008, 01:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Just like Don said, if you like the pots you have just change out the caps and hear the difference. I have RS pots in all of mine and never had a problem but I've heard some folks have. I do 50's wiring to mine also. I didn't notice any of them getting much brighter over all. They just don't loose any treble when you lower the volume on your guitar. I could really notice the treble roll off on a couple of mine with modern wiring.

Last edited by jimmydeuce; 02-24-2008 at 07:06 PM.
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Unread 02-24-2008, 02:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LPSol93 View Post
I received some from Hal about a month ago but still haven't gotten them in the guitar yet. Why? Well, I had ordered some RS pots with the intention of changing everything at the same time and doing the 50's wiring. Then I started reading about folks having a hard time (breaking pots) trying to put the knobs back on the RS pots. And then reading comments on how 50's wiring made the guitar brighter. Well, I really like the tone of my LP the way it is and I can't decide if I want to change out the pots and do the 50's wiring now. I do want to get the Vitamin Q's in though, but not until I've made up my mind. Any thoughts on this?
LPSol93,

I just did this to my 07 LP Standard. RS Pots (Super for Volume and Audio Taper for tone) along with the Vitamin Q's. Now, the 500K Super Pots in the Volume will brighten the tone a little. To me it was more like letting the pickups breath and allowing the use of their full potential. But now the tone knobs seems to have more control and my neck pickup is not so muddy. The real difference is when using the middle position and playing with the voulme and tone knobs. The different tones I can get is great compared the the stock Pots. Also, you will love the Vitamin Q's, they are great sounding. The person that did the work really liked them.

As far as breaking the RS Pots with the knobs. This is because you need to spread the shaft to hold the knobs on. I spread them a little then for fear of breaking them I wrapped some electrical tape once around. The knobs fit snug now.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Tom99SS; 02-24-2008 at 06:49 PM.
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Unread 02-24-2008, 04:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions everyone! I'm still 50/50 but this gives me a good bit to chew on. Thanks!
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Unread 02-24-2008, 04:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

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Originally Posted by LPSol93 View Post
Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions everyone! I'm still 50/50 but this gives me a good bit to chew on. Thanks!
We try to help LPSol, Have a soldering iron, ever soldered? its an easy fix if all you are going to do is your caps, If you are going to do your pots too, you need a 40 Watt iron for that to get the braided cable re stuck to the new pots, let me tell ya, this is the hardest part about doing a pickup or pots swap out , just doing the caps can be done in less than ten minutes with a decent 15 or 25 watt iron
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Unread 02-25-2008, 12:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

any cons to PIO. My local guitar tech told me they can dry out.
In his opinion anyways he also told me he only uses the Orange 715P's which are a fraction of the price as well.

im stil using the radio shack one buy may spring the $2 for the orange.

def dont want to spend $30 or more for the sprague PIO's
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Unread 02-25-2008, 12:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

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any cons to PIO. My local guitar tech told me they can dry out.
Some models like original bumblebees may dry up a bit but military speced ones like the famous Vitamin Qs do hold their physical integrity for a long, long, long time.
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Unread 02-25-2008, 03:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

where do you all get them from. I checked around online and couldnt find any in stock for the values i need
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Unread 02-25-2008, 04:49 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Blues Power, check your PM or email me at

Weldaar@gmail.com
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Unread 02-26-2008, 08:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Never tried them but 50s wiring WILL NOT brighten your guitar. You won't notice a difference when controls are on ten. It will only stop the treble loss when rolling off the volume, so the guitar is more versatile to me.

I also prefer 300k pots because I like beefy, big, full sounding bridge pickups. I find 500k pots make the bridge pup sound thin, trebly and tinny.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 09:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

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I also prefer 300k pots because I like beefy, big, full sounding bridge pickups.

Exactly. Finally, someone on my side.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 02:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Hi Jeff,

Not sure you remember me, but you and I used to talk about how we love 300k pots. My ears do not lie....my guitars sound better in the bridge slots with 300k pots. I play classic rock to metal and I cut just fine...just thicker and meatier.
You using 250ks or 300ks for both volume and tone controls in the bridge? There are some guys on the duncan forum who feel the same bro. People say it is muddy and you need to let them breathe with a 500k. I say 300k! no mud to my ears...just better.

Still using WCR, eh? Jim rocks.
Have you given Wolfetone or Motor City Pickups a try??? Great stuff bro!

You using special wiring kits? I know lots of guys use special kits, etc. But, honestly I just use CTS pots and either Orange Drops(polypropylene) or Mallory caps, 50s wiring and I am fine, My volume roll off is nice and clear and I don't find it noisy. Maybe the special, expensive kits cut down on noise? Not sure.

And again, to all those wondering....50s wiring will not make your guitar brighter.....it only retains treble as you roll off volume.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 05:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

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Never tried them but 50s wiring WILL NOT brighten your guitar. You won't notice a difference when controls are on ten. It will only stop the treble loss when rolling off the volume, so the guitar is more versatile to me.
50's wiring changes how the circuit functions in your guitar and it actually does impact the frequency response (signal amplitude for a given frequency). I have seen curves generated by circuit modeling software and 50's wiring produces a peak around 4KHz.

I did a wiring test with some new pickups recently (50's vs. modern) and found that the neck and bridge were both brighter. The comparison was done with all volume and tone pots on 10. For this guitar / pickup combination I liked the added brightness on the neck but not on the bridge. The 50's wiring did of course retain the highs much better when turning down than modern wiring, but there are other ways to address that issue. I ended up using modern wiring and adding treble bleed caps. I have a Redeemer coming to test, which would eliminate the need for the treble bleed caps.

Something to consider is how the pickup winder voiced the pickups. Did he voice the wind based on a guitar with modern wiring or 50's wiring.

Terry.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 05:41 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Yeah I remember. Just how many people do you think use 300K pots LOL
I did switch to 500K on the neck pickup though. I like my bridge thick and meaty too. Never muddy IMO. I find the 500K bridge in my guitar to be a tad tame. Other guitar may sound good but mine sounded a tad thin to me. Especially when I rolled the volume back.
Yes, I am still using Jim's pickups. No Motor City as of yet, but I am interested. I hear good things about them. I only have so much play money to spend on toys.
For now!
I did order a neck pickup from a member here, Markster. I should have it this week. I'll post a clip when I install it.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 06:15 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

I like 300k in the bridge as well! I have 300k on the bridge and 500k on the neck.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 06:21 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Quote:
I like 300k in the bridge as well! I have 300k on the bridge and 500k on the neck.
So that's why you like my songs.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 06:58 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

where can I get some good 300 K pots?
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Unread 02-26-2008, 07:04 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

https://www.shop.wymoreguitars.com/splashPage.hg
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Unread 02-26-2008, 09:07 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

So you really found them brighter? Very noticable? You have me wondering because my guitar has seemed pretty bright lately and the only difference is the 50s wiring although I was playing around with tube swaps.

My problem is that I like 300k bridge pots and I am thiking now of going back to modern wiring which means I may not get much use out of the volume knob. Although....300ks and 50s wiring should be perfect. This particular guitar still has 500ks so I'll have to test. I just love 50s wiring so I can roll off the volume to get more vintage tones while retaining highs...so maybe the 300ks with 50s wiring is the ticket.

I didn't realize winders wound for wiring type!?

Jeff, do you use 50s wiring. Are you using both 300k tone and volume pots? I love 50s wiring but with 500k bridge pots it is overkill. 300k bridge volume and tone with 50s wiring is it.

*I didn't see what I needed on WymoreGuitars - 300k split shaft long pots and OD Polypropylene caps. I did find 250 long shaft on some sites. Maybe CTS stopped making 300k long shaft because I know I have some around.
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Unread 02-26-2008, 10:26 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

250s should get in you in same range as 300s, if you can't find them.

BTW Seymour Duncan recommends a 250K pot with the JB pickup to cut the edge off it.

I think the value you like depends on a whole lot of factors. They are cheap and easy to change, so it can be fun dialling in your tone.
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Unread 02-27-2008, 05:07 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

I've installed a couple ( 15 nF neck and 22 nF bridge ) of NOS Vitamin Qs and I'm very happy with the results.

Listen to the mp3 file. I play the same chordal riff first with the tone pot at 10, then 8, then 6, then 3 then 0. Hear how the sound becomes "browner" in a very vintage, lovely way. Even with the tone set at 0 there's a really voal and clear Woman Tone.

I'm very happy.


vq: listen online
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Unread 02-27-2008, 08:07 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwagar View Post
250s should get in you in same range as 300s, if you can't find them.

BTW Seymour Duncan recommends a 250K pot with the JB pickup to cut the edge off it.

I think the value you like depends on a whole lot of factors. They are cheap and easy to change, so it can be fun dialling in your tone.
Maybe I'll pick up some 250ks since 300ks no longer seem to be in production.

It is still a pain to change in LPs due to that installation plate! Ugh! I know a guy who removes those but I have not, yet.

So, 50s wiring will ompact tone even on ten! Interesting. Maybe 300ks and 50s wiring will be perfect for me.
How about different cap values. Can you hear that difference on ten? If so, 50s wiring with a .033 or .047 may be the ticket.
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