Bumblebee Caps ... Vintage / Repro's

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by BOBBO, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    It's all good bro, don't worry..pay when you can. Those Vintage Bees and vol. bleed kits are on the way to Roman and should arrive by the weekend?:naughty:

    Peace, jonesy
     
  2. BOBBO

    BOBBO Banned

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  3. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling ★AstroCat★ Premium Member V.I.P. Member MLP Vendor

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    wow back from the grave
     
  4. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Bobbo whats that funny thing on yer head?
     
  5. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    good to see you Dave!!
     
  6. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Hey hows it going? BTW I finally got a powered preamp, a cheap Beringer so got to try that mic, its a great mic but not for mic'ing amps :) Great voice and acoustic mic though. Still haven't tried the tubes yet. Got a nice couple of comments from Tony Nobles on the VL's, he had them in to install in a customer's guitar he was working on, he had a real PAF bridge there from the same customer, basically he said they sounded identical, and the VL's (he wired them for coil tapping) coil tapped better than almost everything else out there. Customer loves the pickups and said there's no unusable switch positions. Personally I don't like coil tapping, adds too much wire to the guitar, more capacitance so some highs get messed up, yes I am old school....just like Bobbo:io:
     
  7. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    I'm so glad Dave! That microphone is meant to sound stellar for voices and acoustic instruments. Enjoy!!!

    :thumb:

    p.s.- I love my VL!!!!
     
  8. Tone Seeker

    Tone Seeker Senior Member

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    Dave. . . . it's good to see you post again.

    Congratulations. I know you've put a lot of heart, blood, sweat and tears into the VL's.

    I'm reluctant to ask this, since it's OT, but can you briefly describe more about the impact you hear on the high's?

    Terry.
     
  9. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Yes, sure. A great example of an overly complex wired LP is Jimmy Page's trick guitar that has every pot as push pull, plus switches under the pickguard. Now, go watch Song Remains The Same, thats his Number One LP and when that movie was done I don't see any trick switching in it at all, totally stock. The tone he got is one of the best examples of classic rock PAF tone ever.

    Now go watch his Knebworth concert, you can see him using the switches on the pots etc. That guitar just sounds dull and lifeless compared to the pristine Number One. Its like he's fighting the guitar too, it doesn't sound that great so he's having to work for inspiration. Sure, he was stoned out on heroin at the concert but the guitar just is no match for the simply wired Number One. When I sell a set of VL's the first thing I usually do is ask what kind of wiring harness is in their guitar. I know some of the Historics I've seen pictures of have the cheap plastic coated hook up wire in them for instance, that stuff is not optimal, its too thin and the plastic adds capacitance, dielectric effects the squash treble response some. Its best to have your Les Paul wired with the old style Gibson braided cable because the wire is fatter and the capacitance is less. Usually when you wire your guitar for coil tapping you're using the plastic coated wire which is real thin stuff and there's more wire too, its just not the same as wiring the guitar like they were orginally wired, dead simple with the fat 22 guage push back braided cable. Adding more thin wire in there for coil tapping adds DC resistance to the wiring harness too.

    Some have complained about my cheap test guitars but the wiring harnesses in those are identical to vintage Les Pauls, the Gibson wire, 50's wiring, good pots and NOS paper in oil caps, and good switch and jack. The wiring harness is a big part of your tone, with a cheesy commercial wiring harness, any pickups you put in that won't perform optimally, so I always try to persuade anyone to upgrade everything before they buy the VL's. All that little stuff adds up. I haven't really gotten into researching what vintage correct bridge studs, bridge, etc. does to the tone, but just putting better bridges in those cheapy guitars made a difference as well. You CAN make a budget guitar sound really exceptional if you detail everything out. Both my test guitars are wired identically and both are really fun to play....
     
  10. Tone Seeker

    Tone Seeker Senior Member

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    Thanks Dave.

    My setup guy has suggested I shield my cabling cavities / routes with aluminum shielding and completely rewire the guitar with balanced cable (a shielded ground surrounding a separate set of signal wires). I plan to try the one with P90's to see how much it improves things.

    However, I have to admit that I find it useful to have my neck PUP wired with 4 conductor leads so I can run it in parallel at times.

    Terry.
     
  11. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Sure, its my own opinion- but I have changed out a bunch of the wiring harnesses in my offshore guitars that have the same plastic cables, skinny wire and there is always a huge difference after basically starting over with all good stuff. Some of the cheap minipots are horrible tone killers, even just changing those makes a big difference. The wiring harness is one element of tone seeking that some don't pay much attention to. I had an old guy guitar tech tell me that the best vintage Les Pauls he worked on with PAFs in them had pots that were 550-600K as well. PAFs even though they are clear and have good bite can also get muddy in some amps, so the higher value pots helped give a bit more clarity in the vintage guitars. The VL's have that same thing, they are very clear and articulate, but also have the same warmth and in some amps like tweed Fenders get too dark. My real PAFs do exactly the same thing. My Victoria Regal doesn't like buckers at all....
     
  12. FF_Pedals

    FF_Pedals Senior Member

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    There is no way you're getting more capacitance or resistance effects from those wires at audio frequency. Where do you stop, not using pedals or amps that have wires and PCB's in them? It's a style thing, you want old school style. I agree 100% on having the right pickups, pots, switches, capacitors, shielding, jacks, etc...but the idea that you are filtering highs with 4-5 conductor wire doesn't make any sense at these frequencies.
     
  13. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Well I disagree. As I said my opinion is based on actual experience of rewiring almost all of my guitars. I use an LCR meter and even with two different manufacturer's brands of braided cable vintage cloth push back type wire, in just a 2 foot piece there was a noticeable difference in capacitance between the two. Also noticeable difference in AC resistance which is really important. Humbuckers because of the cancellation of the two coils, even mismatched PAF type coils, need all the help they can get. It might not be as noticeable with single coils because they are sending out their full frequency through the wire instead of having frequencies chopped out by cancellation. But even so, I don't like the tiny thin plastic wires in my strats either, I use the push back cloth 22 AWG wire, it just sounds better to me.

    But that said, when I replace a wiring harness I replace ALL of it, so I can't quantify which components make the most difference. Replacing it all has a very dramatic effect. I have a friend I worked with on strat pickups who has an amazing "ear" for guitar tone. He replaced his strat wiring with fatter stiff copper wire and noticed a dramatic effect, then went to pure silver wire and an even bigger change. Too much of a good thing though, the silver wire let too much high frequency through so he pulled it out. Everything in the guitar and between the guitar and the amp has an effect. Guitar cables are basically big capacitors and can kill alot of good stuff. I even had a weird experience where the soldered part of the pickup lead had been soldered and resoldered too many times and suddenly the pickup was sounding darker than it should and the AC resistance was too high. There was no break in the cable, no short, yet the insulation was breaking down slightly and some kind of leakage was happening. The LCR meter helped me spot it, or I woulda gone nuts trying to figure out what happened :)

    So, it is my opinion based on my experience with my LP copies that putting in a vintage correct wiring harness is necessery if you want to replicate the real deal. If you don't believe it try it and see what happens.....your mileage may differ, objects in the rear mirror may be closer than you think :naughty:
     
  14. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Forgot to add, that YES the thickness of the wire and capacitance does make a noticeable difference at audio frequencies, the LCR meter I use tests at 120hz and 1khz, those are frequencies you can hear. I know from using that meter for years that a 1K AC ohms is audible. Unfortunately the meter doesn't have a 10khz test signal, inductance readings on guitar pickups don't read correctly at that frequency so it becomes useless up there.

    Anyway, its all about what you are used to I guess. If you play with alot of distortion, PAFs start to lose what makes them cool under those circumstances. I really like Michael Bloomfield who played really clean through Fender amps, so in that case anything that is limiting the signal coming out of the guitar is noticeable.
     
  15. FF_Pedals

    FF_Pedals Senior Member

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    Different coaxial cables do have different capacitances and series resistances. My only argument is against what you're saying about the 4-5 conductor wire having more capacitance so you lose highs. The series resistance in a length of wire does depend on it's diameter, metal composition, and frequency. When I measure a foot long section I get a DC resistance of like 0.3 ohms maybe. I'll have to calculate the AC resistance later. The parasitic capacitance from two of these wires side by side has got to be in the order of femto Farads. Basically nothing. A low pass filter has a cutoff frequency at f = 1/2piRC, let's say the capacitance is 100pF way bigger than reality, for a cutoff of 100kHz way above what you can hear, the resistance would have to be 16kohms. It just doesn't seem likely.

    Your ears must be pretty good.

    Here's some math: FORMULAS & CALCULATORS
     
  16. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    One could argue this stuff endlessly, hi fi guys argue this kind of stuff as well. Small amounts of capacitance to me are noticeable. I have a silverface deluxe reverb for instance, they put some really tiny picofarad cap in there on the power tubes to stop some kind of oscillation problem in the CBS years, I removed them and could hear the difference. In my work as a pickup maker using different gauges of wire, an average 42 gauge wire is maybe .00265" diameter, 43 maybe .00255." You might conclude that the difference is too small to hear between coils but the difference is radical, but of course we're dealing with long lengths of wire there too. Its not that I have good ears but making pickups trains you to listen for differences that most wouldn't notice, the LCR meter is an invaluable too there too. I test my pickups through clean Fender amps, the cleaner the better because you hear more of what the pickups are really doing. So I pay close attention to small things. Beginning pickup makers often make the mistake of testing their work in master volume amps with alot of distortion, its a poor method of listening to what the pickup's voice is really like. Details, details. What kind of pedals do you make?
     
  17. FF_Pedals

    FF_Pedals Senior Member

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    Yeah my hearing is probably too shot to tell the difference with the highs :shock: It's interesting to think about how everything works together though.

    Maybe someday I'll get to try your pickups :naughty:

    I make all kinds of pedals really, not commercially though. I like to try new stuff as much as I can and old stuff that I never had the opportunity to play. I designed a project in the fall for a delay/chorus/tremolo/boost that anyone can make. It combines a bunch of other DIY pedal ideas into one. You can check it out on Youtube, it's called the 'Magnus Modulus'. It's digital but fun to hear from people all over the world that have built it.


    Anyways...what's this thread again? Oh yeah vintage bumblebees are awesome :laugh2:
     
  18. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    I never use pedals anymore, my Fender amps have the vibrato disconnect and negative feedback switch added so I can get a little more gain out of them, biased a bit hot, they scream.

    I just bought a pedal fairly recently though after seeing Gary Moore use one in his Blues For Greeny video. I got the video to study the pickups and was surprised to see a pedal board in it. The pedal is called a Guv'nor made by Marshall, back in the 80's. Its real cheaply made, crap pots etc. but is really cool, almost transparent but turns your amp into Marshall tone, plus had treble bass and mid controls, I really like it. They make a newer version of it but am told they suck. Oh, yeah bumble bees, forgot! One of my test guitars has NOS bumble bees 500v .022uf, they are fairly big suckers but sound great. A Canadian guy traded me a bunch of them for some pickups so I have them in several guitars now.
     
  19. Dave Stephens

    Dave Stephens V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    Pretty cool pedal! I like it!!!
     
  20. Knarbens

    Knarbens Senior Member

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    Foolish question:
    BBs have 400v ...
    The caps in this kit, 600!
    Prewired Assembly Les Paul Modern
    What are the caps actualy for?
    Does more v, mean more output? :rolleyes:
    Do modern kits, like the one in the link, have more output?
     

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