Bumblebee question

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by 5F6-A, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    I have found some old Sprague caps

    Is this 1200 pF? Cannot read the bands too well... I'm thinking of using it in an Eldred mod Esquire for the forward position...
     
  2. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    I'd read the capacitance with a quality multimeter..god knows what it reads now...
     
  3. judson

    judson Senior Member

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    you know i was just going to ask how do you know if it is working as it should or what is expected due to age....so what number to you think it should be, will be, or is acceptable for something like the above?
     
  4. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    My multimeter can't read capacitance.
    1000 pF to 3000 pF should be okay.
     
  5. C.J.

    C.J. Senior Member

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    I don't believe you need a special capacitance setting on you multimeter to measure a cap/evaluate if its any good. Any setting above 1m ohms should give you a read from zero to ~
    If you don't have a capacitance setting on your multimeter - strongly recommend stumping up for a quality multimeter. You don't need to pay $100 but the $20 generally blow for features. Cheap ones are always a false economy in the long run, I find. As the proud owner of a box full of the things .. :)
     
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  6. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    The bands show specs as:

    .0012uF, 10% tolerance, 400V

    BUT, that is not likely the case at all. VERY few Bumblebees floating around in the market read anywhere NEAR the stated capacitance and I would not trust them with anything other than low signal voltages, either. If you see those in an amp, don't even turn it on.

    The only way to know the capacitance of a Bumblebee is to meter it. Then, after some time, or under a different temperature, it could have changed again, anyway.
     
  7. el84ster

    el84ster Senior Member

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    I can vouch for that. I've tested dozens of these, and they're mostly higher capacitance now, usually way higher. Also usually the dialectic has broken down and these pass DC now in most cases. That makes no difference in a guitar (since that's AC) but in an amp, passing DC through the caps is a big problem.
     
  8. el84ster

    el84ster Senior Member

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    BTW, caps sound different depending in which way you orient them in the circuit, try it both ways.
     
  9. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Yaaaa,thats not entirely true,brother.....lots of goofy info out there.
     
  10. geddy

    geddy Senior Member

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    If a capacitor is passing dc it's not a capacitor. And you don't have a tone circuit.

    Of course the voltage across it is relevant to my state ment
     
  11. Brutus

    Brutus Senior Member

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    Actually brother it is true. Sometimes. I alligator clip in the cap to see if it sounds better in one direction than the other way. Then I use the clip as a heat sink and solder that cap in place. Sometimes there is a distinct audible difference, other times not so much. The older caps most always sound better one way than the other. If you do your own work give it a try sometime.

    SemperFi!
     
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  12. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Ya know,I sure will,man. Ive heard this many times before,just never experimented for myself. HOOAH!!
     
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  13. ashbass

    ashbass V.I.P. Member

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    Old bumblebees are dead. If you need them, get LUXE repros. Got the look, got the sound, got you covered.
     
  14. el84ster

    el84ster Senior Member

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    They definitely aren't dead for ac signal (guitar) use, just ask any of us using them!. And man, I wish it were true, but nothing really sounds like the old bees.
     
  15. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member MLP Vendor

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    I can see Ashbass's point.

    Nearly all of the ones out there in the market have drifted off into oblivion and probably have been bought/tested/discarded already. It's not like someone can just go on eBay and buy a set of two .022uF / 400v / 20% original Sprague Bumblebees for their guitar and expect them to be anywhere near in spec. Not unless the seller guarantees their real-world-metered-value and there's a reason that pretty much no sellers do that.

    How often have you seen "guaranteed working" or "tested in a guitar circuit" or "I don't have a meter to test these so sold as-is" in a FS listing of Bumblebees? All of those quotes may as well mean "marked on the case as .022uF 60+ years ago but actually reads 1MFD and not suitable for your intentions."

    Wish I could say the Luxe Bumblebee caps sounded and looked the same as the originals but I don't find either to be true, in person, unfortunately. I do like their other wax paper and NOS ceramic caps.
     

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