Gibson Bumblebee vs. Luxe bumblebee?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by LivewireBlanco, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Member

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    I know the Gibsons are not real PIO, but what I would like to know is what are the differences between the two? I am trying to add a bit more mids to my '09 R8 without changing the stock pickups and pots. Think this will do the trick?
     
  2. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

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  3. JMV

    JMV Senior Member

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    The Luxe bumblebees are Russian PIO caps much like the ones Jonesy sells:
    [​IMG]

    They just have the bumblebee casing covering them. They will certainly help your tone, and the Luxe will do the trick if you want to have it look cosmetically the same.

    Otherwise, I'd send a message to Jonesy (My Les Paul Forums - View Profile: jonesy) and get some PIO caps from him.


    The Gibson bees are just cheaper metal film caps made to look like the real thing. The caps Jonesy sells will get you very close to real bee sonic territory.
     
  4. kingofnima

    kingofnima Senior Member

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    +1 for jonesys caps!! they really are great and sound awesome!! and the price tag is also not too wild. Especially if you are a MLP member.
     
  5. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    my choice ( in that order ) ...


    Real bees / tan sprague / real VQ / real Black Beauties / Russian PIO / Luxe PIO / Jensen / new VQ / almost anything non ceramic / ceramic discs

    The Gibson bee repros belong in the "almost anything non ceramic" category. So they are just a little bit better than cheap ceramic discs.

    I'd go to Jonesy for caps. He knows his stuff and he's top guy.
     
  6. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Member

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    I went ahead and ordered the re-issue caps from RS Guitarworks. Hopefully they will tame a bit of the harshness of the bridge pickup and add a little bit of that mid range I'm looking for. Thanks guys I'll let you know how it ends up.:fingersx:
     
  7. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    I think the Gibson "Fake Bees" have an inexpensive poly film cap inside and the Luxe uses surplus Russian PIO caps. My caps with Red shields in picture posted on this thread are NOS Sprague Q's PIO ;)
     
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  8. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    Nice to see that Tan Sprague I sent you got such a high rating ;)
     
  9. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling หัวเราะดังลั่น V.I.P. Member

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    your dead on jonesy, the repos = Russian PIOs
     
  10. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Member

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    Yeah, I knew the bees from RS were Russian PIO. I have some in an SG and the Lollar bridge has a good tone to it. Not harsh at all and has the mids I want. Could be the pickup though. Are your caps cheaper Jonesy?
     
  11. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    IDK I have been selling the NOS Sprague caps here at MLPF for $10 each and flat $4 S&H Worldwide. They are a little more in my ebay store due to seller fees etc, but lately I have been offering Free S&H on ebay if you mention your MLPF username ;)
     
  12. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Member

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    Yeah, I definitely will give you a shout for the next guitar I upgrade. Those are great prices! :thumb:
     
  13. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    it sounds very good. I thought VQ were very close to bees. Well, they are in sound but the tan sprague matches 95 % the bee sound AND the "behaviour"

    I'm going to use it in a future semihollow guitar. 15 nF reliced VQ with a Guitarforce custom neck and the 22 nF Tan Sprague with a incredibly sweet yet bold Dave Stephens VL PAF repro. Cool combo, me thinks!
     
  14. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Member

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    New caps just arrived via UPS. Anything I need to be careful about before soldering them in? I have never soldered PIO caps, just regular ceramic.
     
  15. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    you should be alright. PIOs are tough.
     
  16. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Member

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    Do they have to be wired in a certain direction or does it not matter? I am using the RS Luxe bees. Last question I promise!
     
  17. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    try both ways using alligator clips and see if you can tell any difference. Most people can't anyway.
     
  18. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Member

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    Ok, so here's what I've found so far. The PIO caps add more bass and take just a touch of the high end off. It did just what I wanted it to do in the bridge position. I am not sure if I like the change yet in the neck position as I liked the cutting sound I had in the neck but this sound is much smoother. I think this is just the trick for the Burstbucker pickups for those people that think they are just a touch too harsh. I am a happy camper. :D
     
  19. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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  20. neils

    neils Senior Member

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    Not sure about the BB in the neck? I kinda have the same feeling in my guitar though it is P90's and Grey Tigers.

    The 'luxx Tigers and Bees are the same inside. My R4 came with fake Bee's, I put in Grey Tigers. As you said smoother and as you said the some of the bite or cut is now gone with the 'luxx Bee/Tiger instead of the fake Bee.

    I may go back to the fake Bee just to see. I've also tried the RS Jensens in .22 and .15 flavors in the neck. Even less cut/bite/sparkle with those than the 'luxx Bee/Tiger. BUT they could and do tame a bridge pup that was too hot.

    I had some tones when I first got this R4 that I've lost or minimized. Some of them I want back! I've tried only different caps, strings and wraptail/studs. I can go back to square one if I need to but sometimes the "coolest gotta have" stuff isn't what you may want.

    Wouldn't it be going against all fashion if I liked the sound of the stock wraptail slightly tilted in the stock brass studs? Could I be laughed of MLP?

    Neil, going back to one fake Bee for a test.
     

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