Vintage Bees and 50's Wiring Tone Test/Comparison

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by VastHorizon, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. lespaul1765

    lespaul1765 Junior Member

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    i have a 2011 goldtop which came with 57 classic in the neck and classic plus in the bridge, about 4 mths ago i switched to duncan jb in bridge and jazz in the neck,,i love the sound of this combination,, by the way i play through a jcm 900 half stack ..
    recently i swapped out the stock gibson pots and capacitors for a 50's wiring kit in purchased online..this has cts 500k pots and luxe repro caps.
    i found the sound to be way to bright for my liking and i just couldn't dial in a sound i liked, maybe it might have worked better with the original 57"s still in it.
    so i reverted back to stock gibson pots and caps and bingo,, there was the sound i wanted again. without any of the muddiness that some people say they experience with the stock wiring..
    so just an observation but the whole 50's wiring thing and paper in oil caps might not work for every guitar..
     
  2. tubemania

    tubemania Junior Member

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  3. Paulie C

    Paulie C Senior Member

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    IMO, hands down Bee's are warmer and more articulate.
     
  4. David Collins

    David Collins Senior Member

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    Paulie (and any others sure of their experience in hearing a difference), please listen through this test and follow through with the survey at the end.

    Tone Capacitor Comparison Survey - YouTube

    If you know first hand what kind of difference it makes and what changes to really listen for, this makes you exactly the kind of person I most need to participate in this survey.

    Please listen through and vote in the survey at the end. Thanks!
     
  5. tubemania

    tubemania Junior Member

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  6. Smylie

    Smylie Junior Member

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    Well I just did a mod on my Classic Custom (Wine Red)...... I had played it for a while and didn't like how when I rolled back the volume or the tone that it sounded like I threw a wet blanket over the amp...... Just like others had complained about with the pots and caps.... So I changed out both.... I was lucky enought to find a Tundra Tone setup on ebay for a Les Paul with a .011 and a .025 original Bumblebee caps and 550k superpots for a ridiculous price (Sorry Jonesy)..... It also had 50's wiring..... the difference was NIGHT and DAY... Clear... articulate.... punchy..... I would recommend this change to anyone..... Original 57's are still in and I don't think I will be changing them out any time soon.... Love my Classic Custom and love the tone......
     
  7. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

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    Sorry it took so long to pop in Vast, needed a break from cap talk LOL

    Thanks mate, I thought the stock sounded too brittle and messy/busy in the highs/high mids compared to the clip with the bees.

    Good post bro
     
  8. Smylie

    Smylie Junior Member

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    So when are you releasing the survey results and the answers? I took it and it was a tough test for sure......:wow:
     
  9. David Collins

    David Collins Senior Member

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    Likely in January. I only have about 30 survey participants so far, and would like to give a bit more time for folks to see it in their down time over the holidays.
     
  10. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Senior Member

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    How do you account for the signal changes that occur from the difference in primary source air pressure that moves the ear tissue at your location > microphone > sampling bit rate > lossy data compression > UDP packet loss and any Layer 6 compression/decompression > reconstruction > difference in speaker/driver at the listeners location?
     
  11. David Collins

    David Collins Senior Member

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    In a few ways. One is by using a comparative test. One is that all these factors of SPL, compression, mic frequency response, etc, all remain constant. Yes, they all interfere with the signal, but they all interfere in the exact same way to the same degree.

    If the sum of this interference were so great as to completely obscure any changes affected by the cap, then all this particular survey would be able to qualify is that if a cap does affect a difference, it is so small that it would be impossible to hear it played through a Fender-style amp setup, recorded through an average home large diaphragm condenser, and replayed through a compressed online audio source.

    Still, all sorts of other demonstrations are on the web that were recorded with even less care and precision, and even worse, samples played non-blind and with significant pauses between runs by the player as they switch caps around before putting their hands to the guitar again.

    And the second (admittedly compromised by how I presented it in the video) accountability tool is test #5. With the change in cap value, the difference seems clearly identifiable to me even after making it through the recording/compression/playback. Inclusion of this test was not just for entertainment purposes, but rather it serves two functions. First it demonstrates that not all is lost in the recording/compression/playback barrier, and that a modest known effect can still be easily identified in this test. Second, it helps weed out survey participants who either have very little listener discretion, were listening through terribly inferior playback systems, or just clicked "no difference" all the way through out of carelessness to sway results. Believe it or not, about 25% of the respondents so far seem to have failed on this test phase, and by removing them from the final analysis we can to some degree filter the results to include only those able and willing to hear a difference.

    Of course I realize in retrospect that by openly stating that there was a value change, it could steer some who want to prove material makes no difference to answer "no difference" on tests 1-4 and put a bit more genuine effort in answering test 5, and this was a mistake.

    Still, I have to say I've surveyed many more people in person with this test than have participated in this video, and the results seem to be coming out the same. This is an opportunity though, for the number of people who can easily declare a cap warmer or more creamy as they listen to other online comparisons (which there seem to be plenty), to see if they can identify any difference at all when the changes are made with greater consistency in real time but blind.

    It's not a perfect test. I know how to do a perfect test, but I simply don't have the time and resources to devote to such an undertaking. Still, it's a reasonable test, far, far superior to all the other listening comparisons you'll find online (where listeners do hear differences) in terms of good controls and honest representation.

    Your concerns are reasonable, and will be disclosed and discussed in the post-survey summary video to ensure the test is represented fairly and honestly. I don't believe that these interferences are so great however, to fully obscure the level of effect many so readily credit to capacitor type. If they really do have all the effect that some say they do, then I feel confident that it should still be noticeable in this survey and it's results.
     
  12. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Senior Member

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    Thank you for your well thought out reply and test. Best of the holiday season to you and yours.
     
  13. David Collins

    David Collins Senior Member

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    Thanks, and likewise to you.

    That was certainly a good question, and if I were to do this again I would make this important change. Rather than switching to a .015 for the last test, I would have spent more time experimenting with smaller changes like a .018 or .020 to see what the smallest difference I could identify in person would be. Then I would have that odd value cap thrown in to one of the tests by my assistant at random without making it known.

    Then if survey results came back with more positive identification of this cap it would have been better verification of what level of change makes it through the recording/compression/playback barrier. Then by including only participants with correct answers on that test, it would have been a much more effective way to filter out the results to include only the most attentive listeners with appropriate playback systems.

    I'll admit I'm kind of beating my head on the wall for missing that opportunity.
     
  14. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Senior Member

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    No need to beat yourself up, you've tried very hard to devise a rigorous test environment that will yield credible results and provide unprecedented value to this discourse. I really do appreciate the hard work you've been putting into this, and hope that you don't mind if I point the pool of EE students to which I have access in this direction as a launching point for their capstone project.

    Now you owe it to yourself to relax and do something fun and completely different for a while!

    Cheers!
     
  15. Brocko

    Brocko Senior Member

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    I don't understand why we/they still design guitars in this way....

    A tone control on a guitar should really be bypassed on 10 (I know you can get no load pots). Then it can just do it's own job (affecting the tone in the desired way as you turn it).

    If you want to have a permanent change on the tone of a guitar, doesn't it make more sense to add something either to the design of the pickup, or straight after the pickup?

    I know we had those variax guitars which I never experienced but I know they got largely discredited - so did everyone just give up?

    The Ten Commandments of Guitar Tone.

    1. Thou shalt worship no tone other than crunchy or creamy.

    2. Honour thy Gibson and Fender as all other guitars sound shit.

    3. Thou shalt not make any graven tone, like one with a bit more treble than Randy Rhoads ever liked to use.

    4. Remember the 60s and keep them holy, as everything after that time sounded like crap.

    5. Thou shalt not clone but pay well over the odds for 'original' gear

    6. Thou must not covet thy neighbours sound but instead tell him his tone is shit and he should buy the same bumblebee caps as you.

    7. Thou may however covet thy favourite guitar legend's tone and spend any amount of money trying to recreate it.

    8. Thou may bear all the false claims you want about electronics, as long as you can/can't hear a difference.

    9. Thou shalt not mod vintage gear and only use genuine parts to repair

    10. Thou shalt not play both a Les Paul and a Strat.
     
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  16. Hakan Iommi

    Hakan Iommi Member

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    Bees are way better to my ears. Stocks are sounding fizzier.
     
  17. nfpa

    nfpa Junior Member

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    is there anything here?
     

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  18. matt@msscguitar

    matt@msscguitar www.MSSCGuitar.com Premium Member MLP Vendor V.I.P. Member

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    Assuming you mean are there any Bee's here, no.
     
  19. nfpa

    nfpa Junior Member

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    just anything worth saving
     
  20. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Senior Member

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    Send them all to me, and I'll sort them out, eventually :naughty:
     

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