What is the Story on Vitamin Q ?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Willy, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. Willy

    Willy Senior Member

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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
     
  2. djd100

    djd100 Senior Member

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    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.


     
  3. Mr Bones

    Mr Bones V.I.P. Member

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    I like them on the neck PU.
     
  4. 808

    808 Senior Member

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    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.
     
  5. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    Qs may be the best cap for the $ I think.
     
  6. lp59aholicDon

    lp59aholicDon V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    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
     
  7. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    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 ;)
     
  8. LPSol93

    LPSol93 Senior Member

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    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?
     
  9. lp59aholicDon

    lp59aholicDon V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    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
     
  10. jimmydeuce

    jimmydeuce Senior Member

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    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.
     
  11. Tom99SS

    Tom99SS Senior Member

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    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.
     
  12. LPSol93

    LPSol93 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions everyone! I'm still 50/50 but this gives me a good bit to chew on. Thanks!
     
  13. lp59aholicDon

    lp59aholicDon V.I.P. Member V.I.P. Member

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    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
     
  14. Blues Power

    Blues Power V.I.P. Member

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    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
     
  15. 5F6-A

    5F6-A Senior Member

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    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.
     
  16. Blues Power

    Blues Power V.I.P. Member

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    where do you all get them from. I checked around online and couldnt find any in stock for the values i need
     
  17. Weldaar

    Weldaar V.I.P. Member

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  18. richedie

    richedie Senior Member

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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.

    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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  19. Weldaar

    Weldaar V.I.P. Member

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    :applause:
    Exactly. Finally, someone on my side.
     
  20. richedie

    richedie Senior Member

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    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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