Free pair PIO Bees, Pick up in Ann Arbor

David Collins

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Here they are, originally rated as .015f, ±20%, 400v, but they test currently test at about .023μf and .0245μf, right in line with what an original stock Gibson bumblebee should be.

BBs.jpg


I'll give them away to whoever wants to come by and try them out, with one catch - you have to be able to demonstrate that you can hear a difference between these, and brand new 12¢ ceramics.

You bring your guitar with you, or I'm sure I can provide one. We disconnect one of your tone caps, and clip a switch box in its place. Then I install one Bee and three ceramics of matching value in random positions in the test box.

bbsurvey.jpg


Then you get to switch between the caps in real time as you play, and all you have to do is identify which one is different from the other three. I'd like to do a total of 8 tests, each time randomly rearranging the caps. In four tests you can turn the tone up or down wherever you like in attempt to pick out a difference. Then in another four the tone pot will have to stay locked at 10, and I will replace the Bee with a solid wire, seeing if any difference can be detected between caps vs direct connection with the tone all the way up.

I'm still working on the statistics of getting them right by chance, but I think it's fair that if you can identify the odd one out in 6 of the 8 tests, then you can take the pair of caps home with you.

I'm not selling anything, just offering enticement to participate in a survey, and if you really can hear a difference then you get a free pair of PIO BB's. My apologies to those outside of the southeast Michigan area, but I do want to supervise the survey personally.

If anyone wants to give it a shot, let me know!
 

David Collins

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I think I may need to put some local flyers up to generate enough local interest for a decent survey, but hitting the forums seems like a good place if I'm lucky enough to run in to some locals here.

If the caps are still here in a few weeks (I'm really hoping I don't have to give them away on the first test), I've thought about sending the box around to others for a road tour survey.
 

David Collins

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Whats the test rig? a tube amplifier?

Undetermined as of yet. I run my repair shop through a music store with a variety of decent amps there which could be used, and will be using their facilities for the survey. I had considered choosing one amp in particular to keep tests consistent, but it may be just as well to go with a "take your pick" method at this point.

I figure keep the choices flexible, and just keep track of who was using what in each survey. Then if people using one type of rig or settings seem more able to pick out differences than others, I can use that data to further refine future tests.

The biggest obstacle right now seems to be noise. Between a massive construction project right behind our building, to a 3000 watt radio broadcast tower two blocks away, getting clean power and low noise is proving to be somewhat of a challenge which could no doubt interfere with making an ideal survey. Still working on that issue...
 

David Collins

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One other challenge is temperature. I wanted to compare new ceramics to old PIO, simply because they are so often perceived to be about as opposite ends of the spectrum as possible. Problem is, the capacitance of the PIO rises with an increase in temperature, while the ceramics actually shift in the opposite direction.

When I went through the bag of ceramics to find good matches initially, they all matched the bee within 1%. After repeated swapping in and out however, I went back to check values and found them spread to about a 5% difference (all the ceramics were within <1% of each other, but their values lowered while the PIO raised). Left to sit untouched for an hour and retested, and they were all back to within 2%.

So if it sits by a cold window, the PIO will test lower than the ceramics. Warmed up either by air temp or skin temp with handling, and the PIO ends up higher. I know a .001&#956;f difference isn't huge, but I really don't want value differences to corrupt a study intended to focus on material. I may have to end up using the little monolithic ceramics, or seek out some other cheap reference cap that actually shifts in agreement with the PIO.
 

Mookakian

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Interesting dave, i wonder how much difference in temp before something noticable starts happening, i mean santa may find his caps have ice-cycles when he tests out his new slabs :D
 

Phildog

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I swear if I had the time I'd f;y up there. At least to witness it.
 

5F6-A

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distance to travel

Miles: 3744.56
Kilometers: 6026.13

:(
 

rockstar232007

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I'm relatively close (I'm in Southgate), but still not willing to make the trip.

Now, if they came with a '58-'60 LP? I'd be ALL for it!:D

Still a great idea though, Dave!:thumb:
 

jimbob137

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Maybe this would be a good promo day for the music store. If you can hear the real bees, you can win a 50's harness with bees installed in the guitar by yourself David.

Clean power? well you could maybe hire a power filter to help with the noise issue.

Could get more local peeps GAS going for upgrades from your store?
 

David Collins

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Maybe this would be a good promo day for the music store. If you can hear the real bees, you can win a 50's harness with bees installed in the guitar by yourself David.

Clean power? well you could maybe hire a power filter to help with the noise issue.

Could get more local peeps GAS going for upgrades from your store?

I'm trying to tread lightly here, and especially not being a vendor on this forum I want to make clear that this is not my store. I run a repair shop, and I contract through this particular store, but am not an employee, owner, or in any way involved with retail of parts or instruments here. The store is allowing use of their facilities for this survey, and maybe there is some motive for increased traffic (tiny though it may be) in this decision, but this is entirely separated from my interests which are entirely and honestly pure research.

The only thing I have to gain from investment in these tests is information, which may perhaps work its way in to a publication some day, but it's not motivated by any product or service sales.

It could be a part of a promo for a music store, but I would have to be giving away something a bit more substantial to really attract many participants, which I'm not prepared to do at this point. I may take this survey around to some other stores in Michigan if they are willing to offer their venue for this, or perhaps try to piggyback on other events which draw in participants who may be interested. If anyone hears of any such events or gatherings in Michigan or northern Ohio, please let me know.

sounds like a setup

"Setup for failure" kind of setup, or "switch and bait" kind of setup?

If you meant setup for failure, you could be right. I've designed the tests as best I could to prevent any personal opinions or predispositions I may have from interfering with the results, and done all I could to favor the listener's odds of correct identification while still keeping the test blind and controlled. Still, based on previous tests and surveys I've done, I will admit I believe the odds of anyone getting 6 out of 8 answers right is fairly low. If you meant sales setup though, I promise it is not.
 

jimbob137

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Personally, I just see it like this. You want to run a survey and catch as much attention as possible? you need participants to make a good survey but also a good survey takes some investment to be successful. Theres got to be a reason to want to take part in this.
Competition to win a 50's vintage upgrade for your guitar. Now thats got to be worth entering for, if only for the experience. And if people want to buy a harness afterwards is that not a great thing for the wider community?.
Ha Ha, im from the UK and if one of the larger music stores ran a competition like this, Ill bet it could really help contribute to the local music scene and be great for guitar players to be able to explore these kinds of modifications. There has to be some profit in it for it to be sustainable. At least it's doing something good for music!
Where I live, there is practically no access to decent guitar stuff locally. You have to travel to one of the big cities to even find a Gibson or Fender in stock. The city of Bath even struggles to support a musical instrument shop (lost it's main musical shop earlier this year because the owner was subsidising it's whole existance) There is now only one small store left and a vintage guitar dealer or two for high prices. Everyone seems to have turned to the internet now, because local shops just cannot seem to stock the good stuff, or the stuff you want to look at trying.

Most local customers will also be the death of local trade and music stores. The local stores always complain of customers comparing prices to the internet. The lure of cheaper prices and perhaps the ability to source something different that your local store cannot stock etc. A downward spiral basicly until the shop ends up closing for good, so don't ever feel bad for charging!
 

David Collins

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Maybe you're right, and perhaps I should throw in at least a full new harness and installation with the deal. When you're interested only in pure research however, with no sales or profit directly at stake (which can so often and easily corrupt research motives), then it makes funding a bit more difficult. At this point I think this should be classified as little more than a pet project of personal (as opposed to business) interest.

This is why I've never been a great business man, and should instead be looking for a good grant writer to help me fund all the research ideas I'd love to pursue. :)
 

jimbob137

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Your not just only 'making money' here, but also giving something of real value to people. Lets face it. If they all line up to buy a harness afterwards then that just goes to show.
Customers don't all line up to buy a load of crap. If you offer something of value in return for a fair and sustainable price, then it really couldn't be a fairer game!
They will all come along like vultures to snap up a deal during your 'Closing Down Sale' though, so remember that!
I fully respect your interest for keeping things non profit and free from corruption, keeping the data pure and all that. It's such a shame that many scientists have to do exactly the opposite in order to be able to fund a project that would otherwise not get any funding or support. Most studies now are unfortunately funded with a commercial motive from the very outset. Studies that affect all of our lives in a big way.
 

jimbob137

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David, what has been your observations with the bees vs the orange drops?

I mean, are you carrying out this survey to prove that bees are colouring the sound or because you yourself have not noticed a difference with them but interested to find out how many people can actually tell the difference?
 

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