Historic Gibson Faux Bumblebee Caps

TM1

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These are Wesco 32 PL Polyprop. caps. Costs maybe .50 cents a piece. They're trying to get $113. a pair for these at MF?
YIKES!!:wtf:
 

RC2

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That really is messed up that a company would do that.
 

msfenderarg

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Originally Posted by 5F6-A

There were some doubts about how real the new Gibson bumblebee caps were. I was told by a friend the caps that Gibson installs these days in its Historic Custom Shop guitars weren't real bumblebees at all. We wanted to find out for sure so my pal ( who is a vet ) x-rayed one and opened one from his R9 LP. This is the result:

Photo of both caps. One is real and the other one is a modern cap labeled as bumbleblee cap by Gibson :


We x-ray the real one and this is the result:


We x-ray the new one and ... What the heck is this?


My friend got his pen knife out and found a decent ( yet plastic ) Wesco capacitor within the fancier bumblebee clone:




Isn't that outrageous or what??!!

:rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

gypsyseven

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How poor...what do these people at Gibson think...
 

Liam

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That really is messed up that a company would do that.
They don't claim that they're real bees do they? And Luxe are another cap cast into a Bumblebee lookalike case (OK, I know they're PIO, but there's still level of pretence.) I don't think it's particularly "messed up". I don't actually think they sound that bad either, but maybe it's just me.

Liam

OK, just saw the bit on the Gibson parts store, and they are stretching the truth a fair way too far... Do you have trading standards in the USA, because you wouldn't be allowed to say that here in the UK.
 

whatshisname

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I'm sure it never occurred to them, that someone would actually x-ray, or cut open one, and find this out. :naughty:

How do they actually sound, in comparison to a real Bumblebee? Is the difference really obvious? Liam mentioned that he doesn't think they sound bad, but that's not exactly a shining endorsement, either.
 

RC2

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That really is messed up that a company would do that.
They don't claim that they're real bees do they? And Luxe are another cap cast into a Bumblebee lookalike case (OK, I know they're PIO, but there's still level of pretence.) I don't think it's particularly "messed up". I don't actually think they sound that bad either, but maybe it's just me.

Liam

OK, just saw the bit on the Gibson parts store, and they are stretching the truth a fair way too far... Do you have trading standards in the USA, because you wouldn't be allowed to say that here in the UK.

How is "Historic Spec Bumble Bee Capacitors" Gibson's own product name for then not claiming they're real spec'd bee's?
 

Liam

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How is "Historic Spec Bumble Bee Capacitors" Gibson's own product name for then not claiming they're real spec'd bee's?
Because it says Historic Spec, making them as historically accurate as the guitars (i.e. roughly the right shape and colour). But when I read:

This two-item set of .022 mfd Bumble Bee Capacitors look, perform and sound just like the original capacitors
on the Gibson Parts Store website I realised you've got a very good point. My bad...

Liam
 

KenG

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I really don't believe some of you guys. An an eletronic technologist (30+yrs) I can tell you the old caps were basically nothing special. The bumblebee look was because this was the standard way to mark part values before machines could use the MIL system. These components had poor tolerance and materials used as well as poorer manufacturing. If you came across an original and took it out and measured it the chance of it still being anywhere near spec in value are small.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with modern caps as they are better constructed, better tolerance and will last longer than the old paperwrapper, waxed rolled caps made pre-electronic revolution. These phoneis cost money because no other user/manufacturer would ask for caps to made like this for any other electronic product so it's basically a specialty production.
 

Riffster

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I really don't believe some of you guys. An an eletronic technologist (30+yrs) I can tell you the old caps were basically nothing special. The bumblebee look was because this was the standard way to mark part values before machines could use the MIL system. These components had poor tolerance and materials used as well as poorer manufacturing. If you came across an original and took it out and measured it the chance of it still being anywhere near spec in value are small.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with modern caps as they are better constructed, better tolerance and will last longer than the old paperwrapper, waxed rolled caps made pre-electronic revolution. These phoneis cost money because no other user/manufacturer would ask for caps to made like this for any other electronic product so it's basically a specialty production.
My grandfather was a radio/electronics guy, I found several 0.022 caps in his stuff from the 50's, 60's and 70's, including Spragues and Tiger caps, I was so excited.

I disconnected the stock caps in my R8 and tried the vintage caps using alligator clips and sadly the vinatge caps were all over the place and none sounded better than the stock caps.

I would like to change caps on my R8 but I am going for some new and reasonably priced caps.

I do think however that the effort and money Gibson puts into making their caps look like bees should go into installing a good cap, those who still want bees can buy them, that is what they do anyway.
 

KenG

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I think people sometimes overlook that the real magic was a combination of certain caps (values varied during production) and certain pickups (again variations) and a well built guitar with better than normal woods. No one single element can replace that and since we don't understand the variances in the magic ones (Unless someone dissects them and measures these variances) we can't simply buy the orignal parts and expect to get the same result. Hell if that were true all the old guitars would be great but they weren't! Only a percentage were stellar & memorable.
 

stonevibe

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It's a capacitor and that is about it. Nothing special. Nothing magical.

You cannot buy being a decent musician in an electronic component.

But luckily Gibson know that lots of men think you can and it keeps their business alive.

The real 'magic' is the marketing.
 




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