Historic Gibson Faux Bumblebee Caps

indravayu

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Anyone ever watch this test?

Tone Capacitor Comparison Survey
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=817JHiYV_Po[/ame]


...or this one?

Bumblebee test
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6c5GY6GcMU"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6c5GY6GcMU[/ame]
 

EpiLP1985

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You could do all this. If you want, please do. I would guess all that effort won't help. Maybe just a wiring diagram. With emphasis on the capacitors input to the tone potentiometer, output of tone potentiometer going straight to ground, and a explanation of ground. Probably won't help either but with your already busy schedule, certainly would be easier.
The cap to ground argument doesn't sway people for some reason. I'd anticipate that even if results of a comprehensive analysis proved my point that there would still be hold outs. That's fine.

Doesn't matter anyway. At least the due diligence would be complete on my part. I'm an EE, this is what I do! Plus, at some point you have to put your money where your mouth is and be willing to prove your point empirically. Otherwise it's all just conjecture. Conjecture backed by science on our part
 

El Kabong

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Anyone ever watch this test?

Tone Capacitor Comparison Survey
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=817JHiYV_Po


...or this one?

Bumblebee test
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6c5GY6GcMU
Use pickups that are actually capable of processing tone and you might get different results... those chinese made stock PRS pickups are total crap... so of course you won't get much past the mud they are spewing out. I'm also not convinced that taking caps out of the circuit the way the test box is designed isn't dramatically effecting the results.
 

El Kabong

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Cap composition doesn't affect tone, it affects cap value, which affects tone.
That sounds like total nonsense to me and is analogous to saying that as far as swimability goes a swimming pool filled with water is no different than a swimming pool filled with jello... and that only the distance you have to swim matters.

Ask 10 different electrical engineers the same question and you'll get 10 different answers... having a degree in electrical engineering doesn't effect one's hearing and ability to process tone better than anyone else. While hearing may be subjective the results of the sound of two different tone caps being passed through a oscilloscope are not. The shape is quantifiably different... end of story.

 

LPCollector

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I think an experiment is in order. I'll put my money where my mouth is.

LPCollector:

Can I PM you and get the brand and model of the harvested organ?

I'll try to obtain a buttload of Bumble bees and analyze them. I'll obtain a number of other vintage caps and modern caps and analyze them as well. Then I'll construct some sort of objective sound experiment and post the results here. Not sure what kind of planning will be involved ( I've got baby número dos coming and a buttload of work) but I'll try to make it happen.
If you research my posts, I am usually very giving of information very freely.
I'm sorry, but I won't divulge that information, to anyone.
I have been asked before, so, please do not feel singled out....not my intention to do so. :dude:
Fact: I made a 1500% profit when I sold the ones that I didn't keep....good info to keep quiet. :)

I've already done the research for myself and highly suggest that everyone do it.
That's kind of my point.
Basically, your statements are saying that I fabricated a difference, because I WANTED to hear a difference.

Impossible.

My friend and I approached the entire test with a very "let's see" attitude.
Not looking to justify an expensive purchase, in the least.
In fact, he was of the same opinion as you are, and he is now a convert....and so am I.

His '54 and his '58 (yes, a real Burst) are kind of bastardized vintage guitars, they had Orange Drops from the '70's in them, both.
They now have some Sprague Bees from my stash living in them.
He doesn't care about vintage correctness, he just wants great sound and playability from them. He liked the Bee's better, too.

Now, for the suggestion of a blind test. (moot, due to internet compression, speaker or headphone differences, etc)
But, we did that.
His studio is in one room, which is where his heads are.
His speaker cabs are in a separate room.
We took turns sitting in the speaker room, and took our notes, and compared them later.

Under total disclosure, there was actually one (and only one, agreed upon) setting where we both preferred the "fake" bee's to the PIO vintage Bee's.
That setting was at 4.8 on the bridge tone knob.

Also, under total disclosure, our test only included "fake' Bees, Orange Drops, and vintage PIO Bee's.

To add, if there is nothing "magical" within vintage equipment, why do MCI recording consoles get their notoriety?
We have higher technology consoles available, some with the same specs, but the MCI has still churned out more platinum and gold records that any other console....and it's not because there are a whole bunch of them out there.
Why are Bursts held as the Holy Grail?
Gibson makes guitars out of the same (sort of) materials right now, and yet, more platinum and gold records have been recorded using Bursts.

Sometimes, there is "magic" that can't be replicated, or explained, by today's technology.
....but the human ear can detect it.
 

EpiLP1985

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That sounds like total nonsense to me and is analogous to saying that as far as swimability goes a swimming pool filled with water is no different than a swimming pool filled with jello... and that only the distance you have to swim matters.
What on earth are you talking about?

Ask 10 different electrical engineers the same question and you'll get 10 different answers... having a degree in electrical engineering doesn't effect one's hearing and ability to process tone better than anyone else. While hearing may be subjective the results of the sound of two different tone caps being passed through a oscilloscope are not. The shape is quantifiably different... end of story.

You guys just don't get it and your happy not getting it so what is there really to argue about. I've stated my position like 10 times now. Your entrenched in yours and that's fine. Everyone is happy. Rock on.
 

NotScott

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The best thing I found in this entire thread:


[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muKkVufgkAE[/ame]


These guys ROCK!
 

EpiLP1985

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If you research my posts, I am usually very giving of information very freely.
I'm sorry, but I won't divulge that information, to anyone.
I have been asked before, so, please do not feel singled out....not my intention to do so. :dude:
Fact: I made a 1500% profit when I sold the ones that I didn't keep....good info to keep quiet. :)

I've already done the research for myself and highly suggest that everyone do it.
That's kind of my point.
Basically, your statements are saying that I fabricated a difference, because I WANTED to hear a difference.

Impossible.

My friend and I approached the entire test with a very "let's see" attitude.
Not looking to justify an expensive purchase, in the least.
In fact, he was of the same opinion as you are, and he is now a convert....and so am I.

His '54 and his '58 (yes, a real Burst) are kind of bastardized vintage guitars, they had Orange Drops from the '70's in them, both.
They now have some Sprague Bees from my stash living in them.
He doesn't care about vintage correctness, he just wants great sound and playability from them. He liked the Bee's better, too.

Now, for the suggestion of a blind test. (moot, due to internet compression, speaker or headphone differences, etc)
But, we did that.
His studio is in one room, which is where his heads are.
His speaker cabs are in a separate room.
We took turns sitting in the speaker room, and took our notes, and compared them later.

Under total disclosure, there was actually one (and only one, agreed upon) setting where we both preferred the "fake" bee's to the PIO vintage Bee's.
That setting was at 4.8 on the bridge tone knob.

Also, under total disclosure, our test only included "fake' Bees, Orange Drops, and vintage PIO Bee's.

To add, if there is nothing "magical" within vintage equipment, why do MCI recording consoles get their notoriety?
We have higher technology consoles available, some with the same specs, but the MCI has still churned out more platinum and gold records that any other console....and it's not because there are a whole bunch of them out there.
Why are Bursts held as the Holy Grail?
Gibson makes guitars out of the same (sort of) materials right now, and yet, more platinum and gold records have been recorded using Bursts.

Sometimes, there is "magic" that can't be replicated, or explained, by today's technology.
....but the human ear can detect it.
Understood about your cap source.

There is so much to dissect and debunk in this post. I'm going to bow out. You guys are happy with how your doing things. That's not a bad thing or a point of contention.
 

El Kabong

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Here is some actual evidence that PIO and Ceramic caps produce different results. If you can't hear the difference perhaps you can see it.

And here is some more of a more scientific bent...

I've personally done similar tests with my Dad's O-Scope with similar results using NOS Bees, New Bees, NOS Russians and O-Drops... no pix though...

Passing a signal through different mediums is gonna produce different results... and, as logic dictates, that is all there is to it.

If you still want to argue that there is no difference, then

 

LPCollector

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Understood about your cap source.

There is so much to dissect and debunk in this post. I'm going to bow out. You guys are happy with how your doing things. That's not a bad thing or a point of contention.
Debunk?
Now, you have stooped to call me a liar?

100% truth within this post.

You Sir, have just earned my pity....which is not an enviable position.

 

ajory72

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Got to admit I bought some LUXE bumble bee repros a while back for $56 = they came in a pretty box that looked like a suit case etc... I have to admit they don't sound any better than any of the cheap $2 PIO caps I bought [Sprague etc]

I was on a "I must have THE tone" quest... went through pickups, wiring, caps, pots etc. the final change I made was the magnets... that's when I really heard some differences on the final set of pups I choose [stew mac parsons would you believe].

Definitely not something the missus understands, but then she loves to gaggle over curtains, colours and textures etc, where-as I tend to obsess over the next magnet/string/pick ups/guitar build project.

As John Lennon says "what ever gets you through the night = its alright, its alright"
 

krakatoa1313

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I wonder if Joe B would chime in on his experience.
Posted here before but he does have this to say about setup and leaving things be (leaving things original).

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyjXqm6uPoc"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyjXqm6uPoc[/ame]
 

DADGAD

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I bought some original bumblebees here a few years back. Here they are in a harness next to the Gibson faux bee. The Bees I got were physically larger. Is that abnormal for them
to be that size?

[/URL][/IMG]
 

EpiLP1985

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Let me be clear, because some of you think that I am dismissing some of your hard work and analysis and claiming that it is some "pie-in-the-sky" silly dumb dumb talk. I'm not.

I concede, and have conceded many times in these posts, that you are most certainly hearing a difference when changing your caps. I am arguing, and have argued in these posts, that the reason is not magical or intangible and is totally independent of the dialectric medium. That's all.

To recap: I agree you are hearing a difference, but in my experience, given that I have tuned guitar control circuits (Les Pauls exclusively) using all manner of cap compositions, I don't think the cap composition is the deciding factor in the change. That's it. Maybe I haven't been clear.

You're not liars, frauds, disingenuous about your findings or secretive about your methods.

To duaneflowers:

Here is some actual evidence that PIO and Ceramic caps produce different results. If you can't hear the difference perhaps you can see it.
If you read that whole article very carefully you'll find it supports my point and not yours.

here is some more of a more scientific bent...
This article deals with amplifiers if I'm not mistaken. That doesn't mean that (let me preemptively guard against your next attack) I am flip flopping my position about caps to prove a point. Many of the capacitors in amplifiers (many, not all), especially those in the signal path, have completely different characteristics based on their operating conditions and NOT their composition.

I've personally done similar tests with my Dad's O-Scope with similar results using NOS Bees, New Bees, NOS Russians and O-Drops... no pix though...
I believe you. I'm not trying to discount anyone's hard work spent analyzing something. What was your analysis based on these scope tests? What were your inputs and the nature of your outputs?

Passing a signal through different mediums is gonna produce different results... and, as logic dictates, that is all there is to it.
What is the basis for this claim?

To LPCollector:

All apologies. It was late and debunk is a strong word. Again, I am not discounting your analysis. I was actually referring to other sections of your post when I used the word. In hindsight it was not a good choice.

I've already done the research for myself and highly suggest that everyone do it. That's kind of my point. Basically, your statements are saying that I fabricated a difference, because I WANTED to hear a difference.
I've done cap testing as well, as stated in earlier posts. I never once in this thread insinuate that you fabricated or altered anything for a desirable outcome. Never.

What I did say was this:

I get joy out of splurging for $3 caps in my guitar and getting the same results as when I bought RS Supercaps, Jensen PIO, Bumblebees, Black Beauties, Sprague Q, Russian PIO and many more. Some get joy out of hearing a difference with expensive caps.
The last line was meant to state that some people get joy from the difference they hear from PIO or any other vintage caps. Not once in that statement, at least to me, is there any insinuation that you are a liar or a fraud or anything disingenuous. If that's the way you took it I apologize. It isn't what I meant. You have already corrected me (and I acknowledged) that your acquiring the caps you own was extremely economic.

Why are Bursts held as the Holy Grail? Gibson makes guitars out of the same (sort of) materials right now, and yet, more platinum and gold records have been recorded using Bursts.
This is easy: There isn't anything magical about old bursts. Some are turds and some are the fortuitous result of the right materials being married together by skilled craftsmen. Period. Old growth, "Up-hill" lumber combined with hide glue and great pickups is not "magic", its great engineering executed with cheap, quality materials and pride by craftsmen of a bygone era.

That's about the least mythical explanation I can muster.

As far as consoles, I'll defer to something I've been saying for a bunch of posts now: we shouldn't be comparing more complex audio systems like recording equipment and amplifiers that use capacitors to capacitors used in the simple tone circuit of a guitar. These things dump to ground and there is nothing inherently interesting or "magical" about it.

Sometimes, there is "magic" that can't be replicated, or explained, by today's technology.
....but the human ear can detect it.
My point continues to be that this can be replicated and should be. Take this fantastic comment by duaneflowers:

...What I was trying to say, was that the entire system they use, i.e., the pots/caps/pickups, all work together as a team and the end result is a good sounding system...
If instead of just plopping a .022mf cap into the harness and wiring it to a standard value pot, Gibson (or any company for that matter) chose to design a harness that took into consideration some of the intrinsic deficiencies of the PIO caps operation and incorporated that using modern components, I think all parties on either side of this argument would be satisfied by the results.

That's really all I am attempting to get at. I'm not advocating that someone plop in a modern capacitor and call it a day. Bam! Better tone. One should understand that the dielectric of these vintage caps may be acting to INHIBIT tone in a way that turns out to be positive rather than the dielectric providing some unknown, unexplainable quality that turns out to be positive. I really love this post, from this thread a few years ago, and agree with the assumption:

Here's my "slightly intuitive" feel for why they sound different. A tone cap dumps high frequencies to ground. As you roll off the tone control you dump a few more high frequencies to ground. I'm guessing the high frequency performance of old PIO caps isn't great, meaning that they dump comparatively less HF to ground than modern capacitors. This would explain the way there's still "life" in the guitar tone with the tone control rolled off, which is the reason some people like the older caps.
That quote to me is a marriage of the best parts of both side's arguments. I'll add that some of the "life" that is still present may be down to 50's wiring as well.

I think that if we had this discussion in person, round table style, we would be much better at communicating our ideas to one another. It's difficult sometimes to get your point across genuinely using text and a lot of times your points or your words are misconstrued without the social cues and gestures present in a real conversation.

I am an engineer, a guitar player, a beer drinker, a father, a husband and all around decent guy like I am sure all of you are. I'm not trying to discount what you believe or what you have found through the results of your analysis of caps. I happen to disagree with you guys but not maliciously. I just enjoy debating topics I am interested in. That's all. I'm not trying to insult or offend anyone.
 
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EpiLP1985

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I bought some original bumblebees here a few years back. Here they are in a harness next to the Gibson faux bee. The Bees I got were physically larger. Is that abnormal for them
to be that size?

[/URL][/IMG]
They are either a higher voltage cap or the faux Bee's casing is not correct to the vintage size.
 

Deus Vult

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Use pickups that are actually capable of processing tone and you might get different results... those chinese made stock PRS pickups are total crap... so of course you won't get much past the mud they are spewing out. I'm also not convinced that taking caps out of the circuit the way the test box is designed isn't dramatically effecting the results.
Gonna disagree with you. Owned two SEs. The 245 sounded better than the core model with the much **********d to 57/08s. Also sounded better than the 57 classic loaded traditional next to it.

My se cu24 sounded anything but muddy. Those pickups were actually pretty good too. Now the pickups in my core 245? (Not 57/08s. Maybe #7s bc it was an older model? I forget. But not the hallowed prs pups) Replaced the bridge with a WCR immediately. I've had better luck with those cheap Chinese mudslingers than with the pricey us made prs pickups. Were they as good as my ECPs ? No. But they were definitely usable.
 

LPCollector

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I bought some original bumblebees here a few years back. Here they are in a harness next to the Gibson faux bee. The Bees I got were physically larger. Is that abnormal for them
to be that size?

[/URL][/IMG]
They are, in fact, higher voltage.
The stripes denote that yours are 600v.


 

DADGAD

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They are, in fact, higher voltage.
The stripes denote that yours are 600v.


Cool, thanks for clearing that up. Theoretically or practically, what would be the difference in the circuit vs the regular type vintage bees that are typically used?
 

EpiLP1985

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Cool, thanks for clearing that up. Theoretically or practically, what would be the difference in the circuit vs the regular type vintage bees that are typically used?
Space constraints is all I can think of. I had a hell of a time making my wiring neat back when I had 600V Black Beauties in my old Epiphone. They were so big!
 


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