New PIO Caps. Sound Test

martin2hall

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Hey guys,

So I've replaced the caps in my 2003 LPC and replaced them using '50s Wiring'.
After a great deal of research I worked from this diagram, which I found on this forum.

martin2hall-albums-gear-picture68078-wiring50s.jpg


The LP had the stock ceramic '223' caps and I've swapped them out for K40Y-9 Russian PIO caps.
These in fact:

martin2hall-albums-gear-picture68074-caps.jpg


I have a 0.022uF in the bridge and a 0.015uF in the neck.
I've recorded both a clean and a driven sound on the old and then the new caps. All of the guitar and amp settings are the same. Im playing through a Fender Blues Jr. with no pedals and just a little (1-2 of 12) reverb and the pickups are '57 Classics.
So try not to judge the playing so much as the sound that the guitar is producing.

OLD CAPS CLEAN
OLD CAPS DRIVEN

and then the new boys...

NEW CAPS CLEAN
NEW CAPS DRIVEN

So what do you guys think? My tone knobs weren't set just to 10. As I a gather that would produce no change in effect? In my opinion the control PERFORM better but I wonder if people can tell a difference in tone at all?

I used a TASCAM DR-07 to record these that I have for making demos. So no adjustment on the computer whatsoever. It has a really great stereo mic on it so the sound is plenty clear.
Look forward to what you guys think.
 

Frogfur

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fun to listen to.. but honestly, I couldn't tell allot of difference listening here.

 

rykus

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I like the tone onthe new drive one more, but like the originals on the clean... the new ones sound a bit warmer though even on laptop speakers, so probably great in real life, nice clear playing too... thanks:)
 

martin2hall

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Thanks for responses guys.
After a whole lot of playing it seems to me that there isn't an enormous sound difference when listening note for note (although I do think there is a little improvement). But what I can really tell is the improvement in the way that the controls perform. I have much more versatility in tonal control.
And hey it was really fun to do. It was my first real mod and it was worth every second.
 

Coldacre

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I think with these type of comparisons the subtle differences don't quite get captured in the digital realm.

the other factor not captured in this test is how the tone controls respond at various settings. that to me is the real big difference between capacitors.

but kudos to the OP for making the effort. I'm sure the differences you're hearing made the modification worthwhile :yesway:
 

etzeppy

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I recently did a test comparing stock ceramic, orange drop, Mallory 150, and K40Y-9 caps. I came out of that test convinced that I liked the sound of the Mallory 150 caps best. That surprised me since I was predisposed to prefer the PIO based on cost and reputation. Admittedly though, I didn't mess around with the controls too much. I just set them to a nice tone and played a variety of styles (clean, dirty, chords, leads, etc,). I liked the orange drops least, even though they are probably the most popular capacitor "upgrade". The differences were all pretty subtle but did gravitate toward a favorite quickly. I also made my wife listen them all and she arrived at the same spot without any info from me. I was playing Gibson 57 classic PUs through a 1959 tweed Fender Princeton. It could have easily been a different result with different PUs and a different amp.
 

KP11520

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I am probably the only other person on the Internet that feels the exact same, or will at least admit it.

I found as I was changing the tone and/or volume, the 150's were the most articulate throughout the sweep and stayed clearer when the others got a little muddy with the rhythm pup.

Orange Drops are at my BOTTOM as well.

Problem is the Mallory 150 doesn't have anything "Sexy" associated with it.... Just Mallory 150. And they're cheap too. Blah. LOL

PIO and labels like Orange Drops and Bumble Bees and Mustard Caps and so on, have bragging appeal and when talking about this outrageous upgrade, puts modders right in the inner circle because they can talk the talk.

I guess that leaves us out with our boring Mallory 150's.

I have posted my preference many times and nobody has EVER responded. There's a LOT of pressure to have mob/mass approval. It's an injustice, IMO.

Good ears. Let THEM Rule!

I recently did a test comparing stock ceramic, orange drop, Mallory 150, and K40Y-9 caps. I came out of that test convinced that I liked the sound of the Mallory 150 caps best. That surprised me since I was predisposed to prefer the PIO based on cost and reputation. Admittedly though, I didn't mess around with the controls too much. I just set them to a nice tone and played a variety of styles (clean, dirty, chords, leads, etc,). I liked the orange drops least, even though they are probably the most popular capacitor "upgrade". I was playing Gibson 57 classics PUs through a 1959 tweed Fender Princeton. It could have easily been a completely different result with different PUs and a different amp.
 

etzeppy

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I am probably the only other person on the Internet that feels the exact same, or will at least admit it.

I found as I was changing the tone and/or volume, the 150's were the most articulate throughout the sweep and stayed clearer when the others got a little muddy with the rhythm pup.

Orange Drops are at my BOTTOM as well.

Problem is the Mallory 150 doesn't have anything "Sexy" associated with it.... Just Mallory 150. And they're cheap too. Blah. LOL

PIO and labels like Orange Drops and Bumble Bees and Mustard Caps and so on, have bragging appeal and when talking about this outrageous upgrade, puts modders right in the inner circle because they can talk the talk.

I guess that leaves us out with our boring Mallory 150's.

I have posted my preference many times and nobody has EVER responded. There's a LOT of pressure to have mob/mass approval. It's an injustice, IMO.

Good ears. Let THEM Rule!
I'm not sure where I got the idea to try Mallory 150's. They were recommended somewhere. They were available at the same place I bought the Orange Drops and at about the same price. I think they were a few cents cheaper. For less than $1 each, I decided to try them. I found the Mallory's warm without getting muddy, and notes rang through clearly in over driven complex chords. That is probably what you meant by articulate. I didn't find the Orange Drops muddy either. They were just a little harsh in places and the individual notes were not as clear in complex chords.

I thought the Russian K40Y-9 caps were interesting too but really like the Malloy 150's best. That will be my go to cap going forward. It will be interesting to try them at some point with different pickups to see if my first impressions hold up.
 

martin2hall

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Well the was my first change and you gotta start somewhere. The thing I have very clearly learned is that the stock caps are poor.
I'm impressed with the PIO. The way the pots perform is hugely improved.
OBVIOUSLY when I'm looking for a change, I can inherently ONLY go by mass appeal. Why else did you pick up a Les Paul and not something else. I am not going to choose something at random and hope for the best.
Ah well. To each their own.
 

etzeppy

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Well the was my first change and you gotta start somewhere. The thing I have very clearly learned is that the stock caps are poor.
I'm impressed with the PIO. The way the pots perform is hugely improved.
OBVIOUSLY when I'm looking for a change, I can inherently ONLY go by mass appeal. Why else did you pick up a Les Paul and not something else. I am not going to choose something at random and hope for the best.
Ah well. To each their own.
I really wasn't knocking your choice at all. Input from others is always good. Who has the time or resources to research everything with hands on experience? I just thought it was interesting that you were performing sounds tests on caps around the same time I was doing it and your tests included some of the caps I worked with. This was my first time to experiment with caps too and I was surprised with my final opinion.

Even though I went with the Mallory 150's in this one case, I decided to keep the K40Y-9 caps. There is a good chance they will be better than the Mallory's in some other application.
 

KP11520

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etzeppy... Yup, that's some of what I mean about articulate. And also with the tone rolled all the way off with the Rhythm pup.

Hey Martin,

You still did good! The Russian PIO's were the closest to the 150's by far to my ears. (Epi Dot with SD 59's and CTS pots and Switchcraft components)

The Mallory's were a long shot from left field because nobody recommends them

Oh yeah, I used Speed Knobs too (Gold) LOL

Maybe now, Mallory 150's will get some respect around here.......




Naaahhhhhh :laugh2::laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:
 

martin2hall

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I really wasn't knocking your choice at all

No I totally appreciate that.
Its great that we have both found options that work best for us. And its important to recognise that these things are so subjective.
Great to get a discussion going and hopefully other users who are thinking of changing will be able to take something away.
I know that if I make any changes again, or with a different guitar, I will CERTAINLY be trying the Mallorys!

Thanks for input fellas.
 

afranke

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I love Mallory caps,,prs uses them. I have a .033 in my ce 22.
 

p90fool

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The thing I have very clearly learned is that the stock caps are poor.
I'm impressed with the PIO. The way the pots perform is hugely improved.

You changed to 50s wiring at the same time AND changed the value of at least one of the caps, how can you possibly say the stock caps are poor and the PIOs are an improvement?!

You just flunked third grade science, really.
 

HogmanA

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You changed to 50s wiring at the same time AND changed the value of at least one of the caps, how can you possibly say the stock caps are poor and the PIOs are an improvement?!

You just flunked third grade science, really.



Yeah, I was just getting my red pen out to to give Martin2Hall an F as well, but then I remembered It's not science! Phew!

Carry on fellas.
 

p90fool

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Yeah, I was just getting my red pen out to to give Martin2Hall an F as well, but then I remembered It's not science! Phew!

Carry on fellas.

The different methods of capacitor construction, capacitance values and how they interact with potentiometers of different values and taper, the way different wiring schemes load components in radically different ways at different potentiometer settings etc is not science to you?

Believe me, for those of us who need explicable, repeatable, achievable results from known values it's a science.
It's not art, it's not some bizarre creationist philosophy, it's not faith. It's quantifiable and it exists.

Changing from 50s to modern wiring has a VERY radical and quantifiable effect on how the pots interact and the frequencies which are allowed through. Attributing that effect to a change in cap material is not just a red herring, it's actually non-sense, in the purest use of that word.

Whether cap material has an effect or not is a different debate, but even it's staunchest proponents wouldn't claim it changes your guitar as radically as the two different wiring schemes will.
 

HogmanA

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The different methods of capacitor construction, capacitance values and how they interact with potentiometers of different values and taper, the way different wiring schemes load components in radically different ways at different potentiometer settings etc is not science to you?

Believe me, for those of us who need explicable, repeatable, achievable results from known values it's a science.
It's not art, it's not some bizarre creationist philosophy, it's not faith. It's quantifiable and it exists.

Changing from 50s to modern wiring has a VERY radical and quantifiable effect on how the pots interact and the frequencies which are allowed through. Attributing that effect to a change in cap material is not just a red herring, it's actually non-sense, in the purest use of that word.

Whether cap material has an effect or not is a different debate, but even it's staunchest proponents wouldn't claim it changes your guitar as radically as the two different wiring schemes will.

My point is that it is just playing guitar!

And actually, I am one of the staunchest proponents, and I think cap material between the right types does have a greater effect than 50's wiring in some instances. Also a greater effect than value.
I have wired a 010 and a .68 on a push pull, just to see the range extended by 2 digits worth on the control knob.

Science is only necessary when trying to prove it to someone else - and why should we!
What is infuriating is the presumption that people who support the idea that material choice has an effect should 'prove' it scientifically whenever they want to talk about it!

I think (generally) that pedals suck tone; imagine if everytime someone talked about a new pedal I chimed in with 'Pedals suck tone, prove to me that they don't. You're hearing what you want to hear because you just dropped £250 on a pedal'.

Thank God I'm not that much of an Arsehole. (Though I admit I do fall somewhere on the Arsehole scale!)

I'm not saying people who question the validity of cap material are Arseholes, but it's getting close to it, when a normal discussion about cap types can't be had without ridicule of some sort.

Also, if you (P90fool) take a guitar you know well, change a worn set of strings for new and at the same time alter the pup height and then play it, I bet you would have a pretty accurate idea of what change in the sound was affected by what. And yet a onlooker could say 'rubbish! how do you know if you changed both at the same time! that is not scientific!'. No it's not.
 

etzeppy

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You changed to 50s wiring at the same time AND changed the value of at least one of the caps, how can you possibly say the stock caps are poor and the PIOs are an improvement?!

You just flunked third grade science, really.

I'm glad the OP was willing to share his results. He'll be less likely to do so next time. There is a constructive way to suggest improved testing methods. You just flunked third grade etiquette, really.
 

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