Thinking about trying one of these pre-wired, drop-in vint kits?

Compulsor

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Thinking about trying one of these drop in long shaft, pre-wired vintage wiring kits for my 2013 Goldtop 50s Tribute.
Anyone have options/experience with any of these type of kits?

LP Style Luxe Repro Bumblebee Capacitor Wiring Harness fits Les Paul
http://*******/18HZhIw
 

Gibsonguy57

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FWIW....I put a Luxe harness w/ grey tigers in my LP Special as well as an original set of '56 P90's and it sounds great....I also put a set of Luxe grey tiger caps in my 52 LP reissue and again, IMHO they put the vintage growl in the factory P90's...very satisfied!
 

Compulsor

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Ya, can't get link to load for some reason, but post above this is what I'm talking about, around 1-150 on eBay from bunch of diff sellers.
 

Compulsor

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I did some digging trying to find some "before and after" comparisons re: cap changes, types, values etc. Ended up stumbling across a really interesting series of videos by Ann Arbor Guitars. I can't get links to work from my iPhone for some reason, but google/YouTube them, its a very well done double blind test. He's very open about the inherent flaws in this or any test, but its one of the most through, scientific and objective examples of this kind of analysis I've seen.
The net result was that while there's many valid reasons to change them, there's almost no audibly discernible difference.
They're going to do a whole series on things that do/will/can change the tone, based on what you're trying I accomplish. I sub'd, and am eager to see/hear more.
He made a point that if we are anticipating a difference, human nature will almost inevitably hear/find one, even when none exist.
I'm curious to know what anyone who's done this mod thinks the differences, if any, are. Im wondering if personal, first hand experience yields a more dramatic change in tone.
 

David Collins

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Those are my videos, and thanks for the kind words. I should be clear though (and will try to make it so in future videos about electronics changes) that there are still very good reasons to change your harness, even though I've not been able to find any direct influence from cap type (others conclusions of course may differ).

There is still the taper and value of the volume pots, different wiring schemes like "50's wiring", freeing yourself to make other changes easier by getting rid of the Gibson circuit board, playing with different cap values for different effects when you roll back, etc.

Point is, I'm by no means trying to discourage people from swapping out their electronics, and many of the folks selling custom harnesses indeed offer real value with changes that make notable differences and assembled with top quality construction. Those videos were focused on a very specific factor - cap dielectric material - but not meant to discourage from making other changes. The harnesses can certainly be worth it, but as long as the cap is good and stable (like orange drops or similar quality caps), I personally wouldn't spend extra on NOS or Bumblebee replicas for any reason beyond the cool factor.

I'd suggest talking to some of the sponsors here on this forum. There are several, but the two who's work I'm most familiar with are Martin 6 String Customs and Jonesy Blues, both of whom (in spite of our occasional disagreements ;) ) offer great products and will be able to set you up right if you're looking for a change.
 

Compulsor

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there are still very good reasons to change your harness.

I agree, and plan on at least the 50s wiring. My point in sharing your excellent series was that as I make changes, I want to make sure there's a tangible improvement in tone or functionality, not just change for change sake; or because 'it's what's done'. I actually have spent a lot of time reviewing Jonsey's products and services, and he's high on my list when the time comes to go from research to application of whatever mods I end up choosing.
And thanks again for putting in the time and effort to do your videos, at this point, you've saved me a nice chunk of change that can be directed towards other upgrades.
 

ARandall

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I think the issue with cap type, is that the naysayers will say any difference you hear is just your ears fooling you. However if you've convinced yourself that there is no difference the same reasoning will tend to make you believe that too.
And the differences are subtle at best......I don't think I've ever heard a recording that truly captures what the live tone is like, so posting clips for the sake of comparison is quite useless. You need to know your rig and your guitar inside out to be able to pick anything.

I find tweaking the value really important too. Even at full tone, there is still an effect from the circuit - you can get an idea of this by using a no load tone pot, or disconnecting the cap from the volume.
The tone circuit is a curious beast. The way it interacts with the pickup and the volume path is complex. The fact that it is an AC circuit brings a few other parameters in to play. Its like two waves meeting on the beach.....sometimes they multiply, sometimes they cancel.
 

Compulsor

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I find tweaking the value really important too

Good stuff, I pulled this line from your post because I think that's the strongest argument for change. Not just in this instance, but things like the "De-Mud" mod from the guy on TDPRI.com; I'm ordering some nice caps to employ his mo on my '58 Tele RI humbucker for sure- THAT'S one mod that is easy to perceive via YouTube or any medium.
So prob. experiment with some values in the Goldtop before a pup swap, after some more fret time; learning I need to learn patience, and slow my roll with whole buy buy change change trip I get sucked into all the time.
 

Ole'Lefty

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I can't push a guitar- but it is worth it to me to have a Jonesy, a Martin 6, Shep P-90H's, another set of custom HB's and I do my own first quality cavity harnesses for my pride and pleasure with those fellows as my workmanship standards.

You cannot really lose with those options and opportunities- worthwhile investments. Always save your original components and remove with great care.

Though I built stereo amps from very basic kits in the 60's.( The 19 ones), I found a renewed reward in guitar work. Knowing your guitar's hidden guts is an asset.

PS- about a year ago, this sub-forum became a daily read; and AM check and PM- much is beyond me but I have appreciated the shared knowledge.
 

ARandall

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Good stuff, I pulled this line from your post because I think that's the strongest argument for change. Not just in this instance, but things like the "De-Mud" mod from the guy on TDPRI.com; I'm ordering some nice caps to employ his mo on my '58 Tele RI humbucker for sure- THAT'S one mod that is easy to perceive via YouTube or any medium.
So prob. experiment with some values in the Goldtop before a pup swap, after some more fret time; learning I need to learn patience, and slow my roll with whole buy buy change change trip I get sucked into all the time.

There's also another thread on here of relevance

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/tonefreaks/288312-busting-tone-control-capacitor-myths-2.html

About halfway down a post by Freefrog has some interesting points, backed up with oscilloscope grabs.
Always good to have some info when deciding on these things
 

Compulsor

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Guitar Tone Capacitor shootout - YouTube

This is a really interesting demo. Really dwells on the sustain and harmonic aspects of the various flavors of caps.
Surprising, to me anyway, how dramatic, and obvious this test shows the difference between them to be.
Again, no test is perfect, but my ears could def tell a diffrence.
 

ARandall

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Thats actually not a bad demo - even given the typical youtube compression.

I've actually got some of those sprague black beauty caps....from James at ReWind. I'm making a burst clone, so guess which ones will be going in!!!
 

David Collins

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Guitar Tone Capacitor shootout - YouTube

This is a really interesting demo. Really dwells on the sustain and harmonic aspects of the various flavors of caps.
Surprising, to me anyway, how dramatic, and obvious this test shows the difference between them to be.
Again, no test is perfect, but my ears could def tell a diffrence.

I would suggest that this video demonstrates very well why blind testing is necessary. With the player fully aware of which cap is engaged, it is impossible to rule out the possibility of them influencing (not even knowingly, but subconsciously) the results. Then with the player clearly decided on the differences, he continues to even further violate any decent testing standards by narrating what changes the listener should tune in to, and coaxing those changes out of the guitar as the listeners are guided to hear what he is focused on (such as thrashing the strings harshly against the frets while declaring a cap to be crap, yet guiding a graceful sweep on caps he has predetermined to be more ideal, all the time leading the listeners to hear what he expects them to hear through openly biased narration).

Again, I am not suggesting this to be an intentional manipulation, but simply one that is impossible to rule out unless the comparisons are carried out blind. Even if the person in this video were decided on what to listen for, they could have instructed listeners to pay special attention to elements of sustain or pulsing (the latter of which I can assure you 100% had nothing to do with the caps, but rather was beating of tempered intervals). Then with the type of difference to watch for established, he could have proceeded with a blind test where neither he nor the listeners knew which was which, and the test could have had some validity.

I've made the comparison before, but I believe it bears repeating again in this context -

Power Balance Bracelets on Today Tonight 22/12/2009. - YouTube

If one wishes to demonstrate a change is not primarily a result of placebo effect, they simply must arrange a test or demonstration in a way that eliminates any chance of placebo effect from interfering with the perceived results. Perhaps someone will someday, but this particular demonstration video failed to do so in every possible way.
 

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