Vintage Bees and 50's Wiring Tone Test/Comparison

LPSG

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I like the Bees better,you can hear them better in "Lo-fi" they sound fuller and smoother to me.
 

bill bokey

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The Bees sound great, fuller sound with smoother highs but not dark sounding. Thank VastHorizon, I now know what caps I need !
 

edgeman

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I'm a tone junkie and prefer the clip with out the bee caps, they slightly muddied it up but just a touch. Try some Russian teflon caps in .022uf the deliver a clean sweet signal, just my 2 cents, thanks, Ken
 

shaofu

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thank you, the clips were enlightening...
 

Lurko

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Good on you for posting this. It would be interesting to repost clips with a normalized volume level and WITHOUT identifying which was which.

Unfortunately, by telling the listener which clip is which, you have introduced an observer-expectancy bias into the results, which makes them less valid. Basically, people (in this case) hear what they want to hear to back up their preconceived opinions. None of us are immune to this effect (me included.) I'm not saying there isn't a difference, btw, just that the experiment doesn't prove whether or not there is because of the unintended observer expectancy bias.

Even better would be to have your wife code them and then post them to produce a double-blind experiment. :D
 

silent0ne

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Little hard to tell on my crappy PC speakers...but the 2nd one sounded better...from my experience...I am a believer in PIOs over the stock caps...my experience was very similar when I replaced them with PIOs...I remedied the high freq loss with bleed caps...see below...

I was ok with the config, but still not completely happy with the way volume seem to just cut off...so I replaced all the POTs (I ruined the originals with all the soldering swapping out caps) with a matched CTS set I found on e-bay and rewired the config to the 50s wiring and I found that I really like the way the volume and tone knobs works interactively to control tone. Also found I really didn't need the bleed caps...I could use the volume and tone knobs to dial in the tone I wanted for a particular style. Seems more complex, but its more versitile...
 
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I went 50's wiring and real bees a few years ago. One of the best tests is
turning down the volume knob. You dont lose any high end.
 

RLee

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Nice test and samples, thanks for posting that. As an electronics engineer, I would have been skeptical of that result had you just talked about it, but the sound clips speak for themselves. Unless of course you got them reversed (ha), which I'm sure you didn't, because others have stated they got similar results. Really surprised me, and made me reevaluate my thinking.

Really interesting though. As I said, I would have predicted just the opposite effect as far as brightness. You went from, I assume, a stock .022 to an .01, which you'd think would give you a brightness boost; and also it sounds like you went from the stock 300k vol pot to a 500k, which also should have given you a brighter tone. But the end result was a smoother, rounder tone. Very cool. I much prefer the PIO tone.

The 50's wiring had no effect in this test, since you had volume on 10. So it was pots and caps. But raising the value of the pot alone would have increased the brightness, so in the end we're looking at primarily the caps being responsible for that radical tone shift.

Hooray for inferior parts of the 50's! (I mean that in the best sense -- technically inferior but musically superior.) I'm sure some of this is due to the older caps not being as ideal-capacitor-like as our modern caps, whether it's because of lower Q or other factors. It would be an interesting experiment to add resistance and inductance and leakage to a modern cap to see what it takes to model exactly the tone of the NOS PIO's...

Kinda ironic that we use specific types of caps to give us a bit more filtering of the harsh highs, but then we turn around and demand super-low capacitance guitar cables, so we don't cut any highs! :hmm: Tone mojo is really a fascinating soup of intertwined factors, which is what makes it so enjoyable.

I'm definitely going to do some tinkering now with my LP, because of this... I'm wondering if everyone recommends sticking with the stock 300k vol pots that my 2008 LP Std has (it's got the PCB, which I can easily remove if needed), or if everyone prefers the tone of 500k pots in conjunction with the PIO caps.

And finally... Jonesy, it seems you recommend the .01 neck and .015 PIO's for LP's, instead of the .022 stock values, right? That would make sense, given the increased damping effect the PIO's seem to have. Does that still apply if I use the stock 300k pot, or do you recommend switching to 500k as part of the mod?
 

jonesy

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And finally... Jonesy, it seems you recommend the .01 neck and .015 PIO's for LP's, instead of the .022 stock values, right? That would make sense, given the increased damping effect the PIO's seem to have. Does that still apply if I use the stock 300k pot, or do you recommend switching to 500k as part of the mod?

Nice post :thumb:

I am a fan of the lower values caps in most all guitars. I have .01 Vitamin Q's on neck and bridge in my SG. On LP's the .022/.015 is a good combo with paper in oil caps. The .010 Bees I sell read .010-.015 and really help keep humbuckers from getting muddy. They have a better mid curve IMO and they are also a lot more affordable than the .022 Bees. YMMV ;)
 

Gabriel

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Assuming that everything else is the same, it's a very noticeable difference. The second clip sounds fatter, less harsh and more saturated.
 

5F6-A

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haha

you are following the right path, my friend!
 

DAllenPickups

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Bee's win hands down! I like the 400v but 200v will do they are a vast improvement over stock caps. Full, warm, rounded but retain highs.
David Allen
 

tazzboy

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I went with .015/.022 Vitamin Q and I am glad I did.
 

AngryHatter

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Any two capacitors, no matter the construction will function exactly the same. Doesn't matter if it's a ceramic disc or pio...if they are both 22 micro farads they will sound identical.
You think electrons care?:thumb:
 

Gabriel

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Any two capacitors, no matter the construction will function exactly the same. Doesn't matter if it's a ceramic disc or pio...if they are both 22 micro farads they will sound identical.
You think electrons care?:thumb:
Sure...
 

Jeffguy

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Wow dude, nice choice on the wiring/caps. the first one sounded a bit harsh, but with the beez it got smoother, more open, and a better tone IMO. Good Work! :thumb:
 

freefrog

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Any two capacitors, no matter the construction will function exactly the same. Doesn't matter if it's a ceramic disc or pio...if they are both 22 micro farads they will sound identical.
You think electrons care?:thumb:
At the same capacitance, caps made with various dielectric materials won't have the same K (dissipation) factor.
And it changes the tone. I say it as someone who has been sure during decades that it doesn't matter... I was wrong. :)
 

Gabriel

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Just borrow a couple of different caps with same capacitance and aligator clips and see for your self. Even tape your amp and stompboxes settings.

My vitamin Q's cost me less than 20 and on a guitar that's costed me over 1300 euros in overall it's just the tip of the iceberg.
 


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