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Skanky treble... found culprit. Treble Bleed!

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Guitarteach, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    UK
    This turned out to be a surprise.

    I was starting to get worried my amp need a filter cap change as I was getting a strange, ugly out of tune distortion spoiling the attack of strong clear notes. A compressor just made it worse.

    I cycled a few guitars and found it was really just the one single coil guitar that did it.

    Snipped the treble bleed I'd put in a while back. Now it is perfect and the sounds are crystal clear.

    It is not an effect of treble bleed circuits that I had seen mentioned and I had assumed guitar voltage and current levels would not effect a cap like this.

    Anyone else experienced similar?
     
    MilwMark likes this.
  2. Andy B

    Andy B Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Colorado
    Different caps will sound differently. Even the same type of cap. In the past I've run leads out of a guitar & clipped in various caps until I found one I liked the sound of. One of my next projects will be replacing the 470pf ceramic treble bleed caps in my guitars with Silver Mica.
     
    chemobrain likes this.
  3. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    UK
    Thanks. It was an orange drop that was in. May get a supply of micas to replace the various cheap ceramics in other places. I think the treble bleed will be staying out.

    Given the views that people share that only 'cap value' counts, this experience seems to prove otherwise. Definite distortion and unpleasant overtones at the transients when the cap was present.
     
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  5. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    never liked treble bleeders, they get in the way of the volume pot's great tone shaping feature. :D

    all that matters with caps in passive guitar circuits is their metered value - the rest means squat ... well, not precisely true - cap build/materials can benefit it's durability and longevity, which leaves out those expensive paper in oil caps that some poor clueless folks think are "where the sound is at". don't waste yer money on guitar circuit caps.
     
    Amby, Gibson, ndeli55 and 2 others like this.
  6. Golem

    Golem Tele-Meister

    I love a good treble bleed on humbuckers. Didn't even know what one was until I played a PRS and was amazed at how well it worked. With strats it depends on the pickups and how the bleed is done.
     
  7. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 8, 2010
    Montreal
    I had a treble bleed put into a vintage tele to see what I was missing and it killed the personality of the guitar everywhere, both pickups, any volume.

    Became thin and tinny sounding so snipped it out after a couple of days.
     
    chemobrain and MilwMark like this.
  8. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    UK
    Mmmm. That is the opposite of my specific experience. I am therefore 'clueless' at the moment.

    With the cap/resistor combination bleed in there was a distorted strangled attack or extra resonance on very loud, clear notes from the bridge pickup. Not just a frequency cut or change of pot behaviour.

    It was very very similar in tone to the unpleasant atonal distortion I get if I overload the digital input in my rack fx. Gain and compressor pedals made it worse.

    I am wondering about the potential mechanism for this as removing the treble bleed cap and resistor instantly stopped the effect.

    Any insights? It was the only variable in play.
     
  9. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 5, 2011
    Poland
    Bad solder joint?
     
  10. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    all passive pickups are built with the most amount of treble they can deliver. treble can be removed, never added. a bypass input/wiper tiny value cap (.001uf) is a shunt for pickup treble freqs sent to the jack, no more or less. whence first soldered into a circuit, even if the pickup is wired direct to the jack, treble gets shunted to ground.

    caps suck treble out of passive pickups ... as does wire, pots, switches, anything conductive. the more stuff in the signal path, the more treble gets lost to ground. outboard "stuff" (mainly, the tone bending modulators) really obfuscates the natural tone/sound of passive pickups. it is what it is.

    with specific regards to passive guitar circuits, a cap is a cap is a cap - only its metered value matters (not what's stamped on its body). huge voltage "orange" drop caps are ridiculous in micro volt circuits and make circuit building space a premium. there have been a number of online controlled tests concerning caps in passive guitar circuits, and the conclusion is always that the cap's metered value is all that matters. high voltage/amperage amplifiers? a totally diff'rent scenario, where more than a cap's metered value is important to tone/sound.
     
    mitchfinck likes this.
  11. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Oct 22, 2006
    Garner, North Carolina
    Agree.

    A cold solder joint could behave exactly the way you describe, and a proper treble bleed would not.
     
  12. Andy B

    Andy B Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Colorado
    If it was an orange drop then I'd agree with the bad solder diagnosis.
     
  13. chemobrain

    chemobrain Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    840
    Nov 5, 2016
    oakland ca.
    This a great discussion, I done know about any of the but when I turn down the volume on my mini strat with a Dimarzio hum canceling bridge pick up, the treble, open quality goes away. it took awhile for me to even become of what was bothering me, but then I go it and did some simple listening tests and it was this change in the tone that is /was/has ben bothering me. a treble bleed was suggested to cure the problem, but some of what I'm hearing is that a treble bleed won't resolve the issue.
    So how can this issue be successfully addressed, please.
     
    VB Tele and Chicago Matt like this.
  14. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 23, 2014
    Woodstock
    Just one player's opinion. I really want the volume control on my guitar to control the volume, not the tone. I have a tone pot for that. Without a treble bleed, the tone gets muddy in a hurry when you turn down the volume because there is progressively more resistance and the higher frequencies go first. At least that's my understanding, and that's what my ears hear. Some may love that and call it "mellow" (or "tone shaping" :)), but to me it's "muddy". Some treble bleed circuits can go too far and the guitar sounds tinny and sterile when turned down and that's even worse. I've experimented with treble bleed values and keep coming back to a 470pf cap and 220K resistor in parallel. This renders a smooth volume taper to my liking and the tone remains audibly the same to my ears as I turn down the guitar volume. It's subjective but I wouldn't be without the bleed in my Tele's and actually my Les Paul and 335 too. As it turns out, Mojotone makes a volume kit that uses these values and is put together neatly, ready for quick installation for a couple of bucks. Being the lazy guy I am, I just get those.
     
    rich815 likes this.
  15. chemobrain

    chemobrain Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    840
    Nov 5, 2016
    oakland ca.
    I just added a treble bleed added to my mini strat when I upgraded 2 of the pickups.
    turn the volume down and the highs don't fade. that's what I wanted from the mod. Broken Guitars in Oakland did the work, Bill has skills galore, he's built great sounding amps, does great repair work, and is very affordable for the guitarist with the yen-pox for mods.
     
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