Cap suggestions for Esquire 3rd position?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Heavy Formvar, May 27, 2020.

  1. Heavy Formvar

    Heavy Formvar TDPRI Member

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    The 4700pf cap (simplified Eldred mod) thats currently in the 3rd position ("front pos."/"neck pos.") gives me unwanted distortion with my amps bright (probably Twin-ish?) clean channel. So what I basically need is either a lower or higher value for more or less treble cut so it works with both clean and dirty settings.

    I ordered a Russian NOS 2200pf PIO from Montys to work with some different values, think wiring 4700 and 2200 in series or parallel or just the 2200. I read the Eldred mod can sound great clean but to be honest this is not the case with my rig.

    What values do you suggest?
     
  2. Heavy Formvar

    Heavy Formvar TDPRI Member

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    Any ideas?
     
  3. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not sure I understand. There is no way the Eldred position will distort more than the normal position, since all you've done is removed some high end from the normal signal.

    By adjusting the cap size you can change where the treble roll off starts, and that's about it.
     
  4. Heavy Formvar

    Heavy Formvar TDPRI Member

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    Maybe the low frequencies distort?
     
  5. Heavy Formvar

    Heavy Formvar TDPRI Member

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    How would it sound with the 2200pf cap instead of the 4700?
     
  6. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    Buy a selection of caps & experiment. Caps are cheap. Don't need NOS Russian caps to do the job. :cool:
     
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  7. Heavy Formvar

    Heavy Formvar TDPRI Member

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    I only got the PIO because I ordered the neck bolt kit from Montys Guitars, so I ordered the cap btw just to try it. They´re actually quite cheap for PIOs, about 10 (or was it 8?) each. Sorry for the Off Topic.

    I asked because maybe someone here had swapped out the front position cap for a different value. I remember Nik Sevigny saying he wired the original treble cut cap in his Esquire in series with another cap so that he would get a P90-ish tone. He didnt say what value it was though.
     
  8. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    8 DOLLARS? Really, you can put 10 cent caps in there, and they will sound the same.

    Agree more or less treble cut isn't gonna change breakup.
     
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  9. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    But in the normal position it doesn't distort?
    That seems strange, because the low end of the two positions should be identical.
     
  10. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    The treble roll off will happen at a higher frequency.
     
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I did a shoot out with all the popular Esquire mods I could find and after building and testing ... the Arlo Cocked Wah was the best, better than Eldred. I have since put it in an HH guitar where I hard-wired it to the bridge pickup and when I turn the tone knob down it takes the pickup back to a 'normal' bridge pickup tone. It's awesome for distortion.

    Caps only matter for the uF, not the construction, factory, or color. Get a multi-meter than can measure capacitance and sort out high/low caps, they generally have a 10% tolerance range and high end vs low end matters. Some cap construction, factory, and colors will have wider or narrower tolerance ranges and it's the end points of the spec that matter. If you have all different types of caps at the exact same uF then you'll not find an audible difference. It's the ends you are searching for. So get a meter.

    .
     
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  12. Heavy Formvar

    Heavy Formvar TDPRI Member

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    Of course I own a meter. Otherwise it would be hard to deal with electronics that often.

    I should probably tell that a) the guys who spend $60 on Luxe Grey Tiger or Bumblebee Repros and b) the guys who spend $150 or more on real Grey Tiger caps and Bees.
     
  13. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I thought 3300 pF was the normal Eldred cap. It’s certainly what came in my ‘02 Custom Shop Esquire from the factory.

    I keep that one stock. Honky, but not muddy, front position. Its backup guitar has 2200, selected just for the heck of it; it doesn’t sound a ton different, but it does retain a bit more treble, and still honks. My third Esquire has a Gibson toggle switch that selects between 1100, 2200, and 3300 pF in the Elred style front position. Mild differences, but it’s good to be able to fine tune, because every amp is a bit different, or sometimes you might use more or less distortion. When using more overdriven tones, and/or I want less honk and more clarity, I use 1100. Cleaner tones, more honkiness, I use 3300 (middle position on the Gibson toggle, because parallel capacitance is additive). 2200 is the middle ground.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  14. Heavy Formvar

    Heavy Formvar TDPRI Member

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    A toggle is a good idea, but I dont feel like drilling into the control plate. But I´m swapping the pots anyway so should I change the wiring from simplified eldred to normal eldred? Does it make an audible difference?

    As with the cap swapping, I´d like to have a P90-ish tone in the neck. Should I put in the 2200 or wire it in parallel with the 4700 to get 2500?
     
  15. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I am not sure what “simplified” Eldred wiring is. Whatever the standard Eldred wiring is is about as simple as it gets.

    Passing a Tele pickup through any capacitor is not going to make it sound like a P90. If that’s what you want, your best bet is to get a Seymour Duncan tappable Quarter Pounder.

    Also, save your money. For this purpose, a 10 cent cheap-o cap will do everything a ridiculously expensive specialized cap will do.
     
  16. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    I’ve got a 4700pf cap on mine.

    I think the distortion you hear may be due to harmonic overtones, while the fundamental tone lose some treble.
    You can have the same thing with a classic tone pot: turn it down, and suddenly when reaching a particular setting it kind of barks.
    Clapton’s woman tone uses this phenomenon to get this very resonating, almost fluty, overdriven tone.

    As several have already stated above, you should experiment, because it’s really relative to your pickup: I tried different pickups in my Esquire with the same harness, and each time I get something different from the « Eldred position ». And the difference is often surprisingly bigger than the difference in general tone between the pickups.
    I’m sure this has to do with the resonance peak of each pickup.

    Without changing your pickup, I’m sure either a higher value cap or a lower value one would get rid of this. All you have to know is if you would prefer the tone brighter or darker from what you currently have.

    Lastly, I would say that personally, this effect is what I seek in the Eldred position. It can be a very cool tone, and it helps not getting lost in the mix although your tone gets darker. For a more classic treble roll off tone, you still have your tone control on position 2.
     
  17. Heavy Formvar

    Heavy Formvar TDPRI Member

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    Maybe its because of the amp. When I hit the clean channel harder it starts to crunch a la late 60s blues rock. Strange phenomenon.
    Edit: maybe I should swap the 12AX7 for a 12AY7. Sorry for the Off-Topic.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  18. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    People often hear what they want to. Whether it's cap tone, or advice.
     
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  19. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    Not sure to really get your point: hitting a clean channel harder push most amps into overdrive, even a twin reverb... Swapping a 12ax7 for a lower gain 12ay7 does not buy you headroom. All it really does is changing the taper of the volume pot: the breakup will happen higher up the course of the volume pot, but the amp’s overall volume will be more or less the same then.
     
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  20. Heavy Formvar

    Heavy Formvar TDPRI Member

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    By ‚hit harder‘, I meant hitting the strings while the volume is on 1 (I usually keep the volume really low). That’s why I thought swapping the preamp tube that is close to the input (V1) would prevent breakup at lower volumes.
     
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