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Capacitor color codes - no tele content

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Kerry Vance, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. Kerry Vance

    Kerry Vance Tele-Meister

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    Please excuse me if this post should have been in one of the other forums. My question is about the color coding on a capacitor for one of those other guitars (1 year old, 1956 gold top reissue with P90's). The tone pots have absolutely no affect until you get them down to about 2 and 1/2. Yesterday, I talked to a local guitar store owner and respected guitar tech about the problem. He said my problem could be the value of the capacitors (i.e. 480 vs 500). So, I came home and checked. The color coding on the caps appears to be yellow/brown/orange/red/red. Can anyone tell me what the values are for these caps?
    Thanks in advance.
    Kerry
     
  2. Caper

    Caper Friend of Leo's

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  3. Freddy Fender

    Freddy Fender Tele-Meister

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    The problem is that the pots in there have a linear taper as opposed to the log taper which would behave more to your liking.

    To the previous poster: No those are probably reissue "bumblebee" caps in there that are colour coded like resistors.
     
  4. Kerry Vance

    Kerry Vance Tele-Meister

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    Thanks you, Freddy Fender

    I googled Bumblebee capacitor and found this:

    http://www.pickguardian.com/pickguardian/Images/Sprague Bumblebee Chart.pdf

    This looks like the type of capacitors that are in there. If you're correct and I think you probably are - why would Gibson make such a fine guitar and scrimp on something as minor as funky potentiometers?

    Thanks, F.F.
    Kerry
     
  5. mike_levitt

    mike_levitt Tele-Meister

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    I own one of those guitars...

    The problem is definitely the pots. The caps that Gibson is using are fake bumblebees - they are repros that look like the real thing, but aren't. The pots are probably linear 500k.

    To make it work right, change all of the pots to audio taper 500k, and change the caps to a good quality .022MF.

    My faves are old Sprague bumblebees, black beauties, or vitamin Q - but they are impossible to find, and expensive when you find them. Sprague orange drops are OK, and available everywhere, and people also like "hoviland music caps" which are paper and oil, like the old ones, but are new.

    If the guitar is too bright, use 250k pots instead of 500k - this will take some edge off the tone.

    Mike
     
  6. mike_levitt

    mike_levitt Tele-Meister

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    PS...

    The value of the caps is not the problem. They are supposed to be .022, but even if they were .047 (or .05 like the vintage ones) you would still get a normal tone control, but the tone would be "darker".

    You can leave those fake bees in there if you like the looks of them, but definitely change those pots...

    Mike
     
  7. Caper

    Caper Friend of Leo's

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    Color coded caps, I've learned something today.
     
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