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 caps ... whaddaya guys know?

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madmike

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PostSubject: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:52 pm

when i did the wiring for the p bass warmoth project, i just used a cap that came from whatever online place i ordered the pots from and just got the cap value that was suggested with the wiring diagram i found. it was 50k. it was cheap. didnt put too much effort into it.

now, i finally got the wiring correct in this bass ... i was having grounding problems. turns out, the humbucker wire colors dont follow dimarzio or semour duncan standards. i did the process of alimination thing, got it right and thought, "who thought this was a good idea!" i originally had it wired out of phaze and the balance of the pickups wasnt as drastic ... it was noisy, but i liked the output sound. now, the dimarzio split p is all bottom end boom and the humbucker is boom with lotsa high mids. basicly, the pickups dont work well together blended.when blended, the overall output is low. i would think that it shud be wham - ka - pow big sound.

heard marvelous things about orangedrops ... so i did some research.

two things .......

i read the statement, "the higher the value of the cap, the 'darker' the sound."

what the heck do they mean by 'darker'?

if darker is like, a real high value cap in ritchie blackmore's strat or toni iommi's sg ... then yeah, i want that tone from my bass. or is darker like a flatter sound with no harmonics or range from high to low.

next thing ....

whats a tone bleed do? whats the output sound.

also was wondering ...

shud i just save myself the trouble experimenting and soldering and just get one of these ........

http://www.audereaudio.com/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=8

preamps for passive pickups. customizeable and ready to install, just solder the pickups.
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EricHaven
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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:19 pm

I'm not totally sure that you have a cap there, since you posted it's value as 50K. In my book, this denotes an indication of 50K ohms resistance, and capacitors are measured in farads, microfarads, and picofarads. But I also don't know everything about components, so I might be barking out my arse on this one. Laughing

As far as tone bleed goes....well....you Guys all know that I don't use any sort of tone controls on my basses at all, so I can't help you there. Not a clue. But I do believe that Bill/Darkstrike has done this sort of mod before, so hopefully he'll bounce in here and clear things up for you.

Darker the sound?

scratch

More evil? Not as easy to see? It might be a fidelity thing....nothing to do with relationships, mind you. Wink More like, it changes the tonal spectrum overall, instead of simply turning the highs up or down.

And as far as that circuit goes, I say go for it. If you want to spend the money (and I have no idea how much they cost, as I didn't dig that far), then why not? It looks like a quick way to resolve things, and I'm all for doing it as simply as possible.

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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:14 pm

whaddaya think of the audere audio onboard preamps for passive pickups eric?
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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:27 pm

from guitarelectronics.com

"How to choose the right tone capacitor for guitar and bass?
Most guitars and basses with passive pickups use between .01 and .1MFD (Microfarad) tone capacitors with .02 (or .022) and .05 (or .047) being the most common choices. The capacitor and tone pot are wired together to provide a variable low pass filter. This means when the filter is engaged (tone pot is turned) only the low frequencies pass to the output jack and the high frequencies are grounded out (cut) In this application, the capacitor value determines the "cutoff frequency" of the filter and the position of the tone pot determines how much the highs (everything above the cutoff frequency) will be reduced. So the rule is: Larger capacitors will have lower cutoff frequency and sound darker in the bass setting because a wider range of frequencies is being reduced. Smaller capacitors will have a higher cutoff frequency and sound brighter in the bass setting because only the ultra high frequencies are cut. For this reason, dark sounding guitars like Les Pauls with humbuckers typically use .02MFD (or .022MFD) capacitors to cut off less of the highs and guitars like Strats and Teles with single coils typically use .05MFD capacitors to allow more treble to be rolled off. Keep in mind that the capacitor value only affects the sound when the tone control is being used (pot in the bass setting) The tone capacitor value will have little to no effect on the sound when the tone pot is in the treble setting. "

... and further down ...

"What does a volume "treble bleed" capacitor do?
A volume "treble bleed" capacitor is used on a volume control pot to prevent treble frequency loss as the volume pot is turned down. This is done by placing a small capacitor (usually .001 MFD) between the input and output terminals of the volume control pot. As the volume is reduced, the capacitor allows high frequencies to bleed through to the output and keeps the tone from getting muddy at lower volume settings. "

is till think a tone bleed is something different.

the p bass has a real bright crisp tone already, with the ss frets and humbucker at the bridge ... i'm definatly gonna experiment with some higher microfrad (yes, not k) values.
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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:34 pm

Thanks for the definitions, MadMike! Wink

Honestly, I can't offer any personal opinions on the Audere systems. You know me and my attitudes towards active systems! Laughing But, unless I'm thinking of another brand, I seem to recall reading reviews from a few players who have them, and they rave about them.

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Yvarg



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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:57 pm

Basically, capacitors on tone pots make your tone lose high end (which makes it sound like it's bassier). The high the value, the more "bassy" it makes your bass sound. If you want to simulate what a capacitor does, just turn the "treble" knob on your amp down. As far as picking the right value capacitor, I generally start with a 0.05 uF (microfarad) cap and see how that makes my bass sound when it's on. If I need it to sound bassier, wire two capacitors in (or get one with a higher value). If it sounds too bassy, I'll work my way down to a 0.022 uF cap. It's pretty much just a guess and check situation with these things.

Treble bleed volume pots are something different. All pots by nature lose a little bit of treble frequencies as you turn the volume down. To some people this is really irritating, so someone figured out a way to wire a capacitor between two lugs of a pot that makes it lose less treble frequencies as you turn your volume down. Personally, I never even use my volume unless it's all the way on or all the way off, so I've never wired one of these.

Hope that was helpful!

Edit: Oh yeah! Try switching your ground and hot wire for one of your pickups and see if that gets rid of your phase problem.
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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:51 pm

yeah ... i fixed it. the phaze problem. thats what i did; switched the hot and the ground (or the ground and the hot ... all the wires in this cheap pickup were white, black and red ... weird!). it worked, but i just dont like the transition between the 2 pickups now with the balance pot. the level really drops with both pickups. its getting me by now with the front split p for low tone and punchy bass and the humbucker for drop mid.

i'm gonna experiment with the caps i bought ... they shud be in tomorrow.

if this doesnt get me a decent tone thru the range of the balance, then i'm gonna bust the bank, get a rio grande vintage humbucker and get an audere onboard preamp.
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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:30 pm

madmike wrote:
it worked, but i just dont like the transition between the 2 pickups now with the balance pot. the level really drops with both pickups.

This is, I think, a consequence of what I always say about impedance and gain structure. With the balance knob combining both pickups, you have two sources now in parallel, and that cuts your impedance in half, and your gain drops. Not that I use any such wiring setup anymore, but this was an early complaint I had with basses setup to do this.

My old Tokai Jazz is an example. Before I gutted and re-did the electronics, I messed with it stock just for laughs. Yes, both pickups gave that signature slap tone that Jazz basses have, but the volume dropped like a rock.

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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:07 pm

Blend knobs on passive basses make the volume drop a tonne more than switches, or dual volumes, this is why you mainly see them in active basses, as they have a setup that evens the volume between settings more.
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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:53 pm

just got the orangedrops today.

didnt hesitate ... put it in the p bass immediately.

i dont know about "darker". i put a .08 microfrad one in there. it definately has a lower tone, but it sounds smoother and warmer. i dont know if this is the higher value or just the fact its a better quality cap.

i like it.

i switched out the two in my washburn tarus ... same deal ... warmer ... i like it!
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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:10 pm

Cool deal! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:21 pm

Nice. I'm gonna use Orange Drop caps on one of my projects. You might like this--the sound samples he posted are a decent comparison of common capacitors:

http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=596256&highlight=simple+varitone
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PostSubject: Re: caps ... whaddaya guys know?   Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:28 pm

i do like it.

and i encourage anyone and everyone to try this and any other things they can possibly think up ... otherwise how would we learn and discover new things???

for me tho? ... no.

i never even touch the tone knobs on my basses since i stopped playing the ibanez, cranking and cutting the mid scoop on the active eq.

i prefer to make tone / sound / effect changes on the fly with my footies.

i am just trying to use caps to get a better functional tone out of my passive basses before the barrage of effects that i send it thru. the orangedrops definately made much of that better ... phazer, flanger, chorus and octave jump / octave bend all sound much cleaner, warmer and consistent.

i am still researching how to get a better, non - deteriorating synth bass effect. i'm thinking i'm not gonna get what i want from a better cap or pickup. the tube preamp i got today might help some (i'll post it in new toys). i think the boss just is what it is. i'm getting a better sound now that i know how to spread the channels out further. i dont wanna mount one of those korg pickups on a bass (fugly), but they sound the best! eventually i'm just gonna break down and go get one of those electroharmonix synth boxes.
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