Beware of treble bleed circuits.. psa...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Webfoot, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    Over a year ago I switched to a tele for full time gigging (really my only guitar) and lots of hard rock stuff. Put in a resistor and cap for the treble thing and chose the values with the amp on a clean at a low volume. Sounded really good. Also allowed the volume knob to be useful over a wider range.

    Fast forward to yesterday.

    Took the treble bleed circuit out. Now amazed at how much better the guitar sounds especially with dirt pedals. I probably rejected some tele pickups and high end dirt pedals because they did not sound right. Now it turns out the treble bleed circuit really goobered up the tone.... something so simple.
     
  2. Nashville Slim

    Nashville Slim Member

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    I had the same experience. I had trouble getting pickups to sound as good in my Tele with a bleed cap as my other Tele. It always sounded thinner and a little ratty. I snipped the bleed out one day and it got warmer, fatter and sweeter sounding, and way better overdriven.
     
  3. AudioWonderland

    AudioWonderland Member

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    Exactly why I snip them out of my PRSi
     
  4. Bobb2

    Bobb2 Member

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    For clean situations, I found the treble bleed useful but thin and brittle sounding with overdrive. I put it on a switch so it's there when I need it.
     
  5. dazco

    dazco Supporting Member

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    i don't think you can say one way is better than the other. they are both usefull depending on a boatload of variables. I've had one of the tones pots in all my strats inline with the cap for years so i can vary how much or little of effect it has, and i gotta tell you i leave it close to or at at the highest setting most of the time. but for some things i like it way down for the reasons mentioned. I certainly wouldn't want to be w/o that choice tho.
     
  6. Rob 62

    Rob 62 Member

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    I tried all kinds of things with my '52 RI Telecaster, and then again with my Nocaster - including a treble bleed circuit on the volume, and a no-load tone control, and a phase switch (push-pull volume pot). It seemed to me, at the time, that the Telecaster was meant to be monkeyed with. But - yes: the guitar had lost girth in tone.

    So, I switched out all of the crap-ola for RS volume and tone pots, and capacitors. That was well-spent money. The guitar never sounded better - and the operation is back to Tele-simple, as it should be.
     
  7. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    I put one in a tele a few years ago and after the first set at the next gig my wife said to me, "Whatever you did to your guitar, change it back". I snipped it out during break and said tele was back to sounding how it should. The treble bleed cap was not a subtle or good change to the tone in that case.
     
  8. operanonverba

    operanonverba Silver Supporting Member

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    Had the same experience with a Tele. Drove me nuts trying to figure out what was wrong. Cut it out and everything was bliss. But, I have some in an old LP Studio that I picked up with an RS kit. Killer tones and I can turn the volume way down and still get clear tone. Don't know yet if it's the RS kit or the bleed mods.
     
  9. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder Gold Supporting Member

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    I think the treble bleed is causing problems in my R8 and will remove it tomorrow.

    I've heard this circuit even on the neck volume can effect the bridge pu.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  10. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    I assume everyone is referring to preferred tones at varying volume settings, as it is of course removed from the circuit with the volume at 10 and will have no effect until you turn down. As with any setup of course, usefulness of results will vary with your guitar, rig, settings, etc, as well as of course what values of cap and resistors you used. I personally prefer a mild treble bleed circuit, often with a low value cap (≤.001㎌) wired in series with a moderate value resistor (20-50kΩ), with that combination wired parallel with a high value resistor (220-470kΩ).

    As to effecting the bridge pickup even if it's only wired on the neck volume, that simply could not occur. In the middle position on a Gibson wiring it may have an effect on the net tone, but pretty much only by how it changes the tone of the neck pickup itself and how that works it's way in to the mix (and only if you have the neck volume rolled back from 10). If you were switched to the bridge position alone, there's simply no way it could have any effect at all.
     
  11. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    This is a really good example of something broader to be aware of--

    If we are doing something and expect to hear an "improvement," there's always the risk that any "change" will be heard as an "improvement" because we want to hear it that way. It's hard to be objective without a lot of experience.

    I did the same thing with some Graph Tech saddles once on a vintage Jazzmaster. I got tired of breaking strings so I put them on and heard the change, and convinced myself it sounded better. When I went back to the originals it made my week... I had my guitar back.

    "Different" is not always "better," but our expectations can bias us in that way and trick us.

    As for the treble-pass mod (can't bring myself to call it "treble bleed" since it does the opposite, of course), I've never been convinced or into it. That's one trick I never fell for. When turning the volume down, sure it gets a little darker... that's just a part of electric guitar, to me.

    The treble-pass cap or rc network does nothing to fix the source of that... that's inherent in the circuit. The mod just adds a different kind of brightness...kinda like flipping the "bright" switch on in an amp to compensate for a dark speaker. It's a compensatory measure... not a 'fix.'
     
  12. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder Gold Supporting Member

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    David Collins-
    "As to effecting the bridge pickup even if it's only wired on the neck volume, that simply could not occur. In the middle position on a Gibson wiring it may have an effect on the net tone, but pretty much only by how it changes the tone of the neck pickup itself and how that works it's way in to the mix (and only if you have the neck volume rolled back from 10). If you were switched to the bridge position alone, there's simply no way it could have any effect at all."


    Middle position is what I should have posted as I know the neck and bridge are pretty much isolated.

    I never played the guitar without it since the pot and cap change so I'm curious.
     
  13. vintage66

    vintage66 Member

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    I had it done to the neck pickup of my Les Paul-really like it there but it's a dark guitar. On a tele, I don't see where it would be necessary, but since there's only one volume control, wouldn't it also have to affect the bridge pickup?
     
  14. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I think this is a situation in which the user puts in too high of a cap and actually increases the treble as you turn down. I think if you know what your doing and don't choose some random value the guitar can behave and sound exactly the same when it's on 6 as it is on 10.

    I think I used something like a 200 ohm resistor and a 330 PF cap, there was athread about treble bleed circuits in which I described what I did.
     
  15. Wilbur

    Wilbur Guest

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  16. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I have them on all my guitars, not a problem for me.
     
  17. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Was the tone worse even when the volume was turned all the way up?
     
  18. Ricker

    Ricker Member

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    There's def something wrong if your treble bleed circuit affects your tone with volume on 10.........
    Treble bleed just means less treble is rolled off as you turn down but it doesn't affect the full volume tone.........
    I've always had treb circuits in my strats and they sound the same with the circuits and without at full vol............
    some people just don't like that brighter, thinner sound when the treble bleed circuit is acting too treble bleady as the volume is turned down........

    Now on a biting cutting tele......the circuit needs to be subtle otherwise the tone actually gets brighter......with less meat.

    Rick
     
  19. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    A good friend of mine installed a treble bleed cap in my custom shop strat and I can't tell any difference when the volume is all the way up, than when it didn't have the treble bleed caps.:dunno
     
  20. bluesking55

    bluesking55 Supporting Member

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    I get mine from Lindy Fralin, his shop is like 10 minutes from me, he takes a resistor an a cap and twist 'em, Ill try snipping 1 today and see
     

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