50s wiring and tone capacitors

edwardz

Member
Messages
361
I did the 50s wiring on one of my Les Pauls and used .022 Orange Drop caps on both pickups. So far I really dig the change and these caps. I got some other value caps to try though. I see some folks recommend using a .015 cap on the neck pickup. I've also read that Derek Trucks might be using .10 caps.

This Les Paul had .047 caps and treble bleed caps on both pickups when it was wired modern style.

So far what I've noticed about 50s wiring is that the guitar cleans up nicely when I roll off the volume. It's not as bright when I roll off the volume as it was with modern wiring and treble bleed caps. The taper is more even now than before. The guitar is less compressed sounding and not as middy now. The tone is sweeter and the neck pickup isn't so muddy wired 50s style. With the volume from 7 or 8 to 10 the guitar still has plenty of punch, but below 7 or 8 it cleans up well. There's definitely a lot more interaction between the volume and tone controls wired this way.

Anybody on here using different value caps than .022 with 50s wiring? What do you like about them?

FWIW, I use Vintage Sound blackface-style amps. One is a 20 watt Princeton Reverb design. The other is a 22 watt Deluxe Reverb design. Both have 6L6s and Eminence GA SC64 12" speakers. I leave my overdrive pedal (OCD, La Grange or The Dude) on all the time, usually with the level around noon and the drive from noon to 2:30. I just clean up my tones with the guitar volume controls. I also started using an Amp RX Brown Box recently and really like that.
 
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walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,228
remember, the cap itself makes zero difference until the tone pot is below like "5". above that you could replace said cap with a piece of straight wire and get the same sound.
 

sliberty

Member
Messages
3,943
Some of your description of how 50's wiring sounds is exactly the opposite of my experience, and expectations.

50's wiring tends to lose less treble when the volume is turned down as compared with modern wiring. This is one of the main benefits of 50's wiring. Some use a treble bleed instead, but I've never liked how a treble bleed sounds in my guitars. Another feature/benefit/problem (depending on your view) is that turning down the tone reduces the volume slightly. This can be perceived as a reduction in gain to some, or just a smoother response to others. I especially like 50's wiring for these two reasons.

As for cleaning up well, that should be true of any wiring scheme. If the output level of the guitar is reduced, the amp will not be driven as hard, and so amp overdrive will be reduced. This would also happen if you backed off on a volume pedal. Nothing really to do with the 50's wiring scheme.

I love 50's wiring and apply it in all of my guitars, including Fender types. I gave a preference for linear volume pots as they spread the useful range out over a wider turn area. Alternate taper audio pots can also provide some of this.

As for caps, you really just have to try them. Different pots and different pickups will be exult in different results. So our opinions won't be much help.
 

willie k

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,264
As for cleaning up well, that should be true of any wiring scheme.
True, but with the 50s schema the cleanup occurs much sooner. I can roll down to 8 and be clean, and at 10 have sweet crunch. With modern wiring I had to roll back to 5 to clean it up. That little bit helps me a lot. Its a long reach down to the bridge pup volume control.
 

sliberty

Member
Messages
3,943
True, but with the 50s schema the cleanup occurs much sooner. I can roll down to 8 and be clean, and at 10 have sweet crunch. With modern wiring I had to roll back to 5 to clean it up. That little bit helps me a lot. Its a long reach down to the bridge pup volume control.
I can't (and won't argue) with your experiences, but I am not sure why 50's wiring would impact cleanup. Pot taper certainly would, but the manner in which the tone control is connected "shouldn't???"
 

willie k

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,264
I believe it has to do with connecting the volume pot via the wiper instead of one end. Changes the RC constant.
 




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