Treble bleed cap realization.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Sun Creature, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Sun Creature

    Sun Creature Member

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    My Gibson SG Gothic has modern wiring and I had treble bleed caps installed a while back to help with keeping a decent clean tone when rolling down for rhythm work. It worked fairly well with the Dimarzio 36th I had in it at the bridge but it always sounded a little thin/nasally.

    A couple weeks ago I installed the Manlius Vinyl, an overwound T-top pickup, and while it was close to the tone I was looking for, it just felt so thin and spiky. Finally, on a whim I removed the treble bleed caps yesterday and success! It has the tone I was looking for when rolled down to 8-9 with fuzz/OD pedals and then at 10, has the lead tone to cut through.

    Not to say treble bleed caps are bad I just realized they had been a tone damper for quite a while.

    Anyone else come to the same realization?
     
    shane8 likes this.
  2. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    Some combos work well with them and others not so much. Good thing you found that out before yanking a good set of pickups.
     
  3. dreadheadhaha

    dreadheadhaha Member

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    Recently I clipped my treble bleed out of my PRS SE. After a week I soldered it back in. However, if I were using my fuzz pedal very often it would have to go. Treble bleed mods do not jive with any of my fuzz pedals. Most notably my fuzz face.

    We all have different tone goals and there are many ways to get there.
     
  4. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Hate to sound like a broken record, but i cannot stress enough the fact that treble bleed caps vary wildly as far as how they work from one pickup to the next. I have one guitar with a 1000pf (.001uf) and it could use more top end when i turn down ! Yet others i have 250pf caps and they're as bright as i'd ever want when turned down. If i put that 1000pf from my other guitar in them they'd be unusable at anything lower then about 8. If i put that 250pf in the one that has the 1000pf in it you won't even hear a difference between that and no bleed cap at all.

    The reason is that a smaller cap value doesn't just allow less treble than a larger value, it passes a higher range of treble. A 250pf passes the very high stuff in the sizzle range while a 1000pf will pass frequencies down to the high mids. Thats why those dark pickups i have with a 1000pf only gets brighter with such a large cap.....it's passing frequencies the pickups DO have rather than just that very high top that they have none of. So the higher the range of the pickup, the smaller value of cap you can use and hear a noticeable difference. You can also use that knowledge to tune your pickups so when you roll down the results are what you are looking for. For example, a pickup with a normal or extended top end you can use a much smaller cap so that only the very high frequencies are passed and accentuated. Or of you want extra treble in a wider range say all the way from the high mids to the very top, but without sounding overly thin and bright, you can put a resistor in series with a large cap to get the full treble range but with less gain in those frequencies getting passed. Or add a resistor in parallel to allow the rest of the range to pass to a lesser degee to accomplish a similar thing, although that way the taper will have a longer throw to reduce gain and get clean. Hope thats clear, it's the best i can explain it. But in a nutshell the great thing about treble bleeds is that if you understand exactly how they work you can pretty much dial in exactly what you are looking for, and if everyone knew how there would be a whole lot fewer people who talk about how horrible treble bleeds are. Most simply experienced what they do when not implemented optimally for a given pickup and guitar.
     
    Hari Seldon and SPROING! like this.
  5. Ridgeback

    Ridgeback Member

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    I found that they work better on some guitars and pups than others. I usually use the resistor\cap in parallel version when I use them at all and use mini alligator clip jumpers to test component values until I find a combo I like (or don't). When they work and are properly dialed in, they are quite beneficial. I think I only have an R\C bleed on the neck HB of one guitar right now.

    Edited to add that the post right above this came through while I was typing. He said it better.
     
  6. icr

    icr Member

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    I have a couple Ibanez guitars with the treble bleed capacitor on a push-pull switch volume control. Lets you choose when you want it.
     
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  7. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    There are factory treble bleed caps on the 57/08 humbuckers in my PRS Ted McCarty and since everything sounds great I figure Paul has it all worked out for that guitar and those pickups.

    OTOH, I once installed the recommended treble bleed in a Tele and after the first set I played with it my wife said, " Whatever you did to your guitar change it back right now." She was right- it sounded horrible, thin and nasally.
     
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  8. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I do a similar thing....i don't like/use tone controls, so i always hook my bleed cap in series with the tone pot so i can have its full effect or any degree i need at a given moment. There are time especially at stage volume where it can be too much depending on many factors including the room, and that allows you to tune it just right. If i were to use a switch like you i would set it up with a resistor that allows the minimum effect i would want, because i haven't met a set of pickups to date that is bright enough to my ear when rolled down with no bleed cap at all.
     
  9. sg~guy

    sg~guy Member

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    -I also have a GIBSON SG GOTHIC-

    -here's what I stole from TONY IOMMI-(and I'm sure others, like early EVH)-

    -COMPLETELY BI-PASS THE TONE CONTROLS-

    -your guitar will never sound better-
     
    shane8 likes this.
  10. 1radicalron

    1radicalron Member

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    Took out the Treble Bleed Cap in My Suhr - I am so happy now!
     
  11. shane8

    shane8 Member

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    I ditched treb bleeds decades ago.
     
  12. sliberty

    sliberty Member

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    I've never bonded with a treble bleed circuit. I much prefer the 50's wiring approach to preserving treble when turning the volume down. I know, there are other differences, so it may not be for everyone. But for me it's the best compromise of features/functionality.
     
    bluesjuke likes this.
  13. broken_sound

    broken_sound Silver Supporting Member

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    Not every pickup requires a treble bleed circuit. Some of my guitars have one, some don't.
     
  14. Lewguitar

    Lewguitar Member

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    All a matter of personal preference.

    My 335 is wired 50's style and that works perfectly with the A2 Holmes humbuckers in it.

    I installed the same Holmes model pickups in my '94 PRS and the factory installed brite cap made it too sizzley so I removed it. Wired the tone pot 50's style and it was still to brite so I wired it modern instead.

    My '02 PRS has the stock Dragon 2's and the PRS 180 pf. brite cap works fine. I like the clarity when I roll the volume down for chords and rhythm.

    There's no rules, although I generally don't like a bright cap and it's not a comfortable sound for me...except in that one PRS with Dragons.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  15. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Yes, I don't like the treble bleed scheme. I have got accustomed to using, and actually liking, the difference between a cranked volume and rolled back. The treble bleed scheme seems to take some "voice" out of it.
     

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