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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, this thread started in the "guitar parts" thread but was moved because we were becoming off topic.

Anyway, pot and caps seem like a farily inexpensive upgrade. Do you really think the "fancy" pots are worth the huge price hit?

I've been looking at the RS prewired kits too; I've never installed anything and these kits look like they would save a ton of work.

TG
 

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This is for the Les Paul style, right?

I think the RS kit is probably worth the money.
I don't know what you mean by "fancy" pots. Good quality CTS 500K audio taper IMO is all you need. Some guys swear by matched sets, it tends to cost more to get them.
My personal feeling is to use reasonably priced pots, and put the extra money into good caps. I've tried quite a few, and finally ended up biting the bullet for vintage Bumblebees.
Nice thing is that it's really easy to test different caps, and, with the exception of the vintage ones, caps are a pretty cheap upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oops! I meant to write "fancy caps!

It's quite a price jump from the Mallory caps to the Hovland caps; what sonic differences does that money buy?

Yes, this is for a LP guitar.
 

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In my Historic Les Paul an upgrade to CTS pots and good Jensen Paper Foil in Oil caps did wonders for the guitar. Like taking a blanket of of it.

I just did the RS upgrade in my PRS CU 24 but changed the pickups at the same time so I can't comment. I know the pot is stiffer, the stock one would turn with a stiff wind. Definately better quality stuff the switch isn't as noisy as well. The volume pot I put in was their special one, the taper is very cool, real gradual all the way down to 2 and then a little more drastic.
 

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I think you mentioned in the other thread that you have an Agile? Although I've heard some pretty good things about them, I've never played one. So I don't know what your pickups are like.

Almost everyone that installs new CTS audio 500Ks in a LP seem very happy. I consider it a 'must-do' upgrade on a new or used guitar.

(If you are trying to shut down nasty icepick treble, using one (vol) or two (both) 250K pots can cut that back. That was the situation I had with my Melody Maker, I installed 500s, but wanted it warmer so went with 250s)

You can really start to tailor your tone with caps. The Jensens mentioned above are supposed to be great caps, as are Hovland musicaps or guitarcaps (avail only at RS I think). Nice thing about a Les Paul, you can attach a couple of wires with alligator clips on them and test caps to your heart's content before you solder them in.

The normal value you're after is .022 for a Les Paul. Some guys like a .015 in the neck (rolls off to the brown sound) and I've heard of some that like .033s (slightly darker with higher numbers, but watch out for roll off to mud).

With caps I think the "you get what you pay for" idiom is correct (except for the new Gibson pretend bumblebees).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jeff Flowerday said:
In my Historic Les Paul an upgrade to CTS pots and good Jensen Paper Foil in Oil caps did wonders for the guitar. Like taking a blanket of of it.

I just did the RS upgrade in my PRS CU 24 [snip] The volume pot I put in was their special one, the taper is very cool, real gradual all the way down to 2 and then a little more drastic.
I looked at that volume pot too; seeing as I play nonmaster volume amps and roll my guitar's volume to switch from clean to dirty, I want a really good volume pot. Les Paul has always bugged me because they loose tone when your roll the volume off . . .

I though Gibson LPs came stock with CTS Pots??!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
dwagar said:
I think you mentioned in the other thread that you have an Agile? Although I've heard some pretty good things about them, I've never played one. So I don't know what your pickups are like.

With caps I think the "you get what you pay for" idiom is correct (except for the new Gibson pretend bumblebees).
Yep, I have an Agile. Plays just as well as my old 1991 Gibson LP Standard. I've already replaced the stock pickups with Seymour Duncan 59s and that was a nice improvement. I think the electronics are "hiding" tone though and the volume pots are basically like on/off switches . . .

I've been told to change out the wire to a higher quality, vintage braided type.
 

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In my experience the RS kit is a huge improvement. I found I now use my tone and volume and they now work as they should. I wired it all together using the provided schematic. Gibson does use CTS pots but they don't test them befroe they put them in. RS test all their pots so they are within a very tight tolerance.
 

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I'm not positive on this, but I'm pretty sure the stock Gibson pots are linear, not audio, taper.
If you find you are cutting tone when rolling off the volume, try switching to 50's style wiring.

And as mentioned above, if you can afford an RS kit I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the tone change.
 

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what a cool thread, i had removed the .033 cap from my Godin LG sp90 to get some more highs. finally i have found a good discussion on cap values.
looks like i need to try a few. has anyone tried a .011 on a p90 axe?
i like the idea of the .015 for the rolled back tone.
the pickups are seymour duncan sp90 3's which are fairly hot so i assume they are normally a tad darker from the extra winding. but that may be ofset from ceramic magnets (i believe).
lately i have noticed a bit too much fizz on the top end which is making me want the cap back on the tone pot.
i will be adding new pots as well, for some reason the pots Godin uses are prone to crapping out. nice taper but i am running out of cleaner. they are 500 k.
suggestions anyone..(pots and caps for the tone). would it be worth it for me to add a second volume?
the main reason i got rid of the .033 on the tone pot was to brighten up the lows. i prefered the tone of the high end with the cap in place. is there a happy medium?
yeah i realise my tone pot is redundant without a cap , but it was virtually useless with the .033. from warm to mud.
 

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I'd try a .015 or .011.
The only P90 guitar I have is my 330 - Gibson used .022 bees in those.
You might want to pick up a cheap cap asst at Radio Shack, get out the alligator clips and play with different values until you find the value you need. Then invest in some good quality ones.
I've heard of guys going as far as .0047s.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
J S Moore said:
In my experience the RS kit is a huge improvement. I found I now use my tone and volume and they now work as they should. I wired it all together using the provided schematic. Gibson does use CTS pots but they don't test them befroe they put them in. RS test all their pots so they are within a very tight tolerance.
Cool. How much was shipping to Canada? Do they charge any BS handling or stocking charges?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
dwagar said:
I'm not positive on this, but I'm pretty sure the stock Gibson pots are linear, not audio, taper.
If you find you are cutting tone when rolling off the volume, try switching to 50's style wiring.

And as mentioned above, if you can afford an RS kit I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the tone change.
What is 50s wiring? How does it differ from regular wiring.
 

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dwagar said:
I'd try a .015 or .011.
The only P90 guitar I have is my 330 - Gibson used .022 bees in those.
You might want to pick up a cheap cap asst at Radio Shack, get out the alligator clips and play with different values until you find the value you need. Then invest in some good quality ones.
I've heard of guys going as far as .0047s.
much appreciated, i will do that.
 

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Here's a link to the 50s wiring schematic over at LPF:

50's wiring

Some guys like it, some don't. It may fix the roll off problem for you though.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
RS didn't respond to my email and I just read a thread on HC stating RS has screwed up orders, not delivered orders, and ignored emails???????

I WOULD prefer to buy in Canada so I'll keep looking.
 

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I think, in the other thread, someone had posted from Guitar Parts Canada, I think they have everything you'd need.
 
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