#1
Hey,
I'm cranking my CBB to help break in the speakers more, and to get the tubes working hard.
Anyways, I realized that it's still kind of trebly at halfway up on the volume knob. I really couldn't crank it much higher because of neighbors/family.

However, I am kind of disappointed because I was expecting the tone to warm up and smoothen out once it starts overdriving. I was hoping that i'd get smoother overdrive with my new JJ 6l6's, which are pretty dark tubes.
Do the speakers or tubes need to break in more, or do I have to overdrive it harder to get smoother overdrive?

I've tried EQing it a bit, and that helped, but it still kind of has too much of an edge, tonally speaking. And, with the treble too low, it sounds muffled.
For your info, the amp is much like a Fender BF Super Reverb, and it has those signature Fender cleans. Is this typical of most fenders?

Don't get me wrong, it sounds fantastic, but i'd like to have some warm, smooth overdrive to contrast with the crunchier, edgier overdrive of my peavey classic.

Do you think you can help me figure out how to smooth out the highs?

Thanks!
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#2
The tubes and speakers need to break in, and in the meantime you need to install an orange drop or mallory 150 tone cap in your guitar so you can drop the treble without getting muddy.
#3
^alright. That sounds good. My guitar needs a rewire anyways. I was thinking of getting that neat GFS pickguard with 3 separate pickup switches instead of the standard 5 way

I may have this wrong, but aren't speakers usually muddy and bassy before they break in? Or are they the other way around?
All my past amps had already broken in speakers.

Also, this is slightly off topic, but do rectifier tubes change tone at all? I still have the stock sovtek, but will changing that to a JJ or Tungsol change the tone at all?
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
Last edited by darkarbiter7 at May 4, 2008,
#4
Speakers get smoother as they break in. Rectifier tubes change the tone, but Sovtek makes a very good rectifier and you shouldn't need to change it. I like it a lot better than the JJ 5AR4.
#5
^Alright, I must have it backwards then.
The amp, although it's like 3 years old, was barely played, so the speakers probably aren't close to breaking in.

Thanks.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#6
Quote by darkarbiter7
^Alright, I must have it backwards then.
The amp, although it's like 3 years old, was barely played, so the speakers probably aren't close to breaking in.

Thanks.



Wait 'till no one is home, get some ear plugs, and then crank that silly bitch!
Quote by thrilla13w
The hotbar should be floating parallel to the principle axis at this point. Next, take a hammer, and beat yourself in the face while crying JIHAD. problem fixed.

Quote by Slaytanic1993
cowdude speaks words of infinite wisdomery.
#7
Oh, just a quick question:

Since I want to do a rewire, but not risk me messing something up in my guitar, or wiring it wrong (typical "Me" thing do to), i'm thinking of just getting a prewired PG from guitarfetish. Here is the one I want: http://store.guitarfetish.com/prpiastoshwi.html.

Do you think this would just be a better idea than risking me messing up the wiring job (i'm capable, but i'm very sloppy with a soldering iron)? don't worry, I won't be using the stock pickups (i'd just use the handwounds I have now).

If I just get that and drop it in, and swapping out the stock caps for sprague orange drops, would that work alright?

Alright, thanks again!
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#8
Quote by darkarbiter7
Oh, just a quick question:

Since I want to do a rewire, but not risk me messing something up in my guitar, or wiring it wrong (typical "Me" thing do to), i'm thinking of just getting a prewired PG from guitarfetish. Here is the one I want: http://store.guitarfetish.com/prpiastoshwi.html.

Do you think this would just be a better idea than risking me messing up the wiring job (i'm capable, but i'm very sloppy with a soldering iron)? don't worry, I won't be using the stock pickups (i'd just use the handwounds I have now).

If I just get that and drop it in, and swapping out the stock caps for sprague orange drops, would that work alright?

Alright, thanks again!



I think it would be really cool to have the one with the 3 separate switches for the pickups.
Quote by thrilla13w
The hotbar should be floating parallel to the principle axis at this point. Next, take a hammer, and beat yourself in the face while crying JIHAD. problem fixed.

Quote by Slaytanic1993
cowdude speaks words of infinite wisdomery.
#9
If you're going to use a set of pickups that you already have, there's no point in getting a prewired pickguard. Once you're done swapping the pickups and pickguard, you have maybe three more connections for the pots and output jack. You might as well wire it on your own, it's not hard and you can't break anything if you get it wrong.
#10
^I guess.
I might as well get that superstrat mod kit though.
Maybe a different color of pickguard would be a nice change of pace (but, tortoise shell is sexy with an arctic strat).

Thanks though!
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#11
look into RS guitar electronics - they make really good guitar pots and have some nice paper/oil caps to help you get some more 'woody' tone.
link
#12
4 CTS pots: $20
2 Bumblebee/Vitamin Q capacitors: $20
LP toggle switch: $13
Switchcraft 1/4" jack: $2.50
Your price: 55.50
RS kit price: 70.95
Easy math to me. Plus you get better caps if you take the time to track down some vintage bumblebee or vitamin Qs. I'm half-convinced that those things are magic.
#14
Quote by Roc8995

Easy math to me. Plus you get better caps if you take the time to track down some vintage bumblebee or vitamin Qs. I'm half-convinced that those things are magic.


I'm 90% convinced that the tone caps in the guitar make negligible to no difference. As long as the value is right, it'll sound good. If you're going to put a lot of money into the electronics, I'd spend it on pots instead.
#16
I don't know if the amp has a bright switch or not, but if it doesn't, it may have a hardwired bright cap across the volume control. You could disconnect this to get rid of some of the brightness, especially at lower volumes. It's a very popular mod for Deluxe Reverbs, for example.
#17
Tone caps make a huge, huge difference. It doesn't matter that it's a passive circuit- your signal flows through the cap, and the construction of that capacitor determines how certain frequencies are effected. For example, the standard ceramic disc capacitor you find in most guitars sounds absolutely horrible at anywhere except 10 on the tone pot. Any less and it sounds muddy. With a good tone cap you can turn it down as much as you want and it only cuts out the most piercing treble frequencies, making it sound smoother instead of muddy. I have a very high value tone cap (.044) on my les paul's neck pickup and even so I can turn it all the way down to 1 and it sounds like a jazz box. Try that with a regular tone cap and you get a mushy sludgy mess.
My preference for tone caps-
Bumblebee or vitamin Q- "extra vintage"
RS paper in oil vintage style caps- pretty close to the originals.
orange drop- really clear and hi-fi, 1/10th the price of a bumblebee
mallory 150- smoother than an orange drop, still pretty clear
Generic green poly film- not great but better than stock.
Ceramic disc caps do not belong in your guitar- TBH they don't belong anywhere in the signal path. Try changing the cap sometime, you'll notice that you can actually use your tone controls. The best $2 you can spend on a guitar is an orange drop tone cap. Capacitor values matter as well, as do polarity. Solder some alligator clips onto your pots sometime and then grab a handful of caps and take turns swapping them around.
#18
Quote by mr_hankey
I don't know if the amp has a bright switch or not, but if it doesn't, it may have a hardwired bright cap across the volume control. You could disconnect this to get rid of some of the brightness, especially at lower volumes. It's a very popular mod for Deluxe Reverbs, for example.


Yeah, it has a bright switch. I had it off most of the time.

Those RS guitarworks harnesses look sweet. I'm looking into those.
A tad pricey, but it looks like a great product.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#19
Turn your tone knob down it kills some of the treble, it should help a little.
#20
Quote by Roc8995
Tone caps make a huge, huge difference. It doesn't matter that it's a passive circuit- your signal flows through the cap, and the construction of that capacitor determines how certain frequencies are effected. For example, the standard ceramic disc capacitor you find in most guitars sounds absolutely horrible at anywhere except 10 on the tone pot. Any less and it sounds muddy. With a good tone cap you can turn it down as much as you want and it only cuts out the most piercing treble frequencies, making it sound smoother instead of muddy. I have a very high value tone cap (.044) on my les paul's neck pickup and even so I can turn it all the way down to 1 and it sounds like a jazz box. Try that with a regular tone cap and you get a mushy sludgy mess.
My preference for tone caps-
Bumblebee or vitamin Q- "extra vintage"
RS paper in oil vintage style caps- pretty close to the originals.
orange drop- really clear and hi-fi, 1/10th the price of a bumblebee
mallory 150- smoother than an orange drop, still pretty clear
Generic green poly film- not great but better than stock.
Ceramic disc caps do not belong in your guitar- TBH they don't belong anywhere in the signal path. Try changing the cap sometime, you'll notice that you can actually use your tone controls. The best $2 you can spend on a guitar is an orange drop tone cap. Capacitor values matter as well, as do polarity. Solder some alligator clips onto your pots sometime and then grab a handful of caps and take turns swapping them around.


Any difference you hear will be due to wide tolerances, not material. Or you're the kind of guy who 'hears' wire insulation?

Cap polarity hardly matters in a guitar circuit, and the only change you'd (probably not) notice would be noise, not tone.
#21
The cap material definitely matters- I've tried many caps with very close values (.001-.003 difference) and different construction, and they all sound very different. Ceramic disc caps sound mushy, orange drop and poly film types sound stiff, low value paper in oil caps sound spanky and high value ones sound warm and bassy and have a distinctive woodiness in the low-mids.
Polarity doesn't matter a whole lot, but as long as you're replacing the cap you might as well get it right. The "right" way sounds a bit more sparkly.
It's well documented that cap construction has an effect on tone, and I definitely hear differences with polarity- but yes, I am one of "those people" who hears different colors The colors matter a whole lot less than caps though. Every person I've changed caps for can hear the difference between an orange drop and a ceramic disc. The effect of caps on tone is of course lessened a lot if you don't ever turn your tone knob down.
Last edited by Roc8995 at May 5, 2008,
#22
Quote by Roc8995
The cap material definitely matters- I've tried many caps with very close values (.001-.003 difference) and different construction, and they all sound very different. Ceramic disc caps sound mushy, orange drop and poly film types sound stiff, low value paper in oil caps sound spanky and high value ones sound warm and bassy and have a distinctive woodiness in the low-mids.
Polarity doesn't matter a whole lot, but as long as you're replacing the cap you might as well get it right. The "right" way sounds a bit more sparkly.
It's well documented that cap construction has an effect on tone, and I definitely hear differences with polarity- but yes, I am one of "those people" who hears different colors The colors matter a whole lot less than caps though. Every person I've changed caps for can hear the difference between an orange drop and a ceramic disc. The effect of caps on tone is of course lessened a lot if you don't ever turn your tone knob down.


What's your favorite wire insulation?

I'll have to wire up a tone cap rotary switch sometime. I've done replacements before, but I've haven't always kept values and such constant. The times I did, I didn't notice any difference.
#23
Quote by mr_hankey
What's your favorite wire insulation?

Gauge makes a bigger difference than insulation- I can only hear insulation in longer runs than you'd usually have in a guitar. Most people can hear gauge to some extent.
Since you asked though- cloth wiring sounds best. With regular insulation I like black and red. I'm guessing it would be different inside an amp, but I haven't had a chance to try it.
#24
i am convinced.


where do u get ur caps?
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
#25
They show up online from time to time. If you're lucky you can find them in old radios and such.
#26
kool i'll be on a lookout during my classes.
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
#27
about RS pots - they say they get CTS to make special volume pots for them.. i was kinda impressed - rubbish ?
still have'nt ordered since they charge 30$ for international shipping and that pretty much sucks.
i do know my guitar had a 330pf ceramic cap across the output jack that cut off some highs.. i wanted some more 'sparkle' from my guitar so i clipped that one off(with the maker's advice). haven't checked my tone cap yet, my guitar's pretty new
but i am a knob twister.. so i'll look into that.
thanks! (oops, kinda hijacked this thread)
#28
I don't know about CTS pots specially for RS- I'm kind of wary since they don't actually say how they're any different. They may just be closer to spec. Have you looked into a treble bleed pair across the volume pot so you keep the high end as you turn the volume down? That's always good. Try a .033 or .047 sprague 716? Those are pretty sparkly. Silver mica caps can be too but they have more of a mid emphasis than the highs.
#29
my guitar came stock with a treble bleed mod.. it's so cool
i know the values, just haven't check the cap types.
say, what about those tropical fish caps? any good for guitars ?
EDIT: oh, RS say their pot has a special taper, and it's 280K.. a bit odd i'd say
#30
Well, to change the subject and get back on task...

I have read around the internet and it seems like the Jensen C10Q's in my CBB are infamous for being harsh when pushed. This is a bummer. Unless they really smooth out after they break in.
But, since i'm going to be getting some cash around soon... Maybe it's a good idea to do a speaker swap (and put the Jensens in my peavey classic to replace the blue marvels)?
If I do decide to do a speaker swap, I'll probably go Weber. What speaker would you recommend for getting a bit of a smoother tone?
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#31
I'd wait with a speaker swap.. at least untill they're broken-in so you know how they really sound like.
do try to fiddle with your guitar electronics.. it's really cheap and makes a difference.
that cap i had across my output jack did take off some highs, maybe you'll like that.
#33
^Yeah, I saw that.
Sadly, I have like no equipment like that.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#34
Quote by darkarbiter7
^Yeah, I saw that.
Sadly, I have like no equipment like that.


No need for a variac or anything, just do the acetone part.
#35
^Alright. Luckily I have sisters, so there's always 100% acetone around (they love nailpolish).
Will this work, or does it has to be something else.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#36
Alright, just checking in again before I go detach my speakers.

Do you think, after I treat it with acetone, I play through the speakers while they're still plugged into my amp?
Or not?
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#37
Quote by darkarbiter7
Alright, just checking in again before I go detach my speakers.

Do you think, after I treat it with acetone, I play through the speakers while they're still plugged into my amp?
Or not?


Eh? Start with just one speaker, and remember that it's better to use too little than too much acetone. Apply it to the doping; the shiny sticky rim around the edge of the cone.
#38
Alright. I did it by unclespot's directions.
I just did one speaker at a time.
I plugged in, and it sounds much better.
Still has a fair amount of highs, but the biting highs are gone. They need to be broken in a bit more though, i'll just play it normally now. The acetone was a great start for breaking them in though.

Thanks for the help!
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#39
There is also a method for breaking them in faster: fabric softener. You need one which is sprayable. Spray it (very lightly) on the cone, and you've just taken hours (or more) off of the break-in time. And they'll smell nice.
#40
I'm going to be home all day (the joys of being homeschooled), so i'll give the fabric softener a shot.
Do you think I should do the acetone treatment again? It broke them in a little bit, but the highs are still kind of piercing when the speakers are overdriven. It sounds like 30% better from before though.

I'm thinking of just getting new speakers, like from weber or something. And i'd just toss the Jensens in my peavey classic, or make a cab out of them.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator