Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quest for tone part deux...

Got another sweet score in the mail today. I got my paws on a lot of Gudeman 0.022uf 200v paper-in-oil caps from an electronics surplus place out west. These are Vitamin Q type caps that are the military spec version of the consumer PIO caps like Bumblebees (that sell for a pile). Gudeman was one of Sprague's competitors and these were used interchangeably with the Vitamin Q's back in the day. All new old stock and ready to make some sweet tones in a Les Paul or 335 (or any other guitar with humbuckers). Sell a couple sets, gift a couple sets and I've got a good stash of fantastic caps at my disposal for my guitars.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The quest for tone continues

I scored a set of NOS military spec K40Y-9 paper in oil capacitors, direct from the good 'ol Russian Federation (Moscow to be exact). It took over a month to ship, but was worth it. There are quite a few companies (Luxe is the major one) who are making "reproductions" of vintage american capacitors like the Bumblebee and Grey Tiger and so forth, and selling them for lots of cash. What's interesting is that in the good old former Soviet Union, they still use old technology, so they still produce paper-in-oil type capacitors for the military (or at least did until fairly recently). Figures since Russia is where 90% or so of all new production vacuum tubes are made. Anyway, these american companies are basically taking these exact caps and wrapping them in vintage-correct covers to make them look like the old Bumblebees and Tigers, and selling them for a fortune. I say screw the cover, you'll never see it in the guitar, I just want the tone. The added bonus is they're military spec to they adhere to super tight tolerances, and are much newer than most of the NOS american PIO caps you'll find around that may have drifted over time. Time to get these suckers soldered it!
On another note the Super is back and better than ever. The man with the golden soldering iron, Casey Gooby, rebuilt the entire channel in question with Sprague Orange Drops and Sozo's, all new bypass caps, plate load resistors, cleaned up the tremolo tick and dropped in the fresh Mercury Magnetics output transformer, and it sounds HUGE!