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Thread: Revitalising a 1979 Gibson "The SG"

  1. #21
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    Once I gain the confidence I think I'll overhaul everything: pots, capacitors, output jack and anything else I can find.

  2. #22
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Gibson is not alone in having made pot/cap choices that seem odd...but Gibson seems to have used a lot of 300K and 100K pots with humbuckers. I don't know why, and the explanation of limited quality control may be the reason. It was easier to get pots that are unusual values then than now, so my guess is that somebody was experimenting, decided they sounded good and ran a series of them.

  3. #23
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    What do you think of these capacitors?
    https://www.gibson.com/Gear/Capacitors/PCAP-059

    I just noticed the price of these capacitors. There's NO WAY I'm spending 124 US dollars on these.

    Gibson also sells a few different potentiometers:
    500 k Ohm audio taper: https://www.gibson.com/Gear/Potentiometers/PPAT500s
    Historic audio taper: https://www.gibson.com/Gear/Potentiometers/PPAT059
    300 k Ohm linear taper: https://www.gibson.com/Gear/Potentiometers/PPAT300s

    If I were to upgrade the pots on my SG which would I need? I'm a complete novice with electrical things. I have a lot of trouble visualizing and understanding what's happening.
    Last edited by TZK321; Today at 12:27 PM.

  4. #24
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Personally, I think that caps like that are a complete waste of time and hugely overpriced. If you were making an authentic looking as possible '59 Les Paul copy, then you might be prepared to spend that sort of money on caps, though you'd probably want ones that had been aged and not ones looking brand new.

    With a little time and effort you can make your own vintage style capacitors. Here's one way to do it in this article. https://guitar.com/guides/diy-worksh...on-part-seven/

    But really, the type of capacitor has almost no affect on the sound. I won't say none, as different capacitors do have slightly different frequency response characteristics, but they only come into effect with the tone knob rolled down and it is very subtle. You'd probably notice more change by swapping your guitar lead for one with a different type of cable. Sprague orange drops are the caps I'd go for. Easy to get hold of, reliable, and with the 5% tolerance versions, you know the cap value will be pretty much spot on.

    I'd use standard 500k CTS audio taper pots with split splined shafts for all four controls. You won't need the long shaft versions; the standard/short ones fit in the holes OK with enough shaft poking through to get a nut and washer on. You'll probably find that there's an anti-rotation tab poking upwards from the body. Unless you feel like drilling a shallow hole in the guitar to locate the tab, just snap it off with pliers, it breaks off easily. https://www.allparts.uk.com/products...-knurled-shaft There are many other suppliers (Allparts reference number works for US site and Aus Realparts site).

    Again, if you were making a '59 LP replica, then you'd go for the vintage taper pots. But standard log/audio should give a nice smooth reduction in volume when you turn down using a clean amp. Linear pots can be used for tone, but you only start to really lose treble with the knob on 3 or below. Pretty much all or nothing.

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