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1954 P wiring pics/diagram - anyone?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BOSS302BASS, Apr 21, 2009.


  1. Hi everyone,
    Just finished building a 54 P Bass repro, and have a SD Ant II in it and a Russian Mil Spec cap. The cap really brought the pickup to life as the SD is nowhere near as grunty as the Fralin I have in my slab 51 repro.
    But just yesterday I discovered onlymusic - a store on ebay that specializes in accurate repros of Fender caps and resistors, so I bought a 54 cap and resistor...only problem is I have been netsurfing for hours and can't find any info on where the cap and res go in the lineup. it appears that the cap is actually wired in differently to your standard SD SC wiring diagram, and I have no idea about where the resistor goes!
    Any enlightenment would be most appreciated.:)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Here is a pic of my custom shop 55 P.

    The original 51-55 wiring has the pickup lead wire attached to the tone pot lug, and the resistor is bridged between the two tone pot lugs. While this was how Fender really did it in 51-55, the problem is when you roll the tone down, the volume drops too.

    DSC00407-1.

    I didn't like the volume drop, so I removed the resistor, and wired the pickup lead to the "proper" volume pot lug. No more volume drop when you roll the tone down.

    DSC02722.

    And here is a real 56 P. You can see the corrected wiring took place by the time this one was built.

    56pbvg7gd8.
     
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Hmmm... IMO a given type of cap is incapable of bringing any pickup to life. If you chose a different value than what was in the bass before, then that is 99% of the difference in what you hear with the tone knob rolled back. The other 1% is the difference using one type of cap versus another, IMO, in the tone pot circuit, and even then "bringing to life" would be an overstatement.
    I'll admit I have no idea if '54 basses used a resistor in the RC filter, but normally the R part is just the resistive value of the pot used. Maybe in '54 Fender didn't have any pots of the value needed for the tone rolloff they wanted, so they stuck a resistor onto the pot they had. As far as resistors having an audible effect, my understanding (and experience) is that carbon-comp resistors add a little bit of noise but no audible "mojo", contrary to the claims of vintage gear peddlers. I would only add a carbon-comp resistor for a sense of completism in the vintage reproduction, not expecting any audible benefit.
     
  4. Thank you gentlemen both for your help - Caca those pics really help - it looks and sounds by Bongo's assessment that the resistor can be left out of the equation. As far as the Russian cap goes, it certainly gave the bass more bite in the top end, as witnessed not just by my bad self but a few other fellow musicians who heard the bass with both caps...and yes, the Russian one was a different value to the orange drop that was in there in the first place - so that would explain the tonal difference. The repro vintage is a different value again, so I guess there's nothing like suckin' and seein'...
    I will be interested to hear what this old style resistor does to the color of the instrument's tone
     
  5. koobie

    koobie

    Jul 11, 2007
    Portland OR
    Boss, how 'bout a pic of those basses?
     
  6. No worries Koobie
    Caca I got out the magnifying glasses and had a good hard stare at your pics and worked it out...transplanted both vintage repro caps into both the 51 and the 54 build and wow - the way you have yours wired does seem to make a difference, and obviously that's how they were back in the day. Thanks again for your help!

    3487564461_da3812454c.
     

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