fender jazz tone cap history

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dmp, Apr 20, 2014.


  1. dmp

    dmp

    Oct 4, 2013
    San Francisco
    Hi,
    Can anyone point me to a reference of what cap values Fender used over the years in Jazz basses? From some forum postings, I've read that they used 0.047uF in the 60s, switched over to 0.022uF sometime in the 70s, and then eventually back to 0.047uF. Is that accurate? I'm curious because I've seen pics of a "100% original" 1965 jazz bass with a cap that reads .02.
    Thanks!
     
  2. I've not heard of Fender using 0.022uF capacitors, but then again, I'm not up to date on the history of it. Early Fender basses had 0.1uF capacitors, for a darker tone, and at some point, it was changed to 0.047uF, which remains the standard to this day, for high impedance pickups of all sorts. If 0.022uF capacitors were indeed used in the '70s, then there is no doubt that it was an attempt to fit with the choice of bridge pickup placement, and woods, to create a brighter Jazz bass than that of past years.

    If this is true, I'm curious how long it took for Fender to come to their senses, and switch back to an appropriate value.
     
  3. dmp

    dmp

    Oct 4, 2013
    San Francisco
    as a side-note, I just noticed that the Limited Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz says "Modified Jazz Bass® Wiring using a .022uF Capacitor Instead of a Traditional .05uF".

    Definitely confused about this because in this post for example:
    http://www.talkbass.com/threads/need-help-1964-fender-jazz-bass.1037486/
    the original post has a link to a 1964 jazz pic with a cap that says .05 and someone comments that the cap is original. Then later they post another pic as a reference, but this pic has cap that says .02. What's the deal?
     
  4. acebase62

    acebase62

    Jun 29, 2010
    My 1985 Fender Jazz Bass Special (MIJ, PJ pickups) came stock with a Fender TBX tone control with .022 capacitor.

    I prefer 500k volume pots and a TBX, especially when using hum-cancelling J pickups.

    I use this set-up in my passive JJ and PJ basses.

    Some prefer the .047 standard for more traditional tones in their J or P basses.
     
  5. I would love to be able to hear examples (sound bits or youtube) examples to help me understand what it is you are hearing that makes a particular sound/tone someones prefered option!

    Talking about sound while not actually being able to hear an example of that sound diminishes all this amazing experience each of us have.
    I'm forever inviting folks home so we can demonstrate what we mean by "my Tone!". I'm kinda new here can we post links or sound bite cos I would love to hear avebase62 500k TBK with his string option etc etc!
    Thanks..
     
  6. Hi dmp. I am also facinated by and specifically regarding the history of Fender wiring harness construction (since I was riped off with a fake 66 wiring riug!) My passion is only Fender Bass!

    I have here 2 1966 'Stackpole' (interchangable with CTS etc) linear Pots which are marked Fender Jazz. But I know Fender did not use Stackpole in 1966 so I am wondering which Jazz they were taken from. It may not have been a bass of course but I don't know the Ohmes law so electrics is not my strong point! Wouldn't it be great if someone or a group actually maped this cloudy subject. If only I knew where to look. I have spent weeks and keep finding myself back at Fenders on pages, and they lack a full perspective! Good Luck!
     
  7. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    The original 1960 Fender Jazz Bass stack-knob (separate volume and tone for each pickup) spec sheet has a .05 microfarad capacitor as the tone capacitor of the neck pickup, and a .033 microfarad capacitor for the bridge pickup tone capacitor.

    When Fender switched to the now-traditional 3-control layout (V-V-T), they kept the .05, and when values in the electronics industry were "standardized" for logarithmic progression, that became the .047.

    I actually prefer the .033 so that more mids are retained in the tone as I roll off the top zing of a new string, or otherwise where a slightly more mellow, but not dub tone, is musically indicated.
     
    Albert Vickers likes this.
  8. iiipopes thanks. Well that adds some answer which I appreciate thanks. I guess I still have 2 issues! Plus a warning!
    1. What about these 1966 stackpoles 1Meg pots. I think prior to 65 and after 67 they found their way into certain Jazzmasters- Also some Telecasters to.

    I am just struggling to imagine them (1 Meg) in a bass? Never had one in any bass of mine, but I did see one in a partial photo of a jazz harness. I could just make out the 1 MEG marked on the pot but could not see what caps where used.
    2. What caps would I use with these pots. I don't want to waste them so I might as well fit them in a spare bass body for my own pleasure. But Beware!!

    Yesterday 11/04/2015 I saw a guy on ebay selling a rig of 2 x1 Meg Stackpole Potentiometers badly wired together. He said from a 66 P Bass . Well I got conned that's why I have 2 66 Stackpole Potentiometers and I now know Fender didn't fit Stackpole between 1965 and 67 because CBS bought so many CTS Pots. If you dig deep enough you will find it is all on the fender history sites. Take care Good Luck, and if you can answer my questions that would be a bonus!
     
  9. Yes acebase62 I do use 500k in a couple of my basses. I am talking to a guy right now about buying a TBX or a Varitone for one of my builds. I need to do more reading on that subject! I have never owned a Jazz/P. In the past if I bought an instrument with 500k pots on board I would automatically change them for 250k. today I am fitting a rig with 250k pots and 600v Orange Sprague. My mate uses 600 and suggested I tried it as an improvement compared to the 200v. Well I will know in an hour or two if I agree with him! Good Luck
     
  10. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    My experience is that a 1-meg pot causes everything to sound harsh, and even with a linear taper, the "ramp" is not smooth. I wouldn't go over 500 kohms with any "vintage" wind P- or J- pickup. Even then, what I like to do to get a little more presence is to take a 500 kohm audio taper volume pot and bridge the wiper and output lugs (J-bass standard volume pot wiring) with a 1-meg resistor to get effectively a 333 kohm hybrid taper pot that has served me well for a couple of decades. I also prefer the .033 microfarad tone cap to the standard .047 to keep more mids in the mix as the tone pot is rolled off. You can use a 500 kohm audio taper pot for the tone control pot, and it will make everything a little brighter also. These mods together give a little more presence to the tone of J-pickups without everything going harsh or having a spikey top end or losing a smooth transition as you roll either the volume or tone on or off.
     
    Albert Vickers likes this.
  11. He is misinformed. The voltage handling capability of a capacitor has nothing to do with its capacitance, and will not have any audible effect on a tone control's behavior. The difference between a 600V capacitor, and a 200V capacitor, is that the 600V capacitor won't release the magical smoke if you exceed 200V. In a bass, you will never see more than a couple of Volts, so that is never a concern. In practice, you want the lower voltage capacitor, for two reasons. Firstly, it takes up less space, and secondly, it is a less expensive component.
     
  12. Ragul

    Ragul

    Jun 8, 2015
    1962 concentric – as mentioned
    1963 .05 ceramic cap
    1964 .05 and .02 ceramic cap
    1965 .02 ceramic cap
    1966 .02 ceramic cap
    1969 .022(?) tropical fish
    1970 .022 (Ajax or Mallory?) blue molded cap
    1971 .022 ITW silver
    1972 .022 ITW silver
    1973 .022 blue barrel cap and .022 silver cap
     
  13. Ha. Well said.

    OT: I have a theory, that part of the "orange drop" mystique is that big 600v caps are far more durable for bad soldering technique. It is a component that is most often installed by DIYers. Plus it is usually soldered to a pot casing. If you attempt to do this with a $10 soldering pencil from kmart, a huge 600v cap is far more likely to handle the abuse of holding the iron there for hours to get the solder to flow. FWIW, I think the same about 16mm alpha pots...

    Yeah, years ago I remember seeing a whole lot of original wiring diagrams for fender stuff in the back of a book... Perhaps Forrest White's book...? The answer to the OP should be in there, right?
     
    Pbassmanca, Albert Vickers and Axstar like this.
  14. Cadfael

    Cadfael

    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    I can confirm Ragul's cap list ...
    .02 cap already in 1964, the silver 0.22 caps in the very early 1970s and blue .022 caps from 1973 to the until the end of the 1970s ...

    What I saw on Precisions (especially from the 50s) Fender never worried about the "Volts". There are all kinds of Volts on the caps.
     
  15. Ragul

    Ragul

    Jun 8, 2015
    Here's a WIP update -

    1961 .05 50v SK
    1962 concentric – as mentioned
    1962 .05 50v SK orange VVT
    1963 .05 50v SK orange
    1963 .05 ceramic cap Circle D 50v +/- 20% mustard
    1964 .05 and .02 ceramic caps -
    1964 .02 ceramic cap SK +/- 10% orange
    1964 .05 ceramic cap Circle D 50v +80-20 mustard
    1964 .05 ceramic cap Circle D 50v +/-20% mustard
    1965 .02 ceramic cap 10% SK orange
    1966 .02 ceramic cap 20% AE IKV orange - Aluminum Electrolytic
    1968 .022(?) tropical fish - polyester film
    1969 .022(?) tropical fish - polyester film
    1969 .022 Ajax blue molded cap (film cap, Polystyrene) cylinder
    1970 .022 (Ajax or Mallory?) blue molded cap (film cap, Polystyrene) cylinder
    1971 .022 ITW silver .022 +/-20% 50v paper dielectric capacitor
    1972 .022 ITW silver .022 +/-20% 50v paper dielectric capacitor
    1973 .022 blue cap and .022 silver cap
    - blue molded ITW .022 +/-10% 200v
    - silver cap ITW .022
    1977 .022 blue molded cap
    1978 .022 blue molded cap
    1982 orange drop? cap sprague??
    1983 orange drop? cap sprague??

    There are online discussions that the '60's ceramic caps are not the same as today's equivalent.
    Volts went from 50 to 100??
    Early '60's P's had Cornell-Dubilier ZNW1P1 paper-wax capacitors??
     
    Buchada Azeda and warnan like this.
  16. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Scotland.
    Which cap makes you a better player?
     
    WillEVee likes this.
  17. Cadfael

    Cadfael

    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    Hi Ragul,

    only about the Leo Fender time ...

    With Fender Precision basses I saw the same capacity (most of the time) but Volts ot +/-% "as much as can" ... (sorry, I'm German and not a native speaker).

    I agree that Leo Fender used the same capacity as long as experiments didn't show any better (in his ears).
    But I don't think that Leo cared about the "quality" as long as it lowered the price (with same quality).
    If there were caps with other voltage or %, (too my mind) he took them. Maybe it was only a matter of what was available at his favorite shop?

    The .02 change in 1964 is very interesting as (as far as I know), Precision, Strat and Tele stayed .05 at that time. This would have meant more storage costs and higher "buyer prices" ("1250/250" 0.05/0.02 may be another price than "1500" .05s) ...

    Photos I have ...
    1963: SK/.05X/50V
    1963: ???/.05/50V (mustard colour)
    1963 +/- 20x/.05/50V (same type as "???")
    1964: SK/.02/10%
    1964: +80-20/.05/50V
    1965: ???/???/10%
    1966: AE/0.2/20%/1kV (on three basses)

    Seems to fit???
     
  18. Ragul

    Ragul

    Jun 8, 2015
    Here is an update for comparison. In summary caps went from .05/.02 ceramic to .022 poly film back to ceramic. I don't have a P bass cap history, but it should be easy enough to do with search. Comparing a Jazz bass p/u dcr time line to caps would be interesting.

    1961 .05 50v SK VVT orange
    1962 concentric bridge .033 neck .05
    1962 .05 50v SK orange VVT
    1963 .05 50v SK orange
    1963 .05 ceramic Circle D 50v +/- 20% mustard
    1964 .02 ceramic SK +/- 10% orange
    1964 .05 ceramic Circle D 50v +80-20 mustard
    1964 .05 ceramic Circle D 50v +/-20% mustard
    1965 .02 ceramic 10% SK orange
    1966 .05 ceramic Circle D 50v +80-20 mustard
    1966 .02 ceramic 20% AE IKV orange - Aluminum Electrolytic
    1968 .022 Ajax blue molded film Polystyrene cylinder .022 100 10%
    1968 .022 tropical fish polyester film, 250v, +/-10% Mullard
    1969 .022 tropical fish polyester film, 100V, +/-20% Mullard
    1969 .022 Ajax blue molded film polystyrene cylinder
    1970 .022 Ajax blue molded film polystyrene cylinder
    1971 .022 ITW silver .022 +/-20% 50v polyester and foil
    1972 .022 ITW silver .022 +/-20% 50v polyester and foil
    1973 .022 blue barrel and.022 silver
    - blue molded ITW .022 +/-10% 200v
    - ITW silver
    1977 .022 blue molded
    1978 .022 blue molded
    1982 orange drop Sprague??
    1983 orange drop Sprague??
     
    okabass and Albert Vickers like this.
  19. Hi, Brilliant input here: This is the Precision Bass List of Caps? Amazing. How can I lift this page. I am excellent soldering but crash damage means I have very bad short term memory! Thanks until next time .
     
  20. Ragul

    Ragul

    Jun 8, 2015
    Latest update. These are Jazz bass caps. Generally P basses appear to have .05 ceramic caps, but I don't have specifics.

    1961 .05 50v SK VVT orange
    1962 concentric bridge .033 neck .05
    1962 .05 50v SK orange VVT
    1963 .05 50v SK orange
    1963 .05 ceramic Circle D 50v +/- 20% mustard
    1964 .02 ceramic SK +/- 10% orange
    1964 .05 ceramic Circle D 50v +80-20 mustard
    1964 .05 ceramic Circle D 50v +/-20% mustard
    1965 .05 ceramic Circle D 50v +/-20% mustard
    1965 .02 ceramic 10% SK orange
    1966 .05 ceramic Circle D 50v +80-20 mustard
    1966 .02 ceramic 20% AE IKV orange - Aluminum Electrolytic
    1968 .022 Ajax blue molded film Polystyrene cylinder .022 100 10%
    1968 .022 tropical fish polyester film, 250v, +/-10% Mullard
    1969 .022 tropical fish polyester film, 100V, +/-20% Mullard
    1969 .022 Ajax blue molded film polystyrene cylinder
    1970 .05 ceramic Circle D 50v +/- 20% mustard
    1970 .022 Ajax blue molded film polystyrene cylinder?
    1971 .022 ITW silver .022 +/-20% 50v polyester and foil?
    1972 .022 ITW silver .022 +/-20% 50v polyester and foil?
    1973 .022 blue barrel and.022 silver
    * blue molded ITW .022 +/-10% 200v
    * ITW silver .022 +/-20% 50v
    1974 .022 blue molded ITW +/-10% 200v
    1977 .022 blue molded Mylar??
    1978 .022 blue molded
    1982 .022 200DC +/-10% circle 2 225PX Mylar orange drop Sprague
    1983 .022 200DC +/-10% circle 2 225PX Mylar orange drop Sprague
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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