1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

replacing caps on 62 Reissue Jazz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by air_leech, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    I recently purchased an AVS '62 RI Jazz bass.

    upon inspecting the electronics I've noticed the caps for the tone pots seem to be of the cheap ceramic variety.

    should I expect a significant change in tone if I replace them with Orange Drops or Mallories?

    thanks in advance!
  2. There is no tonal difference between various capacitor compositions for this application.
    What matters is their actual capacitance, which can vary greatly based on the tolerance. Ceramic capacitors are known to have very poor tolerances, which means the the actual capacitance can vary greatly from the rated capacitance.

    If the bass sounds good, there is no reason to mess with it, but if it bugs you, get out a multimeter and check the capacitance.
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    right, and if you leave the tone knobs all the way up, there's even less difference.
  4. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i agree with both responses, however i personally like vintage cornell-dubilier ceramic discs the best (poor tolerances and all). that's what Fender used in the late 60's-mid 70's.
  5. What type of multimeter do you have that measures capacitance?
  6. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007

    The cheaper ones only measure resistance but they are available that measure capacitance and inductance, and are not that much more expensive.


    My 62P only has a ceramic cap in it and I have to keep Hoovering the mojo up that escapes from the open jack socket.:D
  7. Most meters have a capacitance function.
    It's not difficult to measure capacitance like it is inductance or impedance or whatever.
  8. I've only ever been able to load a cap with an Ohm meter and then check it in reverse to see if it leaks or test polarity - but even with my old roll-top analog Simpson, I never got a real capacitance value out of it.
  9. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    my fluke 87V and wavetek meters both read capacitance.
  10. Muaguana


    Jul 28, 2009
    Mouser has complete specifications sheets for all of the multimeters they sell; if they have capacitance measuring capabilities, they'll tell you outright.
  11. I just looked at my Craftsman 82289 Miniscope/Multimeter and it does have that setting!

    Now I've gotta go test sumpthin'.
  12. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    Thanks for the replies, I'm still pondering about replacing the stock caps with two .47 Mallories I have in the parts box. I'm aware their values aren't vintage correct but I guess it doesnt matter given the ceramics arent true to their declared values.
    I'm hoping to get more useable settings across the tone knobs' range.
  13. Just thought I'd toss in that there is in fact an advantage to using 'boutique' caps like OD's or Mallories, apart from the stated/actual capacitance issue:

    Some guitar players will respect you more if you use (or claim to use) fancy caps.

    Whether or not this matters to you is your own prerogative, however, I personally find it can occasionally be useful to spout on at great length about my fancy-schmancy caps, pots, bridges, tuners, etc, in order to blind an uppity six-slinger with science.
  14. As my prerogative, I choose to not impress guitar players.

    I'd put Sears headstock logos on all my basses if I though it would make a guitarist cringe.
  15. MglMatador


    May 5, 2010
    I hope you mean 0.047 Mallories....0.47 would sound like mud.
  16. With ±50% uF tolerances, it might be OK.

  17. Diff'rent strokes, my man. I've found it useful a few times. Not really for impressing them, per se - more like confusing them.
  18. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    you got it right, they are of course .047

    I wonder however how much change they'll make - I replaced the electronics in a CIJ Strat I have to CTS, Switchcraft and Sprague OD components and the change was enormous as the sound opened up a lot, the tone knobs have become much more useable and the overall sound became a little a bit richer if that makes any sense.
    I don't know if Mallories and a Switchcraft jack will do the same to the Jazz as the pots are already CTS.
  19. Capacitors are kinda like horseshoes - close counts.

    You may have gotten closer to the end of the tolerance that you liked and it wasn't the name on the cap that made it happen - just unforeseen circumstances and the draw of the parts.

    You just got to a better match more than likely.
  20. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    Broke out the soldering iron and put the Mallories instead of the ceramics today.
    I don't know if it's the different values (Mallories are .047 and the stock ones were .05 and .033) but the sound has improved noticeably - the high end is smoother and the overall sound seems tighter and more refined.

    IMO it was a worthwhile upgrade, backed by the laws of physics or not, I can hear an improvment.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.