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The biggest cap that I dared to try

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Captain_joe6, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. I decided the other night that I wanted to bring my 1977 Kramer aluminum P bass out of retirement. It had been put there because the neck is a little funky, the sound is very bright no matter the strings, and mostly because I finished building my fretless J clone. But I was looking for something a little different, so I whipped out the old guy and started fiddling around. I "solved" the neck issues by raising the action until it didn't buzz anymore, and I fixed the twang by going to Radio Shack and buying a few capacitors. First I tried replacing the old .33mfd with a .4j, not quite as much change as I wanted. Then I tried a .1mfd, which was pretty nice but still not where I wanted it to be as far as range of possible tones. So then I whipped out the big bad 1.0mfd cap that I bought just because it was big and cool, soldered it in, and WHAM! I've got tonal range like nobodies business (at least in passive basses). I can go anywhere from a tweaked out, way too much high end sound down to a very thumpy, woody upright sound. It was such an amazing change that I couldn't help but recommend it to anyone out there who needs a change. That and because I wanted to see what the biggest single tone cap anyone else had installed and liked was.

    Peace out, yo.
  2. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    How big is that capacitor? I was thinking about doing something like this.
  3. I've got the bass in another room right now and the back plate is on, but I would estimate the size at a reasonable 18mm by 13mm and a good 2 or 3mm thick. It fits very nicely in ym cavity, but thats not saying much because the cavity on the Kramer is about 6 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 3/4 of an inch deep or so. I would say it would fit in most cavities, though. And the only drawback I've noticed is that turning the tone all the way down (completely through the capacitor, or to the deepest end) gives a pretty drastic cut in percieved volume as well, but once you turn up the amp its like listening to dub or reggae, even with stainless roundwounds. Its a ton of fun!
  4. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    Couldn't help but notice your signature. Wouldn't a B string add to the range of tone?
  5. That might be somewhat true, but for reasons both monetary (buying another bass is more expensive than buying a new capacitor), practical (b strings are a hard thing to get right; they're either too flabby or too twangy), and philosophical (I hold to the notion that a b string is just another note in the sonic range of the bass that it has a tone just the same as the other strings, so having that 5th string would give me the same overall tone as the other 4, but at a lower pitch), I would have to shy away from that argument. Besides, adding that big a capicitor to a 5 string bass would require a boatload of power to drive a low B effectively, and that costs even more money. :)