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Vintage pbass wiring question

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jonday30, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. I'm picking up a vintage capacitor(oil and paper) for my reissue 55 pbass. Just wondering if it matters where I ground the cap. The wiring for the 51-58 or so has a few different options for some reason. Some show the cap coming from the tone pot tang and then grounded at the volume tang sand pot(how it's wired now stock). Others show the cap coming from the tone pot tang and grounded to the top or side of the tone pot. Does it matter or just install the new old school cap in place of the original new cap? Here's what it looks like now and here's a pic of the kit.

    Attached Files:

  2. Firstly, paper and oil capacitors are junk. (They leak.) You should pick up any decent film based capacitor, as they are more reliable. (And they all sound the same, anyway.)

    There are many different ways to physically wire the components, but most P bass diagrams are all the same, electrically. In the interest of practicality, however, you should avoid soldering a capacitor between two pots. This is a poor practice, as it places unnecessary strain on the capacitor, if a pot should ever work loose, and spin around.
  3. brianmharrison


    Oct 11, 2007
  4. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    LUXE Capacitor? I thought I ordered a FLUX Capacitor!
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  5. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    I always think it's funny when I see people selling "vintage" control cavity guts out of an old Fender bass and asking super high dollars.
    Brand new quality pots, wire and a cap will sound as good or better than old ones and for very little money.
    I am not sure how some folks get suckered into the magic of old just for the sake of it being old.
    There were some crappy instruments coming from Fender and Gibson in the 70's and even some of the 60's stuff.
    Lots of it was good but lots was not, Fender is making some very good basses in recent decades, I can't imagine paying five grand for an old Fender bass.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  6. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Oh man, don't be such a buzz kill. :laugh: The OP (apparently) spent about $40 for a capacitor, 3 resistors and a short piece of cloth-covered wire in fancy box. It's not how it sounds, it how it looks when someone takes the control cover off. This is no different than having neon-colored sparkplug wires on your hot rod. Red wires are faster than plain ol' black sparkplug wires.


    But to answer your original question, it does not matter what order the cap and pot (the tone pot) are wired in.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
    walterw likes this.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    right; all that matters is where the tone circuit connects to the volume pot, whether it's with the pickup or at the center lug with the output.
    SteveCS likes this.
  8. I own a '68 jazz and I replaced the pots in it since they were worn out and scratchy, nothing could help them.
    I'm sure some vintage collector would cringe if he knew I tossed them in the trash (it was over 25 years ago when I did it), and replaced them with Fender branded CTS pots. Only the original ceramic cap is still in use. It still sounds great.

    I find it absurd that people are paying big $$$ for 50+ year old pots and wiring harnesses.
  9. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    Those items wear out and die, they don't improve over time, it's funny that some folks don't understand that.
    And those components have changed very little or not at all since electric guitars were invented, so on a P bass or Jazz bass or most any passive bass the components are all pretty close to the same if you buy the good stuff.
    Besides the fact that you can play with capacitors a lot if you want to tweak exactly how much rolloff you want in your bass on a passive tone knob.
    Pickups die as well but there are lots of old ones that still sound great, but I don't think they inherently get better and better as they age.
    I'm not even sure if the bodies and necks get better over time, I know vintage is great but I'm not really sure that a 1964 Precision is gonna consistently be better than a Fender USA 2013 model.
    I think vintage can be great but it is not always a sure bet of getting real true value for your dollar, can be..but not always.
    I like good older USA made basses that are in good shape if I can get a bargain on one, that is easy to do with some brands.

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