what cap value would you see in a precision bass made in 1965??

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bon viesta, Apr 7, 2022.

  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    about done with my “pseudo vintage p bass” parts bass and i’m getting to the electronics portion of the build. i’ve heard that fender made a switch from .1 cap values to .047 in “the mid 60s”, but i’m not sure when exactly that took place. i’ve heard 1962, late 1950s, 1964, and 1965. anyone have any info on the history of p bass cap values??

    also, just checking, but the standard for 60s p bass pot values was 250k, correct? my jazz bass currently (which was a warmth build) has pots that are more like switches rather than knobs. i turn it up a little and the difference is massive. trying to avoid that here, unless that’s how the old p basses were.
  2. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Before "standardization," the values of the capacitors were kind of like money: values ending in a 1, 2, 5, and possibly other digits, not counting specialized applications. So the tone capacitor would be technically be a .05 for mid-60's, and .10 for older basses. As far as type, that has also changed over the years with just about every style of capacitor: disc, mylar, tantalum, paper-in-oil, etc., having been used.

    With "international standardization," a capacitor with that general value is now called a .047, for reasons beyond this thread. I hear no discernable difference, so if you are re-wiring, and unless you have a reason to keep everything "stock" or "OEM" for collector value, any cap of the value will work. Get the lowest voltage rating possible, because a pickup only puts out 200 to 300 millivolts, and anything larger won't fit the rout for the controls. Only caveat: again, unless there is a collector's reason, don't use paper-in-oil because the oil dries out after time, shifting the value of the capacitor, which affects the tone curve when you turn it down.

    As far as the all-or-nothing pots, it is possible that the wires are attached to the wrong lugs. Double check the wiring against a standard diagram to make sure each wire is soldered to the proper lug of each pot, and grounded propertly. That may fix the all-or-nothing issue.
    bolophonic likes this.

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