Gibson SG Disc Capacitors

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by skeeterbuck, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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    I'm trying to find out if vintage SG's ever used anything other than the orange colored disc capacitors (Sprague .02 uf @ 50v)

    I know that 335's had Sprague "Black Beauties" but I can't find any evidence of them being used in SG's.

    Thanks!
     
  2. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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    Ceramic .022 disk was the standard cap and they used in the SG consistently to a degree. You know though you may see a variance as its not uncommon and you may run into a .047 or a Black Beauty. Right the Black Beauty was used in the more expensive models so that may well vary in other Gibsons to a slight degree.
     
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  3. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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    Have you actually seen anything other that the disc style caps in an SG style body guitar? I've searched the net for pics but came up empty.

    It's rather confusing that when Gibson discontinued the normal Les Paul single cutaway and started the double cutaway SG design and naming it the "Les Paul" Model you would think that it would warrant the same quality capacitors as the previous double cutaway models. Seems odd that Gibson would carry an extra type of tone control capacitor to do the same job. Another oddity is that they used the Black Beauty style in the 335 models, yet they used disc style caps in the 345/355 semi-acoustic models because the pots were encased in cans to help shield the controls and the larger Black Beauty caps were too large to fit inside.
     
  4. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Is there a reason for the cap obsession?

    Fair warning, I don't buy into the corksniffery concept of "Magic Tone Beans".

    To me a cap is a cap: same values = same performance. If you want something specific because you think it's cool, that's fine. I've done that myself when I bought Tropical Fish caps for my G400, not because of some mojo or "tone" reason but because Orange Drops are everywhere and I wanted something different.

    Don't get me started on PIO's and Gibson's fake caps.

    Having said that, if you're restoring an old one, feel free to disregard the previous diatribe.
     
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  5. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    I have the the opportunity to open two virgin SGs from the 60's (both were specials a '65 and a '67) and they both had the orange disks.

    I have yet to see a factory SG with anything but Orange drops but let's see what the more seasoned players say
     
  6. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Orange Drops aren't ceramic, they're poly film. Two different things.:smile:
     
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  7. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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    No, I haven't seen them with anything but ceramics.
     
  8. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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    Same here, I'm not saying there isn't a difference, but I can't hear it so I don't concern myself with it.

    My curiosity was piqued because of my two favorite Gibsons are the SG's and 335 style guitars. I know that Gibson used the Sprague "Black Beauty" style capacitors in 335's at least up till the middle 60's but in SG's I've only ever been able to find pics of the orange colored disc capacitors (which are also made by Sprague) and I was looking for someone who could possibly confirm they were used in the early SG's.
     
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  9. StringmanK

    StringmanK Member

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    Preach it brother. I'm in the a cap is a cap camp as well. But people should use what they like and feel good about it. I have a $15 PIO cap in a tele, but anymore I gust go for the orange drops, the greenies Radio Shack used to have or the ceramic disc. But don't get me started on wire, I am a wire snob to the max.
     
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  10. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    "Orange Drops aren't ceramic, they're poly film. Two different things.:smile:"

    Didn't know that - thanks.
     
  11. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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  12. 67plexi

    67plexi Well-Known Member

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    My 1958 Gibson Flying Vee has a Cornell Dubilier Tiger Wax .02 uf @ 200v capacitor stock.
    But as far as SG's my 1961 did have ceramic .02 uf capacitors. Same with my 1965 SG Standard.
     
  13. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    "My 1958 Gibson Flying Vee"

    Would love to see a picture or two.

    Also I noticed on the Fender you posted the other day you leave the "cans" off the pre-amp tubes. Can I ask why?
     
  14. 67plexi

    67plexi Well-Known Member

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    I take photo's when I'm building some times they are not finished.

    Like this Dumble Deluxe no speaker Just fitting the chassis.

    D Deluxe 002.JPG
    white limba 1958 001.jpg
     
  15. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe Well-Known Member

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    The only real difference is that some types of ceramic disc caps are microphonic. Also some types drift more with time and / or temp. But tone wise no diff.
     
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  16. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    I actually found a Radio Shack out in BFE that has a parts drawer and bought some of those green Chiclet caps. $2 not bad.

    Yeah, OP's talking about ceramic disc caps that happen to be orange-ish.

    Caps of the same measured value are the same. Tolerance comes in when comparing measured and stated values, beyond that Gibson is trying to justify their choices and sell stuff. Not that I disagree with Orange Drops, it's just that EVERYONE uses them, so I chose to use a different brand.
     
  17. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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    In short is doesn't matter where it comes from but to the degree of consistency of tolerance of each name brand. What is specified by each manufacturer, say .047 is just that. So each piece has to be tested for accuracy of .047. This is where tolerance varies between various electronic manufacturers. One company may be more inconsistent with tolerance range where another has a tighter more consistent tolerance.

    Like I proposed in theory and math they are all the same but strict QC separates a more consistent brand with another. To me its not a matter of Radio Shack or the most expensive cap offered, but the consistency of the product.
     
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  18. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    I can go with that.
     
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  19. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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  20. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I just bought some last month and they're 10%, same as my Tropical Fish (which also came in 20%)

    Chiclet-Caps.jpg
     

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