Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Wiring options, treble bleed?

  1. #1
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    298

    Wiring options, treble bleed?

    I have a HBII with 53/10 pickups and it's currently wired to the "pre 2007" specs. I am curious about wiring it differently to get the most out of the 53/10's. Since the ME Quatros came stock with 53/10 pickups I've considered trying that schematic . I've played ME4s and noticed how clear (amazing) they sound. It appears to be a sort of "50's wiring" setup with a treble bleed on the volume pot.
    I'm still not exactly sure what a treble bleed does when the volume is on 10 (highest, wide open). Does it make a difference? Will I get more clarity/air out of the 53/10s with a 50s style setup? Would changing the capacitor value from .033 to .022 help?

    schematics:
    Pre 2007 HBII: http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/schema...hollowbody.pdf (I removed the piezo system).

    ME4: http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/schema...uatro_2012.pdf
    Last edited by LJD; 02-18-2014 at 03:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    743
    The treble bleed (actually treble bypass is a more accurate term) has no effect with the volume at 10. It's only engaged when you turn the knob down.

    The "50's style" wiring negates the purpose of the treble bypass circuit by connecting the tone control straight to the output instead of going through the volume control first. It retains the clarity as you turn down the volume, but the tone pot works differently. It won't have much effect in the top third or so of rotation. It's a personal preference thing between this method and the treble bypass.

    Changing from the .033 to a .022 uf cap will raise the resonant peak, which in other words means the frequency cut-off will be higher, so the tone won't be as dark when the knob is turned all the way down.
    --Garrett--

  3. #3
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    743
    You can try 50's style wiring by removing the treble bypass cap and connecting the tone control to the middle lug of the volume pot.
    --Garrett--

  4. #4
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    The Numinosum
    Posts
    86
    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    You can try 50's style wiring by removing the treble bypass cap and connecting the tone control to the middle lug of the volume pot.
    I've puzzled over how to do this with a circuit board in the middle, so to speak, and the answer seems to be to connect the right lug of the tone pot to the middle lug of the volume pot (through the tone cap), but doesn't the wire from the switch need to be soldered to the left lug of the tone pot? (On applicable PRS models the lug of the tone pot which is grounded by soldering it to the pot case has a wire running from it to the grounded lug of the volume pot, as well.) I've looked at how the P22 is and the Hollowbody (I) was wired, post-2007, and the way I've described seems to PRS' own method of wiring a piezo-equipped guitar with "'50s wiring". Do I have this right?

    Also, are there any comments from Hollowbody (I) owners whose machines are wired the post-2007 way? How does the wiring work for you? -And how would you compare it to a Hollowbody II (which is wired the pre-2007 way), if you have had the opportunity to compare?

    My CE-22 has the post-2007 wiring and is very bright. I love the tones I can get out of it, but the controls, EQ, and tone stacks have to be set up especially for it just because of the guitar's searing brightness. Also the "lowest point" in the tone control at just above 2 when the volume is full on; if the volume is lowered this region of lowest treble pass changes to a more normal slope -the darkest tone at zero, down from around 2- and the tone control works more as one would expect a tone control to work. The guitar also has a treble bleed cap, which seems totally unnecessary for a bolt-on, maple-necked guitar wired "'50s style", but I am sure there is some reason it is there, even if I don't understand it. I would like to tame the treble a bit. I use one long, high-capacitance cable and it helps, but only so much. (I have seen a man whom I consider to be a master of tone use two 18-foot cables mated together to increase capacitance in the circuit to tame the treble of his 50s-wired '57 Les Paul Gold Top; it seems to work very well for him!)

    Oh, and LJD? your Hollowbody II with 53/10s sounds like it is a dream guitar (and I'm jealous of those pups!). '50s wiring would just make it perfect IMO. BTW, I like the .033uf cap in my Hollowbody II very much. It has 57/08TMs and those are amazing pickups, so I shouldn't be so jealous. -I still am, but there you go....
    Last edited by Felix; 02-19-2014 at 05:51 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    743
    The one under "Current" here has the 50's style connection with the tone pot and the piezo:

    http://www.prsguitars.com/csc/schema...wbodypiezo.pdf

    Using crazy lengths of cable sure is a difficult (and expensive!) way to tame a guitar's high end. You can add capacitance by using a capacitor (imagine that!) that costs less than $1. Adding capacitance really just shifts the focus away from the highs and more to the mids.

    Cheapest way to cut the high end off that CE is to wire a resistor across the left and center lugs of the volume control. 470k Ohm is a common value and would drop resistance to about 240k, so that's like switching to a 250k volume pot. 1M Ohm is also common and would split the difference at about 333k. The higher the value resistor, the less treble you'll cut. You can calculate it here: http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-paralresist.htm
    --Garrett--

  6. #6
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    The Numinosum
    Posts
    86
    Thanks, Garret, but won't using a resistor to lower the value of the volume pot's resistance simultaneously change its taper? -I'd rather change out the pot if I want a different value pot. As far as your suggestion of wiring in a capacitor (flip tone aside), good suggestion. I'd rather put in a better quality cap than the dollar cap you suggest; it (my CE-22) has a 180 pf round tan ceramic treble bleed cap and I don't even like seeing it in there, where a Mallory or Orange Drop or PIO should go - or no cap at all, perhaps. I still do not understand why that guitar has a treble bleed cap in the first place, '50s wiring having a reputation, along with maple, bolt on necks -which this guitar also sports- for producing a bright guitar, but I suppose PRS has their reasons for including it.

    the treble bleed cap does have a very low value... and doesn't there not being a resistor in the circuit mean that the cap is only effective during the first 1/2 of the pot's downward travel (from 10 to 5)? -Sorry for all of the questions but I'm really trying to understand.

    Garret, I think that the PDF file you referenced is the wiring I described; so that's a yes on moving the wiring? -The pot grounding and all?

    Oh, yeah, and I don't think using an 18-foot cable is all that difficult (in fact I like it), especially compared to performing any change on the guitar's wiring ...plugging in a long cable being easier, and more reversible, than soldering a capacitor into the circuit. -Just my opinion, but, really....
    Last edited by Felix; 02-21-2014 at 08:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    743
    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    Thanks, Garret, but won't using a resistor to lower the value of the volume pot's resistance simultaneously change its taper? -I'd rather change out the pot if I want a different value pot. As far as your suggestion of wiring in a capacitor (flip tone aside), good suggestion. I'd rather put in a better quality cap than the dollar cap you suggest; it (my CE-22) has a 180 pf round tan ceramic treble bleed cap and I don't even like seeing it in there, where a Mallory or Orange Drop or PIO should go - or no cap at all, perhaps. I still do not understand why that guitar has a treble bleed cap in the first place, '50s wiring having a reputation, along with maple, bolt on necks -which this guitar also sports- for producing a bright guitar, but I suppose PRS has their reasons for including it.

    the treble bleed cap does have a very low value... and doesn't there not being a resistor in the circuit mean that the cap is only effective during the first 1/2 of the pot's downward travel (from 10 to 5)? -Sorry for all of the questions but I'm really trying to understand.

    Garret, I think that the PDF file you referenced is the wiring I described; so that's a yes on moving the wiring? -The pot grounding and all?

    Oh, yeah, and I don't think using an 18-foot cable is all that difficult (in fact I like it), especially compared to performing any change on the guitar's wiring ...plugging in a long cable being easier, and more reversible, than soldering a capacitor into the circuit. -Just my opinion, but, really....
    I'm not sure on the taper. I've only tried it once or twice with other experiments going on. It is easy enough to swap out the pot. You could get a 300k if you don't want to drop all the way down to 250.

    Cap quality is a myth that's been passed around the guitar world. People somehow think there's "tone" or "mojo" in caps, but there isn't. What matters is the capacitor's value. The way the taper reacts may vary, but that's about it. PRS don't use ceramics just to save a buck. Think of how tone-obsessed Paul Smith is. They use ceramics because they do just fine, and there's no reason to go with anything else. All of those expensive boutique pedals are filled with cheap caps, too.

    For the HB, I'd just go with that "Current" wiring.

    And no, an 18 ft cable is no biggie. I was referring more to the dude using two of them strung together. But if the guitar is overly bright, using a cap and/or resistor in the wiring will make it "plug and play" like your other guitars. No need to switch to a different cable, redo the EQ, etc. and it's still easily reversible.
    --Garrett--

  8. #8
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    The Numinosum
    Posts
    86
    The sonic qualities of capacitors is an often-talked-about semi-myth. I say "semi-" because one thing that is true is that capacitors have different tolerances: a ceramic cap generally being +/- 10%. -So not so consistent; also ceramics are somewhat microphonic. They also just look cheap; Ferrari has often used Fiat parts, and that's similarly disappointing.

    I should also mention that at the low voltages of guitar circuits, my understanding is that the material of a cap will probably have no effect upon its performance as far as tone, just its value is important in its performance (except again that ceramics are microphonic); in a high-voltage situation such as in a tube amp the cap material is much more important.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    The Numinosum
    Posts
    86
    Oh, two other things: if I had a mint '57 Gold Top Les Paul I would rather use any length of cable rather than do the guitar the insult of rudely soldering in a capacitor, whether an NOS bumblebee, PIO, or ceramic, it matters not a bit. I don't worship Gibsons but that guitar is an investment as much as a tool, believe it. Changing the wiring is just... not done.

    Second, on "the HB", were you referring to leaving my Hollowbody (II) wired as it is, that is, "pre-2007" as far as most PRS models are concerned (the tone is (indirectly) wired to the input of the volume pot), or changing it to a '50s-style (Gibson), "post-2007" (PRS) style of wiring, so that the tone is connected (via a capacitor) to the output of the volume? I rather like it, "as is", and hesitate to fix what isn't broken.
    Last edited by Felix; 02-21-2014 at 10:50 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    743
    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    Oh, two other things: if I had a mint '57 Gold Top Les Paul I would rather use any length of cable rather than do the guitar the insult of rudely soldering in a capacitor, whether an NOS bumblebee, PIO, or ceramic, it matters not a bit. I don't worship Gibsons but that guitar is an investment as much as a tool, believe it. Changing the wiring is just... not done.

    Second, on "the HB", were you referring to leaving my Hollowbody (II) wired as it is, that is, "pre-2007" as far as most PRS models are concerned (the tone is (indirectly) wired to the input of the volume pot), or changing it to a '50s-style (Gibson), "post-2007" (PRS) style of wiring, so that the tone is connected (via a capacitor) to the output of the volume? I rather like it, "as is", and hesitate to fix what isn't broken.
    I was referring to switching to the "Current" arrangement as in the PDF I linked, since we're on the topic of "50's wiring". I think "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" obviously applies.

    I get what you're saying about not modding some guitars. I'm focused on practical applications right now, since LJD is obviously game to do some modding, and you seemed open to the idea, too. If you were talking about a mint '85 PRS Custom, my advice is going to change...
    --Garrett--

  11. #11
    Junior Member Felix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    The Numinosum
    Posts
    86
    Yeah, I bought my PRS guitars new, as tools; if they work better modded I am all for it. My CE-22 just might need something changed in the wiring to tame its brightness to give it that aforesaid "plug-n-play" ability. IDK just what exactly but I am likely to try several ways. TY.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •