Rs Guitarworks - Hype or Authentic


Junior Member
I've seen some talk about RS Guitarworks components on the internet.  Anyone use their components?    I'll try anything once, but I'll need some convincing at $17 for a Jenson capacitor.  Just curious on your thoughts.
For the pots -

The pots Warmoth sells are great - except - if you are trying to match the exact length shaft in certain gutiars.  The Warmoth type of CTS pot has a shaft a little shorter than the "les paul" length (but works) and is much longer than the "short" shaft that many guitars (like thin bodied SGs) require.  For project builds, the Warmoth/CTS pots are great, have good taper, good feel, and are very close to stated values.

As far as caps go... the Les Paul crowd, specifically the owners of LP Historic reissues, go all gaga over RS stuff... the capacitors included.  There are different tones from different capacitor types.  Capacitors have a value called ESR, and the lower the ESR the better job the capacitor does of passing AC through any given circuit impedance.  The ceramic disks - high ESR, tend to "sound grainy" some say.  Orange drops - very low ESR but huge.  Mallory 150 not as low ESR as Orange drops, but good, and a little smaller.  BE AWARE - the Gibson "Bumblebee" capacitor is actually a Mallory 150, 400v .022 capacitor, with an outer jacket molded over it to make it look like the old ones.  Jensen capacitors are NOT made by Jensen... just rebadged with their name.  For that matter, Mallory is not made by Mallory but buy a firm in New Jersey that makes them for Mallory and other companies as well.

To tell ya the truth, those little green Mylar capacitors sound just like all the better capacitors to me, are cheap as anything and small too.  You can get them in like 10 or 15 or 25 volt rating (more than adequate).  I've been using Mallory 150, but only cuz I have a mountain of them here.
CB any thoughts on the Hovland Musicaps, people rave about them too. Quite expensive here in UK £13.99 ($27.98) ouch!  :eek:
Damned if I can tell any difference given the capacitance value is the same, but from the theoretical standpoint I prefer caps with a lower dielectic constant for low power circuits.
Thanks CB.  I'll check out the orange drops.  I have a LP arch top from Warmoth and the pots I got originally were long shaft with only one washer on them and seem way too long...but I think the short pots are only for fenders with the thin pickgaurds.  You said the ones from W are a tad short, but work so what length are they and what would perfect would be?

I plan on using push/pull pots for the tone knobs too...W has them at 3/8"...curious if those are gonna work or if I'll need to get longer ones somewhere else.
lilguitar said:
orange drops. 

LP arch top from Warmoth said the ones from W are a tad short

Orange drops will work but are huge, you just dont need 'em.  Use a mylar or if you must, a mallory 150.  Radio Shack sells those green mylar ones by the way... zero issues (even at outrageous radio shack prices).

The archtop LP from W is something I've not seen.  I dont know how they do the control cavity.  However, I'd put money on their pots fitting with zero issues.  Most of the "long shaft" pots are a bit longer than the ones W sells.  I'm not sure if they'd work on a full spec Gibson LP Standard (or better) with the metal plate in it, inside the cavity.  Again, on a Warmoth body... I really doubt there'd be an issue, they're just that way.. Warmoth would make it work.

I used the RS Guitarworks pots and caps in the 2 tone sunburst that I have posted on the board.  I did not like them so  I pulled the cap and the 2 tone pots and replaced the cap with a reproduction 50's cap. One tone pot I pulled  from an old strat and then used a Fralin blender pot on the second tone pot.  I liked the RS volume pot so it stayed,  everything else came out.  I like the tone way better now. I thought the whole RS setup was way to harsh and bright. 

I had suggested to a friend that he try RS out before I had since I had read some good reviews on them.  I got an emial from him a couple of days after I had tried them and pullled them from my guitar.    He had the same opinion, to bright and harsh.

I am back to looking for old pots and caps.  Vintage ceramic disc caps are not to hard to come by but good vintage pots are rare. 

I suppose it's all relative to all the other variables in a rig / setup.  I used the RS upgrade kit with the Hovland's for my Warmoth arch-top Les Build.  In general, I found I have more usable tones when the volume is rolled back.  I don't find it harsh or too bright at all.  The best descriptive term I can think of for the bridge pickup tone is "complex".  That also has to do with the asymmetrical-wound A2 humbucker there, and the NOS Mullards I use in the preamp of my '69 Marshal JMP50 Plexi.  I haven't compared the RS components to anything else in this build.

The guitar I had prior to this Warmoth Les Paul was a '71 Gibson SG Custom (3-pickups).  I just couldn't get into that guitar anymore.  I hated the bridge pickup tone, and the playability was a joke.  I will say that the neck pickup tone on that Gibson was to die for.  Nice and warm & full of presence at the same time.  A nice sparkly round tone.  I find the A3 neck pickup in the new Warmoth with the RS kit is not quite as bright and round.  It was a nice compromise.  I'm very happy with the bridge tone on this new axe, and the neck is nice and balanced, though not as "round" as the Gibson was.  I used HighOrder pickups on this one.  Anyway, way too many variables for me to really evaluate the RS kit fully.

Does the tone tweaking ever end?  Simple answer, no.  I'm also thinking of replacing the Fralin Vintage Hot bridge pickup on my Strat with a Fralin '54 or some VZ's.  It really never ends.