The Very Best Sound Quality From The Very Best Components

Chris1868

New member
Messages
7
When it comes to wiring - Is there anything to be gained by switching from cheap everyday components to the absolute best quality available? Why bother with inferior electronics on a beautiful Warmoth guitar?

My question is – how does one source the finest pots, capacitors, switches and jack plugs? Also, what gauge of wire will produce best results?  I am about to rewire a two pickup strat using a four position tele switch. Thanks. Chris
 

DocNrock

Senior member
Messages
4,295
Yes.  I personally use CTS pots, CRL switches, and Planet Waves jacks, all of which are available from Warmoth.  I also use Warmoth wiring kits.  Further, although overkill, I also like using RS Guitarworks capacitors.

Importantly, make sure the electronics cavity is well-shielded, also. 
 

DiMitriR33

Senior member
Messages
604
use a good quality pot and switch but i wouldn't bother with expensive capacitors, they say the ceramic disc type can be grainy and electrolytics(they look like little barrels and are usually black or blue) sound muddy, most of those fancy expensive caps also sound really muddy to my ears. i always use the green teflon film caps, you can get them at radio shack. i've also used the metal film caps(the blue ones at radio shack), they sound great but are pricier and have a lower selection.

you don't need to spend a fortune but don't buy the cheapest things in the store. with pots and switches you'll notice a big difference in quality between a cheap one and one that is well made.
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
DiMitriR33 said:
use a good quality pot and switch but i wouldn't bother with expensive capacitors, they say the ceramic disc type can be grainy and electrolytics(they look like little barrels and are usually black or blue) sound muddy, most of those fancy expensive caps also sound really muddy to my ears. i always use the green teflon film caps, you can get them at radio shack. i've also used the metal film caps(the blue ones at radio shack), they sound great but are pricier and have a lower selection.

you don't need to spend a fortune but don't buy the cheapest things in the store. with pots and switches you'll notice a big difference in quality between a cheap one and one that is well made.

+1
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
A: Gibson thought they were making solidbody jazz guitars, all the way up until crazed drug addicts began selling millions of records by doing horrible things to them.

B: Leo Fender had three primary design considerations in mind -

1) His guitars could be made on then-currently available furniture-making machinery, with no expensive up-tooling;
2) They could be assembled by low-paid, semi-skilled labor;
3) They were to be made out of whatever reasonable-grade stuff was available on the market - cheap wood, commercial-grade electronics, common auto paint, etc. No expense whatsoever was wasted on the actual merchandise itself.

Jimi Hendrix greatly preferred new, post-CBS Strats; Carlos Santana recorded "Black Magic Woman on a nineteen-SIXTY-eight Les Paul reissue; Mark Knopfler recorded "The Sultans of Swing" with a no-name $100 "oriental" Strat copy; when Gibson went to copy Slash's favorite Les Paul for his signature model, it turned out to be a fake, so they copied the copy cause it was a better guitar than a Les Paul.

"The Very Best Sound Quality, From the Very Best Guitarists Who Practiced the Very Hardest at Sounding Good?" Oops, wrong forum.... :toothy11:
I once tried to explain to someone why signature model-receiving tone fiends like Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Eric Johnson and Jeff Beck usually end up playing the very first prototype of their sig model for years at a time before switching around to new ones - it was hopeless.
 

brownsound79

Active member
Messages
89
First of all.. there is a difference when using 'good stuffs'.... small type potentiometer's (pots) usually have incorrect values.. for example.. a cheap small A500K  pots only got 390-420k (check it out-using digital multimeter..) same goes with the capacitors.. cheap caps got larger tolerance.. i personally avoid all of this craps.. also.. good wiring got good grounding & shielding.. and good soldering technique (NO DRY JOINT).. and lastly seals the terminal, solder joint using a heat-shrink tubing... 

just like this... HAHA :laughing7: (show-off..!!!)
99b89841.jpg

.........good parts for good guitars............
328827e0.jpg
 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
The values, tapers, and mechanical feel of pots vary a lot between brands and specimens.  Alpha makes pots with a nice feel IMO.

I agree with Dimitri that teflon film caps are good.  Orange Drop caps are polypropelene, also nice.

Wire doesn't matter, just use something sane.  I use whatever solid-core wire I have laying around... I like it because it's easy to solder.
 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
+1 everybody. Use decent stuff but it doesn't seem to make sense to go overboard. Warmoth-level parts are good. Personally I like  the smaller CTS pots, that Warmoth doesn't sell, for top-routed applications. I bought a package of orange drops so all my guitars have those. ymmv.
 

brownsound79

Active member
Messages
89
and when i stick em' up together it look like;
1c78af3f.jpg

updated*
now with 3 layer shielding paint,but haven't upload it yet... :icon_thumright: and a simple onboard preamp gain/boost circuit i'm still working on..
3b331e61.jpg
 

Nick Ellingworth

Senior member
Messages
217
brownsound79 said:
small type potentiometer's (pots) usually have incorrect values.. for example.. a cheap small A500K  pots only got 390-420k (check it out-using digital multimeter..)

That can be well within the stated tolerance for a part, some of those cheap pots are often for example specified like this: 500k ohms +/- 25%. That gives a range of potential values from 375k ohms to 625k ohms. I had some real problems with this for a university experiment recently, I needed exact values and as a result of the poor tolerances of components available I had to add an amplifier stage to a circuit to get the required output.
 

Graffiti62

Senior member
Messages
654
I believe that there is a place or two where you can save a buck here or there, like getting your switches at Radio Shack over getting them from AllParts, for example. Another example is that my brother is an electrician and can get me higher-grade wire with his discount, so I was able to buy wire in 50-foot lengths and of different colors. I'm still looking for someone who can offer copper shielding, or some of that shielding paint at a wholesaler or retail store.
 
R

runner

Guest
Hey brownsound79, what kind of connectors are you using in your wiring cavity there?  They are blue.  Where did you buy them?
 

brownsound79

Active member
Messages
89
the small blue thing is a wire connector sleeve..
S0103_Big.jpg
  and this...
S0108_Big.jpg


i like to mod my wiring...changing this & that  the connector makes it easier to do so...
 

Orpheo

Senior member
Messages
2,738
I noticed that good pots are most crucial. a good switch comes second, and a good outputjack third. those parts let the most 'sound' through. they don't work as a capacitor (well... not that much) so you maintain your highs.
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
I looked at those "bullet" connectors, and another one called "Deans Ultra", but they looked like they had a lot of metal for a passive little pickup magnet to push around (all of this stuff is used in radio-controlled models, as I learned on this for-yum!). I just now (Friday) got in some "JST plugs":

RadioJST.jpg


Those little wires are 22 gauge, same as guitar hookup wiring... they're LITTLE for sure, Opti-visor time. I'm going to wire up this guy's pickups with them:

S6300119.jpg


It occurred to me that by removing the pickguard and unplugging the neck pickup, I'll have an "acoustic" guitar... of sorts.... :icon_scratch:

I'll let you know!  :hello2:
 

neuftone

Senior member
Messages
110
stubhead said:
Jimi Hendrix greatly preferred new, post-CBS Strats; Carlos Santana recorded "Black Magic Woman on a nineteen-SIXTY-eight Les Paul reissue; Mark Knopfler recorded "The Sultans of Swing" with a no-name $100 "oriental" Strat copy; when Gibson went to copy Slash's favorite Les Paul for his signature model, it turned out to be a fake, so they copied the copy cause it was a better guitar than a Les Paul.

Great post!

As for me I'm not a huge believer that this or that part or component will give you holy grail tone, but I do agree with buying quality electronic components, less for tone reasons, and more for reliability and proper operation!

 
Messages
8,318
+1

My income is starting to catch up with the toys I wanted as a teenager.  I have the nicest gear, I've ever had.  Do I sound any better?  I sound like I have nicer gear.  I could have the nicest set of golf clubs in the world, but it don't make Tiger Woods if my swing sucks.
 

hannaugh

Senior member
Messages
4,230
I love the Planet Waves jack I got for my LP.  It's so solid.  Even after replacing my jack in my Ibanez with a new one from Stewmac, I have problems with the jack in that guitar.  But my Warmoth is so solid. 
 

WezV

Active member
Messages
64
i  have spent some time playing with different capacitors for a while.  there is definately a massive difference when you go from cheap disc capacitors to orange drops... but then as you go up the scale the difference gets less.  Vitamin q's are nice but the difference you get for the extra money is only slight.  its worth trying out a few NOS ones if you can get them - but they do vary.  Generally you can find a few different types of NOS caps for less than a vitamin Q and spend a bit of time finding the one thats just as good or better

Orange drops are a good quality and easily available cap at a decent price

 
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