Antique Electronic Supply

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 12.08.03 PMI recently came across Antique Electronic Supply through a half-hearted Google search for capacitor information, and I’m somewhat overwhelmed with the awesomeness.

They seem to be the StewMac of electronics, with a strong overlap with music-related products. They actually sell several of the same things that StewMac does, but in addition to that, they have a Tech Corner that contains things like a page for understanding the nuances of Potentiometers and Tone Capacitors.

Here are a few excerpts:

On Potentiometers:

It’s useful to know the fundamental relationship between voltage, current and resistance known as Ohm’s Law when understanding how electric guitar circuits work. The guitar pickups provide the voltage and current source, while the potentiometers provide the resistance. From Ohm’s Law we can see how increasing resistance decreases the flow of current through a circuit, while decreasing the resistance increases the current flow. If two circuit paths are provided from a common voltage source, more current will flow through the path of least resistance.

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On Tone Control:

The tone pot’s resistance is the same for all signal frequencies; however, the capacitor has AC impedance which varies depending on both the signal frequency and the value of capacitance as shown in the equation below. High frequencies see less impedance from the same capacitor than low frequencies. The table below shows impedance calculations for three of the most common tone cap values at a low frequency (100 Hz) and a high frequency (5 kHz).

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And an interesting set of Potentiometer Taper Charts which makes me wonder what kind I bought. I’m assuming the linear taper is the one I would like the best, but I don’t really know.

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The M and N Taper (Blend Balance) seems like it could be really interesting if you were able to use it in conjunction with coil-splitting to bring in the volume of the second single coil in the humbucker.

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In addition to the helpful technical details, there are also cool products, like this set of build-it-yourself pedals, and guitar amps.

And if that weren’t enough, there’s a bunch of t-shirts with designs like this:

Greg, if you find you need more capacitors for your capacinator pedal, they seem to sell about 200 of them.



24 thoughts on “Antique Electronic Supply

  1. Wow, jackpot! According to the wdmusic site, which is where I bought the same pots that you have apparently (“CTS 500 1447” stamped), all of those CTS pots are audio taper.

    I’ve seen many videos etc. online suggesting that nobody can tell the difference between the capacitor materials, but I also saw one where the guy insisted that the old Sprague 160Ps made a huge difference in sustain compared to other materials and brands. I never would have thought that sustain would be affected by the tone cap.

  2. Ah, thanks for finding the info about the pots. Hmm, maybe that’s the standard pot and it’s the one we’re used to? Seems weird that they wouldn’t use linear, unless the audio taper makes it feel a little more responsive.

    I have no idea how a capacitor could affect sustain. Maybe it delays the signal in some way?

  3. I really wish that youtube video was higher quality. I don’t think I heard much of a difference between them, but given how animated the guy was about it, I believe there are differences. Looking forward to your test and maybe hearing it through some Logic files you record.

  4. My sentiments exactly. I couldn’t hear the pulsing and harmonic decay he was referring to. Maybe he had a head cold or something. He did seem pretty adamant about the 160P being the best though. I saw some on ebay that weren’t terribly priced. I guess I might try one since I’m spending all this money on a capacinator.

    This Lindy Fralin demo is pretty good to understand capacitance values. There’s a “decade box” just like that on ebay for $20.

  5. Also, that linear taper pot he used in the demo actually sounded a lot more like a reverse audio taper:

  6. I’m glad (though not surprised) that MSSC used the CTS. I like that, or the Bourns best.

    I also noticed that I have split shafts on the pots, but I’m assuming I can still use the screw knobs I bought. Can’t see why it would really matter. Maybe put a toothpick in between to make sure it doesn’t compress when the screw is tightened.

  7. Sorry, here’s the Fralin link:

    Yeah, you should be able to put any knobs on the split shafts, especially if there’s a set screw, but you can only put big knobs on the solid shafts. My highway 1 tele has solid shafts. I don’t know if that means that the typical tele knob is larger, but I tried putting regular knobs on and they wouldn’t fit.

  8. Oh my god, I LOVE that Decade Box!! Wow, why don’t those come standard on every guitar? Jeez, so nice to be able to adjust the levels and see how it affects the tone. That’s awesome. So your Capacinator will be more of a comparison of .022 caps, than a comparison of various cap values, right?

    I’m making a mod to the Luxe Paul:

  9. Just email Spike and tell him you want rear routs on both sides. Then you could just put the guts of that decade box into the left lower bout. Did you buy that ebay one? I think you should. You could cut the end off a guitar cable and attach it to that old school connector.

    Yeah I’m planning on having 4 different types of 022s and then one 015 and a 047 just to hear those values compared to the orange drop 022. If I prefer one type over the others, and decide to go lower or higher with the values, then I’ll just buy that type in that value. I’m thinking I’m more likely to go lower (less treble bleed), to maybe a 015, rather than total dark side, and I don’t mean floyd.

  10. This place has really low prices on electronics, and the selection is huge. Thanks for finding it. I ordered some more hobby stuff last night.

  11. Those look like fun projects.

    I was itching for another project, so I’m building another capacinator for someone. This one will have input and output on the sides like a pedal, and a full range of capacitors: .015, .022, .033, .047, .068, .100

  12. Nice. I noticed your input and output jacks were opposite to what pedals use, so it makes sense that you’re updating that in this. You could also use two controls and wire them in parallel so that you can get different ranges. Like what the Decade Box does, but only on a smaller scale. Week Box?

  13. I thought about doing that for v2.0. I would need a bigger box. They make weird shaped ones like octagons and trapezoids. I also noticed that this place sells a 12-position rotary switch, which I would might swap into mine. It’s interesting to use BOTH tone controls to see how they stack. You notice extra treble reduction when both the guitar tone and capacinator tone are engaged. I don’t think it’s quite parallel, but they both affect the tone, which is fun to experiment with.

  14. I got a notice that a package was shipped to me from you. Is this Capacinator 2.0?? Or maybe 1.1?

    I’m headed to Chicago today and won’t be back until June 6th, so if that’s what it was, I’m psyched to check it out when I get back!

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