I'm very excited to announce the availability of RecPro Tweed-Era capacitors, made in the USA and offered through my RecPro Audio division.
The reason I have gone to the considerable effort to make these capacitor recreations available is because, until now, there has not been a truly Tweed-era correct signal capacitor available anywhere, anytime. (Unfortunately, like much else I discover in the world of reproduction components, nobody is really coming clean regarding the accuracy of their capacitor recreations.) So, starting today, faithfully recreated Tweed-era capacitors now exist and are available (only here at the Speed Shop).
As with my A12Q/A10Q speaker reproductions and TD58OT output transformer recreation, etc., I spent a lot of time doing research. In the case of these capacitors, many weeks elapsed reading patents, dissecting old caps, talking to people, etc. - to better understand how these old caps were made, as well as the materials they were made with.
Made in the USA, RecPro capacitors are constructed with the right stuff; the exact same dielectric and electrode materials, winding impregnant, swaging and lead composition utilized back in the '50s by Astron in their Blue Point yellow capacitors, used most famously by Fender in their Tweed series amplifiers. Moreover, with regard to manufacture, the dielectric and subsequent winding are heat-treated throughout assembly, and subjected to vacuum as well as pressure during cooling to complete the process - just as was the practice, back in the golden age of America's musical instrument industry.
Please note: The cap packaging (phenolic tubular casing with epoxy end-caps) differs slightly from the originals (molded with plugs) - yet, the RecPro capacitor enclosure offers a higher level of protection against temperature changes, moisture and humidity, shock, etc.
So, if you are chasing period-correct tone, it makes sense to use capacitors constructed with the same materials using the same methods employed in the '50s and '60s - because there is a difference. For Tweed-era amplifiers, these capacitors provide the confidence in knowing that the right part is in the circuit - the most authentically correct component short of NOS (which are impossible to find these days).
In closing, if you seek the real tone and performance of late Tweed-era Fender amplifiers, please consider these RecPro capacitors. They are as close as you can get, today, to the originals - and they are only available here, direct thought the Speed Shop.
How Do These Capacitors Sound and Perform?
I've spent many hours auditioning these caps in a 5E3 test chassis and can attest they sound fantastic.
I try to avoid using generic terms like 'mojo' and 'tone' that don't really quantify anything, so I have taken to using the term 'musical' to describe experiencing the musical ability or musicality of something.
For me, this means when I play a very good amp I am inspired to write or compose, as music just seems to emanate from it. As in the way a great acoustic guitar can take a simple thing you play and transform it into a progression / riff / figure / etc., that could support the foundation of a composition or track - whereas on an average guitar the same part might sound lackluster and lead nowhere. Again, similar in how a great voice can make all the difference in the accessibility or sensibility of a song.
Perhaps it has something to do with harmonic distortion and how it contributes unique character to fundamental frequencies. Likewise, maybe the less musical components of a sound are somehow suppressed. In any event, I hope that the term musical helps better describe how the response of great instruments provides a greater inspiration and the impetus to [more effortlessly] create.
Speaking more quantifiably, initial impressions indicate these vintage-style caps lightly soften the very high frequencies, facilitating a slightly more focused, natural response with less collateral resonant frequencies (that often just add noise and cloud the fundamental). Overall response is very smooth and compressed, with violin-like leads at more overdriven settings.
Made In The U. S. A.
There are very few American capacitor manufacturers in existence today that are both willing and able to duplicate the more complicated capacitor technology of yesteryear mentioned above; and this means that accurate vintage reproduction caps are not only rare, but rather expensive to custom fabricate. As such, RecPro capacitors are more costly than those usually accepted for use in modern guitar amplifiers. But, as they say, you get what you pay for, as these very special capacitors stand alone in the marketplace in their adherance to vintage spec and performance. For me, this is simply the cost of doing things the right way as I use these capacitors in my flagship amplifiers and I always strive to get the details correct. I am also making these vintage-spec caps available to others who likewise seek access to the most appropriate, period-correct capacitors for their vintage amp re-caps and top-quality new vintage builds.
RecPro Caps are currently in stock.
(5E3 Cap Kits consist of all the signal caps required to build a stock Deluxe. Included are: 4x .1uF caps, 1x .02.uF cap, 1x .005uF cap, 1x vintage NOS El Menco 560pf bright cap. Electrolytic caps are not included.)
Capacitor Tolerance is +- 10% - just like the originals.
US sales only at this time, please email regarding international orders.
$9.95 flat rate USPS shipping on all orders.
Thank you, all,
"Ron I have to give it to you. Those caps are as close to yellow Astrons as you can possibly get. This amp now sounds beautiful, responsive, airy, musical and just a joy to play through. I went head to head with the Yellow Jupiters, the Red Jupiters and your Yellow RecPro's. Your caps are staying in the amp permanently. Old blues riffs and Hendrix type grooves just flowed and that's when you know its working. There is this musicality to the note that makes you want to keep playing. The amp is fully restored now and wanted to say THANK YOU. " - T. B. (1960 Bassman)
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