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 very same winding materials used back in the '50s by Astron in their Blue Point yellow capacitors.
Please note: The packaging of the windings differs from the originals - yet, though they will appear different, they will be equal with regard to the high level of protection afforded the windings from temperature changes, humidity, shock, etc. - in other words, just as heavy duty and stable. (Packaging in no way affects the performance of the capacitor.)
So, if you are chasing period-correct tone, it makes sense to use capacitors made with the same materials - 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 authentic possible component short of NOS.
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 spend 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 yesterday; 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 out of stock - New inventory is back-dordered and expected to arrive in April.
5E3 Tweed Deluxe Cap Kits are currently out of 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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