All About Treble Bleed Kits

Clarify Your Guitar Tone with our Treble Bleed Kits

NOS Sprague orange drop caps with Vishay Metal film resistors making a Treble Bleed kit 0047Uf-paper-in-oil treble bleed kit made by hand at EarCandy.Com An EarCandy Chicklet and Vishay treble bleed kit One Ceramite and one Greenie with Vishay resistors and black heat shrin insulation sitting next to one of Leroy Powell's guitar picks

This is an an easy mod for your volume control to get more uniform guitar tone from 1 to 10. The Treble bleed Mod keeps the tone and volume more consistent as it flows through and is controlled by the volume pot. EarCandy’s set of Tone Rush Treble Bleed are kits made from VMFR (Vishay Metal Film Resistor’s) and Vintage 1950’s NOS Type 93 0.001uF 400V 10% Polyester “Greenie / Chicklet” Capacitor’s and vintage New Old Stock Cera-Mite Z5U 1500M ceramic disc capacitors @ 1500pf / .0015uf 1kv 20% tolerance with radial lead spacing at 1/4″ as well as good old Sprague Orange Drop Caps. We check all of our caps for values with a DATS HDPC based system.

Turning down the volume on a guitar often sucks out the high frequencies and muddies your tone. This popular mod retains your guitar’s clarity and treble frequencies when you turn the volume down. Guitars that professional guitarists use for studio and live performance have this modification in them.

The 150k ohm, VMFR resistors rated at 1/2watt from Vishay Dale, USA 150K 1/4 watt 1% tolerance mil-spec metal film resistors are smaller than they used to be, (Pre Vietnam War) they don’t take up as much room as your old carbon comps. These fits into small circuits better, still rated at 1/2w, and they’re a good brand name, not knock-offs.

This is perfect for most pickups and guitar configurations including P90s. Our Custom circuit is hand made to fit in guitar cavities, due to it’s small size it is easy to solder up and adjust for most pickups. By using a .0015uF capacitor and an 150K resistor in parallel between the input and output volume pot lugs, you can maintain the “treble” or high-end frequencies when you turn down the volume on your guitar.

The Treble Bleed kit also keeps your tone from getting muddy and delivers better tone control over your pickups. Hand-soldered here in our shop: One consist of a Vishay resistor in parallel with a .001uF Ceramite capacitor, the other one consists of a Vishay resistor and a vintage NOS “Chicklet” Capacitor. Wire this simple mod between the input and output lugs of your guitar volume control pot to smooth out treble bleed. Get more uniform tone from 1 to 10, and a more rounded sound at low volume.

The Difference between the Greenies and the Ceramite kits are the Greenies provide a little bit more of a broad tonal spectrum and are more suited for humbuckers but will work with single coils as well. The Sprague Orange Drops are a great “middle of the road choice and provide a little bit more warmth.

Our Treble Bleed Circuits Feature:

  • A Volume mod that eliminates muddy tone when turned down.
  • Preservation of high frequencies and clarity at lower volumes.
  • A Natural feeling to your volume tapering.
  • High Quality Components
  • 1%-tolerance Mil-Spec Vishay resistors.
  • Hand wound & Soldered with silver solder.
  • Heat shrink tubing wrap to prevent corrosion or oxidation.
  • Insulated prongs eliminate contact with internal control cavity components.
  • Ceramic, Oil in paper Sprague Vintage Orange Drop capacitors
  • Shielded wiring to avoid feedback2 kits per order
  • Your choice of Greenie’s, Ceramite’s,  PIO (Paper In Oil) or Sprague

WHAT CAUSES THE LOSS OF HIGH END?
The loss of high end experienced when you roll down your guitar’s volume is due to the fact that the pickups interact with the volume pot, along with the capacitance of your cables to form a low pass filter.

WHAT IS A LOW PASS FILTER?
A low pass filter allows frequencies lower than a cutoff frequency to pass and higher frequencies are rolled off. These treble bleed kits will help keep your Tone crisp at any volume level vs your Tone getting muddy as volume is turned down. The capacitor keeps the highs crisp and the resistor maintains an even taper and also keeps the treble from spiking at the bottom of the curve.

These Treble bleed kits will work Great for:

  • 250K Volume Pots
  • 500K Volume Pots
  • 1M Volume Pots
  • Gibson Les Paul’s
  • Gibson SG’s
  • Gibson 335’s
  • Fender Stratocasters
  • Fender Telecasters
  • Guitars with noiseless pickups
  • Guitars with Single coil pickups
  • Guitars with Humbucker Pickups

You will need one Treble Bleed kit for each volume control, for example, A Les Paul, has 2 volume controls, you will want to install one on each of the volume controls. Or, for guitars with one volume control you will only need one installed on the main volume control.

Wire this professional, high performance modification between the input and output lugs of your guitar volume control pot, this will smooth out treble bleed and obtain more uniform clarity in your tone from 1 to 10, and a more rounded sound at low volume.

Note: colors and brands of components used will not change as these are made to strict manufacturing procedures. We were lucky enough to obtain a slew of NOS Vishay, Greenie, Ceramite, Sprague Bumble Bee & Black Beauty (Paper in oil caps), estate sale. When these are gone, they are gone.

It is a well known fact in the guitar community that PIO will be warmer, smoother and have more “Sparkle” than ceramic disc, mylar or polypropylene caps. The original Bumble Bees and Black Beauties were PIO and thought of by many to be the “Holy Grail” of Tone as far as capacitors go.

DAT Scope test on a volume knob without a treble bleed kit DAT scope of a volume knob with a treble bleed kit at EarCandy.com
The Above scope is a CTS A500K pot in the volume knob position of an Ibanez JEM. Notice how abruptly the volume rolls off into essentially nothing, almost acting like a “All or nothing” control. This is the exact same CTS A500K pot in the same position, same guitar with a 150K Resistor and a 0.022Uf cap. Notice how even the roll off is. For single coil pickups, people prefer 0.047uf 250V cap with a 150K Ohm 1/2 watt resistor.

WHAT is a PIOVMFRCRC? = Paper in oil, Vishay metal foil resistor capacitor resistor circuit.

However, we have to disclose that we had this Jem modded by MadHatter with their terminator system which is just an incredible product. Click on “Madhatter” and check out their artist list.

Ibanez jem guts from EarCandy's guitar collection The Mad Hatter terminator system installed in EarCandy's Ibanez Jem
The old stock Ibanez guts The MadHatter Terminator system

So with all the variables, we recommend getting some cheap alligator clips and trying out a few kits before soldering one into your guitar. That is a good way to test each one and see what kit values you like the best. Be aware of the treble bleed kits you can get from some of the auction sites, they may only be 2 or 3 bucks but take a look at them, They are simply twisted together with no solder and zero heat shrink / insulation.

0047Uf-paper-in-oil treble bleed kit made by hand at EarCandy.Com
This is what you do not want, sloppy, unevenly twisted and bare wires floating around in your control cavity. We left parts of ours bare so you can see what is inside of our TB kits. This is how we make them, evenly paired, soldered and sealed with 3M heat shrink tubing. The red is a color code for 0.047Uf, which is preferred for single coil pickups. The Black is our coded color for 0.022Uf which is commonly preferred for humbuckers.
vishay-dale-resistors-150k-0.5W at EarCandy.com 0022Uf-paper-in-oil-with-no-insulation at EarCandy.com
These are New old stock Vishay Dale Metal foil 150K 0.5 Watt resistors and we luckily have hundreds of them. This is a New old stock 0.022Uf Paper in oil capacitor, we have hundreds of these and 0.047Uf PIO caps.

Just an FYI

When reading schematics, repairing radios and buying capacitors, you often must convert between uF, nF and pF. Paper and electrolytic capacitors are usually expressed in terms of uF (microfarads). Short forms for micro farad include uF, mfd, MFD, MF and UF. Mica capacitors are usually expressed in terms of pF (micromicrofarads) (picofarads). Short forms for micromicrofarads include pF, mmfd, MMFD, MMF, uuF and PF. A pF is one-millionth of a uF. In between a pF and a uF is an nF which is one-one thousands of a uF.

This is a Resistor color code chart… YUP! all those little stripes represent a mathematical value.

Got a Headache? You honestly can not go wrong with any of the 4 cap choices. Hopefully this is enough information to help you make an informed decision.

Thanks for reading! 😉

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