Hi Guys, 9 more days ‘til Xmas!! Anyway, I’m working with some old Bees today and wanted to share a couple of things that makes working with used Bees far easier. Old Bees (and Black Beauties) have two particular nasty problems: 1. Lead breakage; and, 2. Solder adhesion on the lead. As to the first, if you start monkeying with the leads; or, try and extend the Lead using another spare Lead, and then try to attach it to a pot, there is a high probability you’ll snap one of the leads right at the joint where the lead meets the actual shell of the cap The leads on PIO’s will snap off in a heartbeat, especially on one side (non-tube side). So I always cut the leads short, like 3-5mm’s. Then, I use stranded wire as lead extensions. If you look at the pic you’ll see what I mean. In this example, I’m using Silicon Wire for maximum flexibility and for freedom to position the cap within the guitar’s cavity. Like little “leashes.” This eliminates the breakage issue completely. Secondly, solder adhesion is an issue on used Bees. All you have to do is use some sand paper, or a file, rough up the lead and solder the lead, then attach the wire leash.
In the tone control I’m working on today, I’m using an On-Off-On wired as a 3-Way Tone Switch - 22nF, 47nF and the seriesed 15nF middle value (I know this mod has been covered on Guitarnutz by either John or ChrisK). The leashes look ridiculously long, but positioning chunky Bees in a tight cavity can be difficult. Once I figure out where I’ll put them in the cavity, I’ll use a glue them to the back of a pot or cavity floor. I’ve even used the back of control cavity covers.
BTW - I normally use Carlings but am out. I find the light blue Chinese switches are far more reliable and durable than the dark blue switches.
I just thought this would help someone out there that buys an old Bee to put in their guitar.