There is a lot of talk here and there about tone capacitors, potentiometers wiring etc for electric guitars. PIO or Ceramic? Is this cap better than that cap? what pots… It seems to be an endless debate in some circles. Well (for me anyway) the debate is settled.

 Champtone’s Deluxe Upgrade Kit

The Hyperbole From Champtone’s Website:

“Champtone Deluxe kits are an excellent upgrade to even the highest quality instruments.  You’ll hear more of your guitar come through and, therefore, be able to explore new sonic territory.  Having a well-crafted tone circuit in your guitar puts the control where you want it  – at your fingertips.  Champtone Deluxe upgrade kits are perfect for those who have a penchant for vintage-flavored tones and will get along famously with all types of players and instruments.”

And the truth is… Well, they aren’t BSing about them… The Hype turns out to be just stating facts.

This upgrade is available from Champtone in two ways. First as: Deluxe Les Paul® Control Assembly current price $99.99

Champtone Les Paul Upgrade
Deluxe Les Paul® Control Assembly

And secondly as a kit: Deluxe Les Paul® Upgrade Kit current price $69.99

Jensen PIO CTS Pots Gibson Les Paul Wire Kit
Deluxe Les Paul® Upgrade Kit

This kit was purchased from Champtone after quite a bit of research was spent looking into sourcing the separate components… And it pretty much came down to: This was the best price for a set of 4 500k CTS Pots and a Pair of Jensen tone capacitors to be found (unless we wanted to buy them in bulk) and the kit comes with the bonus of some cloth covered push back wire. Champtone’s shipping was reasonable the the product arrived quickly. 

It’s just not very often that I do a review and don’t have anything bad to say at all about a product… So okay… This stuff is pricey no mater where you find it and I don’t like that… Still a pretty simple conclusion to this review here: Top quality parts at a competitive price.

These kits for the Les Paul and upgrade kits for Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars as well are available here from Champtone Custom Guitars


 Jensen PIO Tone Capacitors

I didn’t do all this source hunting for no reason… Some people will say it’s all BS Voodoo fake mojo that is the reason PIO Audio Capacitors are so sought after in the Guitar upgrade market… But I’m telling you… Even a half deaf old dude like me can hear the difference… A sublime difference, but difference non the less. And these Jensen/Angela instruments PIO tone caps are the $h!t. If you look at a capacitor as an analog signal processor rather than just some kind of valve to kill the high frequency it makes more sense and after playing with a lot of different capacitors these ate the “top of the line”.

Jensen / Angela Tone cap test rig
Jensen / Angela PIO vs OEM Gibson Ceramic cap Test Rig

This is an image of a control assembly I built to compare the PIO cap directly with the stock ceramic capacitor on the bridge pickup in a Les Paul Special… This was the test that made me a believer because prior to this I was one of those that said BS placebo effect mojo voodoo crap on the PIO caps. (sound clips to follow as soon as I can get a decent recording). I didn’t only rely on my own ears and playing, I handed this guitar to dozens of players and explained that the V and T was switching the caps but I didn’t tell them which was which… Heck I still haven’t told them… Every single one chose the Jensen/Angela cap as having better control and all around better “tone” one described it as the guitar comes Alive.

Jensen paper in oil audio capacitors
Going into the Bulldog Bodies LP Kit (Reviewed last month)

Back to this kit I bought from Champtone… It is going into the Bulldog Les Paul Kit (with the addition of a Push Pull for coils splitting) after I polish the finish out… just as soon as the nitro cures. Kind of nice that this is the first new review I’ve done since moving everything from the other website… Starting on a positive note is a good thing…

Oh… By the way. The guys from China (eBay Unfinished Guitar Kit Review) are sending another kit, and of course because they now know about the review this one will be hand picked and I’m sure the quality will be better and I will add the facts to my review, however to my faithful followers… Do not despair… I will also publish the entire email conversation between them and myself along with it… Quite Enlightening.