Capacitor Conspiracy Theory

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by imitebelvis, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    just came across this FANTASTIC thread, Thanks for all the contributions, I really enjoyed the read. The only 2 things I will say is that those cheap ceramic caps from radio shack sound fantastic in my guitars with treble bypass...
    and that it really amuses me when ignorance tries to elevate itself to the level of a valid opinion. If you think that all that matters is what you "hear" then it seems pointless to post in this thread.
     
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  2. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    I think as a musician/guitarist what you "hear" coming out of your speakers is actually what it's all about.
     
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  3. J_Edgar

    J_Edgar Senior Member

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    Aye, many things are out-with the bounds of a testable scientific model, the appreciation of beauty being amongst them.
     
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  4. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

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    Yeah the yeti post confused me as well, starts off making sense then dive bombs into !?

    I mean isn't it 100% what we hear that drives the mind to explore? Where do you guys come up with these thoughts? Maybe i mis-read it.
     
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  5. David Collins

    David Collins Senior Member

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    I dare say that this relies on a rather narrow and inaccurate view of "testable scientific model". Your example of appreciation of beauty for example - I see no reason to think of this as out of range of research and testing.

    For example, there are many, many ways in which one could research how various factors such as environment (peripheral aesthetics, sounds, odors, etc) could affect one's appreciation of an art piece. Or, it would not be difficult to survey viewers' reactions to an individual painting when they were told it was by a prominent respected artist vs an unknown amateur.

    And it would not seem that outrageous to me, to aim a survey at whether people may prefer some guitar component when told it is one thing or another, while keeping the actual components identical or unchanged. Or likewise, if their perception may be influenced more by what they believe a component will affect than by any true difference in effect in may or may not have.

    Trying to scientifically define beauty is one thing. Scientifically investigating how conditions may affect people's perception or appreciation of beauty is something different altogether. Personally, I find the adamant resistance which quests for such understanding are often met with to be absolutely baffling.
     
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  6. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

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    Dave you blow my mind every time ;)
     
  7. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    I didn't want to single out any particular post with the second half of my thought but just make a general comment about what I see as a real problem when complex matters are explored, science, politics, religion, etc. Posting in THIS thread only to state that the question is largely irrelevant ( "The only thing that matters is if i can hear a difference") is akin to going to a pharmaceutical science conference only to state that all their research is a waste of time since a placebo works fine for you. You either want to know why or you don't. I can enjoy looking at the night sky without ever pondering what is beyond it, who created it, how long has it been there, etc. BUT that's me choosing to be ignorant about it. Posting on a Astrophysics' forum about how it doesn't matter because it doesn't affect me seems pointless, that's all.

    I think some excellent points have been made and I want to pick up on a few things.
    The ".5 dB blindfold test".
    The key piece of information is missing. At what volume were you listening when you correctly identified the 2 mixes? As the listening volume approaches 85,90 or even 100 dB our ears are more likely to identify incremental changes in volume, .5 dB is not that subtle of a change, I wish my Protools rig had better resolution than .1 dB, the producer didn't know what he was talking about. I wonder what the results of that "test" would have been at various volumes.

    "Measurements confirm what I hear"
    I'm an audio engineer by trade and I have to agree that there are situations where expectations do not clutter our perception, you can trust your ears, but only under certain conditions. I recently got to use a different variant of a mic that I'm very familiar with (EV -RE50), the color was different (black) and it was shiny and new but I had no reason to expect hearing anything other than what I know this mic to sound like since I didn't even know that a different variant of that mic was being used. When I got the talent to speak into the mic I was immediately put off by what I heard, I knew this guy's voice well and what it should sound like but the midrange was all screwed up and I quickly switched to an old trusted RE-50 that I had with me. Turns out I was using an RE-50 N/D (different magnet) and a glance at the frequency response graph confirmed what I heard. Your ears are the best measurement tool but they do not work in isolation, other factor come into play. That's what this thread is about, IMO. :applause::applause::applause:
     
  8. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

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    Well i think if you cant explian it simply, you prob dont know it well enough, goes for anything in life.

    I think Einstein said that:hmm: True regardless. Not aimed at anyone or any post, worth the 20 second typing effort and suits the thread i reckon:dude:
     
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  9. Champ_Tone

    Champ_Tone Member

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    Well clearly this is all bullocks. Fact is even those who claim they can hear a difference wouldn't notice for years if someone went in at night and switched their guitar caps, much less be able to tell which caps are their favorite $50 PIO in a blind test.

    I have yet to see anyone citing a legitimate source such as a circuits or electrical engineering textbook. Measured value is measured value. Anyone who says anything else is either selling you something or justifying their expensive purchases.

    Either way, I'd like to see the guy who can determine the difference in a blind test. Where's that Eric Johnson fellow... never thought he was a tone authority to begin with.
     
  10. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

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    ^ Keep listening, you'll get there :p :laugh2:

    As i said, ive tested cap change on guys comming in and out, so far all say yes....i wonder though if some are a bit shy in saying they can't, but i did a few dummy changes and they got that right as well....? Throw an orange drop and a Vit Q on a switch, you should hear/feel a difference in response and tone. Believe me or not, its your right ;)
     
  11. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

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  12. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

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    This site is great to and it proves that caps can sound differently :)
    AC Circuits
    Just scroll down to the line "With a dielectric, the energy density is multiplied by the dielectric constant. " that´s a part of the capacitor :D
     
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  13. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    I dunno, I think I would notice if someone switched the caps in my guitars. Chances are that I'd like them just as much but I think I'd notice.

    I do like the EJ comment and agree with your assessment 100%.
     
  14. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    Which "measured value" are you talking about? Capacitors are far to involve only capacitance, AFAIK.

    Anyway, I repeat what I've said elsewhere: personally, I've nothing to sell. Nothing to defend. I've not done "expensive purchases"...
    The first time I've mounted PIO's in a guitar, it was with free old caps from an old tube radio. I've tried 'em in a really skeptical state of mind. I was sure it wouldn't make any difference... and I've been surprised by the result. Hence various experiments around such things along the years since 2003.

    That's what I've tried to share (and not to sell) here, in various topics - including some empirical tech tests where I've done my best to be precise and "scientific", in order to avoid the sterile "yes it is / no it isn't" discussions that this subject invariably creates ...

    ... but my attempt has flatly failed and I'm sure now that this question of cap is a subject about which opinions are rooted in pre-defined beliefs that people don't want to betray, exactly like politics and religion... Hence the polemic tone of some posts, the use of harsh words and so on (the tittle of this topic being another proof of what I mean, BTW).

    My personal conclusions:
    -those who "believe in caps" must keep in mind the importance of psycho-acoustic and hype;
    -those who "don't believe in caps" should consider that an unknown or not considered (although not irrational) physical parm could lead different caps to behave differently, with an effect on tones;
    -all of us, we could recognize...
    1) the limits of our necessarily faint human understanding,
    2) the importance of gregarious behaviours leading to hardened oppositions when it comes to beliefs,
    3) the possibility for everyone to agree to disagree and to keep it civil: there's SO much more important things to care about in the world...

    Peacefully yours,

    An anonymous hobbyist.
     
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  15. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Amen to that! :applause::applause::applause:
     
  16. BluesDisciple

    BluesDisciple Senior Member

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    The Atlantic article ...

    As a researcher, a scientist and a guitar enthusiast, this has to be about the most poorly presented "semi-professional" comparison and analysis that I have ever seen. If it is to be taken seriously, then present the statistical analysis, the p-values, the tables and charts, and let the reader make his own judgement. Otherwise, I'll use it as toilet paper and depend on my own ears to make a qualified judgement.

    BD
     

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