Capacitor Snakeoil: Can you hear a difference?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by 22Frets, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Laars

    Laars Senior Member

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    How much you hear with the caps can depend on your sound as well as your ears. Plug into a high gain amp with scooped mids, and you may not hear it through all the gain. Plug into a old Plexi amp, with little gain, and you may hear quite a difference.
     
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  2. GBLEV

    GBLEV Senior Member

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    You missed my point, thought comes after the ear has sent the message to the brain.

    Lets look at a high squeal vs. a rumble, and I'll use an experience that I recently had. I had a microphonic preamp tube and it was getting bad. Everytime I played I would start getting some squeeling from it, but one day I turned on my amp expecting to hear that squeal (preconcieved thought) and I heard loud pop instead. My ears detected low frequencies sent the information in the form of a message to the brain, which is so fast that it seems instantaneously, my brain deciphered the information and determined that the sound I herd was a pop and not a squeal.

    Two things here;
    1) My ears did not decide what the sound was that was heard, they only detected the frequencies, echo's (the depth), loudness and what other information the ears detect, then sent this mesage to the brain so that the brain can determine what the sound was that the ears detected.

    2) If my brain's preconcieved thoughts of this sound could have influenced what I heard, like what you guys are saying they can do, then I would have not determined that the sound was a loud pop, but rather exactly what I expected to hear before I turned the amp on, which would have been some sort of squeal.

    (If this could actually happen we all would be in a lot of danger.)

    If the mind can constantly overide the information recieved from the ears because it has another agenda for what it wants in it's information that comes from the ears, nobody would be able to detect problems, danger, and all other sounds that alert us that there is something different on the horizion.

    Tell that to those who are Deaf, but you better use sign language because for some reason their brains don't hear either.

    You guys must have skipped Biology back in school, or maybe some of you haven't gotten that far yet (referring to the young ones here). Either way the Brain recieves and sends messages. It does not perform the functions of the senses, if it could you would not need your ears, eyes, nose and throat.
     
  3. GBLEV

    GBLEV Senior Member

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    Never stated that or insinuated that. Some how you have went from claiming that the brain can control what the ears hear before it hears something to changing everything I've said and twisting it out of context.

    Binaural hearing, is what you are referring too, and that really hasn't been the focus of what we have been discussing. But it is included as part of the "message" the ears sends the brain when a sound is heard. Which I have stated.

    I strongly suggest you go do yourself a favor and do a little study of the brain, and the ears. I'm not saying this to be mean, you seem to be a little confused. Your ears are only as good as God has made them, you really don't have much control over that, but you do have the ability to ruin them. It is true that you can have your focus on something else, and not be paying attention to what's going on. Have you ever heard the phrase, "You hear me but your not listening"? Listening requires focus, and focus, again, like I have stated earlier is a brain issue, not an ear issue.

    Man, what are you talking about? There are "superior" PIO caps that are evolving to kill us? I think I remember Hitler saying the Germans had the "purest" PIO caps. I don't know about any evidence supporting a racist method of natural selection and how it supposedly passes over "less-superior" PIO caps, or that stuff, but I do know the cambrian explosion completely evaporated any notion of such a natural selection even ever existing.

    To get back to what started all of this, the brain can't tell the ears before hand, "your going to hear this and I'm going to determine this because this is what I say." If someone can or can't hear a difference in the PIO caps from others it isn't beacause of a price tag, or because they just don't believe something so small and insignificant can actually make a difference. It's only because they do or don't have ears that are strong enough to detect the differences in frequency ranges, or minor volume changes, or anything else that changing a componet in the signal chain does. Nor can you go calling foul, and saying it is a bogus claim just because you haven't experienced it. That's like saying the bubonic plague was myth because they know of no one who has suffered from it.

    As far as the debate goes about the ears having brains of their own, and brains having ears, I've said all that I can to explain it. If you don't understand it, or don't believe me, go check for yourself I'm sure you will find what your looking for here on the internet.

    With that being said, I'm sorry to the OP, never meant to hijack your thread and I mean no disrepect to anyone, I'm just trying to shine the light on some things, from years of studying and experience.

    I'm out.
     
  4. Jakeislove

    Jakeislove Senior Member

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    It processes information from our senses. Smell is probably a grey area but we still need our brains for it.
     
  5. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    BS. Hearing is sensory, listening requires thought.
     
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  6. Jakeislove

    Jakeislove Senior Member

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    Without the ears you wouldn't have anything to process. I, for example, have hearing loss so the information would be missing some high frequencies.

    Feeling and being right aren't always the same thing.

    My main criticism of the there's no difference crowd is that we probably can't easily measure how the brain interprets sounds. Also (as pointed out in a long dead thread) our memory for sound is relatively short.

    There's probably some way to play identical signals through PIO/Mylar and see if there's any difference in brain activity but I have a hard time believing something that trivial is worth researching. That being said; people have gotten grants to measure the impact of methane from cow farts may have on global warming, seeing if fish are more violent on tequila vs. gin, underwater volcanoes, etc... It might be a great opportunity for one of our more enterprising forum members. Knowing if there's a difference (or not) might be useful to audiophiles. :)
     
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  7. MiniB

    MiniB Senior Member

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    What happened to the other Bumblebee threads? The 'hereby declare a myth' and I think another that was a sticky....?
     
  8. lunchie

    lunchie Senior Member

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    I went to the dark side today :shock:. I put a 400v Sprague Cap in one of my old Japanese Squier Strats tonight along with cloth wires. I was doing my very best crappy imitation of the patented John 5 behind the nut bends on it and broke the nut. I figured while I was at it I would replace the pots and switch that no amount of Contact Cleaner could fix. I bought a bundled pot and switch combo off of the Bay and the wire and cap came with it so I figured what the hell.

    I dont believe in Cap mojo. One of the first things I did when I built a Beavis Board was play around with various capacitors and really could not tell any difference. I don't hold it against anyone if they want to spend $20 for a cap, but its just not for me.
     
  9. kboman

    kboman Senior Member

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    Interesting, um, discussion... I remember watching the video on page 1 and noticing a difference. I remember it being very very small too.

    And about senses? I work with eyes and do eye exams all day, every day - I can tell you that objective measurements are basically never reliable, certainly not in the details. A subjective refraction includes loads of double-checks before one is satisfied with the results. The eye-brain connection is a two-way connection and I can't imagine the eye-ear connection being any different.

    For the record I use a .015 orange drop for my neck pickup and a .022 green russian PIO cap the the bridge position (the initial .015 OD being too bright). I'm going to compare the PIO with an OD of the same value and see if my rig lets me hear a difference.
     
  10. MiniB

    MiniB Senior Member

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    Seriously, what happened to the other thread cutting them open? There was some real good info in there.
     
  11. Fiftywattmafia

    Fiftywattmafia Senior Member

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    PM a Moderater and I'm sure they'd be glad to tell you.
     
  12. Actinic

    Actinic Senior Member

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    In before the lock, heh, heh. I would like to correct a misstatement that someone made about engineers not specifying caps except by value. That is total B.S. There are times when he not only specifies the breakdown voltage and tolerance, but the material type. Anyone who has designed a Bessel filter or other complicated circuit knows the frequency range that the circuit operates over, as well as the temperature and shock conditions. The guys who designed the electronics in the Voyager probe did not use some cheap capacitor for a mission-critical operation. They picked the best technology that was available to them at the time. PIO performs great under shock conditions, according to a defense technical information website. If it was good enough for V'ger, it's good enough for me.
     
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  13. Jakeislove

    Jakeislove Senior Member

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    It was capacitor porn. :)
     
  14. Dougie

    Dougie Senior Member

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    Damn. This thread was all about arguing and none about caps.

    I still have a bag FULL of nice cool old NOS vintage caps that I used in my shootout. Been playing and tweaking guitar and other audio shit since 1967.

    3 caps out of a whole bag full made their voicing known, the rest were too typical or too boring to remember.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    1. Sprague VitaminQ .022 @200v got their own sound. They really do what the hype says, they have a cool "sparkle" to the tone when rolled off. Very neat cap.

    2. Sprague Bumblebee .022 @400v another one with it's own sound, has that smoky "Stormy Monday" tone when rolled off, THE tone of the PAF days and then some.

    3. Russian K73 PETP .022 @630v this is a poly cap that has a real cool creamy mids presence when rolled off, and helps your guitar get that real nice Dickey Betts sing song coolness when playing leads around the 10th fret. Think the solo out of "Southbound"

    ALL the rest, didn't do nothing worth writing about....
     
  15. Jakeislove

    Jakeislove Senior Member

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    @ Dougie,

    Someone did a blind shootout and the Vit Q was only one I really dug. After that, looking for old Bees really didn't make sense because it didn't really seem as if they would improve my sound much.

    Would be nice having one more excuse for sucking, though. :) What the guitar really needs is a 60s tone knob.... that'll fix everything!!
     
  16. Dougie

    Dougie Senior Member

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    You have to have the right pots too. It don't matter if you have a neat cap if the pot only has one little teeny tiny spot in it's sweep that makes it sound good. I started using some 300k linear taper pots for tone and I found that the sweet spot was spread over much greater amount of the sweep so that meant the tone control was a whole lot more usable and easy to get it into the Duane zone. If you listen to Duane, he is constantly working the volume and tone as his solos intensify, and conventional pots to me make that harder to dial into. Because of that I never used tone controls. Now with a sweep that I can easily work on the fly, and caps that actually contribute to the tone instead of just muddy it up, using the knobs is fun again.

    I got some 70s vintage barrel knobs on the Firebird, so it could get Skynyrd more accurately :lol:
     
  17. Jakeislove

    Jakeislove Senior Member

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    I already have RS Superpots for volume and 500K tone in a Jonesy wiring harness.

    The key, missing ingredient is 60s reflectors for tone. I should have started there before making any mods. :)

    Practicing more might not be the world's worst idea, either.
     
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  18. Dougie

    Dougie Senior Member

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    Yes but the barrel knob gets a fatter tone you see, because it's bigger... :cool:
     
  19. David Collins

    David Collins Senior Member

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    Huh??

    Linear pots do just the opposite in tone control position - essentially tanking the meaningful adjustment range of 0-7 on a standard audio and compressing it all down to the 0-2 range. This doesn't make sense.
     
  20. Dougie

    Dougie Senior Member

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    Compared to the audio taper which is effective from 10 down to 8 and after that it's dead until you get to completely off, that linear taper pot offers me a lot more usable sweep and no dead spots.

    If I use an audio taper pot, by the time I have cracked it from wide open down to about 8, it's already taken too much treble off and it is hard to find that sweet spot between 8 and 10.

    Yes the real roll off happens below about 3 with the linear, it's just a LOT more user friendly to me than the audio taper pot.
     
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