Capacitors

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by cschuster, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. cschuster

    cschuster Junior Member

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    I've been lurking this forum in the background when I was deciding what to do with my Epi Les Paul Std I picked up for real cheap at a garage sale. Was interested in pickup selection opinions when I found the endless debate on caps.

    Congrats, you guys are putting all the "guitar capacitor" manufacturer's kids, and their grandchildren through college. Come on, $50 each for bumblebee or vintage PIO's? Besides the fact that Gibson's bumblebees are really cheap caps inside a vintage looking shell, there are other issues to address. Now, before I don my flame suit, let me explain from an electrical engineer's point of view.

    All that matters in a capacitor is its actual capacitance value - not its construction, voltage rating, size, age, etc. Measuring this value directly is tricky because you need to know the charge it is carrying. This is not easily done outside of a lab environment. Even though caps come in values (.015, .047, ect), all that means is that the cap's actual value is within a certain percentage of its advertised value, which is called a tolerance. This is similar to resistors, which have a separate color band just to designate the different tolerance percentages. For example, a .020uF cap with a tolerance of 10% would pass quality control with values from .018-.022uF. Basically, 5 different .020uF caps can have 5 different actual values, which affects their tone very slightly. All you idiots who claim you can tell vintage from cheap radioshack caps are only hearing the subtle differences in actual capacitance.

    Applying that concept to the real world: Caps are in guitar circuits to filter out undesired frequencies. So lets take 100 different caps, and measure the values of all of them in a lab environment. 4 out of the 100, even though they are made of different materials, have the exact same value. If you were to install each of them into the same guitar and hook up the output jack to an oscilloscope, the waveforms produced would be identical, because the frequencies being sent to the jack are identical.

    Now, if having vintage caps makes you feel you guitar sounds better, which results in better playing, then ignore this whole post.
     
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  2. Unsung Heroes

    Unsung Heroes MLP Vendor

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    Ah ha... snake oil or smoke and mirrors you say..? Somewhat similar to pickups there then... [​IMG]

    Placebo has a lot to do with it. Sure, there may well be some subtle tonality change between components, but as you suggest, if changing them out makes people 'feel' that their guitar is now way better, which in turn means that they play more and even enjoy it more, then rock on [​IMG]
     
  3. Glegalee

    Glegalee Senior Member

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    Thank you for your incite. You seem to assume that the entire community of MLP are retards. I myself am an electronics engineer. You are right in your factual analysis of the capacitor and testing of them.

    I have upgraded the electronics in one of my LP's and will be doing the same to the rest of my guitars. Ok ok I'll not be buying bumble bee's because I can not justify the cost but I will be using Orange drop's again and again. Yes I can get cheap Chinese caps that will do the job but we all know that they won't last as long as a more reputable brand. I built myself a Marshall 18W TMB clone amplifier (not from a kit, all parts individually sourced) and all my caps came from china. I did this to cut the initial cost of producing my one off amplifier, safely in the knowledge that the quality of said caps are sub standard and will be replaced in the future when finance dictates.

    My point is this. If someone feels the need to rewire their guitar to 50's standard wiring, they may also have the desire to use capacitors that look similar to those used historically in the original guitars that the modern instruments are modeled on. And that said If someone wants to spend $50 on a bumble bee looking capacitor then that is their prerogative. Please don't come and judge people for their preferences regardless of whether they deviate from your logic as an electrical engineer.

    Next topic for your thought, Can you tell the difference between the sound generated by a Valve amp and a Transistor amp? I can't but that's not to say that I am an expert in the sounds of amplifiers. Never the less I have both because that is what I choose to do.

    Cheers G.

    Edit: At the end of the day, blue smoke is blue smoke and once you let it out, you're Fudged regardless of the cost of the capacitor.
     
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  4. J_Edgar

    J_Edgar Senior Member

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    Only an idiot would insult a significant proportion of the the members here by calling them idiots in their first forum post.

    As for caps, for me the jury is still out.
     
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  5. Paulie C

    Paulie C Senior Member

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    What the hell kind of a first post is this? Welcome to MLP from one of the "Vintage Idiots"!
     
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  6. MrKensei

    MrKensei Senior Member

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    Hi newbie, this thread belongs in the Tonefreaks forum. Plenty of cap butthurt in there.

    This is the Epiphone Les Paul forum.

    The above said: You're wrong in almost everything you said. If you cant hear it the. i pity you.
     
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  7. mondomojo

    mondomojo Senior Member

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    OP has all of the tact of a Sherman tank.
     
  8. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Senior Member

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    Welcome to MLP. Here's your hat, what's your hurry?:iough:
     
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  9. Dun Ringill

    Dun Ringill Premium Member

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  10. houston

    houston Senior Member

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    I'm certainly not an EE, but my understanding is that caps are measured at a specific industry standard for voltage and frequency. Which tells me by "common sense" that just because 5 different types of caps measure within 10% of .022uF at 1k/1vrms, how they act at vastly different freqs/voltages are likely to be vastly different.

    And my experience tells me that just because things match within a single given measurement, it hardly means they will sound the same. You can easily build a $50 CD player with the same freq response as a (for ex) $500 Oppo, but just because this measurement matches (say, 20-20k +/-0.2db), it absolutely does not mean the 2 units will sound the same.
     
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  11. GitFiddle

    GitFiddle Premium Member

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    Welcome to MLP. :thumb:

    Bazinga. This should be fun.
    Great way to greet the room. :applause:
     
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  12. donlumber

    donlumber Premium Member

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    Successfully learned how to use my ignore list today.
     
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  13. Skit

    Skit Witch Doctor Premium Member

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    :wow: What a douche.

    I've posted it before I'm sure I'll post it again.

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1435456157?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1435456157&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2]Guitar Tone: Pursuing the Ultimate Guitar Sound: Mitch Gallagher: 9781435456150: Amazon.com: Books[/ame]


    Read and learn grasshopper. I will say if you can't hear the difference, then save your money and use the stock caps.

    Do us all a favor and go back to lurking in the background.
     
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  14. DavidRamey

    DavidRamey Senior Member

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    My father had a name for engineers who thought they knew everything. "Educated Idiot"
     
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  15. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    [​IMG]


    HEY,
    Mom say's to get off the internet,Its time for your enema.











    :laugh2:
     
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  16. Bobbyk1978

    Bobbyk1978 Senior Member

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    You sir, are not just an internet troll, you are KING of the internet trolls
     
  17. rjw

    rjw Senior Member

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    this whole thread is too funny...:lol:

    how to piss people off and NOT become part of a community

    Maybe if we all play them unplugged then who'll care about caps
     
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  18. NYC LP player

    NYC LP player Premium Member

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    OMG thank you for solving this one and for all!!!! You are a true hero. I only wish this had been discussed earlier as I have outlay $8 on caps.

    I will pass this to Rebecca Dirks so she can include it in her next Tone Report.

    In all seriousness welcome to the forum.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. VictorB

    VictorB Formerly LZF Super Mod

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    Another capacitor expert... You should have stayed "lurking in the background"...

    You must have a lot of capacitor experience with your garage sale Epi.

    Lol.
     
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  20. Teeceman

    Teeceman Senior Member

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    Not to pour too much scorn on the OP, but why didn't you take this conversation to one of the endless debates on CAP's that you talk about :hmm:
     

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