Changing a capacitor - what does it actualy do to the sound?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Doctor Dread, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Mookakian

    Mookakian Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    Jan 18, 2010
    What a cap does is bleed certain frequencies from your guitars signal off to ground. As you roll back the tone dial, a whiper inside the pot gets closer to the pot lug that the cap is connected to, the cap then runs off to ground. The cap does not let all the guitars signal run through it to ground like the solid join on your volume pots, it mostly allows highs and high mids through leaving the lows and low mids to run to your amp (generally).

    A cap change seems to make me adjust the way I attack the strings to enhance certain qualities in the tone of the guitar, the tonal change is slight but my soul seems to crave certain things for different reasons depending what the guitar is and what its used for.

    Personally I am a big fand of Bee's, they do have this juicy thing going on, as mentioned earlier they kinda do a slight cocked wah somehow, nice mid hump but with warmth.

    The Vitamin Q's I find a bit mellower with jazzy warmth, I prefer this in my Tele over the Bee's. Those Russian K40Y-9 PIO caps are great PIO caps too. The benefit of the Russian and Vit Q's, while a small factor it may be worth noting they are Metal/Glass sealed caps and will be far less likely to drift out of original specs than the Bees, I think that's why Sprague started making the Vit Q's and ditched the Bees from memory.

    There are similar caps made these days by guys like WD Music who have an oil filled Mylar cap that has a real nice sparkle as well as warmth with a slightly tighter low end than the vintage Paper In Oils, as if the mid hump has flattened out a little. Pretty cool for modern tones with some vintage appeal, also in this arena are Mojotone Vitamin T, Guideman PIO, and more...all have slightly different qualities but I think are great alternatives to the Expensive Vintage PIO caps.

    As for those nice tight low end tones that give a little edge, I love Russian K73 Polly caps, Jonsey got me on to those. For modern stuff the K73's are where I seem to go most all the time. Orange Drops are similar with a little more edge clarity, personally I find them a bit sharp, if I think this edgy tone is needed I first try a nice Ceramic Disk like CRL, lots of sparkle and still grunty with a lil crunch.

    Refreshing to see a healthy discussion, warms the heart :)

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