De-Bunking Myths About Capacitors

Discussion in 'Vendor Classifieds' started by jonesy, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. 1680dw

    1680dw Member

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    here is a picture of a .025 mfd black cat cap, they do exsist, and they sound pretty cool. and the guitar they went into
     

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  2. kolorowi@yahoo.com

    kolorowi@yahoo.com Junior Member

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    I eliminated the CAPS and POTS all together byjust simply clipping one of the cap's legs, the one on the VOL pot's side.

    The diff in tone is very significant, and on my amp I have all the tone controlls I need.

    The easiest and most rewarding mod ever. Thought of it myself.
     
  3. Starless

    Starless Junior Member

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    Did that to my bass a while ago. And Eddie van Halen did it even earlier to his frankenstrat. There are a few guitars and basses which come with no tone controls as standard.
     
  4. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    I've tried to bring something interesting in the "tone cap debate" by posting another kind of "blind test": those that I do with real caps and a frequency analyzer.

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/ton...-signal-through-guitar-pu-wiring-harness.html

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/ton...ifferently-tone-pot-full-up-another-test.html

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/tonefreaks/172575-types-capacitors-guitars.html (answer 14)

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/tonefreaks/175186-capacitor-conspiracy-theory-6.html#post3595589

    I don't know if these attempts have any value but at least I've done my best.
     
  5. martin H

    martin H Senior Member

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    Ohh Starless....the great "tonefreak" debate is not about scientific reality. How dare you inject such attempts at objectivity into the debate! It's so much more fun to argue the subjective virtues of a Russian milspec cap removed from an old Souyez rocket against a 59 Gibson cap remeved from an instrument that Jimmy Page may have once touched. It's also much easier, because any opposition to the new "holy grail" capcitior can be trounced by stating "WELL, I CAN NEAR THE DIFFERENCE....."
     
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  6. Arzachel

    Arzachel Senior Member

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    a very enjoyable snake oil sales thread :)

    a capacitor is a tiny bucket of electrons that fills and empties, it makes no difference to the electrons what the bucket is made of, electricity is not like ham it doesn't taste any better cured in wax caps, caps don't do special extra things "in a non linear way" whatever that means

    how they work if we imagine the top drawing is the dc waveform induced from a guitar pickup forget that the wave looks uniform the drawing is a rectified AC sine wave our guitar signal will be far more random but it serves to demonstrate

    the thicker line in the 2nd drawing is a capacitor, as the voltage of our guitar signal climbs it is charging as the voltage drops the cap discharges and bridges the gap thus cutting down the peaks there is a secondary effect in that the rms signal drops slightly, overall the highs will be lower and the output more uniform the larger the cap the greater the effect

    with caps from the 60s yes you can fit one and get a tone you like but that is true of any cap, 60s cap will be degraded they absorb moisture from the atmosphere and suffer dielectric losses and decreased insulation resistance so as far as antique is concerned yes they may be useable yes you might like the tone {especially after you've forked out silly money to some geezer on the internet} but they are far less likely to sound anything like they did when they were new than a modern equivalent that has the original spec ask anyone that likes old radios or jukeboxes 1st thing that get swapped out will be the caps to improve the tone and make it sound more like it did when new

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  7. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    My PhD had more or less to do with the history of sciences and "epistemology": anybody studying such things knows that Science passes its time to valid the current theory as being the only possible truth... until a new theory appears and brings a new "only possible truth". :laugh2:

    Regarding tone caps, I've realized months ago on this forum that it's actually a question of "faith", exactly like politics and religion. People who disagree will produce various arguments to prove that capacitors change or don't change their tone but they won't change their first opinion. :)

    Personally, I don't know what is "the truth" with caps. I've done many amateurish experiments but I've lost/screwed a lot of data and I can't draw a clear conclusion, although my results suggest that different materials do a difference in the "behaviour" of caps (in impulse mode).

    Empirically... "snake oil" or not, I'll never pull my old PIO caps from the three guitars where I've mounted them. I've not paid these things (they were in an old radio from the 60's) and they change my tone in a unique way.
    I've recently tried to mount an Orange Drop instead in one of the three axes: it was good but hadn't that smooth 3D sound that the PIO creates with its "snake oil".
    I've also mounted two old (original) mylar "Sprague Black Beauty" that a friend gave me in a 2d Les Paul, with EXACTLY the same wiring than in my main "PIO fitted" Les Paul. The mylar stuff sounds obviously thicker and less dynamic, without the kind of "liquid depth" / micro reverberation noticeable with PIO.
    I guess I drink too much snake oil. :)
     
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  8. Arzachel

    Arzachel Senior Member

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    well opinions are like assholes everyones got one

    people can believe whatever they like but bullshit alchemy pseudo science presented by salespeople as facts must be challenged
     
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  9. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

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    Ok, some scientific info for all you which i´ve posted in some other thread.
    "With a dielectric, the energy density is multiplied by the dielectric constant."
    The pickup (inductor) along with resistor (vol pot) and capcitor forms an AC (alternate current) circuit.
    Different brand of caps will have different Dielectric properties and since that you use the dielectric in the math formula for the entire circuit the tinest change in numbers will yield a different result.
    Here´s a link AC Circuits
    Read up on that and there you´ll have "scientific" proof that different capacitors sounds different due to the dielectric properties.
    If you can hear the difference or not is another thing
     
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  10. Wraptail

    Wraptail MLP Vendor

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    As far as scientific results, and theory etc "proving" that there is no difference between cap material. Maybe ya'll are measuring the wrong things.

    I bet if you had an original schematic for a trainwreck amp and followed it to build an amp you would not end up with a trainwreck amp. I'd bet my left nut. Sometimes it just comes down to the ears and that's enough for me.
     
  11. Starless

    Starless Junior Member

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    You're apparently just picking a random phrase that you don't really understand from an article you don't understand either. Of course a different value capacitor will affect the behavior of the circuit. And the capacitance is affected by the dielectric used, if other physical aspects of the capacitor are unchanged. However, that's very different from saying that two capacitors with the same capacitance, but with that capacitance achieved using different dielectrics, will affect a circuit differently.

    The link you posted certainly does not say that.
     
  12. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

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    Actually i´ve read throu the entire article and there are example clearly showing the entire circuit were the capacitor is a part of that circuit.
    The article doesn´t say anything about guitars either it just shows a AC circuit which a pickup with vol pot and capacitor in a guitar creates just like in the pictures, so why wouldn´t it be the same thing.
    The reason as to why i higlighted the phrase with the dielectric is because it´s in the article and it´s very relative to the thread topic IMO.
    I´m also trying to explain that capacitors made by different companies, made with different or same with the same capacitance will produce a different sound in the same guitar with the same pickup and pots if you only change the cap.
     
  13. martin H

    martin H Senior Member

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    Humm....I'd hazard If you can hear the difference or not" is the only thing.

    Techinically, any of the following will "affect sound" None of them are audiable:

    1. A change of 0.05 db in ouput;

    2. Ten extra turns on a pickup coil;

    3. A chage of 1 ohm at 10Khz in the capacitive reactance of a given capacitor;

    4. A chage of 1 ohm at 10Khz in the inductive reactance of a given capacitor;

    5 The fact that cloth covered wire may behave differently to plastic covered wire at radio frequencies.

    And so on. I was a great "Hi Fi" enthuisiast in the 70's and watched objectivity in that field destroyed by the 'golden ears" crowd who began claiming that they could hear the difference between wire twisted in different directions, cables sealed under vaccum, $75 power chords ect. Once you leave demonstrable objectivity behind, all you have is opinion.

    Someone do this for me. Post a soundfile -

    1. Les paul with all knobs wide open, middle pickup selector, modern cap vs identical conditions, vintage cap. Tell us what we are supposed to hear.....

    2. Same test , one pickup, slow rotation of the tone control to full
     
  14. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    Oil filled caps vs film caps of the same value. Hardwired in the guitar, recorded with the same amp eq settings.


    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/tonefreaks/166428-mojotone-capacitor-shootout.html


    .
     
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  15. Starless

    Starless Junior Member

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  16. Arzachel

    Arzachel Senior Member

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    soundfiles just form more opinions the way to get true unequivocal data about cap function is with an oscilloscope trace which is a like photograph of the sound and is comparable and measurable
     
  17. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    Yeah I measured the caps to make sure they were same specs, that is pretty standard for any of my cap tests.

    I was the one playing the guitar so yes I knew which caps were which.
     
  18. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    Well maybe somehow you could take the audio from those 4 cap tests, run it into an oscilloscope and post your findings here?

     
  19. Arzachel

    Arzachel Senior Member

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    yes i could do that

    however you are challenging the accepted scientific thinking so it is for you to prove your case with data

    i look forward to your findings :)

    oh consistent string resonance could be important, an e bow perhaps ?
     
  20. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    You know even on those youtube vids you can hear a difference between those two types of caps, so chances are you would clearly see that results on a scope. I have already submitted my tests and don't plan on buying an oscilloscope anytime soon. :)
     
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