De-Bunking Myths About Capacitors

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

  1. Arzachel

    Arzachel Senior Member

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    run along now sonny :)
     
  2. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

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    Now how do you suggest we record it then?
    Wouldn´t we need some super-great microphone that still will affect the sound by some 0,000001 margin and we should also have a oscilloscope so that we could analyse down to 0,000000001 level.

    1. It might be audible since alot of people sais that 3dB doubles the volume
    2. In a great pickup you can add 1000 turns with no audible effect.
    3 & 4. Many pickups have their resonance peak way under 10kHz, i only know of singlecoils reaching thoose heights so i don´t think the 1ohm difference would be audible.
    However the kOhm of a pickup is just a load resistance and irrelevant IMO.
    5. Yeah i got some mil spec plastic wire that´s really more disciplined than the cloth wire :lol:

    TEST
    1 & 2 Do it yourself, i´ve had it with all of you who demands recordings of this and that. Try it yourself in your guitar and if you still can´t hear the difference, well then there is no difference to your ears.
    But if my wife could detect a difference in sound without even knowing that i´ve changed capacitors then there has to bee a difference ;)
     
  3. martin H

    martin H Senior Member

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    I think you kinda missed the point. I was responding to the argument that "There is a measurable electrical diference, therefore it must make a difference in the sound" I merely listed several "electrical differences " that have no audiable effect.

    Although 3db is a doubling of power, it isn't a doubling of loudness, because the ear perceives volume in a non-linear fashion. It take a change of ten times the power for the ear to percive a doubling of volume. The decibel scale was callibrated on the idea that a 1db change should be the smallest change in volume percievable to the human ear. Hence example # 1 (.05dB) which is not audiable. There's a good discussion at
    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes-valves/39345-wattages-loudness-im-lost-print.html

    I personally find milspec wire a little too "rigid"
     
  4. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

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    But like i stated, "if you can hear the difference or not is another thing".
    Thanks for the link it led to some interesting reading which i´m not done with yet.
    The scientific part is something i´ve searched for a while and finally found to be able to present to all of thoose who sais that different caps would sound the same.
    IMO it´s been prooven with both aduio clips and scientific that different brands/material of caps will sound difference but not always audible
    I might have missed the point but like i said i get tired of all people demanding this and that to be recorded and claims there´s no difference.
     
  5. martin H

    martin H Senior Member

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    This thread has cause me to do some thinking (a bad thing!), trying to reconcile my electrical engineering training with the idea that capacitors of the same nominal value can sound different, e.g. behave differently at audio frequencies. Starting from basics, a capacitor acts as a tone control, e.g a filter ,because its reactance ( or “AC resistance”) varies with frequency, according to the formula [ 1 divided by (2 X 3.14 X f X c)] where f is the audio frequency , and c is the capacitance in Farads.

    Therefore, a 0.047uF capacitor has a resistance of approximately 33.8 K ohms at 100Hz; 6.74 K ohms at 500hz; 3.4 K ohms at 1000Hz; and 677 ohms at 5000Hz. If one end of the capacitor is connected to ground, as in a guitar tone circuit, the high frequency of 5KHz sees a much more attractive path to ground that the low frequency of 100Hz – more high frequency flows to ground than low frequency, and the spectrum of the guitar signal is consequently altered.

    Now the scientific formula of [ 1 divided by (2 X 3.14 X f X c)] is linear. Therefore, theoretically, all capacitors of the same value will behave exactly the same at the same frequency. However, on reflection, I am quite willing to concede that all capacitors may not , in practice, behave in the linear fashion indicated by the capacitive reactance formula, especially faced with the complex situation of an inductive pickup coil feeding into them, and several other static resistances in the circuit ( volume pot, tone pot, input impedance of the amplifier). This would, however, be a complex thing to actually measure because simply creating a one resistor one capacitor circuit and plotting frequency versus voltage tests on it will not simulate the very complex factors introduced by having a pickup coil in the circuit.

    I’m going to think on this some more …….
     
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  6. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

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    Wow, that was some great info Martin :D
    Please keep it comming and think alot more and try to elaborate :D
     
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  7. Arzachel

    Arzachel Senior Member

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    OK with an open mind [or i wouldn't of bothered] i just popped some NOS 22Nf mil spec russian caps into my 87 LP its had the same caps fitted [22Nf] since i bought it in 87 so after 25 years i should know every nuance of its sound by now

    the new ones sound exactly the same as the old ones
     
  8. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

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    To bad you didn´t hear any difference.
    Did you use the tone knobs and rolled them down to 0?
    Sometimes keeping the tone on 10 doesn´t make that much difference but when you start to use the tone knob alot more could happen :)
    Which Russians did you get by the way?
    Green K42?
    Grey K40?
     
  9. Arzachel

    Arzachel Senior Member

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    damn my bad luck or poor hearing then coz it surely can't be that the caps sound the same :)

    i tested the tone all over

    K73
     
  10. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    The Russian K73's are PTEP poly caps not paper in oil.
     
  11. Arzachel

    Arzachel Senior Member

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    i know that but they should still sound different

    edit

    next test will be PIO
     
  12. Arzachel

    Arzachel Senior Member

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    tried PIO no bloody difference at all and i actually hoped there would be

    tried some different values and there were lots of differences as would be expected, i found a combination i like and won't mess with caps again
     
  13. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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  14. Echoes

    Echoes Senior Member

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    running the tone pots wide open, how much do the tone caps affect the tone? (I always leave the tone pots full on)
     
  15. gtr-tek

    gtr-tek Fumble Fingers Premium Member

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    Some would argue that there is no effect yet Fender has offered tone pots that bypass entirely when turned up all the way. There is an effect with the cap and pot in circuit and different types of caps do sound different. Night and day difference? Probably not. Subtle? Yes.

    To me, the beauty is fully heard when you roll the tone pot off a bit with '50s wiring and PIOs. The sound warms up without turning to mud.
     
  16. Echoes

    Echoes Senior Member

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    yea, after thinking about it a while that is about what I thought....the signal is passing through the cap through the open pot etc.... the only way to judge is to cut the cap out of the circuit as someone above mentioned...then compare the tone
     
  17. JMV

    JMV Senior Member

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    If you're a player who runs his tone and volume controls at 10 all the time, the area in which you will see the most effect is changing the value of pots and/or caps. If you swap 300k pots for 500k pots, you will get a brighter sound. If you swap a .022 neck cap for a .015 or .010, you will notice a more clear neck tone.

    To me, the greatest difference in cap materials lies within using your tone and volume controls in all the areas outside of "10". Even then, the differences between caps can be quite subtle.
     
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  18. Echoes

    Echoes Senior Member

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    I get enough control just by rolling my volumes back....but, I would like a little less low end mud from my neck pickup with the volume rolled back....

    you suggest a lower cap value (than the .022 I currently have) huh?
     
  19. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    My experience with no loads pots is when you take the cap and the Pot out of the circuit the signal sounds bright, clear, raw...

    The pot loads the tone (or volume) circuit as much or more then the cap does IMO.
     
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  20. rsrd

    rsrd Senior Member

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    Jonesy, thanks for this thread. Alot of side pontificating but interesting none the less. I appreciate your OP it was very informative. Bottom line: it's for some and not others but it's part of the quest for those of us always trying to squeeze every inch of tone we can get. I don't view it as "time that could be spent practicing" i view it as a hobby done along side of practicing.

    I'll be sending an email very shortly to you. Im going to take the plunge into caps/pots land on my RO. Thanks.

    *** make that Email
     
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