The capacitor thread.

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Samantha, May 6, 2008.

  1. Samantha

    Samantha MLP Cub Reporter V.I.P. Member

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    OK there are a tonne of questions about capacitors mostly about Bumblebee reproductions and sprauge Vitamin Q's but not allot bout capacitor values and voltages so put all you know about capacitors including Bumblebee, Blackbeauty, Vit Q, capacitor value, capacitor voltage ect. and all the effects they have on an instruments sound and quality.

    heres some stuff i found which should be of some help for the new people thinking about experimenting with capacitors.

    Most guitars and basses with passive pickups use between .01 and .1MFD (Microfarad) tone capacitors with .02 (or .022) and .05 (or .047) being the most common choices. The capacitor and tone pot are wired together to provide a variable low pass filter. This means when the filter is engaged (tone pot is turned) only the low frequencies pass to the output jack and the high frequencies are grounded out (cut) In this application, the capacitor value determines the "cutoff frequency" of the filter and the position of the tone pot determines how much the highs (everything above the cutoff frequency) will be reduced. So the rule is: Larger capacitors will have lower cutoff frequency and sound darker in the bass setting because a wider range of frequencies is being reduced. Smaller capacitors will have a higher cutoff frequency and sound brighter in the bass setting because only the ultra high frequencies are cut. For this reason, dark sounding guitars like Les Pauls with humbuckers typically use .02MFD (or .022MFD) capacitors to cut off less of the highs and guitars like Strats and Teles with single coils typically use .05MFD capacitors to allow more treble to be rolled off. Keep in mind that the capacitor value only affects the sound when the tone control is being used (pot in the bass setting) The tone capacitor value will have little to no effect on the sound when the tone pot is in the treble setting.
     
    filker7, Mookakian, Shai`tan and 5 others like this.
  2. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    voltage doesn't matter in a guitar, except for overall size of the cap - a higher voltage usually means a physically larger cap. Rarely matters in a Les Paul as there is lots of room in the cavity, other guitars may not have room.

    The tone many of us chase come mainly (IMO) from Paper in Oil caps (PIO).
     
  3. eddie_bowers

    eddie_bowers Senior Member

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    Great post!
    One thing I would add is that if you have 300k pots the cap can be heard at 10 (even at 500k, but it's much more subtle). If you have a higher value this is even more true.
     
  4. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    I have been using many of the Bumble Bees in my Custom Harnesses and they really do have that TONE that we love so much. They also have a certain vintage correct look about them, if that counts for anything?
    Sprague Black Beauties often sound as good as the Bees, and the Vitamin Q's are right up there in Tone quality. I use the .047's in my Tele rigs, 400vdc and I try and save the .022 400-600 vdc for my vintage Les Paul rigs.
    Some guys play wide open and never roll off tone controls, but like Eddie mentioned the Cap still plays a roll in your tone unless you have true bypass tone pot. For Players who like to roll off the tone and find the "sweet spot" having the proper set of caps for your guitar is even more important. The only other thing I would mention is volume bleed kits, in conjunction with correct caps the bleed kits will keep your Tone from going muddy as vol. is rolled down. Some guys know about these and some don't, I think they are a must on many Gibson guitars. OK, I have rambled on long enough....
     
  5. cantafford59lp

    cantafford59lp Member

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    Just installed sprague vitamin q's .022uF on my Epi lp with sd 59 bridge and pro 2 neck pups and it sounds different and a bit maybe better than the mallory 150's I had in it. I think with the setup I have on it that the 150's would be ok for the guys that donot want to fork out what 12.99 plus shpg!!??:naughty:
    Thats my opinion anyway and gonna try next the sprague orange drops. Too much hoopla about the q's and bumblebees too.
     
  6. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    If your guitar costs $800-$2000 whats $20 for a decent set of caps, it may be the best money you ever spent on your axe...Lol
    But Seriosly, you are doing exactly the right thing by trying different caps etc, a lot of guys Talk but don't Do. At least you can say what is working or not for you because you have actually tried it.

    Peace, jonesy
     
  7. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    one nice thing about LPs is that it is so easy to test different caps.

    here's my little stash I play with:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. coldsteal2

    coldsteal2 V.I.P. Member

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    I have sprague vitamin q's, i also have some sprague vitamin f filimites and some sprague orange drops
     
  9. shotgunlew

    shotgunlew V.I.P. Member

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    Hey my buddy has a set of Vitamin Q red lables 0047uf / 600v (paper in oil with glass end cap) how would these be in the les paul romans building me (hond. mahogany back with a redwood top, hond mahogany neck with a ebony fret board )? The pickups are WB reverends! Also what kinda pot would yall suggest?

    chris
     
  10. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    I'd consider .0047 to be too bright, I go down to a .010, still pretty bright on roll off but I like it like that. You probably want to be in the .015-.022 range.

    For pots, my fav are RS Superpots for vol, CTS 500Ks for tone.
     
  11. shotgunlew

    shotgunlew V.I.P. Member

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    Well the guitar is gonna be more bass sounding so wouldent a bright cap be better?
     
  12. shotgunlew

    shotgunlew V.I.P. Member

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    What was the specs on the caps in the "bursts" I know they where bumblebees, and i think they where .022 400v???

    chris
     
  13. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    yeah, .022s. Voltage doesn't matter.

    when you roll off the tone, the smaller the value cap, the less bass you are going to have available. .0047 is getting pretty close to running without a cap IMO.
     
  14. shotgunlew

    shotgunlew V.I.P. Member

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    KK, Do you have any suggestions where I can get the best caps $$ can buy?
     
  15. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    I have Fresh Sprague Vitamin Q .033, Sprague .022 "F" and GOODALL .047's for $15 a pair plus plus $3.99 S&H if you find a better deal than that you better scoop em up.

    Peace, jonesy
     
  16. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    what are "F"?
     
  17. tyfranz

    tyfranz Junior Member

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    Hey guys,I am putting a bareknuckle nailbomb in the bridge of my guitar its calling for .047 capacitors does it matter by the voltage? also what kind should i get? also i need some cts 500k pots any help or suggestions would be great? I do apologize i am really a noob when it comes to guitar electronics.
     
  18. b-squared

    b-squared Banned

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    Voltage doesn't really matter. The higher voltage the bigger the cap gets (size considerations).

    Most I've seen are rated at 400v or so. Your guitar is putting out a WHOLE lot less than that. :D

    There are several vendors for pots. I get mine at rsguitarworks.net - Home , but there are other vendors as well--I'm sure someone will offer some other choices.

    BB

    [edit] No apologies necessary...that's what this place is for! :thumb:
     
  19. tyfranz

    tyfranz Junior Member

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    thanks alot for the heads up...does anyone know places i could get some Sprague Vitamin-Q or anyother suggestions would be great..seems like every online store i go to is sold out of vitamin q...:(
     
  20. b-squared

    b-squared Banned

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    See post # 15... :D

    BB
     

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