Good Cap Values

kam4ff

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For a firebird V with minis and for a Les paul with humbuckers. Im finally thinking about upgrading my caps and pots so what are the best value ranges for these two guitars and pickups?
 

Wraptail

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Buy a bunch with different values from say .01 to .047 and swap them in and out until you exactly what works for you in each guitar.

I typically like .015s - even in teles. I really like the tone pot range with these and 50s wiring. 50s wiring and high value caps can make the volume roll off too much when you turn the tone control down. With bright guitar I just have the tone control rolled 1/2 way down. You also get a killer wah-like honk with the tone rolled all the way off with the low value cap.

But I do have a .047 with the bridge bucker of an LP.
 

Quill

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I have a 0.047uF on the bridge in my Les Paul, too. Jensen PIO, copper foil. I went through a dozen different kinds, and tried most in the typical values, starting at 0.01 and going down from there. I even tried paralleling different caps, and got some great sounds, but they seemed too specific - wouldn't be versatile.

0.033uF is a really nice value in a very bright guitar, makes for a versatile set-up. They just have to suit what you are doing - I don't know if the very deep sounding values would suit a player who wants to work with high gain, or even more classic-rock sounds - though I think they are interesting with the right kinds of fuzz.
 

kam4ff

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So what does it do if the cap is say higher than another? As in a .022 vs a .047? With higher capacitance does it make it sound darker or brighter generally speaking?
 

Quill

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I found that the higher the cap's value, the more highs would be rolled off as I rolled the tone back. Whatever you think I might imagine myself to mean by the "quality" of each type of cap seemed to me, and you don't have to believe me, I'm not going to twist your arm, I put the time in trying things and figuring out what I liked for myself and I am indifferent to your attempts to deny my experience with your graphs and other internet posturings, it seemed to me that the qualities of each cap affected the way the roll-off sat in the sound, the way it all felt. So that was a factor for me, too, and took some additional foolin' around to sort out.

But basically, the higher the value, the deeper the roll-off. Too high might be too deep for some amps, styles, etc. etc.

That's the general "you", I'm using - the preemptive general - you understand.
 

kam4ff

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Thanks quill. I was looking for a more general understanding of if I use a higher value what happens etc. I don't know what your graph comment was but I've only really had good advice on this section of the forum. I didn't mean to offend you. Thanks for your advice. I plan on testing a bunch of caps, but I just wanted a little understanding.
 

Wraptail

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It's important to remember that one's whole rig is a system - from your hands to the speaker, and everything in between; and that they all have an affect on each other.

For me it's about customizing the whole thing, as in each component, to what I like.

In my case I play through one amp most of the time. At home & at gigs - so everything is tailored to what I get through that amp.
 

Quill

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... I don't know what your graph comment was but I've only really had good advice on this section of the forum. I didn't mean to offend you.

Sorry, kam4ff, I can be obscure ... within one sentence, I was speaking specifically to you for part of it and then not to you, but to the host of others who love to come in to these threads and tell people like me that we can't possibly be hearing what we are hearing, and that we are stupid and wrong and on and on, and attempt to disprove our experience with usually quite reductive technical discussions of the effects of these things.

Also, people like freefrog use graphs to try to open up the discussions and show that it is possible to hear the things we are hearing - I wasn't complaining about freefrog and other, more open-minded technically capable types, either.

I've been publishing my complaints on here quite a bit lately; better try to settle down ... plus, I'm very limited in what I know and in the advice I can give and I'd like to know more, and that's frustrating, too. Just only knowing what you can clearly hear can be crazy-making ...
 

gtr-tek

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The higher values yield a darker response as the pot is turned. They can be darker at 10 too. The .022uf is frequently used for all humbuckers even though the Firebird is a brighter instrument. You certainly can try a .047uf or a .035uf to find a more pleasing range. Most caps are cheap unless you're buying vintage 'Bees. I prefer Russian PIOs for their very close approximation to 'Bees. :dude:
 

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