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Old April 2nd, 2009, 04:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Suggestions for best guitar tone circuit caps?

Pretty simple. I find myself doing alot of pickup changes and the sort for friends, and want to get a bit of a stock of good quality caps for tone circuits.

What can people recommend as far as types go? I've seen green caps used, ceramic, all sorts of things, so I guess I want to know what would be the best approach for this application.

Any thought and suggestions welcome.....

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Old April 2nd, 2009, 06:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ones with the closest tolerances...it doesn't matter what they are made...caps are caps are caps...anybody who says that oil filled models have some sort of mojo are just peddling snake oil.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 08:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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+1. I tossed a green chicklet I got from RS into my thinline last pup switch and it sounds fine. .047 I think.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 12:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Anything will work as long as they are not electrolytic capacitors . As far as values go you just really need two , .047 microfarad (single coils) and .022 microfarad (humbuckers) .
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 01:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, you guys confirmed pretty much what I was already thinking...just thought I should ask as there is a fair bit of cumulitive knowledge around this place...
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 10:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrothacker View Post
Anything will work as long as they are not electrolytic capacitors . As far as values go you just really need two , .047 microfarad (single coils) and .022 microfarad (humbuckers) .
I thought it was the other way 'round - .022mf for single coils and .047mf for hb's. Please re-verify.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 02:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Lets get our terminology right here lads.....

Typically, a lower case "m" represents milli.......

Here we are refering to "microfarad", so we should either type "micro" or use the greek letter mu "μ"

I know what we all mean, but we don't want to confuse anyone who may go on the lookout for a .022 millifarad cap, when what he really wants is a .022 microfarad cap....

Sorry for sounding like the terminology police, but no one wants to be out by a factor of 1000.....
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Old April 4th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I thought it was the other way 'round - .022mf for single coils and .047mf for hb's. Please re-verify.
im pretty sure it is 0.047uf for single coils, well thats what I use in my tele anyway....
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Old April 4th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I thought it was the other way 'round - .022mf for single coils and .047mf for hb's. Please re-verify.
I've always gone w/ .047 for single coils and .022 for buckers. As far as caps I think you can here the difference between ceramic and poly (chicklet style) caps.that is if you use your tone control
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Old April 4th, 2009, 08:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The tone control is determined by the cap and the tone pot, formula, f = 1/(2piCR).

Now hb usually have 500k pots and sc 250k, but that R is the total resistance of the circuit incl pickup and vol, not just the tone pot. So rule-of-thumb is 47nF (wot, another unit!) for sc and 22nF for HB. But hang on, stock strat's get 22nF on theirs.

They're easy to change on a tele and they're cheap. 47nF = 0.047F = 473 etc. An alternative to the 22 or 47 is the 33nF, or if you like mud, the 100nF.

I can hear the difference between a good cap and a poor one, very cheap caps are very low tolerance, maybe 30%, so you don't have the value you thought you had. I use mylar or polyester, avoid ceramic (disc) type.

Try it and see.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I changed the stock ceramic caps to Luxe Bumblebee repros ( .015mfd for the neck and .022mfd for the bridge) ,on my Les Paul Classic plus with Burstbucker pro PUPS ,and they made a noticeably audible difference,(smoother creamier tone).
For single coil PUPS, I like the SPRAGUE .047mfd ORANGE DROPS.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I changed the stock ceramic caps to Luxe Bumblebee repros ( .015mfd for the neck and .022mfd for the bridge) ,on my Les Paul Classic plus with Burstbucker pro PUPS ,and they made a noticeably audible difference,(smoother creamier tone).
For single coil PUPS, I like the SPRAGUE .047mfd ORANGE DROPS.
Out of curiosity what were the values of the original caps?
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Old April 4th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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With a capacitance meter, and having experimented with different values enough to know the values I like and where I can hear differences, even the tolerance doesn't matter so much to me. This cost me less than $25 from Sears and fits easily in my shirt pocket.



I've been mostly using .047F caps lately, but I've experimented with .022F, .033F and .1F. I like the looks and physical dimensions of the 250v Mallory 150s I got from Mouser and I bought them in +-5%, but the last I bought were the rectangular green ones from Radio Shack in +-10% tolerance. The orange drops look cool, but some I bought are so big it takes some finessing to get them into the control rout of my Tele.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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When I wired up the palletcaster I was just using anything I had laying around and I used 2 of the .022F Fender chicklets I had laying around that came with some Fender pots and wired them in paralell for a value of .044F... I am not sure if it made much difference... would 2 lower value caps in parallel make any difference?
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Old April 4th, 2009, 11:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Some of the wiring diagrams posted on this site show not one , but two caps . They don't come up to a .047 value . Why is this done ? My rosewood is done this way .
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Old April 4th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Out of curiosity what were the values of the original caps?
I think , not sure , that Gibson put .022mfd ceramics on the LP classics.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 06:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If you have a pair of HBs w dual tone pots...

consider a .015 for the neck, and .022 for the bridge--that's what I like/use!
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Old April 4th, 2009, 08:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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consider a .015 for the neck, and .022 for the bridge--that's what I like/use!
+1, for a 2 humbucker set up.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It is best to experiment to find what you like.
My teles have TBX with 47nF.
The strat-thing came with just one 22nF, it has two now and I think 47nF.
The Epi jazzbox 2xHB came with 22nf, stock, changed the pickups though, 500k pots.
The Ibanez AGS83 (jazz/fusion semi) came with a pair of 33nF from the stock but I changed the tone pots from A500k to A250K for faster taper, vol are B500k.
The Gretsch (DeArmond2000 sc) now has a TBX with 47nF, vol B250k.
And so on...
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