Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Auditioning Tone caps...a MUST...

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by bossaholic, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. paulskirocks

    paulskirocks Tele-Holic

    Nov 30, 2009
    Wow, is this thread still going?!

    SO, I have ordered 4 different valued orange drop caps and I have an expensive .047 from RS, and a cheapy .047 as well...

    AND, I have a 6 position rotary 4 pole switch for another project that I am going to borrow and put all 6 caps in to test...

    I look forward to a double blind test when the orange drop ones arrive... I'm pretty sure the expensive RS cap will sound the best, because they said so... :)

  2. Dirty Steve

    Dirty Steve Tele-Holic

    Nov 1, 2008
    Will you also measure their ACTUAL values compared with stated values?

  3. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity


  4. tdowns

    tdowns Former Member

    Nov 8, 2003
    RS is probably second only to Auricap for providing the biggest bunch of hogwash and hype about capacitors. It is unethical lies.

  5. bossaholic

    bossaholic Friend of Leo's

    Aug 4, 2008
    I'm thinking I need to cool this thread down a bit by throwing some politics of religious discussion in...

  6. tdowns

    tdowns Former Member

    Nov 8, 2003

  7. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

    Aw, why ruin such a good thing? [​IMG]

  8. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

    Hmm... When faced with facts, the uninformed usually respond with vulgarity. Well done TG![​IMG]

    You're now on my ignore list.

  9. cdhopkin

    cdhopkin Tele-Meister


    I think this what Hovland use to fill their paper caps...I've heard that it's perfect for that warm, mellow tone.

    Seriously tho, a capacitor is a capacitor no matter what it is made of. The only differences would be due to the tolerances that the capacitor is made to as Terry, Fezz and probably dozens of other more qualified people have said ad nausuem over the years on TDPRI.

    Do you think we could do a TDPRI Mythbusters team?

  10. tdowns

    tdowns Former Member

    Nov 8, 2003

  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------


  12. RnB

    RnB Tele-Meister

    Oct 26, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    I'm beginning to feel that way too! It's either, the more Caps I try or the older my ears get...the less it matters! I just swapped out an old ceramic disc cap (.047) for Russian PIO of the same value in a Strat & I'll be darned if I can tell the difference between the two? To my ears there's not much going on or treble roll off till I hit approx 7 on the tone knob w/ either of the caps.

    Correct me if I'm wrong:
    I am so blessed/unblessed to live near Dan Torres's Shop. When I asked him for a Cap that rolls the trebles off quicker, he said: "A cap doesn't roll the trebles off quicker, that's determined by the Value of the Tone Pot. A capacitor only rolls off a certain amount of treble." Does that make sense?

    Reason being: I wanted to roll the highs down quicker on the Bridge pickup in a chambered Tele because it wasn't responding quick enough when I wanted to kill the highs, but I also didn't want the neck pup to lose the highs, because it was a little muddy sounding, esp on the wound strings. I then went from the 330k tone pot to a 250k upon DT's suggestion, since he said that if I want it happen quicker...lower the value of the Tone Pot...Huh. I would of thought it to be just the opposite?

    For clarification: There was a Humbucker in the neck & an Area T at the bridge. I've since replaced the pickups w/ Fralin P-92 neck & a Dimarzio Virtual Hot T at the bridge. The balance is better w/ this combo, but I would still like to kill the highs faster or should I say the amount? :confused:

    To quote a line from the Falcon & the Snowman: "I don't know who I am any more"

    What I have in there now:
    500k vol pot
    250k tone pot
    .033 orange drop cap
    Fralin P-92 8000 winds
    Dimarzio Virtual Hot T 9.33K

  13. Don Mare

    Don Mare Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 22, 2003
    I have a Box of Caps here - new & very old
    100's of them - I collect them - and friends know I like caps and give me their collections, I also make it a point to ebay for ones I do not have - just to test them- I think I paid $8.00 for a NOS Mullard Cap once- just to hear it - I never put it in any guitars - it did not sound as great as other caps I have here.

    I have fun with them - this is how;
    I run two wires out from under my control plate - these two wires have Aligator Clips on them - I have every top artist that comes here set down and run thru them - the results are always a vote, for the same 3- or -4 in the end

    sadly never has one modern cap been in the top 5...

    we prefer "human ears" over machines or school taught theory's..
    if I offended anyone here saying that - then I do apologize in advance,ok

    I just wanted to post how we figured out, how to test caps here at my shop -
    if there's another way and a better way, I'd love to learn it, and then maybe try it and do more cap test - but for now - we like our way..

    and I do hope you like your way too - whatever way you choose to analyze your caps is fine with me,

    I honestly see no reason to fight over caps - or spit or argue even - its to easy to just listen to them - and they are so cheap - even if the NOS stuff or reissue stuff cost onwards up to $15.00 - $20.00 that is really nothing as far as a component of great tone goes -
    if its good or better and if I can hear it (or you can hear it) , Id pay the $15.00- $20.00 for one - ( and I have) even if the originally sold for less then 0.25 cents. -
    look how much we pay for tone pedals & amps..patch cords, ( pickups too)

    Disclaimer: I do offer for sell both new and old caps on my site - so I'm pretty neutral in any strictness in this ( I hope I am?) :rolleyes:
    except I openly admit I do dig Ceramic Audio Caps from the 50's to 60's era.
    there's been two types pass thru here that's been exceptional in the test we do here- one was the RMC .050 @100 volts and last week I got a stash of Cornell Dubliners .050 @50 volts-
    I have had Junior Watson - Rick Holmstrom and a few other top dogs - try these and then switch their guitars over, changing out their personal Oldies but goodies that they had collected

    Don M

    PS.. I like the technical info that's been posted in this thread - wish I had something to ad to it - as to reason or why we are choosing these caps other then just saying we hear it. - but I do not.. sorry

  14. nic'o'caster

    nic'o'caster Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Apr 10, 2004
    Middle Earth
    I used the alligator clips method to test various caps I had in my drawer.
    The only significant thing I heard was between values. This helped me know that .047 was my favourite value for a Tele tone cap.

  15. big tele fan

    big tele fan TDPRI Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    Memphis, TN
    Hi everyone

    a lively discussion, befitting the subject, since so many variations in tone and range can be found with so many capacitors- and we're not even bringing in the treble bleed circuit to the mix!

    For my last Tele hybrid, I auditioned about 20 capacitors of different types, taping them to a card and noting their values beside each one. I took several days, using different preamp, power amp, and tone settings, and with different amps. I settled on an orange drop type cap at .015 uf (as I recall- haven't looked in a while)- not the typical values in Teles (or Pauls, for that matter...). When I roll off the tone pot all the way to the bass end, it just gets really creamy- never too dark or muddy. I may change it later, or better yet, I'll probably add a switch, so I can have 2 or 3 caps to select.

    Anyhoo, what I want to say is, there are so many variables in getting "our" tone- so many caps, so many pots, resistors, p'ups, woods, finishes, amps, tubes, cables-

    but that's what makes it so gosh-danged FUN!!!

    I really like this forum- so much to learn. Thanks, guys!

  16. David Collins

    David Collins Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 28, 2009
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Once again, if you use the alligator clips, and the person playing or listening knows or can see what cap they are using at any given time, any goals of objective comparisons are completely out the window. If you really want honest comparisons, have someone else wire those caps to a switch (so you don't know which is which), and put it in a box so you can't see what you're using.

    The alligator clip test is not a valid or objective method of comparison.

  17. big tele fan

    big tele fan TDPRI Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    Memphis, TN
    that's true to some extent. What I had done was to have my son switch to different caps (after I had gone through them a few times) while I tried different tone and amp settings. I was trying my best to choose either the .047 or the .022 caps, since they are the most commonly used values for single and double coil pickups. I was surprised when I chose the .015. I'll still probably add a switch to have multiple choices.

    Good point.

  18. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2005
    wow. i am so happy that i have no real idea about all this stuff. that would finally drive me crazy. eddie

  19. fourdogslong

    fourdogslong TDPRI Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    When you guys try different caps in the tone pot, does it affect the tone even if the tone if fully turned up or is it only when you roll it back?

  20. Don Mare

    Don Mare Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 22, 2003
    Hi, once the cap is grounded to the circuit it loads ( darkens )
    On the Esquire Wiring they unload the Tone - taking it out of the circut
    the load is lessened and the sound is suddenly brighter and louder...

    I think together here on this thread, we have all figured out how to optimize the "Aligator Clip Test"!!! ( that's great )
    One thing for sure; it will help you decide what value is best for you!
    It looks like we also agreed, - using a real blindfolded test is of some value too!
    at least this gives us Tele Players a way to test caps - and even better - something we can all agree too! I-Hope~~:)

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