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

Fender waxed paper capacitor's

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Wicked-T, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Wicked-T

    Wicked-T Tele-Meister

    Apr 1, 2017
    Anybody try these out in their Telecasters, just wanted to know how they work?

  2. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    • Replicas of original-style capacitors
    • Wax paper construction for warm vintage tones
    Nickfl, Iago, Blue Bill and 7 others like this.

  3. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    They work like any other capacitor, except you're paying way more than you need to, and as they age they will drift and leak more than modern caps with no benefit in tone. :)
    AAT65, notmyusualuserid and Gibson like this.

  4. Tdel10

    Tdel10 Tele-Meister

    Jul 31, 2016
    Wheeling WV

    Heres a good, easy to read and understand tech article on tone caps. You can make your own, educated opinion on them.

    The line that stood out to me the most is, "The type of cap is not as important as the value of the cap, for guitar. In an Amp, your cap type is much more important, as the signal is being passed through the cap all the time. In a guitar, you’re not hearing the cap itself, you’re hearing what the cap is impeding”."

  5. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Vancouver, BC
    They should work like a capacitor, with treble roll-off based on uF value... Save yer $$ and put towards strings or something.

  6. jimbo735

    jimbo735 Tele-Holic

    Sep 19, 2011
    Best thing to do is get a few of each type and speck and see what your ear tells you.wiring can have a giant influence on your tone to.


    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    My PV58 has a PIO cap.

    I noticed a difference right off as I'm sure the electrons can slip through the oil easier.:rolleyes::lol:

  8. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I bought one because I was commited to making a tribute '53 Esquire. I don't pretend to justify my foolishness with pseudo facts or mumbojumbo. I just like the fact that it's similar to how things were in the 50s. In about 30 years I'll get to replace it with an orange drop after they leak and drift, which is my master plan...heh heh heh...

  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    changing the cap in a guitar will result in a sonic change analogous to changing the air pressure in your car's tires...

    a change from a nominal 34 psi to 36, or 32 will actually make a difference, but one so subtle, few if anyone will notice. However change the 34 to 50... or drop it to 25 and the whole way the car handles, particularly at expressway speeds, or on winding roads, can change dramatically and few wouldn't notice it......

    Similarly, changes perceived when a cap is changed is more times than not the results of subtle capacitor value changes. Caps are notoriously inaccurate, with PIO being the absolute worse...

    (engineers will often correctly note here that the capacitor's value change can have peripheral effects on the pickups and/or other facets of the guitar's electronics, which is, as I pointed out, correct, BUT, the sonic contributions will typically fall way below the threshold of usability, particularly when you're on stage pumping out 100+ DB of Metallica.. And that ONLY has to do with the Value of the cap, not the "stuff" it's made of..)

    So if your cap is accurate at the indicated .047 mf and the one you replace it with is say, .050, or .039 well within the tolerance of such devices, there will be a tonal change, but so subtle as to be completely lost in the sonic confluence that represents an "on stage" performance...

    But.. if the .047 is changed to a .067, or a .022 that would be analogous to changing the tire pressure by 50% up or down... you would have to be a non-sentient life form not to notice. However for that change to be an improvement, YOU have to like what you're hearing... you may not.. so if it's a 30.00 PIO and you don't like it, it is an improvement?? I say Nah.... no way..

    I might add, getting "hung up" on such nonsense as what cap sounds best can easily become a cognitive "speed-bump" in your journey to becoming a superior musician... too many speed bums, and at some point ya realize, perhaps another "route" would get me to where I really wanna be, faster..

    Changing caps is as much a waste of time as , as.. well there are a number of vivid metaphors that come to mind... pick one...

    and Fender's marketing such a product just shows good corporate due diligence in the field of marketing on their part. A company must keep it's "finger on the pulse" of what's "hot" and offer products to fill that niche. FMIC has done so.

    As P T Barnum is incorrectly rumored to have said, "there's a sucker born every minuite".. there is no fault in a corporation taking advantage of the fact.. Even "suckers" have needs.

    While I personally would prefer Fender simply use their "pulpit" to expose the capacitor BS for what it is, there is nothing wrong with their marketing products to fill a need be it genuine or imagined.. Think of the Cap as a "Twinkie" for your guitar... Nothing wrong with a "sugar rush" occasionally... :p

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
    Iago, Gibson, Modman68 and 2 others like this.

  10. BartS

    BartS Friend of Leo's

    Feb 18, 2013
    St. louis MO
    I look at a cap like that in that position and in similar positions such as on amps like an exhaust manifold on a car.

    I use good caps everywhere. I don't nit pick about the kind in that spot. I'm not sure what's in my strat it could be paper and oil. I got it in a kit. Normally I would just buy the best cap I could under 1.50.
    I know I have an orange drop in my lap steel and it tone is 100 times better than my guitar. Is it the cap? Could be. Most likely it's the magic from me building the entire thing myself compared to just winding the pickups, doing the paint job, and the wiring on my guitar. It could be woodglue=tone because I swear half my lapsteel is woodglue:D.

    Personally it says fender on those caps so I wouldn't buy them

    As far as the value of the cap. Most people that argue about it I would say it's not going to matter because everything else on your guitar sucks. You get so much stray capacitance in your pickups from them being machine wound that it's hard to hear the strings ringing on your pot metal bridge. For the price of the high dollar paper and oil caps you can replace that bridge with something decent so there's a start.

  11. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    I use them, can't wait for them to drift. The best old teles have that sound. I am one in the camp of get a bunch and try them. Even though people say there is no difference I can hear variations in transient response and that definitely has an effect on player response.
    texastengu likes this.

  12. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    Reston, Virginia

  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Not possible.. in a forums the only thing that can happen is either your preconceived notions are confirmed by enough guys to re-reaffirm them, or enough show where the notion was wrong, so "ya" get ticked of... and go start a new thread looking for someone else that will confirm the incorrect assumptions.. talk about vicious circles...

    that's what makes it so much fun... :D


  14. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    ↑ EPIC !
    rjtwangs likes this.

  15. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    While no passive tone cap will "change" a guitar's tone, differently types/values can alter the amount of treble rolloff, the speed of the rolloff - and the "slope", or midpoint of the tone control.

    This can be very useful to players that seriously use their tone controls. FWIW I almost never have mine wide open, and make constant adjustments to alter both tone and "bite" - combined with pick attack and pick position.

    Some experienced players have found that specific caps often thought of as "snake oil" perform very precise functions that work well with the way they play. As such they can be a very useful musicl tool just like anything else, and shouldn't be scoffed at.
    Teleterr likes this.

  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    While pretty much true, specially above that threshold of usability.., there's always some guy that wants to get in to the applied engineering pertinent to such a statement in depth, to a point few, if any others without equal education, simply cannot understand it... so..

    Yeah.. a cap CAN change the tone, in fact probably will 100% of the time.. this is due to the peripheral effects of the changes within the electronic circuit changing the metrics of the pickup. Yeah.. it DOES happen... BUT... to be able to use such, one . . ya gotta understand it... good luck with that one.. and then you gotta have the electronic gear to measure, then the knowledge about the characteristics of the overall "organism" to use the data predict anything.

    Bill Lawrence sent me the "gear", the books, (written by the, then director of Cal Tech's Physics dept) and spent a good year trying to explain it all... I'll tell ya.. if ya just focus on what's going on ABOVE the threshold of usability, it keeps the headaches to a minimum.

    The subtle metric changes the caps interject does so at such a minute level it is, for the most part, completely undetectable in any but a laboratory setting . . . On Stage, there's nada chance that such a subtle change would ever be noticed.. Even Superman, with his hearing, would say, "Huh? What? He did what?? Man, I can't hear schidt, . . . gimme a nuther 'ol Kryptonite Lager 'n can we get s'more peanuts here ... and where's Lois . . is she on a table top again . . Jeezus...?" :D

    So as with most definitive statements.. yes and no... it just depends on if we're talking about the real world of playing on a stage, or stuffed in a Sonic Lab with a bunch "geeks" in lab coats staring at a some kinda hyper expensive sonic analyzer... Note, no bar, and no hot girls in the Lab.... however, in the "real world"... :cool:

    So remember in ALL these discussions about what makes for "The Best Tone"... there's two venues in which the answer to the question can be revealed... the real world.. with open Bars, Cold beer, hot Wemin... (who love guitar pickers and don't give a ratzz azz about a capacitor) and enough noise to completely cover your wrong chord, much less the change in a capacitor... . . or the Acoustic Lab... ever been in one?? they're about as exciting as the Veggie tray at a wedding reception... big whoop.. whoever thought of cut up raw broccoli and cauliflower?? I'd say, go for the noisy place... :lol:
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
    Gibson and milocj like this.

  17. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    I ve had 30 some guitars over the years and my 2017 52 RI is the first time I ve used the tone control. It has the old school caps. Now I ve seen the graphs that say dielectrics don t matter, but thats my experience.

  18. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Hehe - yeah I know what you mean Ron.

    So I'll qualify my statement this way:

    No capacitor can change tone to the point where a specific one can be identified by ear above a quantified random level in large-sample, scientifically verifiable blind testing in an acoustically neutral environment.

    Translation - differences not related to physical action can't be heard.
    milocj likes this.

  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    that says it perfectly...


  20. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    What matters infinitely more is the pickup's inductance/capacitance coupled with the tone cap's working capacitance. That's more than likely what you're hearing, not some 'old school cap'

    Lower inductance pickups, apart from already having more high end content, are less affected by added capacitance, which includes the tone control. This means you will get different filter cutoff points with different pickups, using the same value cap. This will more than likely create a more pleasant roll off with certain pickups than others. The fact that your guitar has some old looking cap in it, is merely a coincidence. If you replace a functioning cap with another functioning cap of the same exact measured value, in this type of circuit, it would yield no difference in tone.

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