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

Is that 10 cent RS capacitor good enough?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by guitarbuilder, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County

  2. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    and yet again .... all that matters for caps in passive guitar circuits is value, tolerance and build. anything else just doesn't matter and can border on snake oil hype.

  3. donh

    donh Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 25, 2010
    Oh Aich Ten

  4. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    none of that hasta do with passive guitar circuits, where only value, tolerance and build matter.

  5. Dr. Bill

    Dr. Bill Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2003
    Upstate, SC
    The answer to the title question is "yes."

  6. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    yes, as long as the value and tolerance are correct. it pays to check cap tolerances, some are waaaay off in value.

  7. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

    Mar 9, 2012
    New York
    I'd say yes to the initial question, too. Having designed analog and digital PCBs in the past, all what matters in regards to capacitors in a guitar is the capacitors value and tolerance. Since the capacitor is hooked up to a potentiometer and lengthy guitar cable, what you hear in the end, after squeezing everything through a cranked up amp end effects pedal collection will be mainly be influenced by the position and value of the pot and a bit influenced by the cable.

    The material out of which the capacitor is made, is less relevant for guitars. In regards to a guitar's sound the capacitors dielectric (isolating material) is probably more marketing and revenue in my eyes. :)

    A capacitors dielectric material come to play when you operate with highly sensitive "sample & hold" circuits (needed when digitizing analog signals, before the A/D converter) where teflon and polypropylene are considered an excellent material or when you design / operate with high frequency like MHz or GHz.
    Not going into too many technical terms. You can look at it like this: Each capacitor has a minimal resistance value –R- and a minimal inductive value –L- besides the intended capacitive value –C-. The L and R values is depending on the construction and material of the Cap. For the purpose of a capacitor in a guitar (dimming the high frequencies) and the overall frequency range of a guitar all what matters is the C value, because your pickups will likey outgun any of the capacitors resistive and inductive effects, by the nature of the pickup’s L and R values.

    Of course if you want to build an exact vintage replica of an instrument and or if you like details and an authentic touch then I’d put the same capacitor type in as well. It is all personal taste, like picking abalone shell over white shell for the inlays :rolleyes: (which makes a difference for me, but does nothing for the tone)
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012


    PLAYONIT Tele-Meister

    Apr 23, 2007
    hamburg, NY
    As long as it goes to ground which they do..... save your money... It's capacitance value that matters..

  9. refin

    refin Friend of Leo's

    Feb 24, 2005
    Florida Panhandle
    I agree.Some of the best sounding caps I've ever had were the little RS "Chicklets".

  10. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Dec 29, 2010

  11. Fred_Garvin

    Fred_Garvin Tele-Holic

    Feb 21, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Probably so. I'm skeptical when I hear all the mumbo jumbo hype about $100 vintage bumblebees and such, try some different ones if you must, but I don't think I could hear a difference.

    But heck, I have almost never actually used a tone control, there's usually one on your amp that's more effective. I always have the guitar tone knob wide open, so I'm probably the wrong guy to ask.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012

  12. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    I don't have "tone" pots if I'm the one doing the wiring. Best cap is one you leave on the bench!

  13. donh

    donh Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 25, 2010
    Oh Aich Ten
    So the caps care what circuit they are in, but you don't? Please, Rob! I really don't care that you can't hear a difference, It amazes me that a tech of your skill can fail to see that others have mad skills as well.

    And the others in this thread are saying it makes no difference! :)
    Last guitar I built has no tone circuit in it either.

  14. ItZaLLGooD

    ItZaLLGooD Tele-Holic

    Jul 12, 2011
    northeast ohio
    Sometimes I think we get caught up in the numbers. 10 cents or 10 bucks, hand rolled paper and oil or polystyrene, bottom line is that it either sounds good or it doesn't. If it sounds good to you, then it's good enough.

  15. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 21, 2008
    Ya - that's it - IMO. There is a lot to the properties of dielectrics - resistivity permittivity.... that address the differences in how lossy each type is - I would not say that it does not matter: Just that for a tone circuit in a guitar it does not matter all that much. For almost all audio path applications, I use the green mylar caps for things in the uF range - and ceramic for the pF range - there's diminishing returns to put any more thought into it. There's really no substance to tone circuit cap differences - but the type of cap can make a difference and that is why there are different kinds of caps.

    I've built a lot of stomp boxes where the type of caps made a noticeable difference in the feedback to or pre-emphasis circuit on an opamp - or even the voltage ratting - since in that application _any_ combing or asymmetric loss in the filtering causes a circuit to loose limits and then cool stuff happens... If the type of cap is going to make a difference then it matters - and in some circuits it does - but not for a simple low pass tone control in a guitar. The value of the resister and cap are pretty much all you need to figure in - the tolerance of the parts is not all that important.

  16. Bentley

    Bentley Friend of Leo's

    Jul 25, 2012
    Kelowna B.C, Canada
    Skip to 5:30 to see him compare a bunch of caps.

    He plays a bunch of different ones, i thought it was interesting.

  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    actually, in a passive guitar, you don't hear the cap, what you do is NOT hear the cap…. what you do hear are the remaining frequencies that the cap has no influence over…

    Think of a small library, with 5 books in it, you decide you are going to read four of them and ignore one specific book, so someone removes that book, does the absence of that one book, in any way impact the contents of the other four? Nope… not in the least.

    That's what the cap does, it removes a specific range of frequencies, having no impact on what remains. The remaining signal is simply devoid of whatever frequencies the cap allowed to escape.

    Ron Kirn

  18. Fred_Garvin

    Fred_Garvin Tele-Holic

    Feb 21, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Anyone remember that Far Side cartoon "Raymond's Last Day As The Band's Sound Technician" where he's reaching for the "suck" knob on the console? That's what tone controls are, IMHO. I've never played a guitar and thought, "It's just not muddy and bland enough"

  19. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I find it useful for smoothing the resonant peak of the pickups response when I'm playing with high gain. Less spiky. That's what I hear anyway

    Or bringing a rhythm part into the "background" so to speak.

  20. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Unless you overdrive an amp and too much highs deter from the sound.

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