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

Polyester vs. Polypropylene Tone Caps?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Levi Gonzalez, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Levi Gonzalez

    Levi Gonzalez Tele-Meister

    May 21, 2011
    US of A
    Specifically 715P Polypropylene Orange Drop vs 225p Orange Drop Polyester

    Any noticeable difference in tone for a tone cap?

    Also, do all Polyester caps pretty much sound the same for a tone control (Mallory 150, Orange Drop 225P, ect.)?

  2. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    albany, ny [not chicago]
    In a guitar tone control circuit there will be no noticeable difference.

  3. Tom Pettingill

    Tom Pettingill Tele-Holic

    Sep 5, 2010
    I've seen some say the polyester can sound warmer, they both sound the same to me.

    I've never been able to hear a difference, both good quality caps for a reasonable price.

  4. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    OMG here we goooooooooooooooooooo !

  5. Levi Gonzalez

    Levi Gonzalez Tele-Meister

    May 21, 2011
    US of A

    I know I know I know. I was just wondering if anybody had Hand-On-Direct-Experience. I hope people don't start posting the anatomy of a suspended atom of capacitance polarized via reversed impedance divided by your resonate peak of your pickups.

    In other words, please don't get theoretical, just post if you did or did not hear a difference between the two. I don't mean to start anything (or did I...:twisted:)

    Hundredth post!!!

  6. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2010
    Hmm...These are two very similar caps from the same manufacturer, and a guitar circuit deals with pretty small voltages to begin i'd be pretty surprised if you hear a difference.
    As to the difference between cheap caps and boutique caps, stay posted; some tdpri regulars with soon explain!

  7. fezz parka

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

    Yes. I've tried them all. There's only a difference when the measured value is different.

  8. Levi Gonzalez

    Levi Gonzalez Tele-Meister

    May 21, 2011
    US of A
    I said don’t get technical!

    But seriously, I see what your saying. You would think that would be the case, but some guys will go to their graves defending that issue.

  9. donh

    donh Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 25, 2010
    Oh Aich Ten
    Tele-Meister: Some people hear it, others not so much. It's all in where you listen. Caps are cheap - buy a few and listen.

    / I prefer paper-in-oil for guitar tone caps
    // all that matters is what makes YOU happy with yours

  10. The Zesus

    The Zesus TDPRI Member

    Jan 13, 2011
    The greatest tone potentials are achieved through a generous consumption of hot wings and beer. Some will say that beer brand affects tone. I have not found this to be true. However, incorrect ratios will result in too much tone.

    Wait. Sorry, wrong thread.

  11. geetarfreek82

    geetarfreek82 Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 7, 2010
    Moosic, PA
    Lol I was just waiting for you to reply to this thread Fezz LMAO

  12. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    We keep having this discussion here. In my personal experience and to my personal ears, there is some difference in sonic character between caps of identical measured capacitance but different materials, as used in guitar circuits. There seems to be a large number of people here who do not believe that I could perceive this, that's fine with me, I can. To my ears, cap composition in order of my personal sonic preference is usually PIO as the best, then polyester, then polypropylene, then ceramic and mylar as the worst. The ones higher on the list sound a bit fatter and clearer and less harsh/clinical to me, the ones lower on the list the opposite. This presumes that the tone control is turned so the cap is having an effect, ie, not with the tone control all the way to the trebliest position. I can hear either no difference or very little between cap types (or values for that matter) with the tone control turned all the way up to the trebliest position.

    There will soon be a bunch of people claiming there's no way I could possibly hear what I hear, but I assure you I'm not alone. There's just a lot of social pressure on this forum against the concept that cap type can matter in a guitar.

  13. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2010
    ...bbbbbut, it's all I got! I can't play fer schmidt, so I gotta shovel it instead!

  14. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    Yup, poly-anything all sound alike.

    Polyester aka Mylar aka "Orange Drop"
    Polypropylene (tend to be bigger values than we need in a guitar >100nF)
    Polystyrene (smaller values typical 220pF, well - you can get 10nF)

    At which point we all shout, "it's only the value that matters":D

  15. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    Erm, the PIO will not be the value written on it, well not for very long, it will dry out and vary almost with the weather.

    Ceramic do vary with the weather, they're porous clay and affected by humidity, plus they are brittle and break up.

    Mylar /is/ polyester aka "Orange Drop" you can get radial or axial construction

    With the control at "10" the conventional tone control is effectively out of circuit.

    One experiment I have done is fit carefully measured and matched caps of different construction: ceramic, polyester; polypropylene (Mylar/Orange Drop/axial/radial), etc, and put them on a rotary switch in the guitar. If they are all the same value then you hear no difference with the tone control rolled back. If they are some other value, as my PIO was (it had lost a lot of capacitance), then you do hear a shift in tone

    One selection criteria for me is that the cap and its wires must be strong enough not to break or fall off in use.

  16. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 8, 2010
    The angle of the dangle is proportionate to the mass of the ass...

  17. Bolide

    Bolide Friend of Leo's

    Nov 21, 2010
    Rocky Hill, CT
    I want the polly that gives the "Pining for the fjords" sound :confused:

  18. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    That would be an old PIO

  19. Phostenix

    Phostenix Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 28, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    If one was so inclined, this would be pretty easy to test. Get a couple of different caps & use a push-pull tone pot. Wire it like this:


    You can then switch back & forth on the fly and compare the 2 caps. This, of course, doesn't eliminate variance in capacitance values, but it gets rid of a lot of the other variables.

    Knock yourselves out. :)

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