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

Truth in Capacitors

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Kirfew, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Hendersonville, TN
    Same here for 45 or so years of playing Teles but last few months noticed
    and thought why bother when using the neck w/tone wide open and bridge
    rolled back some? Often in haste the roll back for bridge doesn't get back
    right where wanted so have to tweak it a bit in midst.
    Oddly one Tele, a stock '52 RI w/modern circuit, requires very little or no adjust
    with tone control. Rest always have to do.

  2. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

    i have a question. what the hell did SD do to make YM a special POT? i figure they came in two flavors for guitar.


  3. Manolete

    Manolete Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2011
    Is YM Yngwie Malmsteen? Is SD Seymour Duncan?

    I can only guess that they cherry-picked a pot that better suited the impedance of whatever gadgetry comes with the complete Yngwie package. I see Seymour Duncan call it a 'high speed' volume pot, which probably means it has a weird taper such as a pseudo-inverse logarithmic function... who knows. Probably the volume drops off faster from 10-8 than from 8-0, and SD want to market this as special Ooga Booga guitar magic...

    Pots come in all shapes and all sizes. Gut a stereo amp and you will find them all in there, weird values and tapers. In general guitars come with 250k or 500k ohm potentiometers, though Gibson dabbled with 300k pots on Les Pauls and Shergold goofed up and fitted 100k pots to some guitars in the '70s that makes them unusably muddy in stock form...

    Low impedance guitar pickups require far smaller value pots to work, such as 50k pots...

    Speaking of stereo amplifiers... my boos let me take home their old amp for parts the other week. The principle problem with the unit was that the filter capacitors had leaked and bulged, and some of the smaller ones had gone the same way. Desoldering them, they left a nice brown crust around their bases. I chucked them in the bin, but I should have wired them in my Tele first to see if I could get some elusive mojo.

  4. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    :D:D:D:D :rolleyes: :twisted::twisted::twisted::twisted:

  5. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

    SD was my short hand for Seymour Duncan and the same goes for Yngwie Malmsteen.

    i notice seymour also sells regular pots too. i was under the impression CST was the best you could get when they where made in the USA, but now they stop making them in the USA so who knows if they still have the same quality. and there is one more brand that their full size pots are good Bourns i think is the name of them id have to look. but there mini pots suck iv read.

    from what i understand a potentiometer is just a tapered cap anyhow. humans love to make things so complicated just to make a extra buck.

    thank you for you response. i plan on upgrading my birthday gift with some new pickups and maybe pots . ill know not to spend $$$ on the bublebee's etc etc. dont get me started on pickups their are so many to choose from, their can only be so many ways to make one. way to many to choose from. laughs. bought my self a new guitar for my birthday, after having brain surgery last month. figure who know how long i have may as well get a semi hollow so i did. will post picture later once i find my camera.

  6. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    It really doesn’t matter much what discrete device you choose to use... they all will veil the sound a bit,

    Example,,, say you have a picture window looking out over a beautiful vista, it doesn’t matter how clean the glass is, you would always be aware of it’s presence between your eye and the scene outside...

    It could be so clear, you find yourself ignoring it, but should it disappear instantly, the remarkable difference between the encumbered and/or the clear unimpeded sight becomes immediately apparent..

    So.. if you really are interested in “pure” sound... the circuit should be pickup, output jack... short low capacitance cable... amp . . that’s it..

    The more “junk” you add in the way of taps, splits, phasing, all that gunk just diffuses the clarity of the sound.

    It is impossible to place a device in the signal path, and have that device make the sound “better”. They all impede the tone to a degree. They all leave their footprints all over the sound.

    Ron Kirn

  7. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

    you sure picked a topic i can relate too. last month i woke up blind. ended up having brain surgery from a anurisom behind my left eye. thanks for all the information you guys share. i learn so much. rock on.

    p.s my eye sight is getting better every day id say its at 98 percent now. they say will take time. at least i wont need coke bottle glasses or worse blind. in 6 month i have to go for a MRi if things change even a hair they have to curt my skull open, crosses fingers it is fixed!

  8. Davo17

    Davo17 Friend of Leo's

    Ive always disliked that particular trait on the (few) vintage teles Ive tried, or even reissues. The tone pot may need to be adjusted between the neck and bridge pups, in addition to switching the pups.

    This is one of many things I really like in my Baja-I can take a bit off the top on my bridge pup (tone@7-8) and it still sounds great with the neck or combined as well.

  9. Manolete

    Manolete Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2011

    I "upgraded" the electronics in a bass with CTS pots. They turn far too easily and one of them appeared to turn beyond the normal length of turn with a sharp 'click' as it goes into the extra section. This isn't a 'no load' pot or anything, just a poorly machined unit I paid way too much for.

    I've never had a problem, personally, with mini pots. In most cases they are a god send, especially in the narrow rout of a Telecaster control cavity.

    A potentiometer is a variable resistor, rather than a variable capacitor. The basic device is the same for a volume and tone control in a guitar. They are churned out to all sorts of specs and values, but 250k ohm and 500k ohm are the ones guitarists are usually interested in unless you have a swanky preamp or booster section in your guitar.

    Humans love to make things complicated to make an extra buck, but I think the appeal of 'vintage' capacitors is slightly more esoteric. Firstly it taps into the "we did things better in the past" mindset which people apply to all sorts of different things (art, music, the p-word I cannot mention on here, engineering, aircraft design). Even moreso I reckon a fair few people associate smaller ceramic capacitors with a 'throwaway culture' with manufacturers building obsolescence into a design. Probably Gibson are to blame here; they started mounting the controls for Les Pauls onto circuit boards that simply drop in the guitar. This is no doubt quicker to make, but some guitarists do not like that manufacturer vibe, whereas they prefer the luthiery vibe. A circuit board saves time on solder dress or accidentally cooking components, but guys rip them out and give Les Pauls the '50s wiring' mod, whereby the volume controls react oddly, because somehow it sounds better.

  10. ItchyFingers

    ItchyFingers Tele-Afflicted

    If I use an .047 I roll off about 1/3 turn. If I use an .022 I roll off about a half turn.
    Wait, did someone say there is more to it than that?

  11. bradpdx

    bradpdx Friend of Leo's

    Jul 16, 2006
    Portland, OR
    If we are talking a passive system, yes (sort of). The only direction that more passive components can go is subtractive. But that's not a bad thing, it's just a thing. If my guitar has less output above 8 kHz because of those components under real world circumstances, is that "bad"? Maybe not. Maybe that's just what I wanted. Maybe it's too darn bright for me otherwise.

    Fortunately, passive components do not add additional harmonic content (distortion), they only alter frequency response, a completely linear operation. The degree to which this is bad or good depends upon your goals as a musician.

  12. ZZB3

    ZZB3 Tele-Holic

    Apr 17, 2009
    Salem, Oregon
    jipp, you are in our prayers. Keep healing up!

  13. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 25, 2006
    LaGrange, GA

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