Capacitors

Ragin Cajun

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I need to find out about caps in guitar wiring. Specifically the Telecaster. Current wiring diagrams have a .047 cap going from the third lug of the volume pot to the middle lug of the tone pot and grounded on either of the pots. but i discovered 2 diagrams, one named "1953 Telecaster" which have 2 caps, 1 from the 4th lug on the right side of the switch to the volume pot, and a second in the same position as the .047 in the standard diagram. The value of the 2 pots is not designated. what's the difference And , in the 2 cap diagrams, what value are the pots? both .047 or .022 or mixed?
thanks
 

warrent

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I need to find out about caps in guitar wiring. Specifically the Telecaster. Current wiring diagrams have a .047 cap going from the third lug of the volume pot to the middle lug of the tone pot and grounded on either of the pots. but i discovered 2 diagrams, one named "1953 Telecaster" which have 2 caps, 1 from the 4th lug on the right side of the switch to the volume pot, and a second in the same position as the .047 in the standard diagram. The value of the 2 pots is not designated. what's the difference And , in the 2 cap diagrams, what value are the pots? both .047 or .022 or mixed?
thanks
these should explain it for you:
https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Factory_Telecaster_Wirings_Pt_1
https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/19301-factory-telecaster-wirings-pt-2
 

440mhz

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You can use any value, the sound is according to your taste, I've switched caps just to see the difference. Currently I have.5 cap on my Nashville with 250 pots. Let your ear be the final deciding factor.
 

dan40

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Experimentation is a good thing when it comes to cap values. You can use alligator clips to attach a couple of wires to your tone pot. Let it hang out of the guitar so that you can clip different cap values in and experiment while playing. I have found that I prefer a lower .01uf (10nf) value because it doesn't cut as much of the high end off when turning the tone pot down. It gives me a finer control of the higher frequencies whereas the larger values tend to make the sound very bassy and muffled. A .022uf works as an all around good value for most.
 

Ragin Cajun

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So if i solder a.022 from the lug to the volume pot like the vintage diagrams call for, along with the .047 in the current diagram, what should that do?
 

moosie

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So if i solder a.022 from the lug to the volume pot like the vintage diagrams call for, along with the .047 in the current diagram, what should that do?
Show us what you're referring to. Which current diagram? Which vintage diagram?
 

Ragin Cajun

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Lets see if this works:
2719bbe4389851edc15240ab018698a8.jpg
 

KelvinS1965

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I found I prefer a 0.022uF capacitor on a 250K tone pot rather than the 'standard' 0.047uF as it gives me more control. No harm in experimenting, pots and caps are pretty cheap (unless you start buying fancy ones like the oil in paper or similar ones).
 

moosie

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I'm having a hard time parsing a question out of the OP. At least one that's not completely answered by the link provided. If you're asking about pot values, they're both 250kA in both modern and vintage wiring. Cap values are always to taste. As the video states, Leo spec'd .05uf (aka .047). Many players prefer a smaller cap. The logic is that the two caps sound the same with the smaller one rolled all the way back, and the larger one say 3/4 of the way back toward zero. So, the larger gets darker, but jeez, it's really dark. So, use the smaller value cap, and get more useable 'sweep' on the pot, instead of most of the sweep being crazy dark.

Speaking of dark, the vintage circuit has normal bridge and neck settings with V-T (although neck is in middle position). Then the forward position was meant for players to double on bass. Really crazy dark...

The cap on the tone pot is always in use. The cap on the switch is placed so it's only in the circuit in the forward (dark) position.
 
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telemnemonics

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I'm having a hard time parsing a question out of the OP. At least one that's not completely answered by the link provided. If you're asking about pot values, they're both 250kA in both modern and vintage wiring. Cap values are always to taste. As the video states, Leo spec'd .05uf (aka .047). Many players prefer a smaller cap. The logic is that the two caps sound the same with the smaller one rolled all the way back, and the larger one say 3/4 of the way back toward zero. So, the larger gets darker, but jeez, it's really dark. So, use the smaller value cap, and get more useable 'sweep' on the pot, instead of most of the sweep being crazy dark.

Speaking of dark, the vintage circuit has normal bridge and neck settings with V-T (although neck is in middle position. Then the forward position was meant for players to double on bass. Really crazy dark...

The cap on the tone pot is always in use. The cap on the switch is placed so it's only in the circuit in the forward (dark) position.

I think the OP wants to know what that cap does that you say is "for players to double on bass", but he mixes up pot values and cap values as well as not being very clear about the question.

My best answer is forget the old time dual cap wiring, nobody really uses that wiring any more and I don't think Leo even got it right when he guessed that guitar players wanted to pretend to be bass players.
Use both 250k pots and try tone caps on the tone pot in .01, .022 and .047 to see what you like.
I prefer the .01 and find a .047 only gives less than 1/4 turn of the tone pot with any usable sound.
I actually like .001 or .0022 for the tone cap as it gets and even more subtle tone control.
 

Rick-Robertson

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Thanks, guys. I’m absorbing this post like a sponge. My 2018 MIM Tele has 500k pots and a single .047 Orange Drop cap and I really like the sound, but there’s not a lot of adjustment on the tone pot....should I go back to the stock 250k pots? I should note that I have an SD ‘59 bucker in the neck and an SD Jerry Donohue single coil in the bridge slot.

When looking at the ‘53 wiring diagram, I see two capacitors. Does the one on the lower pot act as a treble bleed?
 
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moosie

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Thanks, guys. I’m absorbing this post like a sponge. My 2018 MIM Tele has 500k pots and a single .047 Orange Drop cap and I really like the sound, but there’s not a lot of adjustment on the tone pot....should I go back to the stock 250k pots?

When looking at the ‘53 wiring diagram, I see two capacitors. Does the one on the lower pot act as a treble bleed?
No.

The cap on the lower pot is the normal tone circuit, which works for all positions.

The other cap, coming off the switch, is the dark-and-darker one for forward position only.



Middle position is the neck pickup, with the normal vol, tone pot+cap.

Forward position is the same thing, plus an additional cap which works the same way as the first tone cap. Except that it's not regulated by a variable pot. So, imagine you have a neck pickup with a .05uf cap, rolled to zero. Ridiculously dark, yeah? Now double it. That's how dark it is. You can still adjust the first tone cap via the pot, but even with tone pot on 10, you've still got that other tone cap, which is always 'on zero'.
 

Rick-Robertson

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Thanks, Moosie.

A quick look tells me I’ve got the standard wiring and I’ll leave it alone for now. I was considering the ‘53 wiring to get a more vintage sound but I don’t want to go any darker than what I have now.

Perhaps a StewMac type treble bleed would give me a bit more “chime” at lower volumes and I found some vids on YouTube......looks like a pretty simple mod.
 

moosie

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I like treble bleed circuits, because I prefer my volume pot to address volume, and tone... tone. But they can be tricky to dial in, to find just the right recipe for your given combination of actual pot values, and pickups, so that rolling back the volume doesn't actually get brighter, for instance.

I recommend buying a selection of caps and resistors, and trying various recipes you can find online. I prefer the Kinman type, which is something like a .001uf cap and 130k resistor in series. Most recipes call for cap and resistor in parallel. Try a few, see what works for you.


An easy mod, requiring no caps and no messing about, is the so-called '50s wiring. Not a dark 50s Tele circuit. The name comes from Gibson wiring. All you need to do is move the wire between volume and tone pots from the outer vol lug, to the middle lug. The pot tapers may seem a bit different at first, but it's pretty easy to get used to. And you won't lose treble when rolling back volume.
 

Rick-Robertson

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Thanks, again. I was considering the cap and resistor in series bleed mod, but I’ll try your “easy mod” first. Simple and no expense....Priceless!!
 

Wooly Fox

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Thread resurrection as it seems appropriate.

I have installed a push pull tone pot to try out capacitors (47nf on down and 22nf on up) and not noticing any difference in the muddiness at 0 and it only seems to roll off in both settings at 3-2.

Guitar is 2004 Squire Standard Fat Telecaster with Charlie Christian neck and Sonic 60 bridge from the Creamery.

Push pull pot is an unknown resistance, think it's 250K and a linear pot (was a volume pot in my old switch plate).

If I want more sensitivity in my tone pot, do I need a logarithmic pot and reduce the muddiness with a 1nf cap or am I understanding tone capacitors wrong?
 

moosie

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Thread resurrection as it seems appropriate.

I have installed a push pull tone pot to try out capacitors (47nf on down and 22nf on up) and not noticing any difference in the muddiness at 0 and it only seems to roll off in both settings at 3-2.

Guitar is 2004 Squire Standard Fat Telecaster with Charlie Christian neck and Sonic 60 bridge from the Creamery.

Push pull pot is an unknown resistance, think it's 250K and a linear pot (was a volume pot in my old switch plate).

If I want more sensitivity in my tone pot, do I need a logarithmic pot and reduce the muddiness with a 1nf cap or am I understanding tone capacitors wrong?
If by sensitivity you mean you'd like more useful range, or sweep, in the pot, yes, use a log pot (always) and try a smaller cap, like a .01 uf.
 




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