Capacitors

moosie

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Perfect, thought it might be that!
In the interest of understanding tone circuits...

To the ear, it might seem that using a large cap rolled back a tiny bit, is the same as a tiny cap rolled back more.

But if you look at it on a 'scope, and possibly if you wired both ways and switched between them, you'll see a difference.

Rolling back a little keeps a lot of 'dry' signal, but the signal that does get to the cap is heavily cut by the large cap. From highest audible highs, down to upper mids, and lower. It doesn't seem that way because we don't roll back very much, and most of the signal is untouched. But that's why it gets muddy so quickly if you roll back more.

Using a small cap, and rolling back more... there's less dry signal, but the signal that sees the cap is largely left intact. Just the highest highs are cut. Even pushing the entire signal through it, it won't be complete mud.
 

ericjw1000

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Just to add a bit of context/history to the question of the second cap on the '53 wiring guide, the second cap was originally added specifically to allow for what is essentially a bass tone from the neck pickup. The wiring comes from a time before the electric bass had been invented, with the neck position engaging the additional cap to further remove higher frequencies. It's part of/most of the reason why the neck position on telecasters are stereotypically disliked. In the '53(I believe, but certainly used in many telecasters prior to '67) wiring, the bridge position turned the tone knob into a blender between bridge and neck, so with the tone knob rolled all the way down you would get the full neck pickup without sending the signal through that second capacitor.
 
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edvard

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Just to add a bit of context/history to the question of the second pot on the '53 wiring guide, the second pot was originally added specifically to allow for what is essentially a bass tone from the neck pickup. The wiring comes from a time before the electric bass had been invented, with the neck position engaging the additional pot to further remove higher frequencies. It's part of/most of the reason why the neck position on telecasters are stereotypically disliked. In the '53(I believe, but certainly used in many telecasters prior to '67) wiring, the bridge position turned the tone knob into a blender between bridge and neck, so with the tone knob rolled all the way down you would get the full neck pickup without sending the signal through that second capacitor.

Yep. Page 11 here (and a bunch of Deutsch):
1953-1966
The "normal" cap is 0.05㎌ (aka 0.047㎌ or 47㎋) and the "mud" cap for faking bass is 0.1㎌.
250k logarithmic potentiometers on both Volume and Tone.
As others have said, do what you want to get the tone you like; this wiring scheme is historic, nothing else.
 

Rob DiStefano

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All that matters with "tone" caps in passive guitar circuits is their metered value, and to some degree their build where PIOs are a waste since they can/will be leakers over time. Polyester or mylar shell caps will probably last several lifetimes, ceramics at least one life. No need for "orange drops" or "bumble bees" as well, since along with PIOs they are high voltage and meant for amps, not passive guitars. All of this has been audio technician proved more than a few times, so don't waste money on expensive caps for simple guitar circuits.

As to the tone pot cap value for guitars, do yerself a favor and buy a range of uf values, say .047, .022, .015 and .010 to test out. Caps are easy swap-in/swap-out for a Tele, see what floats yer boat. Smaller value caps will typically allow a longer sweep of usable treble shunting to ground than larger cap values. A .047 or .050 is mud city for me with a 1/3rd turn of the pot knob with the circuit fed by a "standard" single coil set of pickups. I always start with a .022uf and let the pickups decide what they like best. My current Tele has a .015uf cap for its tone pot and I can enjoy usable treble cutting throughout almost all of its wiper sweep range. YMMV.
 




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