Favorite tone capacitors and pots?

Tele_vox_blsjr

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Hey! Running by my local electronics store tomorrow to get some knobs for my well-beaten SD-1. Interested in changing the pots on my tele and the tone capacitor. Currently I have 500k ohm pots in both volume and tone, but just the stock cap on the tone pot.

Any setup opinions welcome!
 

Swirling Snow

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I like .015 caps. Sure, the top half of the rotation all sounds about the same, but when you roll it almost all the way down you get these sparkly wah sounds instead of a muffled tone like with a .047.

I think it's worth the money for paper in oil, or at least Orange Drops. Remember, even if you can't hear the difference, others can. :)
 

Willie Johnson

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I like .015 caps. Sure, the top half of the rotation all sounds about the same, but when you roll it almost all the way down you get these sparkly wah sounds instead of a muffled tone like with a .047.

I think it's worth the money for paper in oil, or at least Orange Drops. Remember, even if you can't hear the difference, others can. :)
I've got an old crusty wax paper .015 in my single P90 Squier Bullet Tele; my best sounding tone circuit by far.
 

Wound_Up

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I've got an old crusty wax paper .015 in my single P90 Squier Bullet Tele; my best sounding tone circuit by far.

I've got a couple of Russian PIO caps I bought last year and never installed. Maybe it's time to get around to that. Hmm.

I bought 4 CTS pots at the same time, intending to replace to tiny Alpha pots in my guitar and they weren't tiny. It had full size Alpha pots so I just left them for the time being.
 

old_picker

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A capacitor does the job of draining off specific frequencies to earth. I use standard sprague Orange drops because they give consistent results every time, my supplier has them in stock always. I've never found green caps or ceramic caps to give a different sounding result to the Sprague. If I run out of Sprague I'll use green or red cap leftovers. Green and red caps are very cheap.

In my opinion the paper in oil caps everybody is so in love with sound different because they are out of spec. The way they are built means they degrade from day one.

The idea is to get a repeatable result. If you don't like the tone of a .047mf cap try a different value. When you find a value that works for your ears you can then use that value in other Guitars.

Always best to use components that are giving consistent results and may be expected to continue to do so for years to come. A crusty old PIO cap is not the way to go to get consistent results.
 

RetiredUnit1

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A capacitor does the job of draining off specific frequencies to earth. I use standard sprague Orange drops because they give consistent results every time, my supplier has them in stock always. I've never found green caps or ceramic caps to give a different sounding result to the Sprague. If I run out of Sprague I'll use green or red cap leftovers. Green and red caps are very cheap.

In my opinion the paper in oil caps everybody is so in love with sound different because they are out of spec. The way they are built means they degrade from day one.

The idea is to get a repeatable result. If you don't like the tone of a .047mf cap try a different value. When you find a value that works for your ears you can then use that value in other Guitars.

Always best to use components that are giving consistent results and may be expected to continue to do so for years to come. A crusty old PIO cap is not the way to go to get consistent results.
It's not just the function of frequencies, it's how little the signal is degraded on the way through. Hermetically sealed capacitors are just as perfect as the day they were made, as are hermetically sealed vacuum tubes.

PIO caps exhibit the least amount of degradation and are so quiet it's almost impossible to detect the foil end.
 

CirrusBand

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Emperically, cap type doesn't matter in a guitar circuit. They all sound the same. The only thing that matters is the value, and the only thing that affects is the corner frequency of the low pass filter it creates. PIO, Ceramic, Silver Mica, Poly... if they're all the same value, they sound the same.

That's not true in a guitar amp, where high voltages and the way they're used in circuits mean their ESR & self distortion plays a role too, but at fractions of a volt and just serving the role of being a cap to ground, those things just don't matter.

That's not to say people can't find enjoyment from putting cool looking caps in their guitars!
 

1stpitch

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If you believe, as some do, that different types of capacitors make a difference, get a bunch of them and make yourself a rig like this one to test them out.


You can do the same thing for different values of the same type cap.

Or, just get the cheapest .022µF capacitor you can find and put it in there.
 

Telekarster

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I've got a couple of Russian PIO caps I bought last year and never installed. Maybe it's time to get around to that. Hmm.

I bought 4 CTS pots at the same time, intending to replace to tiny Alpha pots in my guitar and they weren't tiny. It had full size Alpha pots so I just left them for the time being.

I have put those NOS 50's Russian PIO's in a 56 Les Paul GT, and 2 335 builds. I also like CTS pots and put em in the 335's. I love the sound I get out of these guitars. Very vintage tone sounding to my ears. You should install those babies ;)
 

1stpitch

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I have put those NOS 50's Russian PIO's in a 56 Les Paul GT, and 2 335 builds. I also like CTS pots and put em in the 335's. I love the sound I get out of these guitars. Very vintage tone sounding to my ears. You should install those babies ;)
I like those Russian PIOs too, especially for humbuckers. I got a bunch of them from a Russian dealer a few year back, long before the invasion.
 

eallen

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While I use orange drop because it is what some expect brand & type of the same value doesn't matter except for to the eyes. Since tonne Caps don't effect tone until the tone pot is turned of full if changing the full open tone is desired changing the pot value or placing a cap inline with the pup is needed.
 

Matthias

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I stick with CTS pots, including the Fender and Mojotone vintage spec CTS pots.

Caps, I pick to make my builds look pretty on the inside as they all sound similar. Reasonably-priced NOS PiO or orange drops for modern projects, big ceramic disk caps for vintage jobs. For the ceramic ones, I don’t buy the Fender ones. Fender don’t manufacture them and there’s a big mark-up. It’s sometimes possible to find the exact same parts from manufacturers like Vishay cheap enough to buy a couple and pick your favourite actual measured capacitance

No one else will see it, but I know this is there…
 

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