Favorite tone capacitors and pots?

Tele_vox_blsjr

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Thanks for all the replies! I’m very thankful for the local electronic store because the prices are great (pots are usually $2-2.50). Just moved back to the area and it turns out they don’t open on Saturday anymore, I’ll have to take a long lunch this week and swing by!

My main reason to change the cap values is the tone knob on my tele and lpj specifically do nothing from 10-4, then sound like I shoved the guitar in a potato sack right away. I like a fully muffled sound, but there’s not really any middle ground to mess around with.

Hopefully that’s a little more specific! And thanks for the welcome! Been learning from here for a decade almost but finally signed up!
 

Tele_vox_blsjr

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Sidenote in case anyone else has a shop or is in Tulsa and could go to Affiliated. They always have cool vintage knobs for a buck or two they pulled off a junk radio or something like that, it’s awesome
 

eclecticsynergy

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Sidenote in case anyone else has a shop or is in Tulsa and could go to Affiliated. They always have cool vintage knobs for a buck or two they pulled off a junk radio or something like that, it’s awesome
When I lived in NJ there used to be a really cool place in East Paterson (now called Elmwood Park) for electronics & parts, Veterans Salvage Company, Vetsalco for short. It was under a warehouse, about an acre of dimly lit basement packed with surplus and salvaged military electronics.

All sorts of cool and weird stuff from the WWII and Korean War eras. Dirt cheap prices on vintage tubes, racks & chassis, all kinds of radio & electronic components.

I remember getting half a dozen huge black Bakelite radio knobs for a dollar. Bought a couple of small equipment racks and an old telephone switchboard too, to use as a patchbay. They had some early computer patch panels, big square aluminum things with perfboard and mazes of colored wires. I got a couple as industrial wall decor for my recording studio; now I wonder what ever became of them.

Wish I'd bought a bunch of tubes, but it never even occurred to me back in the 70s. They literally had stacks of them. Probably could've had myself a whole case of NOS 50s milspec JAN12AX7s for a couple of bucks.
 

eclecticsynergy

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OP, have you considered a 250K tone pot? If there's almost no difference in the upper range of a 500K, 250K might give you finer control over the rolloff.

Like others here, I like a low value tone cap. But a lot hinges on what the pickups sound like and the character of the guitar itself.

I looked up the SD-1 but most of the returns were about the Boss distortion pedal.
Is your SD-1 an older MIJ Schecter HSS or a Charvel San Dimas?
What are the pickups?
 

Geo

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For single coil pickups - CTS pots that are within 5% tolerance. Capacitor rating depends on pickup outputs.
I mainly use .033uf or .039uf with medium output pickups like Cavalier Nashville, Lollar Special T, etc.
For hotter output like Texas Specials - .018uf or .022uf
For milder vintage output - .039uf or .047uf
Just depends on how you want the rate of tone to change with the pot taper.
 

monkeybanana

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I have Emerson (CTS) pots in some of my guitars. The low torque/friction is useful for moi. They are easy to bump so it's not for everyone. Low torque Bournes are cool too but they feel a little sandy.

Caps don't matter except for value so I just use what looks right in the guitar I am putting it in.
 

birdawesome

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Fender Pure Vintage .05mf PIO along with two CTS 250K pots

If I want a different roll off I generally use an Emerson .022mf PIO
 

kiwi blue

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My main reason to change the cap values is the tone knob on my tele and lpj specifically do nothing from 10-4, then sound like I shoved the guitar in a potato sack right away. I like a fully muffled sound, but there’s not really any middle ground to mess around with.

That sounds like your pots have the wrong taper. You should have a gradual but noticeable roll-off throughout the top half of the pot's range. That can happen if you have linear pots instead of log pots, or if the pots are wired backwards. A lot of left handed guitars have that problem because the manufacturer uses the same log pots as in right handed guitars but wires them in reverse so the controls rotate in the opposite direction, but the taper is even worse than using linear pots.

For a standard Tele with 2 vintage type single coils, I'd go for 250k pots for sure, but make sure they are log pots.

If you're a lefty, try and get left handed pots (technically reverse audio taper pots). CTS and Alpha make them.
 

Killing Floor

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It’s pretty much the same way a decora switch looks better on your dining room wall. It doesn’t change the lumens coming from your lamp.

Cap and pot values matter. The manufacturing process of those items doesn’t. But since pots are mechanical I’ll spend 1 extra dollar to get quality pots like CTS. They feel consistent.
 

schmee

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Cap brand? Meh.
Pots: CTS .....or Alpha in a pinch.
Lower cap value will give you a broader spread. So... .022uf more spread than say .10uf
Higher K the Volume pot, the brighter the guitar. So 500k brighter than 250k, all else equal.
 




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