Is there a main difference in caps?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by stratter, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. stratter

    stratter Member

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    I'm definitely not trying to start another 'tone chaser' thread, but I know I am.

    Anyway, I'm going to put some new caps and pickups in my lester, and I was wondering if the different caps really do matter. Some people say bees are magic, but I don't want to shell out a lump sum of money for something that wouldn't make that much more of a difference than a set of other PIO caps that can be had for 20 dollars or less.

    I've heard some good things about the vitamin Q's. Any thoughts on these also?
     
  2. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    The value of the capacitor matters. What it's made from, not so much.
    Paper and oil is so lowbrow, though. I roll mine from rose petal oil and the finest linen. :D
     
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  3. stratter

    stratter Member

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    So let's say that I bought a pair of .22 PIO caps. Would NOS bee caps make an (audible) difference between PIO caps that can be had for about $5?
     
  4. Jason_77

    Jason_77 Member

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    Yeah, but if you're not extracting the rose petal oil yourself it's like, why even bother?
     
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  5. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Mylar or ceramic are more stable. They'll keep their value over decades. Paper in oil will change as they dry out and age.
     
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  6. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

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    No.
     
  7. stratter

    stratter Member

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    I've found a set of sprague hyrels that are supposed to hold their value insanely well, so that shouldn't be an issue
     
  8. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    they DO matter in the since that each, even of the same exact make and value, are different... thus there is no way to predict what the sonic product of any one particular type may be. Could be that a 3 cent chicklet may produce a sound you prefer more than a 1000 dollar 24k gold foil PIO....

    There exists no "special" science involved in making a high dollar cap that will definitively produce superior tone.... the only certainty is, if you try many, you will find some that sound different... just different... different can go either way... remember, horrible is different too.. Dollars spent do not automatically translate into better sound... just get a good one, and be happy. "Good" should cost ya only a few bux, that's it...

    There are any number of videos produced by very highly acclaimed techs demonstrating the extremely small difference in caps, both, of the same value, or of different values of those most often used in guitars...


    Ron Kirn
     
  9. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Supporting Member

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    I've posted this a few times here. Back around 2008, I changed just the caps in a 2008 R8 and 2007 R9 from the stock fake Bees to Luxe repo bees. 0.022 all around.

    R8. A noticeable difference even on 10. The guitar just sounded sweeter and my friend who doesn't play guitar noticed, too.

    R9. Absolutely no difference at all.

    My answer to: Does it matter? Yes and no. It must depend on the guitar.
     
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  10. John Catto

    John Catto Member

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    "So let's say that I bought a pair of .22 PIO caps. Would NOS bee caps make an (audible) difference between PIO caps that can be had for about $5?"

    Just to be extremely literal about this (but if you're ordering parts you need to be) it would sound terrible no matter what the composition of the cap. The value you typically want is .022uf. Values between .01uf (gives more of a cocked wah effect) and .047uf (common with Fenders, pretty much a massive high end roll off on anything else) are common.
     
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  11. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    Or more specifically, the pickups.

    In my recent experience with pot and cap swaps in a couple guitars, I have found that the more "vintage" voiced a pickup is, the more sensitive it is to cap variances. The PIO caps make more of a difference in my P90 and PAF equipped guitars. In a guitar with more "modern" voiced pickups, I really can't detect a difference.

    YMMV
     
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  12. Millo 3.1

    Millo 3.1 Member

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    Can you point out any particular one? Or good guitar tech YouTube channel?
     
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  13. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    Probably the least important part of your signal chain.
     
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  14. Che_Guitarra

    Che_Guitarra Member

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    The value of the cap makes a difference to the amount of treble roll off (when you dial back the tome knob), but you'll likely hear the an equal amount of tonal difference by growing your nails 1/16 of an inch as you will by switching different brand caps of the same value.
     
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  15. Mc Tanza

    Mc Tanza Member

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    For a LP with PAF type pickups, a vintage bumblebee is almost always a really good choice, at least if the actual values of the caps haven't drifted a lot. For a modern production cap, I'd recommend Sozo caps. They are not PIO but they sound phenomenal. In fact, I've swapped vintage bumblebees with Sozos in some guitars. I like them that much.
     
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  16. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I've always used Orange Drop or PIO caps in the partscasters I put together because if I don't and have to sell, which has happened often, players would turn their noses up at the guitar.

    Guitar players are sold buckets of snake oil and always want more.
     
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  17. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's one David Collins did... and a few more by other's in this and related fields...








    http://www.aqdi.com/tonecap.htm


    http://www.aqdi.com/tonecap.htm




    the way these discussions pan out is.. the Electrical Engineers will correctly point out how the cap can impact various metrics relative to the pickup... Yes... that does happen... However... in the real world ofd on stage music,,, the differences are so extremely subtle, all but a few with the "golden ears" and those guys DO exist, few would ever notice...

    The cap functions as a route OUR for specific frequencies.. They are determined by the value of the cap, nothing else.. Ad those frequencies, the signal is dumped to Earth, Ground... they never make it to the amp... never...

    The differences heard in caps is primarily due to it's value allowing more or less of the signal to be dumped... what you hear is what remains, uninfluenced by the cap.

    rk
     
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  18. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

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    When I did that blind test, I picked out the bumblebee both times with the tone rolled off.

    Those old style, plastic encapsulated paper caps have a bit of resonance, vowel, wah like character to them. It's a real but subtle difference.

    Some folks don't perceive it, so to them it seems like snake oil.

    There's nothing unscientific about hearing differences in capacitors. I've swapped caps in guitar amps, hifi amps, guitars and they usually result in audible differences. That's just reality.
     
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  19. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Member

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    Yes, but when you changed caps, did the audible difference come about because of the change in material of the cap, or because of a change in the value of capacitance?
     
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  20. Tony Bones

    Tony Bones Member

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    OK, so you already know that this has been discussed before, way more times than I care to count. You already know that some people will say the material matters, some will say it doesn't. There's even one guy that answers every question by saying it matters but nobody can predict how. (?!?!)

    What new information do you hope to get from this thread?
     

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