RS Guitarworks .047uF Guitarcap

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by alderbody, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    I recently got one of them and put it in my WCR SR equipped strat, which had the .022uF Hovland, also by RS.

    The pots are RS 300K. (...what else?...) :D

    I can say that there is a lot more to dial in with this cap.

    The .022 was great but the .047 gets a lot deeper as you turn the pot down.

    With this larger value cap you can feel the taper of the pot more easily.

    It starts with a slight rolloff, it gets smoother in the middle
    and it gets deeper and deeper towards the end of the travel.

    A really nice upgrade over the .022 and of course over many caps around...

    I believe the guys at RS did another wonderful job (together with Hovland).

    Highly recommended!

    Btw, my special thanks to Lee for his super support!!! ;)
     
  2. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    I put the .047 cap in my ASAT Classic, wired up with Duncan Broadcaster and 54 pickups. I really like how it takes the Tele-style bite down to real smoothness. Much more tone versatility than the stock cap. Highly recommended.
     
  3. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    OT - where did you get the 300k pots?
    and when you got them, how were you certain that they would work for a guitar . . . I mean, I'm a complete electronics novice and I walk into an electronics shop and I absolutely forget everything the minute that someone asks me what I am looking for. So, do the pots have to be specific for guitars or can I just go out and buy any 300k potentiometers? and are tone pots different than volume pots in any essential way?

    Perhaps there are sites for novices like myself?

    anyway, would any .047uF cap work in this place?
     
  4. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    the pots and cap came from RS Guitarworks. (http://www.rsguitarworks.com)

    You could go to an electronics store and ask for CTS pots but this way you couldn't be sure if they would be ok in terms of tolerance, etc...

    Vendors like RS or others test and measure the pots before shipping them.

    Btw, the 300K pots are for use with special singlecoil pickups like the WCR SRs that i currently own. (otherwise you would go for the normal 250K)

    Of course any .047uF cap would work, but not as a "higher quality" cap would.

    If the price of the RS guitarcap seems high, you can look for a Mallory, or an "orange drop", or a WIMA polypropylene, or anything else...

    it's all a matter of personal taste...
     
  5. stratofied

    stratofied Member

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    I have a set of WCR SR pickups in one of my Tylers but I havent switched the 250k pots. I guess I really should get around to doing this.
     
  6. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Silver Supporting Member

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    Pots used in guitar are audio taper, as opposed to linear taper. The value depends on the pickups you are using. Generally speaking, one uses 250k w/single coils, 500k w/humbuckers, 25k w/emgs, etc. Of course, personal tastes may dictate using something different than what is considered correct.

    I can not imagine paying $16 for a capacitor to stick in a guitar. Then again, I usually cut the tone pots out of the circuit on any guitar I buy.
     
  7. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Silver Supporting Member

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    I looked at the RS website and they are selling pots for just over three times what I would pay. As for being sure they are "ok in terms of tolerance," you can look at the manufacturers data sheets for the product in question and see if they are manufactured to a specific tolerance(5%, 10%, etc). I am not sure if most people would notice a 10% difference from one pot to another.

    One could skip buying a two or three $16 caps and get a multimeter instead and see if one's ears can hear what the meter detects.
     
  8. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    So that's $15.95 for a 0.047uF film-and-foil polypropylene cap. Not that you need such a thing in an electric guitar at all, but if you insist that you can hear the difference and/or want to have the best possible cap in your guitar, I think it may be of general interest to know that you can get a 0.047uF film-and-foil polypropylene capacitor with 5% tolerance made in Germany by Wima for $2.47:

    http://www.mouser.com/index.cfm?han...uctid=589332&e_categoryid=496&e_pcodeid=50502

    "But the RS one is made specifically for electric guitar!" Right. And I have a pen here which is made specifically for writing in Spanish :rolleyes:

    You could of course achieve exactly the same result with a metallized polyester cap for $0.25:

    http://www.mouser.com/index.cfm?han...uctid=588975&e_categoryid=497&e_pcodeid=50501

    I mean, you may be ok with paying 10 times what you really need to pay, because it's just a couple bucks anyways, but maybe 64 times is a bit too much, don't you think.

    And, BTW, if you compare the $0.25 polyester one with the usual ceramic caps that Allparts and the likes charge at $0.60, it's not a matter of "oh well you wouldn't hear a difference anyway so why pay more": it's that, for an electric guitar tone circuit, the polyester one is *better* than the ceramic one.
     
  9. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    I've been using those Ebay Russian paper in oil caps in some of my guitars, and they are just as good as the hyped high dollar caps I've tried, and even some vintage NOS caps. You can usually buy a whole box of caps for less than one fancy cap.

    Find a guitar repair place that buys CTS pots in bulk, go in with your ohm meter and measure out the ones you want.
     
  10. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    I know $15 is too much for a cap, and i wouldn't pay that much.

    You see, this .047 RS cap was a "try-out freebie" from RS and i really thank them for that (and many others...)

    I only spotted the difference between the .022 and the .047, and NOT among dielectric material types.

    btw, i really like the Mallory 150 and WIMA polypropylene.

    As for the CTS pots, i agree partially with the above posts, because where i live there is no CTS vendor, so i can't go there with my multimeter to find the good ones for me...

    So i prefer to go for the "tested" RS pots.

    And by saying "ok in terms of tolerance" i mean the actual value of the pot and not the manufacturer's spec...

    btw, i heard a difference between a 280K pot and a 326K.
    if someone can't, it's their problem... :D
     
  11. Tonebender

    Tonebender Supporting Member

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    Honestly, I don't see the big deal with Hovlands.

    I've tried them and they don't really sound much better from the more affordable caps that cost one or two dollars.

    If you want a tonal upgrade, a good paper-in-oil will do you right.......
     
  12. Turbozag

    Turbozag Senior Member

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    In the end, whether or not one cap sounds "better" than another is up to each individuals subjective opinion. Some people like red, some like blue. Some like Sprague caps, some like Hovland...

    Eric Johnson claims he can hear a difference when his cord is reversed. Also claims he can tell what kind of battery is in a stomp box... Some people are happy with a $200 home stereo. Mine cost over $7000.

    I heard about the RS kits and tried one in a 1983 Les Paul Standard, and I can say without hesitation, I heard a MAJOR improvement not only in the tone of the guitar, but also the response from the volume and tone knobs.

    People like Terry McInturff, Ron Thorn, Warrior Guitars, WCR Pickups, Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters, and many others have great things to say about the RS Guitarcap.

    The Hovlands are partially hand made in the US using imported German silver foil, and as caps go they are not cheap. Buying them by the thousands, the cost is still several dollars EACH.

    If you are happy with what you have. Great. If you haved compared, and can live with something cheaper. Great. But if you prefer the tone and characteristics of the Hovland in your $5k R9, the price doesn't seem so bad to me.

    And I was involved with the design process of the RS Guitarcap, and I can tell you it certainly was manufactured SPECIFICALLY for electric guitar applications. Call the owner of Hovland (Alex) and ask him...

    And Brazilian's better than Indian!

    :cool:

    NOTE: about the pots.. the CTS pots used by Gibson and everyone else are 500k with a 20% tolerance. That means when you buy em by the thousands (like we do), you can reach in a bag and pull out 4 pots and they can range from 400k to 600k. That's a plenty big enough difference to make an audible difference! The lower the value the darker the tone. the RS kits use pots that are hand metered and according to their resistance are labeled for a specific position (neck volume, bridge tone etc). We throw away MANY CTS pots that don't fall within our usable range. Which is why we had CTS produce for us the new Super-Pots we are expecting nexk week. 550k with a 10% tolerance, carbon vs the cheap crap they use now, brass shaft vs aluminum and the new pots have a special taper just for electric guitar.
     
  13. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    Alex who? is this the number: 209-966-4377 (that's what they have in their web page)? Thanks!
     
  14. Tom CT

    Tom CT Old Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I just bought a bag of 20 from Allparts, and they ranged from 465k to 530k. Either I was just lucky, or they're closer to spec than they used to be.
     
  15. Turbozag

    Turbozag Senior Member

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    That would be Alex Crespi. The owner.

    CTS rates the pots at a 20% tolerance.

    Anyone want his name and number of the CTS engineer we worked with?
     
  16. stratofied

    stratofied Member

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    What is the tolerance standard for the pots that RS Guitarworks sell?
     
  17. Turbozag

    Turbozag Senior Member

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    Well, currently, we use the 20% tolerance CTS pots, but then we hand meter each pot and toss out those that are not within our specs (which effectively reduces the "tolerance").

    However, Friday we will have our new CTS RS Guitarworks "Super-Pots" in!

    These have a 10% tolerance, 550K target resistance, carbon resistance path (vs cheap crap on the standard CTS pots), brass shaft (vs the aluminum on normal CTS pots), and most importantly, they have a custom designed taper made just for electric guitar applications (specified by RS Guitarworks).

    We have these pots on our website now for pre-delivery ordering since they were expensive and we coupld only order so many this time. Our next order won't be in until March, but it will be a bigger order. As I type this, we have sold appx. half of the order that will be in on Friday.

    You will find them in the Store section, under the "On Sale - New" tab.

    http://www.rsguitarworks.net
     
  18. stratofied

    stratofied Member

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    Yes, thats what I'm asking . What is your spec ? In other words, if I buy standard pots (Not the super-pot) from RS Guitarworks what will the range of tolerance be?
     
  19. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    I'm sorry, I thought carbon was what cheap pots were made with (as opposed to conductive plastic, Cermet or wire), but it seems there's cheaper / lower quality. What is it then?
     

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