Sorry, another stupid CAP discussion! Can someone shed some light?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by papersoul, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    Hey all,

    Not to beat a dead horse.:D

    I was on the Harmonic Design site and a few others and read some well written articles on caps/pots, etc.
    http://www.harmonicdesign.net/faqsfolder/faq20.html
    He talks about ceramic disks arguably being the best sounding.:dunno

    Some say the brand makes little difference and to my ears, I agree. I don't see much difference between my Hovlands, Vit Q's, ODs or Ceramics...if at all, it is very minor. Physics would say it has no impact on tone!

    However, the Harmonic design site says even on 10 it can effect tone in a subtle way. I think that is key, it is subtle! Meaning, I am better off worrying about the amp, pickups, etc not the smaller details.

    One article I read said you would want a higher value cap for the neck and lower for the bridge because you want a darker neck pickup tone and brighter bridge. I disagree! I prefer lower in the neck so it does not get muddy rolling down. I prefer higher in the bridge to control the highs a bit better. I tend to do .015 neck and .022 bridge. Sometimes I stay standard .022s all around and live with it. We are talking subtle. I know theoretically, they impact tone on ten and having a larger cap in the bridge could give you a beefier tone and more mids....but much more could just be achieved tweaking my amp!:eek:

    I personally had some good vitamin Qs in my LPs and could hear little to no difference.

    So I think for now I'll just keep my OD caps in my LPs 15 neck and 22 bridge and leave it. I was just thrown off when the one Premire Guitar article recommended something like .015 bridge and .022 or higher in the neck.:dunno

    Later.....
    Thanks.
     
  2. fisheric

    fisheric Member

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    I agree with you about wanting a brighter cap in the neck and darker in the bridge. My neck pickup is way to dark right now and i need to change the value.

    and then there is also the tone and volume pots

    hmm.. then there is also amp controls.

    ugh maybe i just wont do anything.
     
  3. never-enough

    never-enough Member

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    i have removed the tone pots on a few of my guitars lately, as i rarely use them.
    i have found that i really enjoy the lively tone and response this gives me from the neck pickup. however it can be a bit too bright and open with the bridge.

    i recently ordered a wiring kit from rs guitarworks for one of my les pauls and went with a .15 cap for the neck and a .22 bumblebee cap for the bridge.
    cant wait to get it in and hear it!
     
  4. slartibartfast

    slartibartfast Member

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  5. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    I notice no difference from brand and type of caps. .15 cap for the neck and a .22 is what I use on my LPs. On my SG...it shares the same tone pot, so I have no choice but to leave it alone.
     
  6. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Supporting Member

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    You mean .015 and .022, I know it's just a typo but it makes a difference to someone who doesn't know better!

    Al
     
  7. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Got a feeling that this was a typo too.
     
  8. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    Yes, I meant .015 and .022..

    Actually no it wasn't a typo! The entire article was based around this, wanting the tone darker i nthe neck and brighter in the bridge so you would want .022 or less in the bridge and .022 or higher in the neck! Dead serious. I just know, I look at it this way - the bridge is brighter so i would want a darker roll off if anything and for the neck I would want a lower value since it is darker anyway. There aren't big differences when all is on ten to my ears so I am not sure if that is where he was going.
     
  9. cdodson9983

    cdodson9983 Member

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    It sounds like your pick-ups are maladjusted.....The neck pick-up should be much brighter due to the stronger vibrations of the string being closer to the finger-board than the bridge pick-up being so much further away from the finger board
     
  10. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    I have a guitar with a no-load pot on the tone control.
    Engaging the pot slightly, subtly attenuates the top end.
    If this is what all the fuss is about, you (OK I) will not hear it over the drummer, off-axis, in the real world.

    Otherwise, tone controls roll off the the top end. Bigger cap causes more topend loss and may interact with the pup/cable/amp input in different ways. If you rely on the tone control for wah effect or a specific tone at a certain portion of the pot turn, just experiment with types and values, but I suspect most people will not hear a lot a diff between a well-chosen 'super' cap and a well-chosen cheapie and if the value of your super-cap is unsuitable to your rig/taste it won't help you at all.

    >>It sounds like your pick-ups are maladjusted.....The neck pick-up should be much brighter due to the stronger vibrations of the string being closer to the finger-board than the bridge pick-up being so much further away from the finger board<<

    Most would consider the bridge pup to be brighter but I can see how the term brightness may be obscured by upper-mid boost and that maybe you are listening above that for 'airiness' and quantifying thaings that way, but who knows what others hear? I don't hear it that way...bridge=bright.
     
  11. Rossl

    Rossl Member

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    Go with your ears. I agree there is little difference in cap types on a guitar.

    Basic electronics rule you would have to change a component by a factor of 10 to see/hear a differnce .015 and .022 are very close.

    IMHO.......all of this cap changing is a waste of time, especially if you keep the tone pot on 10 most of the time.

    But, if YOU can change a cap and hear the difference than by all means change them.
     
  12. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    First off tone is subjective. One man's warm is another man's muddy. One mans clear and articulate is another mans piercing.

    That said if you spend $20 for a 10 cent part you're gonna hear a difference. I suspect the difference people are hearing as as much to do (probably more) with the value of the part being changed than the construction method.

    I bought a set if DeTemple sweet spot pickups for a strat I was building up. It came with a MASSIVE sprague orange drop cap for the tone cap. It looked like the chicklet from hell. They didn't come with bumblebees. They didn't come with Vitamin Q. They didn't come with If Hovalands. If sprague orange drops are good enough for DeTemple, who arguably builds some of the finest guitars on the planet, maybe they're good enough for you and me?
     
  13. elkym

    elkym Member

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    Just my two cents.... but this is the exact opposite of all my guitar experience. Bridge pickups are ALWAYS brighter... no matter what I do. And that's on all three of my guitars-- and every guitar I've ever played in the store.
     
  14. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    That, sir, is a marvelous statement! lol
     

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