So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby generalkustard » 22 Jun 2012, 07:41

I thought it was fairly obvious that I was making a joke, Vintage electrons...come on, keep up. :roll:
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby Seiche » 22 Jun 2012, 16:38

generalkustard wrote:I thought it was fairly obvious that I was making a joke, Vintage electrons...come on, keep up. :roll:

you must be new here :blackeye

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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby marshmellow » 22 Jun 2012, 17:34

mictester wrote:
IvIark wrote:I've got maybe 15 different paper in oil values and they have similar accuracy to poly caps. None of them measure more than a few percent over the rated value. Truth or myth is a matter for your ears to decide, but generallly whatever mictester says, the opposite is true :mrgreen:


Believe that if you like....

Believe in "mojo" components.....

Believe that Freekish Blues pedals are built in an American basement.....

All the above amply demonstrate the stupidity of most "deeply held" beliefs.

Simple, provable electronic FACT - equal value passive components pass audio in exactly the same way. If you can't MEASURE a difference, there isn't any difference.
There are no "magic" capacitors, and carbon composition resistors only "sound different" because they usually have radically different values to what their markings claim....

If you want to waste money on "genuine" components, prepare to be very disappointed. You will eventually realise that the "mojo" theories of the clueless are just marketing bullshit!


The resulting distortion due to different capacitor types is easily measurable. Not saying I can hear it, but I wouldn't use "no measured difference" as an argument here :wink:.

By the way, the same goes for different resistors. Although the effects are orders of magnitude lower.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby FiveseveN » 22 Jun 2012, 23:14

marshmellow wrote:The resulting distortion due to different capacitor types is easily measurable.

Sure, the measurement is easy enough. But are the results significant? Are there any tests in the 9V/mA or 2V/uA (in the case of tone caps) range? I've seen this one mentioned a bunch of times, but how relevant is it?
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby phibes » 23 Jun 2012, 07:14

I can sum this up in one sentence...

If you think you need to change tone cap brand to make your guitar sound better, it's probably time to buy a better guitar.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby marshmellow » 23 Jun 2012, 09:52

FiveseveN wrote:
marshmellow wrote:The resulting distortion due to different capacitor types is easily measurable.

Sure, the measurement is easy enough. But are the results significant? Are there any tests in the 9V/mA or 2V/uA (in the case of tone caps) range? I've seen this one mentioned a bunch of times, but how relevant is it?


Relevancy for guitar effects and amplification is pretty much zero (at least to me). Ever measured the THD of a "clean" guitar sound? :wink: But that doesn't make mictester's statement right.

Cyril Bateman's measurements are probably the most extensive ones published. For more recent write-ups read Douglas Self or Linear Audio.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby soulsonic » 27 Jun 2012, 01:05

SirElwood wrote:Some time ago we were talking about capacitors, and then this happened:


Link

(It's not me in the video)

:lol: This is so hilarious and awful at the same time... some of the things he says.

My best guess is he's destroying them because they were removed from old equipment for being faulty. My limited experience with old PIOs has definitely found a high percentage of leaky ones. I'm guessing people pull them out of old equipment to sell them as fancy tone caps, without any regard to their actual electrical condition. That crazy Finn is doing people a service by keeping people from getting ripped off by junk components.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby earthtonesaudio » 27 Jun 2012, 01:17

ROFL
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rocklander wrote:hairsplitting and semantics aren't exactly the same thing though.. we may need two contests for that.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby culturejam » 27 Jun 2012, 02:08

Final Solution, eh. Ouch.


Destroying mojo is pretty fun, though. I smashed up some tropical fish caps. What a rush! :thumbsup :lol:
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby bhill » 01 Jul 2012, 18:00

phibes wrote:I can sum this up in one sentence...

If you think you need to change tone cap brand to make your guitar sound better, it's probably time to buy a better guitar.


+1

If you think that changing the tone cap in your guitar makes that much difference you need to spend more time playing through the entire signal chain and learning how everything interacts. It is too much of the "instant results" type mindset to think that the tone cap change will make you a better player. Any tonal differences from changing cap values can be achieved a lot more easily by tweaking the tone knobs on the amp. And by the time you add in the pedal chain (that is what we do around here, isn't it?), well...

It isn't a specific tone that I've chased through the years, it is my overall sound. And there are a lot of tonal variations there. And funny thing, it doesn't matter at all if my input device is one of my strats, Les Pauls or even the Ibanez GAX70 or Epi LP Jr, the sound coming out of the speakers is remarkably simular.

I even went down that stupid tone cap road at one time. I've got a '72 Lawsuit Les Paul I wasted a good part of one afternoon trying out a handful of different values and types. I ended up putting the original back in and went back to adjusting things with pedals and amps.

And for what it's worth, if that second device in your signal chain is a wa, just how much affect will that cap have. You will have 10 times the tone control under your foot.

It is what you do with the instrument that makes the difference, not what you do to the instrument. That is all the audience cares about.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby phibes » 01 Jul 2012, 23:03

Amen brotha. You can't doll a deuce up and call it Sally.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby Intripped » 01 Jul 2012, 23:33

please meet Sally
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby D-Day » 02 Jul 2012, 23:37

bhill wrote:It is what you do with the instrument that makes the difference, not what you do to the instrument. That is all the audience cares about.


I certainly agree with what Phibes originally said. Changing the brand of capacitor in your guitar because one brand is supposed to sound better than another seems pretty silly. I suspect that changing capacitor type may not really get anybody anywhere but will leave definitive comments to the scientists. But changing the capacitor value can make a massive difference and I have anecdotal evidence that goes a bit against the quote above.

I play an SG standard. On the neck tone control I run a .047 and with the tone rolled all the way down it is darker than any guitar with a .022 can go. At the bridge tone control I run a .1 and it gets darker than the neck. In the band I absolutely ALWAYS play on the neck pickup with the tone rolled off completely. This way I sound almost as much like second bass player as second guitar.

So the other night I broke a string and had to use a different guitar with the stock .022 and guess what? My sound wouldn't come out. Audience members absolutely knew this and they told me. Sure I could've twiddled knobs on my one pedal that I use, or my Bassman 135 but it was 30 minute set times and that doesn't leave much room for productive tweaking. We still had a great set and I'm sure people who'd not seen us live in the past never knew the difference. But it sounded way way different and the band as well as the fans heard it all.

So in my experience, a change in capacitor value can make a huge difference and the audience may even tell you so.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby trjones1 » 14 Aug 2012, 05:18

CHEEZOR wrote:Usually everyone is in agreement that the most expensive / rarest cap is the best, bar none. This same theory can be applied to all other electronic components as well. :lol:


This is actually my philosophy with all electronic equipment. If you have $1500 specially calibrated wooden feet on you power amp, it's OBVIOUSLY going to sound better than the cheap plastic the manufacturers use.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby CHEEZOR » 14 Aug 2012, 22:13

trjones1 wrote:This is actually my philosophy with all electronic equipment. If you have $1500 specially calibrated wooden feet on you power amp, it's OBVIOUSLY going to sound better than the cheap plastic the manufacturers use.

Agreed. Finally! Someone with some sense! :hug:
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby DougH » 17 Aug 2012, 16:29

DrNomis wrote:I see that this "Capacitor Debate" is still raging.... :lol:



Sounds to me like it was settled in the first post.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby DrNomis » 18 Aug 2012, 07:55

Intripped wrote:please meet Sally




Was that LK's sister?...I can't tell..... :scratch:
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby redemptus_ampworks » 14 Jun 2013, 06:13

My post is only to off an alternate perspective - I don't think there is a totally objective answer to this post...

I replaced the mallory tone cap (it died) with a vitamin q (similar to the mallory - made a bit better). I'm pretty sure the value changed - there is a lot more low-end present, which seems as if some of the jangle is gone...it isn't.

Point is - caps WILL change the tone. of note - I use a 15watt matchless spitfire clone (ed giller). I only have a hi-cut tone option - I benefit from being concerned about the electronics, internally (and externally), on my guit.
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby bajaman » 14 Jun 2013, 09:53

three pages of subjective observations - what exactly did those PIOs mentioned in the original post on page one measure capacitance wise :?: :?: :?:
If they measured .056uf instead of the expected .047uf it is little wonder they are gonna sound warmer - doh :roll:
Or as frank Zappa was once quoted as saying - "Stop obsessing and play yer guitar" :wink:
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Re: So... tone capacitors, truth or myth?

Postby FiveseveN » 14 Jun 2013, 10:38

redemptus_ampworks wrote:I don't think there is a totally objective answer to this post...

What is the question?
You changed a cap with a likely different-value one. There was a percieved change in frequency response. Where's the mistery?
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