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capacitors


dkoplien
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If the capacitor between the volume and tone pot serves the purpose of limiting the amount of high frequencies cut and sent to ground when rolled off, does the quality or type of the capacitor make any difference in overall sound since it’s not seeing tone signal sent to the amp as it would in a series or coupling circute?

Edited by dkoplien
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It would appear that any component that shunts to ground wouldn't have much effect on the sound quality, but what you subtract from the signal is as important as what you add to it. That said, at the current and impedance levels in guitar electronics, I doubt that it makes much, if any, audible difference. Any modern cap has got to do a better job than those cheesy paper and oil caps that were used in the 50s, but there are people who swear by them. I prefer film caps because I think I can hear a slight improvement in overall noise using them, but that's me - BigD has said he prefers ceramic discs for a more vintage sound, and thinks that films sound sterile, so he hears things differently to the way I do, and that doesn't make either of us wrong. The only things I would avoid doing are:

  • using any kind of expensive or exotic cap - hifi caps with silver foil and oil of Aphrodite come to mind. :D
  • using any cap with a huge votage rating - anything over 5 volts is probably overkill, and 630 volt Orange Drops are ridiculous!
  • using tantalum or electrolytic caps - they're finicky, self adjusting, and not worth the trouble.

Other than that, let your ears guide you. Fortunately, caps are dirt cheap, so you can buy a bunch, and swap 'em around until you're happy.

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