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K well im a noob. I've been starting to tinker with my guitar, and i've started building pedals and curcuit bending. But you don't need to know much to do those things.

Don't flame if I'm to stupid just ignore this topic or point me in the right direction.

1- If you put a cap in a guitar what EXACLLY does it do to the sound, like I know it changes the sound, duh, but how?

2- Same for a resistor

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Capacitors, or "caps," are typically used in guitar electronics as filters or barriers for certain frequencies. High frequencies will pass through a cap, while lower frequencies are blocked. The value of the capacitor will determine the frequencies that pass (See picture). Using the filtering properties of a cap, its possible to change the tone of the guitar.


Higher frequencies travel more readily to ground, and a guitar can sound muddy as the volume is rolled off. Many builders overcome this problem by using whats been called a 'treble bypass' between the input and the output of the potentiometer. The most common treble bypass caps are 680 picofarads (pf) and .001 microfarads (µf). The higher the value of the cap, the more upper frequencies are allowed to travel through it. A tone pot uses the same properties of a cap, but instead of letting the frequencies slip by to the amp, they are sent to ground. Most tone control caps are of a higher value than treble bleed caps, so the overall effect will be more noticeable, with more tonal flexibility.

Many mods such as the varitone controls use different value caps to alter the sound. Check out http://alexplorer.net/guitar/mods.html in the advanced section alot of those mods use caps and should give you some good examples of the theory in practise.

Hope this help. :D

Edited by wickerwolf
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  • 3 weeks later...

A resistor is commonly made of carbon if being used for low wattage. Resistors reduce electrical pressure (voltage) and flow (current). These fixed resistors are very uncommon for unpowered guitar circuits, because there is no internal amplifier to bias. Variable resistors (potentiometers) are resistors that change resistance when you turn them, this is wiping a conductor across a phenolic wafer either closer to ground (more resistance) or closer to the output lug (less resistance). Values affect potentiometers ranges of resistance. If a potentiometer is coupled with a unipolar capacitor connected across one output and common (ground), it can cut high (it's a low pass filter [LPF]) frequencies at a variable amount. There is a breif explaination of resistors, pots, and how they apply to a guitar's tone cirucit.

Edited by venominox
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