#1
I'm dwelling into the guitar modding world head first and have a question on capacitors.

What does the number mean; like .02 .022 .047 .05 ... on the website it says that .022 is for les paul replacement and .047 is tele and strat replacement. Do higher numbers have brighter output, or do lower numbers have higher output ... I'm not sure what's going on.

Also; what's the difference between ceramic disks and Sprague Orange Drops? Which is better, do they have tonal difference, output differences, etc?

And finally, I have 2 volume and 2 tones ... how many caps do I need total?

Any help is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!


Here is the site I am looking at for your reference:
http://store.guitarfetish.com/guelco.html
#2
A larger capacitor will allow more bass than a lesser value. The numbers represent the Farad rating, which measures capacitance. All of those numbers will be in microfarads.

Orange drop caps are made of polypropylene, many people say that they can hear a different in the tone between polypropylene and ceramic capacitors. In all honesty for the small price different I'd go with Orange drops.

You will need two capacitors for 2 volumes and 2 tones.
#3
The number is the rating in microFarads. Higher numbers let more frequencies through. High freqs can pass through them more easilly than low freqs. Since a guitar's tone control has a cap to ground, it shunts those higher freqs right to ground and out of the signal.

Caps don't HAVE output, they AFFECT output (it's more complicated than that, but icbf to explain).

Ceramic disc caps are made of ceramic discs. Betcha never would have guessed that! Orange Drops are supposedly the best-sounding caps out there oss. To a point, ceramic, tantalum, poly film, wax/paper, etc all sound different, but it's quite subtle and can't really be heard in a guitar or pedal. To me, it's all tone mojo.

You only NEED one cap regardless of how many tones you have, but most people use 1 cap per tone pot.

Hope this helps. I usually hate explainning crap like this.

edit: God damn...beaten to it.
Last edited by Invader Jim at Mar 3, 2009,
#4
You could also probably find all of the parts that they are selling for much cheaper. I usually order parts from Antique Electronic Supply - www.tubesandmore.com The alpha pots that are in these kits would cost about 8 dollars for four.
#5
Quote by hendricks.89
I'm dwelling into the guitar modding world head first and have a question on capacitors.

What does the number mean; like .02 .022 .047 .05 ... on the website it says that .022 is for les paul replacement and .047 is tele and strat replacement. Do higher numbers have brighter output, or do lower numbers have higher output ... I'm not sure what's going on.
too complicated for a complete answer.
simple answer: larger number means the treble-cut filter will affect lower frequencies. ie. make it duller sounding when the tone control is set to minumum. when set at maximum, the cap is nearly out of the circuit so you won't hear a difference.

one more tiny piece of the puzzle: HBs have more inductance and series resistance so a smaller cap is more appropriate.


Quote by hendricks.89
Also; what's the difference between ceramic disks and Sprague Orange Drops? Which is better, do they have tonal difference, output differences, etc?
well built, sealed ceramics rival the metalized film caps. but cheap ceramic caps have some non-linearities that sound quite poor when used as a coupling capacitor.

the capacitor of a treble-cut circuit in a guitar is used differently than in a coupling cap in an amplifier. it only affects the signal when the tone pot is at minimum. you will be hard-pressed to hear the difference in tone when the tone is cut and won't hear any difference when the tone control is at maximum. expensive paper in oil caps are a waste of money here. Orange drops are fine, if you get them for a decent price. or metalized film or film/foil caps or even ceramics. it hurts nothing to install a better quality cap, but i wouldn't lose any sleep over having a ceramic in this application.

Quote by hendricks.89
And finally, I have 2 volume and 2 tones ... how many caps do I need total?
2 caps for the treble-cut tone circuit.

2 more, if you put treble-bleed caps on your volume controls. Avoid ceramics for this application. Film caps or better here. Orange drops will be just fine.
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#6
The word is 'delving.'

I put Orange Drops in all of my guitars because they cost nearly the same as cheaper caps, but I can't hear any difference at all.
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#7
Thanks for the good responses, I appreciate it! Does anyone know where I can get a really good wiring diagram? I am looking at a pair of swinehead pickups and they have a decent wiring diagram, but was wondering if there are any better ones out there.

Thanks again!

Edit: Nevermind, I stumbled upon InvaderJim's incredible wiring diagram thread.
Last edited by hendricks.89 at Mar 3, 2009,