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Does Capacitors Matter?

Chris the Gent

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The Sprague orange drops are perfectly adequate, and the most popular capacitor. You probably won't notice a difference between those and the stock ceramic ones, unless you change the values, i.e. go from a .022 to a .047. the .047 makes it quite dark. I tried that in my SG for a while, but didn't really like it. I'd rather have a bit more brightness on tap, and just roll off the tone pot a little if it's too harsh.

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The stock Epi caps are thought to vary a lot in value, so it's a matter of luck as to whether you like them or not. If I rewire I always fit Sprague 22s with humbuckers. It only involves a small amount of time and money. If you then find you want a particular pup darker or brighter you can ret a different value; usually 47s to go darker, 15s to go brighter.

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I've heard that 'paper and oil' are the best



You may have heard that, but I don't think anybody is blessed with that great an ear to hear it.


If they tell you they can...................B.S.



Whatever dB change there would be from one to another wouldn't be noticeable. Even a bag of like caps will very as they all have = or - tolerances. Could a person notice that.............no.

A capacitor is a capacitor, value for value as far as the human ear is concerned.





Happy pickin'

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The materials used to make the capacitors can make an audible difference in an amplifier, but not in a guitar tone circuit. Most of the people who say they can hear a difference in a guitar are in the business of selling capacitors or depend on advertising from those sellers. Orange Drops are fine.

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I am one who believes he hears a difference.

not as big as the price increase however.

I use sprague orange drops in mine. Except my LP I have Mallorys in.

the voltages in a guitar are pretty small so it's hard for a cap to make a difference.

However, there's a difference and in the way your pot works as well as what you hear.

If you had fairly well played strings on. and put on new.

that would be a bigger difference.

But .. creme de le creme is creme de le creme.. or hoity toity or hotsy totsy..

but it's real.

And I sell caps.

Sooo.. you can say I'm just hedging my bets.

But I've put in a lot of caps..

and I recommend spragues.



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A/B 'em sometime.


put the caps on a switch outside the guitar.. one good oil in paper, and one god sprague switched in a tone control.


If there's no difference, it's voodoo.. if there's some difference, it's validity.


I think it's like everything 'guitar'.. a little of both.



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Yeah Twang, I just might try that with the MIM Tele I have and decide for myself. It has a 503Z (.050uf) ceramic capacitor and I have a .047 Mallory 150 I'd like to compare it to. In a different forum, a member said that he likes a .022 capacitor in his Tele, one likes a .1 and another likes 3300pF up to 6800pF so I have a few things to try if I want to. Jason Lollar's personal favorite is .015 (from his site).


In this article, the author glues different capacitors to a piece of cardboard and uses alligator clips to try different values:



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