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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After 25 years of Edward induced tone controle phobia, I'm finally breaking and putting one in my guitar. I bought a 250k tone pot, but am not sure what size capacitor to use with it. The guy at guitar center said .o5, Seymor Duncan says .022, but I do have one little .047 capacitor. -will that work or do I need to go back out and get the right one?
Thanks!
 

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Here is a great explanation for you


Most guitars and basses with passive pickups use between .01 and .1MFD (Microfarad) tone capacitors with .02 (or .022) and .05 (or .047) being the most common choices. The capacitor and tone pot are wired together to provide a variable low pass filter. This means when the filter is engaged (tone pot is turned) only the low frequencies pass to the output jack and the high frequencies are grounded out (cut) In this application, the capacitor value determines the "cutoff frequency" of the filter and the position of the tone pot determines how much the highs (everything above the cutoff frequency) will be reduced. So the rule is: Larger capacitors will have lower cutoff frequency and sound darker in the bass setting because a wider range of frequencies is being reduced. Smaller capacitors will have a higher cutoff frequency and sound brighter in the bass setting because only the ultra high frequencies are cut. For this reason, dark sounding guitars like Les Pauls with humbuckers typically use .02MFD (or .022MFD) capacitors to cut off less of the highs and guitars like Strats and Teles with single coils typically use .05MFD capacitors to allow more treble to be rolled off. Keep in mind that the capacitor value only affects the sound when the tone control is being used (pot in the bass setting) The tone capacitor value will have little to no effect on the sound when the tone pot is in the treble setting.

http://guitarelectronics.zoovy.com/category/wiringresources.1basicwiringfaqs.guitarwiringfaqs/
 

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Great question, I've messed with .01, .02, .03 caps for years!!
From my experience, I go 500K all the way with the.02 cap. For me it cleans up rapidly when I back off, like Early Edward and is a good mock of Pete Townshend's P-90's used on Live at Leeds, like on Aquick one, My generation, all the sections where he 'backs' off.
This combo worked with the Evenly Voiced Harmonics, though I went back to my Rad sound of a Duncan Distortion with Series/Parallel switching.
Series; when I back off it almost sounds like Holdsworth, yet not at the Max.
ET
P.S. Check out Mystic Hope in My MP3 files for an example of how I achieve this effect....I love it.
Halfway through, I back the volume down to clean up for another verse, then roar back up!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for taking the time to fill me in on this subject. I put in the .047 and it seems to be working good.
 

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Tone controls are evil. Let's suppose you use a 500K pot for the control and a .047 uF cap. And let's also suppose the input impedance of your tube amp is also 500K.

At 10,000 Hz, the cap acts like a ~300 ohm resistor in series with the 500K pot(the tone pot rotated to the off position). If the pickup output impedance at 10,000 hz is 500K, the tone pot/cap will half the effective input impedance which the pickup sees. Without the tone pot/cap the pickup sees 500K with the tone pot/cap the pickup sees 250K ohms. This means that more signal loss occurs across the pickup. So, the pot/cap combo with the pot rotated so that it is "off" muddies the signal. With a clean amp tone, this means your guitar is less bright or not as airy. With a distorted tone, less bright means muddy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've been messing with tone control today and I am not quite sure what to think yet. It definitely cuts the shrillness, but it also brings out this interesting breathy tone almost like a sax. I'm going to move the pickup closer to the bridge to try and counteract the muddiness.
 

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Know what you mean Strat...I stuck in a tonepot for the same reasons on my Special Wolfie. do not use the pot much...but it adds something even without useage.
 
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