Can i use any capacitor for my bass guitar?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by madthewicked, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. madthewicked


    May 29, 2020
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    You can use anything that isn’t polarized.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I think you'll find there will only be a few in all those that have a value useful for bass guitars.
    For instance, there are none here that are worthwhile even trying:


    These are polarized electrolytic, you can't use those:

  4. Type of capacitor is not really and issue but size is. Higher the voltage rating the larger the capacitor. I try to stay wit 50volt and certainly no more than 200volt as going larger take ip a significant amount of space
  5. fermata

    fermata Guest

    Nov 10, 2015
    Assuming a non-polarized capacitor, material is irrelevant for passive guitar circuits. It’s the value that matters, so it’s worth using caps with at least a 20% tolerance (grab a few, since the values will vary a bit) or 10% tolerance (in which case, one of your desired value will be fine).
  6. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    You should use a capacitor from a company with a good reputation for value tolerance consistency in order to get the tonal characteristics desired in the circuit

    Please stay away from oil-and-paper capacitors, because over time the oil dries out and the capacitor value shifts.

    Unless you are restoring a vintage instrument where the original capacitor is required for aesthetics and collector value, you don't have to pay too much for a capacitor, so long as it is from a reliable manufacturer, like Sprague, Mallory, etc.
  7. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    This is important to understand. In an amp, the signal actually flows through certain capacitors so they can affect tone, but in a passive guitar tone circuit, the cap is not in the signal path. I once wired up an Orange Drop and a generic Radio Shack cap on a switch in a guitar tone circuit and heard no difference at all. It makes sense when you know how the circuit works.

    Last time I looked you could get ten ceramic disk caps from StewMac for around the price of one Orange Drop. I checked the last batch I bought with a multimeter, and I don’t know what their claimed tolerance is but they were all quite close to their intended value.
    fermata likes this.

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