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Caps again

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Coolhandjjl, May 28, 2011.

  1. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    How about another cap question: In a passive bass, the caps bleed treble into the ground, so they are not really part of the circuitry that actually goes into your amp. So if I understand this, all this talk of paper in oil caps, orange drop caps, etc, is meaningless for passive basses?
  2. drewfx


    May 14, 2009
    I'm not a believer in "fancy caps", but I think the argument that they can't make a difference because "they are not really part of the circuitry" is flawed - if it wasn't "part of the circuit", it clearly couldn't alter the sound by bleeding off high frequencies either.

    But this point doesn't lend anything to the questionable pro-fancy-caps arguments either.
  3. Red Planet

    Red Planet Banned

    May 29, 2005
    I'm cranky in my old age.
    Not sure how much difference the paper in oil caps make in this particular setting (prolly not much) but I had a tube guitar amp built with all (even the small ones) Jensen paper in oil caps once and the tone was unbelievable. Th clarity was unreal.
  4. Yes they are. What you mean is they are not inline with the signal path, so what passes through them is what you DON'T hear rather than what you hear.

    FWIW, you are dealing with a very low voltage and current inside of a bass, for a simple low pass filter. If you look at specs like leakage, ESR or ESL, they make no difference for such an application. What matters is the tolerance. Depending on the composition and manufacturing specs, tolerances can be as bad as 80%, which means that the actual capacitance could stray 80% from the rated capacitance.

    I think the reason a lot of people claim to hear a difference between their stock cap and those ridiculous $50 paper-in-oil caps(Or sometimes a different composition, cleverly disguised in paper-in-oil packaging to fool you into paying more money.) is that they start with a poor-tolerance cap, like a ceramic, so when they changed caps, the actual capacitance of the new cap is so different that it shifts the cutoff frequency enough for them to notice a difference.

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