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Simple question about capacitors...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by georgestrings, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    ... I've read a bunch of threads here before asking, but just want to make sure...

    Which capacitor will give my bass a brighter sound - a .05uf, or a .068uf????

    I've read things like "will provide a greater treble rolloff" - and it seems to me that the .05uf will be the brighter sounding of the two, but I just want to make sure... Thanks,

    - georgestrings
  2. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    "Greater treble rolloff" = "less high frequencies" = "not as bright."

    While I'd expect the difference to border on subtle, the .068uF will provide "greater treble rolloff"... therefore, while I wouldn't word it this way, the .05uF cap will give you "a brighter sound."


    Keep in mind the most you'll get is the "unaffected" sound of the pickups. Passive tone controls mostly only roll off as you turn them down, so the way I'd say it is you'll get a darker sound with the .068uf when your tone is all the way down.

    I suppose there's a little potential interaction between the RC network and the inductance of the pickup(s) with the tone control nearly all the way up but again, with those two values I'd expect any difference to be subtle. So I wouldn't anticipate much difference in the sound with the tone control all the way up.

    But then, I've been wrong before. :)

    hoping someone who has actually experimented with this will chime in.
  3. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    No capacitor will make your bass sound "brighter." A capacitor, when rolled off, raises the resistance, therefore lowering the amount of high frequency. It doesn't add anything. A cap with higher resistance, a higher number, will roll off more high end. So, to answer your question, a .05 will roll off less treble, a 0.068 will roll off more. Keep in mind that tone knobs only work as you turn them down. When fully "on" they do nothing.
  4. You're very right. The effect of the cap is negligible with the tone pot fully open, even for extreme cap values. For example, for a typical PAF type humbucker with 500k pots, the difference in resonant peak amplitude between a 0.01 uF cap and a 0.1 uF cap is about 0.01 dB.
  5. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    I would try different strings. Stainless Steel roundwounds. :bag:
  6. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    I've always used GHS medium Boomers, and they've worked out pretty well - although I'm open to suggestions... I tried a set of their "B-52s", which WERE brighter - but they also didn't have as much volume or bottom end like standard Boomers do...

    Thanks for the input, everyone...

    - georgestrings