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How to install capacitor

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Guitarfreak, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I am going to install an orange drop capacitor into my guitar tomorrow and I need to know a few things before starting. How much of the legs do I cut off? The legs are around 2" so I can't imagine not cutting at least something. Should I shrink wrap the legs?
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    You can cut off as much as you need and still have enouigh to solder easily. I assume this is for the tone pot? What cap did you choose? Did you you clip it up with micro alligator clips to try it out? Saves time soldering and desoldering if'n you don't like it.


    http://media.photobucket.com/image/wiring a tone pot/thunder_sticks/tone.jpg

    You only need to shrinkwrap their legs if you are afraid they will get cold.
  3. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I got the alligator clips like you said and I got some wire too. What kind of wire do I need? I bought 16 guage and 20 guage. I thought 18 guage would be perfect but they said they didn't sell 18 guage solid wire. Which wires should I use? Is it bad to use a wire that wasn't meant for guitar electronics?

    I got a bunch of caps. Few polyester film, few ceramic, one monolithic .1 mf and a handful of orange drops.
  4. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Whichever wire is closest to the original wiring is what I would use. A little larger is usually better than a little smaller if it is flexible enough for the application.

    "Is it bad to use a wire that wasn't meant for guitar electronics? " GF

    What do you mean, where did you get the wire? Is it solid or multistrand? You can get the wire you need at a Radio Shaft.
  5. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I have used 22AWG stranded, Solid core is ok but not as flexible. There is very little current so 22AWG is big.

    As for cliping the leads, get the cap as close to terminal as possible. Watch the heat. What type of cap is it ceramic? or Poly?
  6. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I just mean like since sound is the major objective of this particular A/B, will using a different guage wire sound different? I also just realized that after running around today I should have gotten stranded wire instead of solid :\

    Here is the detailed list:

    1 X Monolithic .1

    2 X Ceramic Disc .022
    2 X Ceramic Disc .047

    2 X Poly Film .02
    2 X Poly Film .047

    2 X V/S Orange Drop .022 (100v)
    2 X V/S Orange Drop .047 (100v)

    2 X V/S Orange Drop - Polyester .022 (400v)
    2 X V/S Orange Drop - Polyester .047 (400v)

    2 X V/S Orange Drop - Polypropylene .022 (400v)
    2 X V/S Orange Drop - Polypropylene .047 (400v)
  7. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    So you have all those caps in your guitar or choose some from that list?
  8. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Haha, I bought them. I am going to A/B them before I decide which I want to install. But I am fairly sure that I will be satisfied with one of the Orange Drops... because they're so cute :wink:
  9. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    is the value 0.022 micro farad (10^-6)?
    What is the pot value? 10k?

    So that means:
    3dB cut off frequency of the low pass filter is:
    F= 1/(2*PI*R*C)
    for 0.022U and 10k
    F= 723.0Hz

    For 10k and 0.047U
    F = 338.6Hz
  10. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    That's a cool formula. Does PI mean pot inductance? and C mean capacitance? what does the R mean? Actually my pot value is 1M.
  11. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    pi = 3.14
    c = Capacitance (farads)
    R= resistance (ohms)

    So that means:
    3dB cut off frequency of the low pass filter is:
    F= 1/(2*PI*R*C)
    for 0.022U and 1M
    F= 7.2Hz

    For 1M and 0.047U
    F = 3.8Hz

    So your pot can vary the the LP cutoff
    past 20kHz
    (when Pot is 1 Ohm) down to 7 Hz with the pot at 1Meg
  12. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Very cool thanks. Hey I have a problem. I cracked my guitar open and saw that there is an unsoldered connection. A black wire that extends from the bottom of the tone pot in the same location that the capacitor is soldered to. Where should this be soldered to? It is a relatively short wire so I can't imagine it going to ground or something, but maybe the nearest volume pot or maybe the switch. I have a 2 volume 1 tone setup if that helps.
  13. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Well just a guess its a common (some people mistakenly call the ground) connection.

    I am guessing this because the metal pot covers are often used for the common path in guitar wiring.

    Now where was it going?
    Physically the wire would have to be cut to fit the location and likely is still bent close the place it broke off unless you pulled all the wires out of the way. Look in that area and find a solder joint missing a wire.

    A word to the wise, before taking anything apart take notes on where everything was conected and what colours the wire are. I alway draw a schematic of the circuit first. I label the wires if I have to cut them.
    Take your time and make carefull notes.
  14. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Actually I dug up a schematic that I made a week or so ago before I started messing around with my guitar electronics. It was the common path wired directly to the next-in-line volume pot. It turned out to be too short this time so I replaced it.

    Word to the wise? Or word from the wise? I know 'to' is the idiom, but if you think about it it doesn't make too much sense.


    On topic. I really liked the 400v Orange Drop .022 made of Polypropylene. It is between that one and the Monolithic .1 Haven't installed either yet, further testing will commence in the near future :D
  15. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Wise is a conceptual/metaphorical place. To is an indication that you should follow the subject of the sentence (the advice) to reach the aforementioned destination.
  16. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Oh I get it. Like word to the wiser, follow the word and gain wisdom or something like that.

    Anyway, this was a fun experiment and yes I could actually hear the difference between them. I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to. The 100v Orange drops sounded kind of crackly and didn't respond well to gain. The poly film and ceramic disc ones were pretty vanilla, didn't have much flavor good or bad. Even the 400v Polyester Orange drops sounded pretty plain, it wasn't until I put in the Polypropylene ones that I heard it and said hey, that's nice lol.

    The monolithic I half expected to put on and have a good laugh, but it just might be the best sounding one of them all. It's got a really (I know you hate this word) warm tone, and it's really responsive to knob tweaking...like really responsive. You can chop off almost the entire signal. The highs come through but aren't crackly or harsh at all. Very smooth sounding all around. I'll link to it so you can see what I am talking about.

  17. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Thats the best way to test, use your ears! Nice job. You should post some clips of the different caps, that be might an excellent resource for people.
  18. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Oh and for next time you buy caps

    if your in the states......

    those $2 caps will be about 10 cents most places.
  19. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Bookmarked digikey thanks! I actually got my 400v oranges from mouser :D
  20. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I did not want to interject when you were posting equations which I am certain work for determining the exact hertz that are altered however no formula will replace in line testing as there are so many other variables, pick up, strings, wiring, etc. IMHO no amount of math will easily determine the the tone any particular guitarist is trying to achieve, as easily as giving it a listen.
    And it may very well be a low pass filter in electronics I never have had anyone ask me to adjust the low pass filter on my guitar. Just told to roll off some treble or adjust the tone.

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