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Thread: Gibson SG and tone caps

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    Super Toneologist ken361's Avatar
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    Default Gibson SG and tone caps

    Anybody ever change the caps on your SG's? I thought they might have orange drops in but I guess the lespauls might have them. The 498t seems alittle bit warm sounding and my amp (Engl) is also not a bright amp like a marshall so I thought maybe I might look into them. I see they have these little tiny orange ones in there.
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    Default Re: Gibson SG and tone caps

    Quote Originally Posted by ken361 View Post
    Anybody ever change the caps on your SG's?
    Unless you change the actual capacitance value, you're not going to hear anything to make it worth the trouble.

    You might do a search on this subject, as it's been done to death here over the years, but that's the bottom line, above.
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    Super Toneologist ken361's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson SG and tone caps

    capacitance value, how you do that? been reading up on these pups most dont care as much for them. I mean the guitar really sounds good when I crank the amp compared to my Epi lespaul with burstbuckers. But the paul has more crispy bite but the SG sounds smoother. I might just need another pup thats good for rock and metal tones.
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    Default Re: Gibson SG and tone caps

    I had a orange drop put in my old kramer, it did give it more bite. The stock gibbys are pretty small and with mahogany it needs a bit more bite.
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    Default Re: Gibson SG and tone caps

    The physical size of the cap has no bearing on it's capacitance value.
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    Default Re: Gibson SG and tone caps

    I hate capacitor threads because they are almost constantly full of misinformation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
    The value of your caps are most likely .047. If you change them to, say, .022 or even less, you will increase the treble coming out of your pickups. You can order caps of different values from almost any internet parts store that carries guitar parts, or you can get some at Radio Shack to experiment with.....cheap.

    The caps do make a difference in the tone of your pickups. Much cheaper than replacing pickups.....until you're sure you don't like them.
    Just one thing to point out: the cap's value does NOT change the amount of treble. Not directly, at least.

    A guitar tone control is a low pass filter, which means it only lets through frequencies below a certain point. The value of the capacitor determines at what point the cut-off occurs. The higher the value of the cap, the lower that point will be.

    The tone pot sets how much of those frequencies get cut. With the tone at zero you are cutting all of the sound above the cut-off point. Turning the knob up adds more of those frequencies back in, and at 10 you (in theory) have the entire frequency range of the pickup coming through.

    If you want your tone knob to cut only the highest frequencies, switch to a lower value cap. If you want it to cut more mids, switch to a higher value cap.

    Typically, single coil guitars come with .022 uF caps and humbucker equipped guitars come with .047 uF. If you want to change the cut-off point, go ahead and use any value you like. Anything from .010 to .068 works fine in my experience.

    Switching caps, value or otherwise, will do PRETTY MUCH NOTHING for the tone of your guitar when the tone knob is on 10. This is especially true if you use 500k or higher pots.

    Switching between two different caps of the same value has absolutely no noticeable effect, unless the original cap was frightfully crappy and/or broken. Some people who have put high dollar caps in their guitars claim they can hear a difference, but that is highly questionable given what we know about the electronics in a guitar.

    If you have read this post and still don't understand why you do or don't need to replace caps, just save your money and leave your caps alone. Or ignore me buy whatever expensive cap you want. I don't really care. It's your money. If you think you can hear a difference, good for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
    The physical size of the cap has no bearing on it's capacitance value.
    This is definitely true.

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    Default Re: Gibson SG and tone caps

    I would recommend swapping mags between the pickups, if they are stock. It's usually A5 in the bridge, A2 in the neck, and switching them around usually cures all problems with their tone imbalance.
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    Default Re: Gibson SG and tone caps

    Some Gibsons have 300K pots so that might be why it doesn't sound as bright.

    [QUOTE

    Typically, single coil guitars come with .022 uF caps and humbucker equipped guitars come with .047 uF. If you want to change the cut-off point, go ahead and use any value you like. Anything from .010 to .068 works fine in my experience.[/QUOTE]

    I thought single coil equiped guitars had .047 uF caps and humbucker equiped guitars had .022 uF caps....?
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    Default Re: Gibson SG and tone caps

    hold on.... you're saying that a 498t, probably one of the more annoyingly bright pickups out there, is too dark?...

    either way, try changing your pot values to 500k if they aren't already. if not, then... uh... yea that's about it. it's already got an a5 magnet, and you could go ceramic if you want even brighter, but that would change the voicing quite a bit.
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    Default Re: Gibson SG and tone caps

    As was said before, it probably has Gibson 300k linear pots and needs 500k audio. 50's wiring with vintage specs was one of the best things I ever did to my SG.
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    Default Re: Gibson SG and tone caps

    Unless he's running through a 'mudmaster deluxe' amp. Then nothing will help

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