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Thread: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

  1. #1
    Toneologist
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    Default I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    If I never use the tone control on my Strat (and I never do I always leave it on 10), then I really don't need to wire in a capacitor do I?

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    Mojo's Minions JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    No, but it won’t sound exactly the same as leaving it on 10 without the cap. Probably close enough, though.

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    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    The Cap is still slightly working even with the Pot wiped all the way, as no pot is perfectly off.

    It will just be a very bright guitar with no load.
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    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    Well, not having the tone control at all will change the tone from 10, making it a bit more harsh and bright......most especially in a strat with 250k pots.

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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    I will wire it in then. Thanks.

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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    If you don't ever use the tone knob, you're EQing your amp too dark. :P
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    Senior Member BeKindRewind's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    You'll never notice a difference

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    Super Toneologist blakejcan's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    these go to 11

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    Don’t. You’ll be fine. Save 5 minutes and live life.

  10. #10
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    You guys keep saying that you can notice a difference when you have a tone pot on 10 and when it is removed.

    I wire all of my builds with a tone by-pass switch that completely eliminates the pot. I can instantly switch back and forth between tone pot on 10 and no tone pot at all. I have never, let me repeat that, NEVER heard even the slightest difference! Doesn't matter whether I'm using CTS, Alpha, or any other pot.

    I hear a much bigger difference in tone if my eyes are looking to the right from looking straight ahead.

    "Reality", or at least "practicality", is something that you will all have to face at some point in your lives.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    Honestly, I don't think I could hear a difference, either.
    But, the idea of not having/using a tone pot regularly is punishable under blasphemy laws.
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  12. #12
    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    I can only really hear a difference with 250k pots, and it's not a big enough difference to break out a soldering iron over, let alone drill for a switch.
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    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    You guys keep saying that you can notice a difference when you have a tone pot on 10 and when it is removed.
    Interesting.

    I have a parts-o-caster that does exactly that on a 3-way switch.

    Using an SH-5 Custom w/ 500k volume pot.

    One way, 500k tone pot is in the circuit... other way, 500k tone pot is out of the circuit.

    And there is an audible difference; it's brighter. Approx. the 6-8KHz range.

    Everyone should do a hearing test. Not all ears are alike.
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  14. #14
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Dave Locher's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    You guys keep saying that you can notice a difference when you have a tone pot on 10 and when it is removed.

    I wire all of my builds with a tone by-pass switch that completely eliminates the pot. I can instantly switch back and forth between tone pot on 10 and no tone pot at all. I have never, let me repeat that, NEVER heard even the slightest difference! Doesn't matter whether I'm using CTS, Alpha, or any other pot.

    I hear a much bigger difference in tone if my eyes are looking to the right from looking straight ahead.

    "Reality", or at least "practicality", is something that you will all have to face at some point in your lives.
    It is your amp or your ears. I have a tone bypass on my Gibson (500k cts pot, .047 cap) and I definitely hear a difference. It is brighter and slightly more harsh without the tone pot. I leave it in when playing distorted & out when playing clean.

    BUT...that would be the addition & subtraction of the 500k pot I hear. I do not know if taking off the tone cap would make any difference at all?

  15. #15
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    I have an esquire......ditto on mine.....audible difference. Old ears don't hear very well - even if they were stay at home types...........plus those that spent time listening to live music throughout the 60's-80's are notorious for extensive upper range hearing loss.
    I remember going to a local hard rock gig in the early 90's, and not hearing well for the entire next day. Since then my live music has been curtailed to the odd concert every 5 years or so. My hearing is too important to me.

  16. #16
    SDUGF Riffologist Supremö B2D's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    I had a specific guitar (a music man) that was my main instrument for a while. For a while I ran it with with no tone pot, and later wired that same axe with a tone pot and a good cap. I’m sure there was a difference, but it wasn’t big enough to be pronounced in a band setting.

  17. #17
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    Quote Originally Posted by B2D View Post
    I had a specific guitar (a music man) that was my main instrument for a while. For a while I ran it with with no tone pot, and later wired that same axe with a tone pot and a good cap. I’m sure there was a difference, but it wasn’t big enough to be pronounced in a band setting.
    Even if it took you 20 seconds to wire in the tone pot and cap, there is no way you could possibly make a comparison of such a slight difference (assuming there is any difference at all)
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  18. #18
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    OK, let's assume that there IS a slight difference in tone between tone-pot-on-10 and no pot at all.
    And let's assume (which admittedly is not a bad assumption) that I have some upper frequency hearing loss and can't perceive that difference.
    And let's also assume that your hearing is perfect and that you actually CAN hear a difference in your quiet room while testing your guitar's tone.
    And let's finally assume that everyone that ever hears you play also has perfect hearing.

    Who, tell me, who else in the entire world is going to notice ANY tonal difference AT ALL while you are playing? Anyone else intimately familiar with your music (your bandmates, your favorite groupie, your wife, your recording engineer, your mother) will not be able to tell if there is a difference in tone, at least not with their ears...their minds maybe, depending on how you preconditioned them before making the test. Even if you could switch back and forth (which you CAN'T), noone can hear it. So, what's the point?!

    Having a guitar without a tone pot is like having a car without a transmission. I personally like to change the tone of my guitars depending on what song I'm playing and what emotions I want to evoke from the music. Just like I want to be able to change gears in my car depending on road conditions and how fast I want to go.

    However, if you want a faux-reliced one-trick-pony...if it makes you feel manly or rock-starish, to each his own. Our differences are what makes the world go around and makes life interesting.
    Last edited by GuitarDoc; 10-13-2019 at 07:24 AM.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  19. #19
    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Having a guitar without a tone pot is like having a car without a transmission.
    I used to think that too. Until I wired up my old 80's JB in a strat with just a 500K volume (was in an 80s frame of mind, so wired it up that way; which was typical for a lot of those 80s guys with the one knob guitars).

    Sounds awesome without the tone pot:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
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  20. #20
    SDUGF Riffologist Supremö B2D's Avatar
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    Default Re: I don't really need to wire in a tone capacitor do I?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Even if it took you 20 seconds to wire in the tone pot and cap, there is no way you could possibly make a comparison of such a slight difference (assuming there is any difference at all)
    I think the only way to test it correctly "in the moment" would be to wire up a mini-switch that takes tone controls out of the circuit. I agree, I think it would be a splitting-hairs difference. Probably noticeable by the same kind of folks that can hear differences between Duracell and Energizer batteries in their pedals.

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