The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Frequently asked questions on capacitor types, ratings, brands, use and abuse.
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FiveseveN
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Post by FiveseveN »

But commenters can hear it from "Even on a lo-fi youtube video through my shtity stock laptop speakers". Your headphones must be broken! /sarcasm
Even though the caps haven't been measured to ensure we're comparing the same cutoff frequency, even if everything else was controled and identical. One of them is even 33 nF (a 50% difference)!
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Post by juanro »

And how can I be sure he's applying the exact same presure and finger force each time he plucks a chord or arpeggio... I'm not saying he's doing it on purpose, au contraire... but I will be really hard pressed to reproduce the exact digitation each time, and that for sure produces and audible difference (with the same cap)
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Post by kleuck »

kleuck wrote:I did not record the tests from my boosters, as i di not think it would be useful at the time, as i have a hard time keeping a single one for me :cry: , and anyway, as the frequency corner is tunable, i would probably get some "the pot was not in the exact same position" type of response
Just give it a try by yourself :roll:

Really funny guitarists, able to discuss the sound of Alnico vs Ceramic or 12" Speakers vs 10" ones without a single measure or side by side comparison, but as soon as a cap is involved, everythinh should have been measured :applause: :scratch: :shock: :roll:
Even whit a side by side comparison...
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Post by culturejam »

Okay, I think I can hear a little more high end on the "original Epiphone" cap.

Oh, and there is perhaps a little more bass with the 0.033uf cap.

Otherwise, they sound the same to me.

I'd be very curious to see how each of those caps measured vs their rated value, however.

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Post by Hides-His-Eyes »

kleuck wrote:
kleuck wrote:I did not record the tests from my boosters, as i di not think it would be useful at the time, as i have a hard time keeping a single one for me :cry: , and anyway, as the frequency corner is tunable, i would probably get some "the pot was not in the exact same position" type of response
Just give it a try by yourself :roll:

Really funny guitarists, able to discuss the sound of Alnico vs Ceramic or 12" Speakers vs 10" ones without a single measure or side by side comparison, but as soon as a cap is involved, everythinh should have been measured :applause: :scratch: :shock: :roll:
Even whit a side by side comparison...
That's a stupid comparison, you can easily measure the differences in frequency response between speakers.
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Post by kleuck »

Ho and every guitarist discussing speakers did ? Can you choose a speaker just by comparing curves ? I can't, as very different sounding speakers can have exactly the same curves :)
And then, how do you measure the difference between an Alnico speaker and a Ceramic one ?

Apart from that, the guy measures the cap in part 3 :slap:
And has the more interesting samples i think.
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Post by FiveseveN »

I can't, as very different sounding speakers can have exactly the same curves
No, not even two consecutive speakers straight off the assembly line are identical. A "curve" is a visual representation of a speaker's frequncy response, yes? Where does it come from? Well, people measure it, under some controlled conditions. Maybe they measure a bunch of speakers of the same model and average the results, just to be safe. Then it gets graphed and printed.
Your eyes, the paper, the printer and the measuring devices all have some finite resolution. Depending on that desired resolution you can plot a coarse curve that shows every speaker in the world to be identical to eachother, or a very detailed one, down to cents or single Hz and mDb. So the "curve" is just a representation, with some finite degree of accuracy, of the performance of that device under some conditions. It is a product of abstraction, a concept you can't seem to grasp.
And then, how do you measure the difference between an Alnico speaker and a Ceramic one ?
Physics. Google it.

In Part 3, John said something along the lines of "The difference in actual capacitance will change the cutoff frequency in the circuit. But I don't think those little differences can totally account for the different sound character we're hearing". What is sound character? How can we isolate, measure it and reproduce the results so that we can be sure it's intrinsic to the particular dielectric and not the contribution of all the other thousand factors involved? That is the essence of such tests.
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Post by kleuck »

FiveseveN wrote:It is a product of abstraction, a concept you can't seem to grasp.
I think i can, what bothers me is when one tries to prove something from an abstraction rather than from test, and dismiss all tests because they are not abstract enough :scratch: .
Reducing caps to their capacitance alone is just like reducing speakers to their published curves, that's just what i say.
Or "You can't compare two speakers from their respective curves, you have to hear them"
And then, how do you measure the difference between an Alnico speaker and a Ceramic one ?

Physics. Google it.
You want to say we need Google to discuss alnico vs ceramic in speaker ?
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Post by FiveseveN »

when one tries to prove something from an abstraction rather than from test
What you've mentioned is not a test. What exactly is it testing, the capacity of people to disagree over the Internet? Is John trolling us, is that it?
It is at best an observation, an experiment with vague goals, if any. Some people believe they can hear a difference. Some believe they do not.
From that to jumping to this thread's conclusions is a long way.

What one thinks he experiences tells him nothing of the world, only of himself. This is why we invented science, to take our crazy biased selves out of the equation. Well, as best we can.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)

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Post by kleuck »

FiveseveN wrote:What one thinks he experiences tells him nothing of the world, only of himself. This is why we invented science, to take our crazy biased selves out of the equation. Well, as best we can.
So, ears are not suitable to compare sounds (!) great and useful...
Ears are not suitable to compare speakers, so we measure them, and draw curves, very useful to prove that two very different sounding speakers have the very same finite resolution and useless curves :applause:
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Post by Hides-His-Eyes »

kleuck wrote:Ho and every guitarist discussing speakers did ? Can you choose a speaker just by comparing curves ? I can't, as very different sounding speakers can have exactly the same curves :)
And then, how do you measure the difference between an Alnico speaker and a Ceramic one ?
Frequency response, harmonic distortion..?

It also helps that alnico speakers and ceramic speakers don't sound exactly the fucking same (to my crudest of ears, at least)

Anyway, everyone needs to start talking again about my point that if you can't hear it in a 16*44.1kHz recording I don't give a shit because my entire signal ends up converted to digital between my guitar and my amp anyway.
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Post by diagrammatiks »

yo 16*44 is not real good.

you wanna talk about the sound of ad/da-c

we're gonna need another fight threat.

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Post by Hides-His-Eyes »

diagrammatiks wrote:yo 16*44 is not real good.
Take it up with the entire world, not with me...
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Post by Greg »

kleuck wrote:So, ears are not suitable to compare sounds (!) great and useful...
Ears are not suitable to compare speakers, so we measure them, and draw curves, very useful to prove that two very different sounding speakers have the very same finite resolution and useless curves :applause:
Ears are great for personal use, but unfortunately as a testing method they are unscientific and unreliable.. especially when connected to a biased brain.

If you believe that something sounds different , based on your own listening test, then that's all you need to be satisfied.
But I don't trust other people's opinions based on listening alone.. if i did I'd be buying every pedal hyped on TGP as the next big thing.
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Post by Seiche »

they sound the fucking same. sorry, not even the .33u makes any difference

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Post by grrrunge »

Seiche wrote:they sound the fucking same. sorry, not even the .33u makes any difference
He's got the tone control all the way up :D Isn't the point of that cap to lead more high frequencies to ground as the tone pot is rolled down?
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Post by culturejam »

grrrunge wrote:
Seiche wrote:they sound the fucking same. sorry, not even the .33u makes any difference
He's got the tone control all the way up :D Isn't the point of that cap to lead more high frequencies to ground as the tone pot is rolled down?
I thought the tone control was engaged at least to some extent. :scratch:

And if not, then absolutely there won't be a difference in tone. You could even have no cap in there and it would sound the same.


And even if the differences I thought I might have heard in that test video were really there, it's so minimal that it's not something I would spend time or money worrying over. Especially not in a guitar in which I would normally have the tone control all the way up (no cap in the circuit).

I'm convinced..........that I can't hear more than minimal differences in tone in cap dielectric types. I'm still willing to believe that differences exist, but I've given up hope that I'm capable of hearing it.

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Post by Hides-His-Eyes »

CJ, the cap is only seperated from the circuit by the resistance of the pot, which for a gibson could be as little as 250k.
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Post by kleuck »

grrrunge wrote:
Seiche wrote:they sound the fucking same. sorry, not even the .33u makes any difference
He's got the tone control all the way up :D Isn't the point of that cap to lead more high frequencies to ground as the tone pot is rolled down?
To me, different caps (at least PIO) make a difference even with pot maximized, and i use 500K for tone in my guitars.
Anyway, he makes comparison with the pot lowered in vid 1 (tone on 5 then 1) and 4.
And yes, you have to watch them in HD, there's a harshness with lower quality format that blurs the comparison.
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Post by FiveseveN »

To me, different caps (at least PIO) make a difference even with pot maximized
Do you find that to be a good thing? I mean, considering the fact PiOs are rare, expensive and bulky.
What if you were the only person in the world who (thought he) can hear it? Or maybe 1%, or 10% could hear it. Let's say 50%, would it be worth it then?
But of course it doesn't matter what others can or can't hear or find significant or pleasing, does it?
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