What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

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What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (lumgimfong) » Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:50 pm

I have a selector/v/t setup with a .022uf cap. 500k pots. I am sure they read more like 450k.
I want the bass to have a little more presence and clarity.

What happens if I don't use a cap at all?
Maybe just switch to .01 cap?
1MG pots?
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (espidog) » Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:27 pm

Hi Michael,

Going for a smaller value tone control cap won't make any difference when the tone control is wide open. You'll only notice a difference when you roll off the treble (it won't roll off such a big band of frequencies as before). Doing without a tone control (which is what you'll get if you remove the cap entirely) might brighten things up.

Changing the tone pot to 1Meg will just result in less controllability (for most of its travel, the pot will have no effect, then all the roll-off will happen over a relatively small arc at the end.

Changing over to a 1Meg volume pot stands a chance of giving you a slightly brighter sound when it's turned up full. Don't expect a massive difference, though.
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (aceonbass) » Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:33 am

Although the tone pot will be maxed out at it's rated spec when the tone pot is wide open, since the tone cap is not a straight piece of wire, it's value will absolutely affect the tone. There are videos on YouTube that demonstrate this.
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (lumgimfong) » Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:22 pm

Thanks for the info.
I do remember once putting a 1MG tone pot in another bass and only diff I could hear was that there was less roll off happening. Like it skewed the "area" of what got rolled off a little higher in the spectrum.

I might try changing the cap since that is a quick and easy thing to do, and no harm if I can't hear a diff.

If I am gonna replace the Vpot, I might just try and build a whole new blend/1MG volume/Tonestyler harness.

I have a tonestyler in another bass and like it alot.
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (lumgimfong) » Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:00 am

So if I play with the tone pot on 10, then the cap has no influence on the bass tone until I start to roll back to 9 and lower? At 10 I am hearing the full bass tone with no influence from the cap?

If this is true then, since I always play with tone at 10, yet still want brighter sound, then would it be more effective to brighten up the bass by switching to a 1MG volume pot, and keep the 500ktone/.022uf cap configuration?
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (jps) » Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:04 pm

lumgimfong wrote:...since I always play with tone at 10, yet still want brighter sound...

Remove the tone circuit, altogether. If you never use the tone control, there is no need for it to be there. My 4004L SPC now had two individual volume controls and a pickup selector switch. It still looks stock, and I have independent control over the two pickups' volume. :D That bass is my round wound full-on-sound bass.
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (lumgimfong) » Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:59 pm

That's interesting that you say that because the only reason I even keep a tone control is in case any sound technician/producer tells me to take the edge off.
But they craft their own tone at the board anyway and noone has ever asked me to roll it back.

In fact the only time someone asked me how my tone control was set is because he wanted v and tone at 10 for full signal and told me not to adjust anything when I play.
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (jps) » Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:13 pm

There ya' go!
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (lumgimfong) » Sat Oct 02, 2021 11:49 am

I will hopefully try it that way this weekend.
If I feel I need more tonal options than the three way selector offers, I will throw in a Tonestyler. Then caps are out of the equation.
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (aceonbass) » Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:57 pm

I have a couple of two pickup, two pot basses. Since the V/T arrangement has the dreaded mid scoop that I loath, I have them wired with a volume control for each pickup. Although not as versatile, the unfiltered, wide open tone of most basses is better for rock music anyway. For a bit more versatility you could even use a pair of 500k push-pull pots with a different tone cap each.
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (Korladis) » Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:49 pm

jps wrote:
lumgimfong wrote:...since I always play with tone at 10, yet still want brighter sound...

Remove the tone circuit, altogether. If you never use the tone control, there is no need for it to be there. My 4004L SPC now had two individual volume controls and a pickup selector switch. It still looks stock, and I have independent control over the two pickups' volume. :D That bass is my round wound full-on-sound bass.

That's how I would do it. The main thing I use the tone knobs on my Rickenbackers for is the push/pull pot for the bridge pickup. And 4004s don't have those (stock).

My next most played bass, which is my Thunderbird, I removed the tone control completely.
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (Korladis) » Sat Oct 02, 2021 10:51 pm

lumgimfong wrote:That's interesting that you say that because the only reason I even keep a tone control is in case any sound technician/producer tells me to take the edge off.
But they craft their own tone at the board anyway and noone has ever asked me to roll it back.

In fact the only time someone asked me how my tone control was set is because he wanted v and tone at 10 for full signal and told me not to adjust anything when I play.

Always record with tone full. You can always turn down the high end in mixing, but you can't turn up highs that weren't coming out of the bass when you recorded it.
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (lumgimfong) » Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:20 pm

Volume only now! It is even brighter now.
Maybe the .022 uf cap was sucking highs even with the pot at 10.

Now just have to play a while and decide to leave as is or V/Tonestyler if I want more options.
I don't want to go back to tone pot/caps ever. I enjoy Tonestylers much better.
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (ram) » Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:34 pm

can you post an audio clip?
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Re: What happens if I don't use a capacitor?

Postby (lumgimfong) » Tue Oct 05, 2021 1:29 am

Yes. I will try to post one in the morning.
Electronics is now:
(2) HB-1 pickups to
(1) Switchcraft selector to
(1) 500k CTS volume pot to
(1) output jack
DR Fatbeams 40-100, well broken-in strings.

I’ll either leave it or go Selector/1MG-Volume/Tonestyler
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