Show 136 – Guitar Tone Caps Compared and more

In this episode Ryan compares 3 different types of capacitors in the tone circuit of his Les Paul. Click to download the full quality examples.
In the rapidfire section we cover: opinion on summing boxes; how we setup our monitors; and favorite audio ‘rule’ we like to break.

Our guest this week is Big Al Wagner of PSN Podcast and Home Studio Guru.

Download Show #136

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Tone Capacitors

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11 thoughts on “Show 136 – Guitar Tone Caps Compared and more

  1. Hey Guys,

    I really appreciate the show – I’m somewhat new to audio production and sound design so I’m enjoying the shows, tips, and tricks. Please keep up the great work.

    Given I’m new, I’ve been digging through your archive section and I recently listened to Show 106 – Interview with Kim Lajoie. I have to say I enjoyed it because you can tell he really loves mixing, music, and the creative part of audio. I also appreciate his commentary on use what you have, understand it well, and put it to a use that sounds good to you. Basically he is clearly a person in it to have fun doing the work. I think everyone should listen to that interview as it is a good reminder to focus on the art and sometimes not all the gear… although who am I kidding – gear is fun! But without the art – it is just a pile of stuff sitting around.

    Keep up the great the show.


  2. There have been several shootouts where I squinted my eyes and tilted my head funny trying to convince myself I could hear a difference until I gave up and said the difference is too subtle for me to care.

    Tone caps shootouts are not like this at all. You have to be seriously hearing impaired if you can’t tell a difference on these. Sure you can argue all you want about if the difference is better or worse, but this difference is probably bigger deal than what preamp you used when miking the cab. And it’s super cheap. The only reason I’m not going out and doing this just yet is I have little enough free time that I have to be tight with what I do with it.

    I think it would be worth having it switchable, too.

  3. The older original cap..had a declining value! The longer you use a capacitor, and the more it ages determines the sound quality…

    Paper in oil sounds good with distortion because they do bring a warmth to the sound.. Overall in my experiences with capacitors, Paper in oil knock off the bright edges of the distortion, and make the distortion signal flatter… Thats why the Vishay sounds so bright!

    Paper in oil caps do wear out a lot faster over the various other types of capacitors…so keep that in mind if you start to notice some tone loss in the paul Ryan!

  4. What a timely followup to show 128. I have listened to the guitar setup information in 128 a few times and was inspired to really tackle setup and modding on my oldest, cheapest guitar to learn the techniques. I have NEVER worked with the electronics on a guitar and the ideas from that show made me want to learn! I recently dove in and replaced the pots, caps, pups and bridge plate on a decade old cheap, affinity tele I have to try these things out and the results were actually amazing! As a novice, the advice in 128 really helped me sort my thoughts. Pertaining to this show, I also went with NOS PIO caps and the tone really seems to help control the high end more on a bright tele and I have to say I love it. I have not tried orange drop, but find PIO to have worked wonders on my clean tone. I certainly could tell an improvement.

    Here’s a link to photos of my upgrade project!

    Thanks for a great show! You’re advice and thoughts really do help to inspire the home recordist. In fact, I heard “sm7b” so much that I finally got mine yesterday! WOW!

  5. Great show, Ryan your voice sounded different when you got to the thank yous at the end of the show, what happen or am i just hearing things.

    I like the current format, i think it’s nice for regular listeners that questions they may have asked get’s answer at the start of the show and it isn’t to hard to get used to for a new listener.

    Once again great show.

  6. Hey guys,
    I’m currently looking at the different, cheaper monitor speakers out there and wanted to see what you guys thought I’d need to consider when buying my first monitors. I’m in Australia and am looking around 400-600 dollar price range but if its worth spending a bit more than I’ll definitely consider that. I’ve been to a couple stores and had a listen but no speakers so far have grabbed me as what I really want, either too much low end (mackie ones I’ve heard) or not enough low end (yamaha HS50s, MSP5s), some others sound thin to me (Tannoy reveals) but maybe I can’t really recognise a good set of monitors? They’ll be for my bedroom, it’s not tiny but it is a small room, do I need to worry about rear ported/front ported? And are there any recommendations as to any models I should check out?

    Thanks very much, keep up the great work! 🙂

    P.S. sorry if you’ve already covered this, please let me know if it’s in a previous show.

  7. Hey Guys,

    Great to hear from Big Al again!! Thanks for having him on the show!

    Among other things I really appreciate the good job you guys do of giving updates on industry news and new products. There’s so much to keep track of with DAW updates, and new toys — I mean “technology.”

    I really liked John’s review and summary of Reaper a few shows back. A few of my audio students have claimed Reaper as their primary DAW and it was good to learn some of the details about it.

    Thanks for all your podcasting work! You do a great job! Your podcast makes me GRATEFUL when I encounter red lights during my evening commute, because that way I know I’ll be able to catch a little more of the show before I arrive at home.



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