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Old March 15th, 2017, 12:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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SAguitar:
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...there are guys like Eric Johnson that say they can hear the difference between different brands of batteries in their effects pedals!
He guested on a PBS Christopher Cross special the other night. He had a nice-looking (Daphne?) blue strat with a bound fingerboard. He was barely audible in the mix while comping, but played a typically inimitable E.J. solo. I suppose he may have very developed ears, but the notion that he can "hear" the difference things like batteries and finish thickness make (on solid body) guitars tests credibility.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 07:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Eric has also said that he can hear the difference between guitar cords between his effects pedals. Maybe so, maybe not! But the guy can play!
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Old March 16th, 2017, 04:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Eric has also said that he can hear the difference between guitar cords between his effects pedals. Maybe so, maybe not! But the guy can play!
Yes he can play, but the sound that comes out of his amp, to me, is very much like bees buzzing.

It's too over processed; too many effects and to be honest for my ears is dreadful. I would like to hear his talent just plugged straight into a valve amp.


Perhaps he should change his batteries
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Old March 16th, 2017, 07:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ha-hah!

Another guy who has a great reputation that I cannot handle his tone is John McLaughlin.
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Old March 16th, 2017, 09:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Think I agree

Yes! I think I agree with you Infant. I'm sure we "hear" what we want or believe we will hear or what magazines, gurus and so-called experts have come to believe. Different pots and their varying tapers and nominal value, leads and stray capacitances all over the place, yes it all makes a difference, especially to the highs. A damn good lead,(not too long) good jacks and connections probably make as much or more difference than a "make" of capacitor?
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Old March 17th, 2017, 06:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I may be accused of heresy and burned at the stake, but a great player will sound great and create an atmosphere and energy in the crowd irrespective of minute adjustments to their tone, whether or not it's truly audible to them. And the average audience member won't even think about the guitarist's tone and whether it is "good" or not.

On the other hand, if it makes a guitarist feel better to have whatever taper pots he or she wants, and they want to have certain batteries in their FX, or certain leads, etc. well that's up to them. Some of this stuff is a bit ritualistic, a bit like Bjorn Borg never shaving during Wimbledon week. I remember reading how Steve Howe used to take a special big Persian carpet on tour with him to stand on on stage. I'm sure he could have played just as well on any stage in the world, but it just made him feel better and more secure.

Whatever magic feather works for you, I guess ....
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Old March 17th, 2017, 09:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My doubts about those small capacitors were about their reliability and longevity. I'm not trying to change the tone or looking for a magic feather.

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Old March 17th, 2017, 09:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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My doubts about those small capacitors were about their reliability and longevity. I'm not trying to change the tone or looking for a magic feather.

Alan
there's no real voltage or current running thru them. How many old Fenders and Gibsons are out there with their original electronics? Ive got a 42yr old Tele with original electronics, well,... except for the pots.

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Old September 23rd, 2017, 02:33 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I think it is possible to hear differences in cap types when you approach the rated limits which in the case of ceramic caps is typically 1000VDC. I build amps, and there are some positions in an amp where it is relevant.

But when you compare two caps of the same rated value, you have to measure them first to make sure you are using the same real value, as differences in value are far more significant than differences in type or brand. And you really have to compare them blind, since we all hear with our eyes to a certain extent.

At a few mVAC, a guitar signal is nowhere near hot enough to reveal differences in cap types. And it won't generate enough heat to damage a cap. Ceramic caps are pretty tough, and they don't disintegrate or dry out like an electrolytic will. If you really want cork sniffer caps in your guitar, buy Sozo or Jupiter, or vintage paper-in-oil. Given the same real value, it won't sound any different than the cheap ceramics but it will give you a warm fuzzy feeling and bragging rights, and at a price of a few dollars that's a good deal.

Just my opinion. When I rewire guitars I use whatever I have, which might be Xicon, Sozo, Mallory, or the chiclets Fender uses. I actually don't like OD 715s in amps, so I never have any around to use. I have used OD 225s, but see no advantage to them over Xicons, which have become my standard cap. I use ceramics in tremolo circuits.

Good quality pots are more important. Alpha, CTS, Bourns, Allen-Bradley. In f-hole guitars i use Bourns 82 or 95.

When you test caps, hang the wires out of the guitar and tack-solder a half dozen types and/or values to a rotary and compare them until you decide which one you like.

Steven
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Old September 25th, 2017, 08:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Agree with Stevio

I can't say I've heard any difference using cap brands and I have seen a video where a supposed "Bumblebee" was just a case with a smaller cap encased.
I've played modern Gibsons where the pots etc are on a sort of circuit board and the very tiny ceramics they seem to work fine.
What I think you could argue is that the more expensive types have a better tolerance and are closer to their rated value. Measuring caps of the same nominal value can give considerable differences.
And then of course - there's the whole question of pot values/tolerances and taper that might have more significance.
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