Capacitor Test: Polyester Film vs. Paper-in-Oil (PIO) in Guitar Tone Circuit


Some people swear by paper-in-oil (PIO) capacitors for electric guitar tone circuits. They say all else being equal (same capacitance, similar tolerance — voltage is not relevant in guitar circuits), a PIO capacitor will sound different, meaning better. Words like “warmer”, “mellower”, “livelier” are being employed to describe the difference. The theoretical basis for this would be the dissipation factor, which obviously varies with capacitor “architecture”.

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Tonerider AC4 Alnico IV Classic Set Review / Demo


I own a Schecter C-1 Classic, a beautiful guitar, factory-equipped with Seymour Duncan pickups, the Jazz SH-2 (neck) and the JB SH-4 (bridge), which, although a famous and great sounding set (in certain instruments, Seymour Duncan himself uses it in a Telecaster-type guitar), always seemed to me somehow unsuited to this guitar – these pickups, with their Alnico 5 magnet, especially the overwound JB, seem too hot, and either too muddy or too shrill for many applications, prompting me to do my JB SH-4 vs Custom SH-5 comparison.

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Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 vs Custom SH-5


Warning: The following is not a thorough test, nor a fair comparison. The setup I used is not appropriate for any scientific conclusions. In fact, this “versus” is simply my own subjective experiment with these two awesome pickups by Seymour Duncan: the JB SH-4 and the Custom SH-5. But then again, in the world of guitar and tone, as much as we may strive for scientific accuracy, in the end it all comes down to player (and listener) preference. I don’t intend to praise either of the pickups, I’m not trying to get anyone to buy the one or the other, and most importantly, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, so please don’t come at me for merely expressing subjective opinion, labeled as such. Remember that your guitar and rig may sound completely different than mine, with these same pickups – this is part of the disclaimer Seymour Duncan themselves have for the tone samples they offer over at their website.

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Alternative “Medicine” — No Such Thing

Alternative medicine is permitted to exist by a single, yet fundamentally wrong assumption: that medicine is not science.

There is no alternative science, there is only science. That goes for math, physics, chemistry, astronomy, etc.. Strangely, people don’t accept that for medicine, as collective mentality is still stuck into the times much of it was mystical guess work, or came across that way.

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Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark and Hilldale

Most of the great music out there is just a little bit too interesting” in terms of composition, to ever appeal to mainstream audience. Most mainstream stuff is way too dull  to be worth listening to repeatedly. This song, from one of the truly groundbreaking, game-changing, and best albums of all times (Love – Forever Changes, 1967), manages to grab your attention instantly, while at the same time featuring an awesome, strange, off-beat composition. Arthur Lee is no more, his music lives on.

Maggot Brain

George Clinton (on LSD) apparently told Funkadelic’s guitarist Eddie Hazel to play this solo as if he just received the news of his mother being dead, and then found out his mother was actually still alive.

The result is a mind blowing solo, almost 10 minutes long, that shoots straight into immortality. All other instruments were dimmed during mixing, when Clinton heard Hazel’s outlandish take. Enjoy.

A Brighter Guitar

Les Paul GuitarIntroduction

WARNING: Some of the suggestions below will void your guitar’s and parts’ warranty. Use discretion. Employ a guitar technician if you get out of your depth.

Many guitarists find themselves in this situation: they end-up with a guitar that is simply too dark, sometimes so dark it’s muddy. This is often the result of inexperienced or beginner guitarists buying badly built, or badly setup guitars, or it can happen during your (seldom ending) quest for Tone. The Tone.

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