electronics (tag)

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

Background

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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