MOD® Electronics - Oil Tone Capacitor
Paper in oil capacitors are a very popular choice of tone capacitor for guitarists and bassists. Regardless of the countless forum discussions about PIO caps and the difference they actually make over other cap types, if you like how they sound then that ultimately is the important bit! Now I'll admit, I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with PIO caps as I've struggled to find a quality, reliable source for them but have been impressed by the build quality of these MOD mineral oil caps so have decided to offer them on the website for those that like to experiment a bit more with guitar wiring and want to give a reliable PIO cap a try without spending too much money on some of the other PIO caps on the market.
"Mod® Electronics Oil Caps are high quality, hand-crafted capacitors that are the perfect choice for guitars, amplifiers, and all audio equipment. Each capacitor is impregnated with mineral oil for a void-free winding providing highly stable capacitance. The capacitor is hermetically sealed in an aluminum casing to ensure a long life. The detailed construction results in a precise capacitance with a tolerance of ±10%. Mod® Oil Caps also feature a red stripe to designate the outside foil."
- Casing: Hermetically sealed aluminum
- Dielectric: Mineral oil
- Lead Diameter: 20AWG
- Termination Style: Axial
- Tolerance: ±10%
- Values: .01 μF - .1 μF
- Voltage Rating: 600V
Click HERE for the MOD cap datasheet including size of casings etc
Which value for my guitar?
As a rule the general recommendation is .015uF or .022uF for humbuckers depending on preference, this will help the characteristically darker sounding pickup retain some treble frequency clarity. Then a .047uF for single coils, which will help tame some of the treble frequencies from the characteristically bright pickup design. You will traditionally see a .033uF value in Jazzmaster lead circuits, perhaps due to the 1 MEG volume and tone pots and the single coil pickup design. This is usually based off the pickup manufacturers recommendations, but you can of course use whichever you choose for the given application.
A popular choice among bass players is a 0.1uF, so I now also stock those for any bass players looking to recreate that Pino tone! But please note, the casing size of the 0.1uF is pretty large indeed so not many control cavities will accommodate these. But I have them in stock as they may be useful to someone, or perhaps amp makers/repairers too.
So to summarise, if you have a particularly dark or muddy sounding pickup that you'd like to let breathe a little more and allow some treble frequencies through, a lower value cap like a .010uF or .022uF cap will work great. If you have some particularly bright pickups and you want to tame the treble frequencies, a .033uF or .047uF is a great choice.
For example, I have gold foil pickups in my main guitar, paired with 500k pots. These can be quite a bright single coil, so I didn't like the .022uF as it made them sound a bit too bright for my tastes, but the .047uF choked them up a bit. So I opted for a .033uF which seemed to find a nice middle ground of still sounding very clear, but with a touch of warmth when needed.
I also stock a .0047uF which is commonly used on Fender Esquire 'Eldred mod' wiring schematics so might be helpful to those looking to carry out that mod!