Capacitors are used for temporarily storing electrical energy and were originally known as condensers.
They are used within the electrical wiring of an electric guitar for several different purposes, primarily to help adjust the tone of the guitar.
A capacitor can also be used to assist with the volume of an electric guitar, enabling quieter music to be played without losing the higher frequency notes while you do so. (This aspect of the capacitor’s functionality means it is sometimes referred to as a “treble bleed cap”).
Some guitar players swap the original capacitors that come in their instrument in order to change the quality or overall sound they are making.
If you wish to replace the capacitors on your guitar for any reason, for example replacing for a worn capacitor, or to adjust the functionality of your guitar, you can find multiple types and brands to choose from.
Types of Electric Guitar Capacitors
- Orange drop capacitor – so called because the capacitor is orange in colour, these originated as a branded type of capacitor in the twentieth century
- Paper in oil capacitor – a different style of capacitor, these originated amongst the Russian military
- Green or red capacitor - as the name suggests
- Tone capacitor – designed to help you alter the tone of your guitar through adjusting the way the sound is delivered to the amplifier
- Ceramic capacitor – a specific type of capacitor made from ceramic material. Some people suggest you can get a different tone from your electric guitar by using a ceramic capacitor
Benefits of Electric Guitar Capacitors
- Safety – quality capacitors will help your guitar remain safe for you to play
- Variety – different types of capacitor can have a different effect on the sound of your guitar, enabling you to create different styles and sounds