Please don't shout at me if this has been covered elsewhere but I've been looking through the CBN corridors and back rooms for a half hour before asking. 

I want to wire up a single coil to a volume, tone and jack. I haven't got any capacitors and all the diagrams I'm finding have a capacitor in the rig. Can anyone please help me with this? Literally, what solders to where when using a single coil pickup, volume, tone and jack socket? I don't want to buy a capacitor as that would mean delays and I'm impatient haha. 

Thanks for your help and best regards to you all. 


The nuisance Bear. 

Views: 223

Replies to This Discussion

If I'm not mistaken and you do not use a capacitor the tone pot will work like a volume pot.  For volume only try this.

Ah. I didn't know that not using one would make the tone act as a volume  Looks like I need to buy a capacitor then. Any recommendations? It's a gold foil vintage style pickup and I'm using a 250k potentiometer for both the tone and volume controls.

Thanks for your help and for teaching me why capacitors are used. I had no idea. Much appreciated.


Your welcome Bear, but now you have opened a can of warms!! LOL!!

Depending what tone you want to achieve can be complicated. But for the most part Fender & Gibson use caps in the 0.01–0.047uF. You have the famous Orange Drop, or Mallory 150, I have used both with good results. 0.022 is prob a safe bet, just remember even when tone pot is full off the cap will effect tone.

Thanks again Blind Lemon Cello. I've heard of the orange drop so might go with that. Just considering a paper in oil type too as I've heard good things about those. Do you like the the paper in oil ones? Good for blues? 

I think either one will work for you. Also remember were you place the pup will also effect tone. Post pic & or video when your done.

Thanks again for the help and I'll definitely post lots of pics and a video of the finished guitar. I really appreciate the help from both yourself and Brian. Helped and educated me at the same time. :o) 

You might as well just wire up a volume control, without a capacitor,it’s just two volumes? 

Looking at the back of the pot: 

Left terminal- pickup positive/in

Middle terminal- signal out

Right terminal- soldered to back of pot/ground

maybe try following the diagram sans the capacitor & add it in when you get it?

Yeah just looking at capacitors on eBay now. I didn't realise what the capacitor was for. Lesson learned. :o) 

Thanks for helping and best regards.


Thanks Brian .That may well help if I chicken out of adding a capacitor. I'm tempted to just have the tone there purely for decoration as I've already spent all day making a control panel and added the holes and potentiometers to the panel. Live and learn! Haha. Thanks again my good man.

Something to think about with paper in oil capacitors, is that they dry out. So , with that said, if you buy a vintage one that’s 40 -50 years old, it may be at the end of its life cycle? Although there are newer manufacture bumblebee Gibson style ones out there if you don’t mind the price?

Thanks Brian. I bought some 0.047 Mylar film ones (they come as a set of two) even though I have no idea what they sound like. The ebay listing said they're good for single coils anyway. Pure "eenie, meenie, minee, mo" stuff. Very technical reason for buying it haha.

Thanks again for the help. I really do appreciate it.


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