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Tone Caps, Bright Caps, Input Impedance & Other Nerding With Simon Jarrett

Published on 5 Jul 2019

Nerd warning! This show is probably not for first-time viewers, nor anyone looking for quick and simple answers. This stuff is deep, fundamental… and yet all grounded (pun entirely intended) in basic electronics!

We are delighted to once again welcome Simon Jarrett to the studio. Simon is the man behind Kingsley Amplifiers (and pedals), based in Maple Ridge, Canada.
Dan and I have been consistently blown away with Kingsley’s range of pedals and preamps, partly because of their meticulous design and build quality and partly because they are imbued with Simon’s own personal musical connection with tremendous guitar tone.
We attempt to unravel some of that in this show, talking about guitar electronics basics such as input impedance, capacitance in guitar controls (low pass filter) and amp/pedal input stages (coupling capacitor/high pass filter), gain stage biasing and all those interrelated factors that have a fundamental effect on your guitar sound… long before you get into to worrying about which of the 487 Tube Screamer clones to buy.
It will be well over the heads of anyone looking for quick fixes or simple answers and advice… but absolutely fascinating for anyone who has been playing and tweaking for years and not quite connecting the dots of what’s actually happening (like me, Mick here).
Massive thanks to Simon and his wife Christine for taking time out of their vacation to spend time nerding at That Pedal Show.

Enjoy the episode. If you dare!

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Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

Pedals & stuff in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Mini
UK & Europe:

• Kingsley Serf Prototype
Not out (yet?)

• Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer Keeley Mod
No longer made

• Kingsley Architecht Prototype
Not out (yet?)

• Kingsley Squire EF86

• Kingsley Constable V2

• Electro-Harmonix Memory Man Deluxe 1100-TT
UK & Europe:

• Catalinbread Topanga Reverb
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 0:00
- Simon lives in Canada and makes amps and pedals: 2:45
- What are we doing today? 6:50
- Resonant peak? 8:20
- Fundamentals, harmonics and their relationship with guitar tone: 9:45
- …and clipping: 12:48
- Capacitance, inductance, resistance in pickups, reactance and pots: 14:30
- Capacitors on tone pots in guitars: 17:50
- Back to resonant peak: 19:00
- Rolling down a 0.022uF cap in a Stratocaster: 20:50 (23:15)
- 0.0022uF and 0.022uF caps compared: 24:30
- Input impedance and why it matters: 29:10
- Guitar pickups are high impedance devices: 30:30
- Les Paul/Constable/input impedance: 34:43 (35:53)
- Coupling caps & bottom end: 37:14 (38:30)
- …and input impedance: 39:05
- A treble booster is attenuated bottom and top: 39:40
- Oh WOW, so THAT’S what a treble booster does. Sort of: 41:20
- The effect of the volume control and treble bleeds: 44:40 (48:20)
- Mick’s massive generalisation: 55:27
- Considerations for the first gain stage of the amp: 57:05
- Bias in preamp valves: 58:50 (1:03:30)
- Simon plays us out (1:11:37)

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s video at
• Gibson Custom 1958 Les Paul Standard – watch Dan’s video at
• Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335 - no video yet

Amps in this episode
• Two Rock Classic Reverb Signature with 212 cabinet / TR65B speakers
• Fryette Power Station with Two Rock 112 cabinet / WGS12L speaker

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