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Improve Your Fender Telecaster—Or Any Guitar—for Just $3

(Image credit: Cindy Moorhead)

Did you know you can make a significant improvement in your Telecaster by swapping a $3 part?

In this video, Phillip McKnight explains how a $3 Orange Drop capacitor on your Tele’s tone knob can smooth out its performance and make for a more versatile-sounding guitar. Phillip demonstrates with his own Tele and explains all the ins and outs of the process.

Of course this mod will work for other guitars as well, but it seems especially useful for the Telecaster’s inherent tonal properties. And for $3, it’s a cheap and easy mod. If you don’t like the results, you can always undo it and try the cap in another guitar.

Also, just for clarification, Orange Drop caps are a style of capacitor, not a brand. They were developed in the Sixties by Sprague Electric and are manufactured today by Cornel Dubilier Capacitor.

We’ve previously featured Phillip’s video on “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Fender Strat” and many others. If you enjoyed that clip and this one, we recommend checking out his YouTube page for more great videos.

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Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.