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Which of the capacitors sounds best to you?
Orange Drop
53%
 53%  [ 8 ]
Mallory
13%
 13%  [ 2 ]
Russian
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Vintage Yellow polyester
20%
 20%  [ 3 ]
Epiphone original
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Vintage Fat Gray (Mullard Muustard)
13%
 13%  [ 2 ]
Tropical Fish
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 15

Author Topic:  Capacitor Differences Poll
Steven Paris


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 2 May 2017 9:27 am     Reply with quote

Referring to the You Tube link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92G-jw4TqS4)
on capacitor differences:
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Larry Carlson


From:
My Computer
Post Posted 2 May 2017 9:34 am     Reply with quote

I've always used Orange Drop.
Never a problem and I can always find some quick if I need one, or two, or several.
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Last edited by Larry Carlson on 2 May 2017 9:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 9:38 am     Reply with quote

If two .022 mfd capacitors sound different, then at least one of them is not a .022 mfd capacitor.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 2 May 2017 2:33 pm     Reply with quote

LOL, +1 for "EB". I'm an ex amp tech and have worked in Electronics for many years but I'm not an "Audiophile" so I'm not attuned to how or supposedly how they sound. There are some that are better tolerance or tend to last longer.
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Brad Sarno


From:
St. Louis, MO USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 7:46 pm     Reply with quote

Not all orange drops sound alike. Some use mylar (polyester film) and some use polypropylene. Some use metal foil, some use metallized film. Then the different styles are made a bit differently, their geometries vary, their tones vary.

Orange drops I've met:

715p
716p
418p
6PS
225p



B
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Mike Scaggs


From:
Nashville, TN
Post Posted 3 May 2017 2:48 am     Reply with quote

Brad Sarno wrote:
Not all orange drops sound alike. Some use mylar (polyester film) and some use polypropylene. Some use metal foil, some use metallized film. Then the different styles are made a bit differently, their geometries vary, their tones vary.

Orange drops I've met:

715p
716p
418p
6PS
225p



B


That is so true Brad. I am personally not a fan of Orange Drops in Fender type amps and I have built and repaired many. They are very HiFi sounding. I do however like Orange Drops in hifi amps.

It's hard to go wrong with Mallory 150s really. The old Blue Mallorys or Ajax caps found in blackface fenders are great and RARELY go bad. I test leakage and measure ESR in all coupling caps that come through the shop and I have only found a few that were leaking DC. I have used Jupiters too but the blind fold test proved they sounded no different than Mallory 150s but cost way more.

My 2 Cents
Scaggs
p2pamps.com
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Steve Sycamore


From:
Sweden
Post Posted 3 May 2017 8:04 am     Reply with quote

You might want to see if this cap fits your price range and the space inside your cabinet:

http://www.claritycap.co.uk/products/mr.php

For the price those caps are absolutely phenomenal sounding.
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Steven Paris


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 3 May 2017 12:12 pm     Reply with quote

ONE ClarityCap 0.1 mfd MR Range 630V Polypropylene Cap: $25!!!
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Steve Sycamore


From:
Sweden
Post Posted 3 May 2017 1:00 pm     Reply with quote

Yup, MR's could be overkill if the speakers are not high resolution models. Even the Clarity SA and PX series caps are probably an upgrade to any of the above listed caps. But they are large too...
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Paul Arntson


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 12 May 2017 7:05 am     Reply with quote

http://www.electronicdesign.com/analog/whats-all-soakage-stuff-anyhow
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Steven Paris


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 12 May 2017 10:57 am     Reply with quote

Paul Arntson wrote:
http://www.electronicdesign.com/analog/whats-all-soakage-stuff-anyhow

Please translate. I've read that article three times now, and I still can't understand what he is trying to say. Here is the quote from the paper:
"If an amplifier is "capped" by taking all electrolytic capacitors out of the signal path, and replacing them with good film capacitors, it has to sound better. All the experts say it sounds better.Tom Nousaine....... says the golden-ears cannot hear a difference, in truly blind tests. I believe him. Of course, that does not mean that there are no differences. But it's well-known that tantalum caps can sound pretty weird if they are ever allowed to get biased the wrong way during part of a cycle. I bet even I can hear that kind of distortion."
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Last edited by Steven Paris on 12 May 2017 10:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Robert Parent


From:
Savage, MN
Post Posted 12 May 2017 1:01 pm     Reply with quote

Impossible to answer the question without knowing the specific application. There are many types of capacitors and there is not a one-type fits all.


Robert
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William Rasch


From:
Vermont, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 3:13 am     Reply with quote

Big fan of orange drop 6ps series. They are polyester
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Paul Arntson


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 6:40 am     Reply with quote

Sorry in advance about my very wordy post.

Stephen - I agree, as I have reread this article a bunch of times. Bob Pease was a big believer in dispelling audio myths. He often called them "floobydust". At the end of the article he even goes off on speaker cables. He was a brilliant electronics engineer (not necessarily a diplomat) and all his articles are chock full of theory and equations.

I believe that tantalum capacitors can clip the signal if it goes into a region where the polarity of the capacitor is reversed. He also may have been talking about the fact that tantalum capacitors can short out and explode when reverse biased. Here is an article about their characteristics. http://www.capacitorguide.com/tantalum-capacitor/

The relevant paragraph is:

"Polarity

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are exceptionally polarized devices. While aluminum electrolytic capacitors, which are polarized as well, might survive a briefly applied reverse voltage, tantalum capacitors are very sensitive to reverse polarization. If a reverse polarity voltage is applied, the dielectric oxide breaks down, sometimes forming a short circuit. This short circuit may later cause thermal runaway and destruction of the capacitor."

All the different types of cap have different "parasitic" components that go along with capacitance. I think a big player might be the "equivalent series resistance" at audio frequencies.

All that being said, 35 years ago I recapped an old Gibson amp with orange drop caps and I was blown away by the difference in tone. Probably due to making the circuit right again rather than the particular caps. But you can't go wrong with them and I've used them ever since.
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Steve Sycamore


From:
Sweden
Post Posted 14 May 2017 6:03 am     Reply with quote

The Bob Pease article really addresses a characteristic of capacitors that has nothing to do with sound quality. In the past decade or so enough research has been done to indicate that it's primarily the physical resonances of a capacitor that give it either poor, adequate or superior sound fidelity. To some extent, a capacitor is affected by changing currents as a piezo transducer is.

Twenty or thirty years ago the technology was generally not up to the task of delivering speakers, cables and other components that produce exceptional sound fidelity. So naturally a person needed to be wary of snake oil salesmen or golden wonder type claims.

Electricity is a very interesting and surprisingly complex thing. How many know that the energy flowing through a current carrying wire does not travel along the wire? It rather flows from outside the wire into it from a 90 degree angle. You can see that from the Poynting vector. That sort of mystery made even J. C. Maxwell's mentor William Thompson think Maxwell's theory was "metaphysics" rather than hard physics.
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Paul Arntson


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 8:26 am     Reply with quote

You have a good point, Steve. I'm not sure about the frequency response (time characteristic) of dielectric adsorption.

You're right, I have encountered this piezo like effect in practice. Do you have a citation to add to this list?

http://www.kemet.com/Lists/TechnicalArticles/Attachments/62/2007%20CARTS%20-%20Reduced%20Microphonics%20and%20Sound%20Emissions.pdf

http://www.kemet.com/Lists/TechnicalArticles/Attachments/88/2006%2007%20ArrowAsiaTimes%20-%20MLC%20Noise.pdf

Articles arguing there is no difference in cap types:

Fairly sensible:
http://conradhoffman.com/cap_measurements_100606.html

While this is somewhat crude, this guy makes a compelling point: (part 2
shows the most)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHtIg-0DQLU
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 11:26 am     Reply with quote

The usual drivel.

In guitars there is minimal difference with 99% of capacitors - the value is much more important.

There are a *few* odd ones that cause a slightly different "slope" - the speed with which treble is rolled off. But that's the ONLY difference. Guitar "tone" caps have NO "tone". They are merely a subtractive device (unless in an active circuit). All they do is *remove* frequencies. It's physically/electronically impossible for them to add anything.
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Paul Arntson


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 4:47 pm     Reply with quote

Which are the few "odd" ones, Jim? I'd like to check it out. Always up for learning more minutia.
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Steve Sycamore


From:
Sweden
Post Posted 14 May 2017 8:43 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Jim, We need to remember that subtracting a noisish AC signal is just as destructive to fidelity as adding one, right?
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