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Do Capacitors affect Sound?


wink
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Capacitor upgrades are kind of like tube rolling and cable swaps. There are differences but they are usually small. Most of the differences are more the result of the type of cap ( PIO, polyprop, teflon, etc.) than price or brand difference. The biggest improvements come with the first jump off the bottom. You can usually easily hear the difference between a $1.00 coupling cap and a $10.00 cap of the same type. You'll need to strain to tell the difference between a $10.00 and a $100.00 cap. For a cheap comparison of different types, try the different Russian military surplus types. The teflons and the K40 PIO's are excellent. Bottom line is serious money is better spent elsewhere.

That said, I did find the above review interesting and useful in a subjective sense. I've used a number of the capacitors mentioned, and the author's opinions roughly correspond to my own.

Power supply caps, at least in single-ended tube amps, seem to make more of a difference. Motor-run PIO's are a definite sonic upgrade to traditional electrolytics. Same story with cathode bypass caps.

All caps are necessary evils. In the end, if you can do it, the best cap is no cap.

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Or you could measure the capacitors...

http://diyaudioprojects.com/mirror/members.aol.com/sbench102/caps.html

 

Signal path capacitors don't really matter to me once I get to the $5-$8 point since I'm not using high-end super resolving headphones.

 

As for power supply caps, going to oil filled motor run caps was a significant upgrade, even on my push-pull amp.

So was getting rid of cathode bypass caps & resistors and replacing them with LEDs.  I took both steps around 10 years ago and never looked back.

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So was getting rid of cathode bypass caps & resistors and replacing them with LEDs.  

 

[top-down-arm-chair-designer]

How can you claim to have a tube amp when you have stooped so low as to use a Cathode LED? 

I bet your going to try to tell me that you use SS CCS's next. Whats the world coming to? 

[lolerskates]

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[top-down-arm-chair-designer]

How can you claim to have a tube amp when you have stooped so low as to use a Cathode LED? 

I bet your going to try to tell me that you use SS CCS's next. Whats the world coming to? 

[lolerskates]

 

Hey now, at least I didn't replace all the tubes with transistors like Mr. Pimm here.

But check it out, no capacitors in the signal path!  :)

ss_dif_poweramp.gif

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