The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Frequently asked questions on capacitor types, ratings, brands, use and abuse.

Postby davizerrat » 28 Dec 2014, 17:59

Hi guys,

It seems that Panasonic ECQV capacitors have been discontinued. That capacitor can be a good substitute for a quality equal to or greater than this?
I was using the ECW from the same manufacturer, to have a top quality, but due to such high voltage is sometimes difficult to mount on pcb.
I was thinking of using the DSF Cornell Dubilier. They also have a voltage of 50v. You think that is good option ?? I'm using capacitors to replace my guitar effects and give more clarity to the sound.
Ideal for me would find high quality capacitors sound, with a specific dielectric for its function and below 50v voltage. But time and meanwhile product on the web, I have clearly not the best option. Any review will be very grateful.

Thank you very much. Merry Christmas !!!
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby FiveseveN » 28 Dec 2014, 23:49

davizerrat wrote:I'm using capacitors to replace my guitar effects and give more clarity to the sound.

Have you actually read this thread?
Also, what is "clarity"?
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby deafbutpicky » 29 Dec 2014, 00:46

actually this makes sense. if you replace some pedals with capacitors to gain clarity :applause:
you even get more space on the board.

I've found my signature finally... :hug:
I'm using capacitors to replace my guitar effects and give more clarity to the sound.

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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby DrNomis » 29 Dec 2014, 04:15

I see that this topic is still going..... :hmmm:


Okay, let's analyse a Capacitor...... :thumbsup


A capacitor is made up of three basic components, the connecting leads, the conductive plates, and the insulator(dielectric)that separates the two conductive plates, the dielectric can be made from various materials which do not conduct electricity, some dielectric materials are better at insulating than others, in Electrolytic capacitors the dielectric is in the form of an oxide which coats one of the conductive plates, in between the oxide and the other conductive plate is a porous material which contains an electrolyte (an Electrolytic cap behaves somewhat like a battery).... :thumbsup



In the early days of Electronics (Circa 1920's) capacitors used paper impregnated with wax as the dielectric separating the conductive plates, the problem was that these types of capacitors were prone to going leaky, i.e. developing a resistive path between the two conductive plates thus allowing a DC current to flow, later on better insulating materials were developed for use in capacitors..... :thumbsup


So, what has this got to do with the sound of capacitors?, well, I think if a capacitor has any chance of having any obvious effect on sound it would be a case of whether the cap is functioning properly and not leaky, by that, I honestly believe that providing that the capacitor is functioning correctly and not faulty, it should have a negligible effect on sound regardless of the type of capacitor used in the circuit, and provided that the circuit-voltages are well within the rated working voltage of the capacitor..... :thumbsup
Genius is not all about 99% perspiration, and 1% inspiration - sometimes the solution is staring you right in the face.-Frequencycentral.

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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby Rocket Roll » 29 Dec 2014, 11:33

I think that this line of thought (and analysis) would be very useful when thinking about "the sound" of capacitors:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi24SpKYYoQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3wYMZ_cjdQ
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby Intripped » 29 Dec 2014, 13:23

why there are differences at high voltages (in a tube amp) then?

it's widely accepted the fact that different capacitors (in different positions in the circuit) do have an impact on the suond of a tube amp.

1. is this statement accepted from the skepticals here or not?
2. if the answer is yes, please scientifically prove the fact, or link to such a demonstration
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby FiveseveN » 29 Dec 2014, 13:33

Intripped wrote:it's widely accepted

Popularity and consensus are meaningless, only proof matters. Where is the proof?
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby Intripped » 29 Dec 2014, 13:43

that's what i'm asking to you, if you agree with this statement
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby Intripped » 29 Dec 2014, 14:18

what do you think FiveseveN of different capacitors (same capacitance) in a tube amp, bytheway?
do you think that they would affect the sound of the amp?
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby FiveseveN » 29 Dec 2014, 14:29

If I were to build tube amps, I wouldn't be concerned with particular dielectrics or packages or whatever corksniffers claim matters. The burden of proof is on them to support claims of identifiable and reproducible effects with proper evidence.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby davizerrat » 29 Dec 2014, 15:01

FiveseveN wrote:
davizerrat wrote:I'm using capacitors to replace my guitar effects and give more clarity to the sound.

Have you actually read this thread?
Also, what is "clarity"?



Hello, I'm talking translator. why I'm writing the words may be different..... If you believe this is not the place to ask about brands capacitors?

David :scratch: :thumbsup
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby astrobass » 29 Dec 2014, 16:12

The one thing I've noticed being glossed over here is the issue of manufacturing. Caps are manufactured and as such are susceptible to variation in the manufacturing process. It is not entirely unreasonable to suspect some manufacturers of using less accurate or less reliable facilities, equipment, or processes so as to produce at a lower cost. This occurs in every other industry.

This is particularly relevant for tube amps as high voltage caps are expensive to produce and expensive to purchase. So you tend to purchase caps whose max voltages are fairly close to the max voltages called for by the circuit. ESR increases as you approach the maximum operating voltage of the cap, correct? And if the manufacturer cut corners and you bought the most cost effective components available, it stands to reason that you may see increased ESR or leakage to the extent that it affects tone more frequently than if you bought from an alternate manufacturer or bought higher tolerance caps.

But that's a variation on DrNomis's observations re: not functioning correctly. It's probably a real factor in some cases. But it's got nothing to do with mojo and everything to do with the current state of manufacturing in Asia. And it provides no basis for concern related to stompboxes.
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby Dirk_Hendrik » 29 Dec 2014, 19:20

davizerrat wrote:Hello, I'm talking translator. why I'm writing the words may be different..... If you believe this is not the place to ask about brands capacitors?

David :scratch: :thumbsup


I think you should read this thread better. Then you will find out yourself wether this is the right place to ask for brands. Hint: You couldn't be further from the thruth ;-)
Sorry. Plain out of planes.

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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby Rocket Roll » 29 Dec 2014, 20:40

Rocket Roll wrote:I think that this line of thought (and analysis) would be very useful when thinking about "the sound" of capacitors:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi24SpKYYoQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3wYMZ_cjdQ


...or, for those who want to cut to the chase, the real world capacitor actually looks like this...

RealWorldCapacitor.jpg


...and that's one of the sources for its "sound".
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby Dirk_Hendrik » 30 Dec 2014, 14:18

Rocket Roll wrote:...or, for those who want to cut to the chase, the real world capacitor actually looks like this...

RealWorldCapacitor.jpg


...and that's one of the sources for its "sound".


Thanks. I know and I could write a lenghty essay with that picture.

But this is the internet where everything that is not understood is discarded as "unimportant". Most of those reading this thread do not have a clue, nor are they willing to learn, what that picture implies in an AC perspective.

And therefore that picture is no part in the argumentation that capacitors may have sonic influences. :|
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Re: The 'Sound' of Capacitors..

Postby FiveseveN » 30 Dec 2014, 19:12

Ok, let's see some real-world values then.
I'm willing to do some simulations, but I can't weed through countless cap datasheets just to be accused of cherry picking in the end anyway. Are these parasitic parameters even specified for most products?
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