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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

improvements parallel cap construction for crossover network
improvements parallel cap construction for crossover network
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Old 12th November 2017, 06:24 AM   #1
goodguys is offline goodguys  United Kingdom
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Default improvements parallel cap construction for crossover network

Hi. Is there any advantage to using multiple small capacitors, instead of one large capacitor, in a crossover network.

I'm wanting a 3uf capacitor for a tweeter, should i use one 3uf, or 3 x 1uf. Also, is there any point to adding a small 0.2uf teflon to the parallel stack. Some people are reporting good results.

The capacitor i am thinking about is the k71-4 polystyrene nos from russia, and ft-3 teflon

Thanks
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Old 12th November 2017, 09:29 AM   #2
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Save your money and buy a polypropylene for speaker crossover duty.

It's only when the polypropylenes become too big and/or too expensive that you then swap to Bi-Polar electrolytics.

It's possible that you may hear no deterioration using one of the lesser plastic films like MKT, MKS, PPS etc.
This is especially so in a low pass duty. High pass tends to be more critical and may expose the very slight distortions that the lesser plastics create.

Have you read any of the many capacitor reports from C.Bateman?
Here's a starter.
All the others are over the 1MB Forum limit.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BatemanCap_fallacies.pdf (238.1 KB, 39 views)
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Last edited by AndrewT; 12th November 2017 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 12th November 2017, 09:40 AM   #3
glina is offline glina  Poland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodguys View Post
Hi. Is there any advantage to using multiple small capacitors, instead of one large capacitor, in a crossover network.
I would advise 2 x 1.5uF, preferably Film and Foil type, such as Jantzen Alumen Z-Cap or if you like oil, the Arizona Blue Cactus. These two are the rare breed of film and foil caps which are of reasonable size with large capacitance. Rated for 200V.

I used to mix polypropylene, teflon, oil etc. but now prefer to stay with one type of dielectric for each purpose.

Last edited by glina; 12th November 2017 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 12th November 2017, 09:46 AM   #4
picowallspeaker is offline picowallspeaker  Italy
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The point is whether is the same of having one cap or many caps. I prefer single cap, same as in amp's PSU. Some advocate parallel is better.
The same consideration could be made for resistors : for, say, 3.3 Ω resistor, should be ok to use 3 X 10 Ω resistors paralleled ? But at this stage ( perceived sound correlated to the materials/technique used ) everyone is on his own. I prefer single component...I don't like "the signal to be splitted then re-converged in one point"
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Old 12th November 2017, 09:50 AM   #5
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Originally Posted by picowallspeaker View Post
..............I don't like "the signal to be splitted then re-converged in one point"
Alternatively one can use resistors in series. That avoids your splitting and re-converging.
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Old 12th November 2017, 08:24 PM   #6
DF96 is online now DF96  England
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Any one who knows what gives metals their resistance would not worry about 'splitting and converging'.
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Old 13th November 2017, 07:46 AM   #7
goodguys is offline goodguys  United Kingdom
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Hi. Do you feel that the lowered esr and inductance of paralleling caps is of any advantage, does that play a part in any way.
And what about the 0.2uf teflon bypass, no comments about that.

Thanks
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Old 13th November 2017, 07:57 AM   #8
picowallspeaker is offline picowallspeaker  Italy
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once you know that parallel is wrong, why worry ?
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Old 13th November 2017, 08:37 AM   #9
glina is offline glina  Poland
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Originally Posted by goodguys View Post
Hi. Do you feel that the lowered esr and inductance of paralleling caps is of any advantage, does that play a part in any way. And what about the 0.2uf teflon bypass, no comments about that.
Theory would prove that inductance is usually too low to affect audible frequencies, and ESR changes very little with addition of small bypass caps (relative to their "weight" in overall capacitance).

Practical observation is that bypass caps influence the sound and it is usually audible as shine, sparkle, detail in high frequencies. More often then not it also leads to listening fatigue IMHO. My observation with russian teflons is that they generally add dry detail, no glare. Try them out, they are cheap. But don't be afraid of critical listening. Revert the change and compare. Not all "improvements" are indeed for the better.

One good quality cap is better than medium quality one with a high end bypass. It's also much easier to get the sound right (coherent) with a single cap or a cap battery made of same type capacitors.
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Old 13th November 2017, 11:26 AM   #10
DF96 is online now DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodguys
Do you feel that the lowered esr and inductance of paralleling caps is of any advantage, does that play a part in any way.
Reduced ESR might make a difference - but only for caps with significant ESR such as bipolar electrolytics. For film caps it makes no difference as ESR is already very low. Your aim is to roughly match what the designer intended.

Reduced inductance makes no difference as this is audio, not radio.

Quote:
And what about the 0.2uf teflon bypass, no comments about that.
'Bypass' caps are almost always unnecessary in audio, and sometimes harmful. They either do nothing, or add an unwanted resonance. If the latter occurs you may hear it, and may at first mispercieve it as an improvement.
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