Can I use polarized capacitors in passive crossovers? - diyAudio
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Old 8th April 2006, 01:12 AM   #1
sardonx is offline sardonx  Canada
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Default Can I use polarized capacitors in passive crossovers?

Everywhere it seems to say that you're supposed to use only non-polar caps in crossovers. I have some polarized caps that match the values that I need... can I just use them instead? If so does it matter which way it's connected?
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Old 8th April 2006, 01:30 AM   #2
DUG is offline DUG  Canada
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No
1. Polarized caps are not meant to see reversal of the charge applied to them. Usually they create a very low impedance...not the calculated value at the frequency of interest.

2. The tollerance of polarized caps is not good enough to be used for frequency sensistive circuits.

I have used them as coupling caps in a back-to-back pair where there is very low DC potential. Low impedance forward vs low impedance reversed...Win-Win situation (still DC isolated)
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Old 8th April 2006, 01:53 AM   #3
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YES

1) Back to polarized caps don't really care if the current is zigging or zagging.

2) The tolerance of polarized caps is suprisingly good compared to 1947.

While this discussion is specifically related to their use in crossovers, in application I could detect no increase in distortion or impulse response when I examined an amplifier which used a very expensive 4.7uF polypropylene cap, or a pair of electrolytics arranged as bipolar.
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Old 8th April 2006, 01:56 AM   #4
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You can't use them.

Neither direction would be correct, because the current needs to flow both ways.
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Old 8th April 2006, 02:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by ManMower
You can't use them.

Neither direction would be correct, because the current needs to flow both ways.

KEF and Audio Research used them to good effect.
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Old 8th April 2006, 02:23 AM   #6
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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They are OK to use back to back as someone pointed out. I usually use them in speaker zobel networks or imp correction applications. Not much used in signal flow path for high end.
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Old 8th April 2006, 08:30 AM   #7
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Wasn't contradicting you, I'm still under moderation so my post came in a little later than it was actually made.
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Old 8th April 2006, 11:37 AM   #8
sardonx is offline sardonx  Canada
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I think i'll just go out and buy some real capacitors... thanks everyone! I'm glad i didn't solder them in and wonder why the sound sucks.


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