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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Burn in time for Solen Caps?
Burn in time for Solen Caps?
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Old 29th December 2015, 01:52 PM   #11
dragonweed is offline dragonweed  Hungary
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Reminds me some early experience with Solen caps. Years ago when acquired a pair Epos ES11, upon checking the crossover (the single capacitor....) I thought it's gonna be an easy ride to improve the (otherwise already excellent) sound of it. So, out came the original cap, in goes the Solen...

On first hearing I almost jumped out of my chair: sizzle,hiss, overemphasized sibilants, just unlistenable, etched tiring treble. The situation didn't improve much after days, somewhat better, but still too much glare on the music. Then came the Hovlands, Jantzens, etc. End of story: finally put back the original cheap Bennic caps... what a relief!
Conclusion: too good can be no good in many cases, I found crossover treble sections being particularly sensitive to this matter.
There is a reason if a designer choses a lossy cap with highish ESR, over a super-duper one.
If you insist on Solens, try parallel them with a small PIO cap (22-100nF), that can tame their sound, also insert a few tenth of ohm resistor in series with them.
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Old 29th December 2015, 02:12 PM   #12
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Any decent quality cap (meaning from average commercial generic "plastics" up) will not appreciably change its parameters for *decades* , so any short term "burn in effect" (< 1 month) can be exclusively chalked up to those notoriously unreliable, unstable, modified by exposure and age Acoustic Components: Human ears.

Coupled to that wet computer known as "brain" and the software it runs on: "Psychology" .

Not kidding: simple Biology 101 .
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Old 30th December 2015, 01:22 AM   #13
eriksquires is offline eriksquires  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamt View Post
Being happy with my crossover, I finally decided to build it properly and use some good components.

So I bought some Solens, soldered it up, and sat back to enjoy the show.

I nearly fell off my chair when this high frequency brightness emerged from the speakers. Way too bright, and harsh making most music unlistenable (sore ears!).

So I checked my wiring which was all fine, and rechecked the components which were no different to my original test crossover values.

My original crossover had a lovely balance of detail and smoothness that I now dont have.

So how long do these solens take to burn in, or do I need to increase the Lpad attenuation?

My speakers are Dynaudio (not known for harshness) The 17W75Xl and D260 built to the original Dyn designed known as Nuance.

Thanks for any help.
Wrong caps. :-) Solen makes a range of them but none are what I'd really use except as bypass caps or say in a Zobel network where cheap is paramount, then I get the Axon brand for it's bargain pricing, still made by Solen.

Best caps to start to appreciate good film caps from is the Mundorf MKP line. Inexpensive, leagues better than the Solen's IMHO.

In my own speakers I use Clarity MR for the treble, and ESA for the woofer. Very neutral caps after about a week but not necessarily in your budget. I don't like magic in my treble, but if you do go with the Mundorf Supreme's or Supreme Silver in Oil. I also happily recommend Mills wirewound resistors in series with the tweeter as well. Extremely neutral, physically small and very stable with temperature changes.

I've never had a problem replacing electrolytics with film by the way. Technically, yes the ESR changes a little, but the quality of the sound is so much better I'll take some irregularities. Not to mention, good film caps like Mundorfs are manufactured to very tight tolerances, like 0.5% or better despite markings.

Claritys, while I love them, are usually about 1% under value. Still a damn site more accurate than most electrolytics.

Best,

Erik

Last edited by eriksquires; 30th December 2015 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 30th December 2015, 03:04 AM   #14
eriksquires is offline eriksquires  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriksquires View Post
Wrong caps. :-) Solen makes a range of them but none are what I'd really use except as parallel caps in the woofer section where a large uF value means cheap is paramount, then I get the Axon brand for it's bargain pricing, still made by Solen.

Best caps to start to appreciate good film caps from is the Mundorf MKP line. Inexpensive, leagues better than the Solen's IMHO.

In my own speakers I use Clarity MR for the treble, and ESA for the woofer. Very neutral caps after about a week but not necessarily in your budget. I don't like magic in my treble, but if you do go with the Mundorf Supreme's or Supreme Silver in Oil. I also happily recommend Mills wirewound resistors in series with the tweeter as well. Extremely neutral, physically small and very stable with temperature changes.

I've never had a problem replacing electrolytics with film by the way. Technically, yes the ESR changes a little, but the quality of the sound is so much better I'll take some irregularities. Not to mention, good film caps like Mundorfs are manufactured to very tight tolerances, like 0.5% or better despite markings.

Claritys, while I love them, are usually about 1% under value. Still a damn site more accurate than most electrolytics.

Best,

Erik
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Old 30th December 2015, 01:14 PM   #15
Russellc is offline Russellc  United States
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Burn in time for Solen Caps?
I use The Dayton caps, the basic polyprop in place of Solens anymore, find they have a warmer balance...or it seems that way to me.

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Old 30th December 2015, 10:45 PM   #16
Freddymac is offline Freddymac  United States
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I recapped my 34 year old Dahlquist DQ 10's (16 caps) I used Axion polypropylene on the larger ones and Solens on the rest. Both speakers change for the better over the next week playing 10 to 12 hours a day. Strings, Piano and Human voice come through maybe slightly forward. The edge that I had lived with for all those years was gone. My speakers had the old paper bipolar caps not the newer yellow Mylar's. My speakers now truly bring tears to my eyes on a good recording
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Old 31st December 2015, 02:44 AM   #17
zettairyouiki is offline zettairyouiki  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMFahey View Post
Any decent quality cap (meaning from average commercial generic "plastics" up) will not appreciably change its parameters for *decades* , so any short term "burn in effect" (< 1 month) can be exclusively chalked up to those notoriously unreliable, unstable, modified by exposure and age Acoustic Components: Human ears.

Coupled to that wet computer known as "brain" and the software it runs on: "Psychology" .

Not kidding: simple Biology 101 .
I'm inclined to believe this is the case. Capacitors have no moving parts and I don't believe they could possibly have a "burn in" time that would produce an audible difference. Slow changes over a period of years I could believe.

It is the ears that are burning in.
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Old 31st December 2015, 03:30 AM   #18
Freddymac is offline Freddymac  United States
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I don't suppose you have heard the difference between an electrostatic speaker that hasn't been turned on in six months and one that has been on all the time. The moving parts are electrons. Have you even heard an electrostat? Capacitors have to be formed to reach there full potential, it is a matter of surface conditioning. Have you even listened to the magic of an electrostat for any lenth of time.
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Old 31st December 2015, 04:38 AM   #19
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Quote:
Capacitors have to be formed to reach there full potential, it is a matter of surface conditioning.
True ..... in an Electrolytic capacitor, where the *actual* capacitor is not between sheets of aluminum but between both sides of an aluminum salt/oxide layer formed on a metallic aluminum sheet.

Since it uses a very active/aggressive chemistry to be able to attack the plain aluminum surface at all, such chemistry is by definition *unstable* .

Since it comes out of an * electro-chemical* reaction and it's surrounded by an electrolyte, yes, in absence of applied electric voltage for a long time, residual, slow, but unavoidable chemical reactions may damage it, it may partly self dissolve (changing parameters big time), etc.

NONE of that applies to so called "plastic" capacitors, shorthand to avoid writing : polypropilene - polycarbonate - polyester - Teflon - and tons of other plastic materials,which are among the most stable products created by Humankind, which will not decay in *hundreds* of years and anyway do not require *any* applied voltage to be "formed".

As a side note, we are talking electronic parts here, there's another Forum section for Loudspeakers, even for Electrostatics, my gripe is not with that, but with the wonderfully inaccurate (on many counts) phrase:
Quote:
The moving parts are electrons.
1) being a speaker, by definition it has to move air.
In this case you have large surface membranes moving back and forth, they are the ones moving air.

2) please reread the definition of what a capacitor is and how it works.

One of the defining points of what a capacitor is and how it behaves is that although it can pass one kind of current, AC to be more precise, **the electrons** do not pass through it because they do not jump the dielectric (a.k.a. insulator) .

3) please do, you'll enjoy far more this exciting hobby.
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Old 31st December 2015, 06:50 AM   #20
zettairyouiki is offline zettairyouiki  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddymac View Post
I don't suppose you have heard the difference between an electrostatic speaker that hasn't been turned on in six months and one that has been on all the time. The moving parts are electrons. Have you even heard an electrostat? Capacitors have to be formed to reach there full potential, it is a matter of surface conditioning. Have you even listened to the magic of an electrostat for any lenth of time.
Electrons certainly don't qualify as "moving parts" by any practical definition.
I don't doubt that sitting for a while would change the sound of an electrostatic speaker. They use thin, fragile diaphragms that are moving, mechanical parts have mechanical properties that might be altered by sitting dormant or accumulating dust.

A plastic capacitor has no relevant mechanical properties. It undergoes no appreciable change by being used. The copper doesn't need to be stretched out by electron flow, and capacitors experience as much burn-in as your speaker cables.

That said, I'm perfectly willing to look like a fool if somebody can show evidence that this is a verifiable phenomenon. Anecdotes in the language of audophile (e.g. "the sound really opened up") leave me skeptical. People are very good at convincing themselves of something. If you believe your capacitors need to be broken in, by god you're certainly going to hear the change.

Last edited by zettairyouiki; 31st December 2015 at 06:53 AM.
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