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Old 29th June 2003, 01:45 AM   #1
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Default Do expensive filter caps REALLY make a difference?

I'm working on my power supply. It's for a hi-quality mic preamp. The stages are all balanced, so will reject some hum/noise.

I'm looking at capacitors on-line. Some of them are SO expensive. Black Gates for example. Why are they so expensive? Why not some LCR's from Mouser? Or some of the computer grade electroclytics?

Can some of you recommend the best filter caps? I'm actually looking at non-polarized Solen caps. They seem to be mid-priced (I guess I want to stay away from anything TOO cheap).

The power supply is a VERY simple cap -> choke -> cap arrangement.

Thanks for any help!

Matt
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Old 29th June 2003, 09:23 AM   #2
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In my opinon......
Your preamp/amp/speaker never gets better than the sum of all the components.... So if you really want to pay a huge amount of money for special caps, then you must also calculate for costs for high grade components in rest of your system.....

I proberly get a lot of "spanking" from the "Magic Cap" fans in here for this statement, but so it be...
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Old 29th June 2003, 10:17 AM   #3
eduard is offline eduard  Netherlands
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Hello,
I would stay away from budget polypropylene and go for a choke-input filter cosisting of a choke, a paper in oil then a Black Gate then another choke or a resistor then another Black Gate. You can buy Black Gate at Soundshop Big in Japan. Very accurate service and real cheap compared to other suppliers outside Japan.
I have 9 47 microfahrad 630 volt SCR ( = Solen ) in an alumium can which have been replaced by B.G.. If you can help me next time i need to order in the States i am willing to sell in return for 9 dollars each. Yours sicerely, Ed
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Old 29th June 2003, 08:30 PM   #4
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SMPS circuits are really hard on the components ... of course they are, that way they can get away with fewer, making them cheaper for the masses... So naturally the components are tough. Pull some caps from a computer PSU, connect them in series if need be, and have a ball. No need for money in my book.

Tim
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Old 29th June 2003, 08:51 PM   #5
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Hello MW Mitchell,

I am a big fan of Elna Cerafine for power supply filtering. I have (2) 22,000uf in my 30 watt per channel integrated. I will usually parallel a smaller better quality film cap or a better electro as well.

I like Sanyo Os-Con in my CD player.

I have not yet tried Black Gate, but I hope to soon.

I believe in the law of dimishing returns. If I use a cap that costs for example $10.00 and I get 90 or 95% of the performance of a $50.00 cap, I am happy.

I would rather spend my extra money on a nice Cabernet or a bottle of port.

Cheers

KevinLee
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Old 29th June 2003, 08:58 PM   #6
eduard is offline eduard  Netherlands
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Hello,
I seriously think you should give the Black Gates WKZ a try or go for the Allen Wright or another shunt regulation. Or combine the two of them like i did. Yours sicerele, Ed
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Old 1st July 2003, 03:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Do expensive filter caps REALLY make a difference?

Quote:
Originally posted by mwmitchell
Can some of you recommend the best filter caps? I'm actually looking at non-polarized Solen caps. They seem to be mid-priced (I guess I want to stay away from anything TOO cheap).
Matt
Matt,

When you say "filter Caps" do you mean the mains supply, or for low pass filtering (or similar)?

If you're talking about mains supply use several types of caps. For bulk power storage, electrolytics from panasonic are good. (I like the FC series). Then bypass them with some tantalium electrolytics and ceramics for higher frequency response.

For anything in the audio path... ...You may want to use COG type ceramics. the X7 and Y5 types change value with applied voltage (this is a bad thing when building a active or passive filter).

-Dan
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Old 1st July 2003, 07:41 AM   #8
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I note with interest that not a single post in this thread addresses the original question in the tittle. Wow, a whole thread that is off-topic! Intriguing....

Jan Didden
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Old 1st July 2003, 08:07 AM   #9
arg_ is offline arg_  Greece
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Quote:
I note with interest that not a single post in this thread addresses the original question in the tittl
I second that... It would be interesting to know, regarding the above recommendations, if they really make an audible difference to the sound or just make you feel better to have premium quality caps in your gear
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Old 1st July 2003, 10:13 AM   #10
arg_ is offline arg_  Greece
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And pls don't get me wrong; I am not questioning the validity of the above (or other) recommendations; it just happens to me too that I sometimes use a first rate component without first bothering to check for any audible difference ...
Makes me feel happy though
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