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Old 21st September 2005, 01:19 PM   #1
klitgt is offline klitgt  Denmark
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Default Capacitor sound quality, silver mica in particular

Inspired by member henkel
Resistor Sound Quality?
I want to ask those who know something about caps for signal coupling.

Do any of you have experience with silver mica in any applications where they perform better than film caps in the signal path?

I have heard that silver mica are the best for signal coupling, better than all the rest (all types of film or foil or paper in oil).
The problem is that they do not come in larger values than 0,1uF (100nF) and they are very expensive, and large!

So they are only a possibility in active filters and RIAA where you only need small capacitor values.
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Old 21st September 2005, 07:07 PM   #2
Zombie is offline Zombie  Sweden
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Hello!
Try contacting Gintaras at www.kwtubes.com or at his eBay shop "kwtubes".
He used to have some huges silver micas to reasonable prices. A friendly and honest guy too...
Cheers
tom
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Old 21st September 2005, 07:21 PM   #3
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Check this post rearding silver mica sound: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...664#post262664
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Old 22nd September 2005, 12:22 PM   #4
klitgt is offline klitgt  Denmark
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Daniel
Check this post rearding silver mica sound: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...664#post262664

Peter, as I read the thread it is about silver mica in RIAA equalising.
Here they are in the feedback loop and not in the direct signal path as in an active crossover like the one attached. Will this do a difference, or what do you belive?
The signal wil pass directly through caps CH.
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Old 22nd September 2005, 01:41 PM   #5
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It doesn't really make much difference where they are located, the effect will be more or less very similar in a direct signal path.

I tried them briefly in speaker crossover, and had same impresssions.
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Old 22nd September 2005, 02:39 PM   #6
henkel is offline henkel  Malaysia
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Default Re: Capacitor sound quality, silver mica in particular

Quote:
Originally posted by klitgt
Inspired by member henkel
Resistor Sound Quality?
I want to ask those who know something about caps for signal coupling.

Do any of you have experience with silver mica in any applications where they perform better than film caps in the signal path?

I have heard that silver mica are the best for signal coupling, better than all the rest (all types of film or foil or paper in oil).
The problem is that they do not come in larger values than 0,1uF (100nF) and they are very expensive, and large!

So they are only a possibility in active filters and RIAA where you only need small capacitor values.

I feel so warm all over!

Like yourself, I was awed and greatly inspired by the great people in this web site, especially Nelson Pass for sharing his ideas.
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Old 22nd September 2005, 02:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Capacitor sound quality, silver mica in particular

Konnichiwa,

Quote:
Originally posted by klitgt
Do any of you have experience with silver mica in any applications where they perform better than film caps in the signal path?
Yes, in my own applications I find Silver/Mica capacitors superior to anything else.

However, my applications usually have several 100V across the capacitor, which is VITALLY important.

Any plastic material will be subject to a number of issues from being an electrostatic speaker to being a capacitor microphone. These issues become more crucial as the voltages go up but coupled levels stay the same.

The essential monolithic construction of silver/mica types simply does not allow any of this to happen. Also, Mica, unlike any other dielectric has certain interesting "secondary" properties, which contribute (cannot really say more here).

So there are applications where silver mica capacitors rule, but they usually involve significant DC Voltage gradients across the capacitor. Without DC you may find Polystyrene and/or teflon better.

Sayonara
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Old 22nd September 2005, 04:03 PM   #8
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I think that ANY cap works better with lots of DC across it. Think about how several volts AC, with very little DC, on a cap in a typical amp FB network is going to sound. Or RIAA network. Less AC, but about the same amount of DC.

But as for SM caps..............

Nelson likes them. Paul McGowan likes them. Phred hates them. His thoughts are similar to J. Carr's. They are stable parts, but perhaps without the right DC:AC ratio, they may not sound right on your application.

Jocko
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Old 22nd September 2005, 04:11 PM   #9
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Konnichiwa,

Quote:
Originally posted by Jocko Homo
I think that ANY cap works better with lots of DC across it.
Yes and no.

I agree, I always like several time the AC levels worth of DC across capacitors, but fairly loosely rolled plastic cap's (eg. most "audiophile" types and electrolytics) tend to become rather effective capacitor microphones as the voltage goes up.

The only ones immune are stacked ceramic using a non piezoelectric ceramic, stacked film types (shame Siemens/Epcos x'ed the polycarbonat ones!) and stacked silver mica (rolled silver mica are as bad as rolled film, in experience) or Micamold.

So, where voltages are low and signal levels high rolled film may very well do better than silver mica.

Sayonara
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Old 22nd September 2005, 04:17 PM   #10
slawney is offline slawney  Germany
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Silver mica capacitors will soon be availale in sizes up to 6.8uF (!), see:

http://www.thel-audioworld.de/bautei...mmX/glimmx.htm

The stuff of many peoples dreams. But the prices bring you back to earth.
I have used silver micas in feedback locations in an RIAA filter with two active op amp stages. They were better than polyester, but teflons were much better than silver mica. I could not say that I heard particles in the air, just the sound was unnatural. Other applications lead me to conclude with Kuei: they are better in applications with larger DC voltages.
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