Remarkable Capacitors in Pass Amplifers - diyAudio
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Old 12th August 2012, 02:04 AM   #1
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Default Remarkable Capacitors in Pass Amplifers

I cannot recall the article discussion but it was mentioned that Pass Labs amplifers employ a remarkable but "cheap" electrolytic capacitor in their amplifiers. Nothing in the Pass lineup is anything I would ever consider as having used the c word - and this isn't meant to sound elitist. There is much to be said about the remarkable XA 160.5's I've recently acquired. I've have VH teflon caps in a custom A/B amplifer that are nothing short of remarkable in their ability to reveal and bring out the raw emotion that connects us with the music we love. Yes, this type of cap is quite expensive as well as requiring a considerable break-in period, there's no question. The results, however, are well worth the wait.
Question - particularly for the folks as Pass - given the top quality of their gear, might these esoteric [teflon capacitors, for example] components ever be considered as an upgrade to their products? This writer is surely one who'd strongly opt for them.

I realize companies go through a process of vetting of cost vs. being marketable, I understand that, but I'd imaging their are some individuals who are particularly drawn to 'going the extra mile' when it comes to designing and building their audio systems. I also understand that a great many years of engineering, testing and long listening sessions are integral to product development.

P.S. If anyone has experience with break-in time of the above-mentioned Pass amplifer - approximately when the upper-end of their capability comes out of their shell, so to speak. Any data is greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much.

Scott
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Old 12th August 2012, 02:10 AM   #2
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Not 100% sure, but i don't think there are any caps in the signal path in the Pass amps. This is just a guess based on what little i know. If they are not in the signal path, I doubt there is much to be gained.
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Old 12th August 2012, 02:44 AM   #3
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Default Cap In Pass

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Originally Posted by buzzforb View Post
Not 100% sure, but i don't think there are any caps in the signal path in the Pass amps. This is just a guess based on what little i know. If they are not in the signal path, I doubt there is much to be gained.
Buzzforb,

Thanks very much for the quick reply. Yeah, I'd not considered that (lack of cap in signal path), and think I may recall having heard as much - I'm a forgetful sort. Any ideas on how long it may take, if ever, for the upper register of these animals may come out of hibernation?

Scott
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Old 12th August 2012, 03:37 AM   #4
jam is offline jam  United States
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Default All that glitters is not gold!

I have to disagree with your opinion on Teflon caps, sometimes the "designer cap is not the best cap for the job". Teflon is not God's gift to the audio world if it was everyone would be using them. The most important thing is the circuit and the synergy of the components used in it.

A designer has to use the best cap for the purpose and sonic properties desired an more often than not it is not the most expensive.

Take it from me that the good folks at Pass Labs have spent countless hours selecting components for their designs.

Jam
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Old 12th August 2012, 04:19 AM   #5
wayne is offline wayne  United States
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The 160.5 doesn't have electrolytics in the signal path. You might be thinking of Elna Silmics. We do use these in some places but not signal on 160.5.
These days we use custom made polypropylene caps but not in the amps.
Give the 160.5 a few days with music to come up to speed.
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Old 12th August 2012, 04:23 AM   #6
jam is offline jam  United States
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Just for grins...........

assuming a Pass Labs amplifier has an input impedance of 10k, what size Teflon cap would you need?
Lets be conservative and say 10uF. What do you think the size of 10uF Teflon would be/ (at what point dies a cap this size start turning into an antenna?).......Also what would be the cost of said capacitor be knowing a 1uF VH Teflon costs $450.00.

Just saying...........
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Old 12th August 2012, 04:27 AM   #7
jam is offline jam  United States
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Wayne,

I see you are up late again.......

Jam
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Old 12th August 2012, 04:30 AM   #8
6L6 is offline 6L6  United States
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A question I would ask is if a manufacturer of exotic capacitors could keep up with the production demands/quantities that Pass would require...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jam
Wayne, I see you are up late again...
Nah, it's only 9:30 on his side of the country. You are the one who's up late!!

Last edited by 6L6; 12th August 2012 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 12th August 2012, 04:53 PM   #9
jam is offline jam  United States
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6L6,

You got me there.............

Jam

P.S. So what is the deal with 6L6 (the tube I mean) ?
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Old 12th August 2012, 05:15 PM   #10
6L6 is offline 6L6  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jam View Post
P.S. So what is the deal with 6L6 (the tube I mean) ?
The tube has always had a bit of a mysterious aura for me, When I was young, I remember my father telling me of a good friend who was a Ham radio enthusiast, and how when the radio operators got ahold of somebody on the other side of the country or world, the conversation would always devolve to talking about each-other's radios... and he said it seemed that every radio made would have "a pair of 6L6's in the finals."

So it was the first tube I ever heard of, and that just stuck in my head. Seemed appropriate for an audioforum name.


These examples are really quite nice looking -

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