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Old 24th May 2012, 06:03 PM   #1
Vostro is offline Vostro  South Africa
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Default Rate these Caps

I thought it could be useful to know which capacitors work better in audio signal path.

erm, No capacitor is best capacitor, with that said, if you need to use a capacitor and you might not have access to high quality audio grade capacitors, which capacitor would you use?

Rate the caps from 0-8,
0 being a capacitor that is totally not suited,
8 for great, Being premium grade.

Ive only added pics of caps that are common to me, but feel free to post pics of
capacitors that you would recommend others to use if they can source them.

Many in the audio biz would know this like old hat, but its nice to have a
reference for newbs like me.

eg. (A 1/8, B 2/8, C ...)

Looking forward to some relies.
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Last edited by Vostro; 24th May 2012 at 06:05 PM. Reason: added picture
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Old 24th May 2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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Why only to '8'? My cap ratings go to 100....
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Old 24th May 2012, 06:16 PM   #3
CBS240 is offline CBS240  United States
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It depends on what the use is, signal or compensation, butThese are not too bad for signal caps. I'd say 7.5. Polystyrene might have them beat, to an imperceptional degree but they are more impractical. COG type SMD caps are great for pf compensation duty. I'd say 7 for those for that purpose.
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Old 24th May 2012, 06:23 PM   #4
jaycee is offline jaycee  United Kingdom
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polyesters great for signal coupling but only in reasonable size packages eg wima mks2. polystyrene, polypropylene or silver mica for any sort of accurate filter. COG dielectric ceramics are fine for compensation and input filters
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Old 24th May 2012, 06:49 PM   #5
cihtog is offline cihtog  United States
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These are different types of caps, most of which are created for a specific purposes. Aside from comparing specs, specific models and/or brands, a generic "good, better, best", won't really work as a valid discussion.

All of the above can be "premium grade" in one application or the other, and the only thing that is "old hat", is the necessity to find out "why" they will or will not work well, on a case by case basis.

If you don't have access to the correct parts, which are normally cheaper by the dozen, then the legwork involved in choosing a valid "junk-box" replacement, is already less than that of researching through hundreds of correct options from a catalog.

Having said all of the above - it boils down to a type vs. type argument, and I've used them all with acceptable results, depending on the situation. A capacitor is just a capacitor, until it needs to do a specific task - all can do a few, but few can do them all.

There is no holy grail answer...
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Old 24th May 2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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I use regular disc ceramics for oscillation preventers on VAS and driver transistors and regular lytics or bipolar lytics for the feedback and bootstrap, and regular lytic, bipolar lytic or plastic capacitors for the input. Depends on whart i can dig up in 5 minutes from my boxes of parts.

Going fancy with those so called "audiophile" and "black gate" capacitors is just dumb and a waste of money.

And so called "audio Grade" capacitors are simply regular lytics sold at a higher price.

Last edited by Tekko; 24th May 2012 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 24th May 2012, 08:13 PM   #7
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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As the above suggests, you know nothing by looking at pictures. As an example Panasonic makes about 20 different electro's. Which are good for which use follows the consultants best answer: "It depends" About all I can say is I don't use X7R or Z5U in analog, but I use them in digital.
I will use poly pro as you just about can get poly stry. Mylar is lower on the scale, but beats an electro. DF, ESR, vibration, temp, voltage, failure modes, are all factors. Mica can be fine, but dry paper should have died 40 years ago. Also note, caps are not immune to conterfitting. I have bought polystyrene and tested it. It was just cheap mylar.
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Old 24th May 2012, 10:54 PM   #8
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For AC coupling, many here take a dim view of anything other than pp film caps and only suffer electrolytics for size reasons.
Still, the field is much simpler now. You only have the hundreds of varieties within those 2 types and their costs to consider.
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Old 25th May 2012, 12:40 AM   #9
benb is offline benb  United States
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I can speak from personal experience that item F makes a poor audio cap, but it makes a fair microphone.
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Old 25th May 2012, 03:36 PM   #10
Vostro is offline Vostro  South Africa
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I need to use a 2.2uf on input coupling on amplifier, size is limited,
Should I use A , B , or J, i can get all in 5mm pin space.
Many others require 25mm or more space.

Any benifet on using polarised A vs non Polarised B, or non polarised but small pakage poly cap J ?
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