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Old 18th September 2014, 01:56 AM   #1
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Default tantalum and small capacitors

Hey guys,

I have serviced a few amps for myself now, but I was asking myself 2 things.

I know tantalum capacitors are not the best and it is better to replace them with electrolyte ones. But is it really necessarry for the safety of your amp (like are they likely to malfunction??)

And I always replace all tantalum,PIO and electolyte caps, but somebody told me that if you forget the reeaaally small ones (like 0.015uf) it's not a problem?
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Old 18th September 2014, 02:16 AM   #2
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speeddragon View Post

I know tantalum capacitors are not the best and it is better to replace them with electrolyte ones. But is it really necessary for the safety of your amp (like are they likely to malfunction??) And I always replace all tantalum,PIO and electolyte caps, but somebody told me that if you forget the reeaaally small ones (like 0.015uf) it's not a problem?
My experience with tantalums is not good, with high failure rates. I'd never use them for any reason.
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Old 18th September 2014, 02:17 PM   #3
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caps under 10 uf, you can use plastic film these days. It is much smaller than it used to be. They have proved to have very long life, with my 1964 and 1967 organs having hundreds of them that don't need replacing. Output transistor shorts in power amps can cause excessive voltage to run back through the system, so low voltage plastic caps stressed by overvoltage should be checked like everything else.
If a tantalum was used for its extreme speed, you can parallel a smaller value plastic cap and a ceramic disk cap, preferably CPO grade for stable capacitance. However, I find Hammond mostly used tantalum for its small size and low cost. As 6 out of 8 failed in two to five years, it was a bad choice. The replacement electrolytic caps have dates 2 to 5 years after the two organs were shipped.
When I like a consumer audio product enough to upgrade it, I replace all electrolytic and tantalum caps over twenty years old. The stuff I work on is too old to have PIO caps.
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Last edited by indianajo; 18th September 2014 at 02:20 PM.
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