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Old 29th June 2006, 12:07 PM   #1
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Default Are SMD capacitors OK for audio?


Looking at the replacement of electrolytics in several second-hand amplifiers, I wonder whether surface-mount multilayer ceramic capacitors are a good replacement for a low-voltage tantalium where bias problems may occur (such as with C2 in a Quad 405).

The advantage is that they're small while large-capacity values are available.

Such capacitors are often used in digital (i.e., computing) circuits. From a noise and distortion perspective, are they OK for audio?

Thank you for your thoughts,

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Old 29th June 2006, 02:48 PM   #2
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Be aware that high-K dielectrics like Y5V and Z5U exhibit large changes of capacitance with changes of voltage and temperature.
I have a Mini-ITX based PC, which uses X5R dielectric capacitors as the output dc blocking caps on the built-in sound card. Distortion at high audio frequencies is low but the capacitors cause very considerable distortion on low-frequency signals.
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Old 29th June 2006, 03:34 PM   #3
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Large value SMT ceramics are also the most problematic when it comes to soldering... especially hand soldering... the big guys (over 0.1 uF) are fragile.

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