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Old 13th August 2013, 05:43 PM   #1
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Default Coupling caps suggestions

I am interested in upgrading the signal coupling caps in my old Magnavox EL84 amp and was wondering what are some of the brands you guys are using? I really like the Auricaps but their prices have really sky rocketed recently. Orange Drops are okay but wanted something a bit better.

What other brands are out there and where do you get yours from?
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Old 13th August 2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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Coupling caps as any other caps need not to be of a specific brand. Choose quality or dielectric material and electrical properties, not brand. Marketing are almost always in opposite direction to electrical characteristics. Any good film capacitor will do the job.
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Old 13th August 2013, 06:33 PM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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Look for high quality name-brand caps; so-called "audiophile" caps are a waste of money at best and severely compromised at worst. Polyprop dielectric, machine-made and mass produced are what you want. Panasonic, Wima, things like that.
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Old 13th August 2013, 06:40 PM   #4
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Obbligato Gold,

Is about the cheapest and quite good.
For an audio cap they are also in the smaller size.

Regards
M. Gregg
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Old 13th August 2013, 06:44 PM   #5
tomchr is offline tomchr  United States
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I second SY and Osvaldo's opinions above. I have no experience with the Obligato caps. Personally, I use caps with polypropylene dielectric for coupling caps as PP has very low dielectric absorption and low voltage coefficient, hence, won't cause distortion. If sized properly, I find that these types of caps are sonically transparent.

I tend to by the caps made by Solen as they have a wide selection of reasonably priced polypropylene caps. They're available from AES and the like places. The caps by Panasonic, Wima, CDE, are excellent as well. Look for caps that have low ESR (or low loss tangent).

~Tom
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Old 13th August 2013, 06:54 PM   #6
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"Audio grade capacitor" are usually the worst example of how to manufacture a capacitor. As many "audiophiles" like prominent bass notes without regards to middle and hig ones, deliberately make them with as high ESR they can, forming a low pass filter with the input and output circuit capacitances. Definitively avoid using them.
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Old 13th August 2013, 07:00 PM   #7
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I like Wima MKP10 caps. Low ESR and polypropylene dielectric. Besides the fact I've never heard them make any significant sonic difference compared to other (proper) PP caps, I prefer to work with them because of their radial connection, sturdy and PCB friendly housing, small footprint, and (for me at least) good price and availability (34 cents for 100nF 400V). They have never let me down, even after some serious abuse.

Last edited by funk1980; 13th August 2013 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 13th August 2013, 07:35 PM   #8
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Can someone educate me on what ESR means and how it affects frequency transmission? It sound like I should look for low ESR caps for small signals. What about for power supply filtering? Should I look for low ESR as well as high capacitance?
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Old 13th August 2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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It stands for Equivalent Series Resistance, gives an idea of how well or bad is a cap, the lower the ESR, the better the quality of it. It is a measure of the internal resistance of the foil windings. It is relationed with the heating inside the cap: given a RMS current in it, I, then IČ*ESR will give a power loss inside it, and then a overheating depending on the internal thermal resistance. It is known that as a capacitor becomes hot, it is defective.
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Old 13th August 2013, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockysDad View Post
Can someone educate me on what ESR means and how it affects frequency transmission? It sound like I should look for low ESR caps for small signals. What about for power supply filtering? Should I look for low ESR as well as high capacitance?
ESR means equivalent series resistance. Less is better. More ESR usually means higher distortion.
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