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arnoldc 5th February 2004 05:00 AM

Thorsten, what film capacitors do you use?
I googled the net for "film capacitors" and one site came up which is Electrocube.

On the page, it said "Standard AC & DC Film Capacitors by Electrocube" but in the list it says:

Metallized Polyester, Polyester Foil, Polystyrene Foil, Metallized Polycarbonate, Metallized Polypropylene, Polypropelene Foil

Does that mean any of these will fit your description of "film" capacitors?

arnoldc 5th February 2004 07:42 AM

geez, my subject line is so specific :smash: anybody can reply of course.

i am in the process of removing all electrolytics in one of my amp, reason for the question. i started with removing the electrolytics on the PSU and i think it sounded better. damn, i need a scope to "see" if it really did. :xeye:

TG 5th February 2004 09:00 AM

Best to worst: polystyrene, teflon, polypropylene.
Film is (usually) better than metallization.
Polyester sucks :D

Good luck

arnoldc 5th February 2004 09:13 AM

so film is a process?

polystyrene foil = film, metallized polystyrene <> film?

GeirW 5th February 2004 09:46 AM


i think it would be easier.. if you explain where you going to
use it/them.


EC8010 5th February 2004 10:21 AM

A capacitor primer
You're talking about capacitors. A capacitor is made of two conductive plates separated by an insulator known as the dielectric.

The relative permittivity of the dielectric multiplies the capacitance of the finished capacitor compared to air. Examples of Er:

Ceramic: 2 -100
Aluminium oxide (electrolytic capacitors): 7
Plastic films: 2 - 5
Air: 1

Dielectrics are not perfect insulators. Some are leakier than others. Best to worst: PTFE, polystyrene, polypropylene, polycarbonate, polyester, electrolytic, ceramic.

The conductive plates of the capacitor can be made of rigid metal sheet (as in an air-spaced variable capacitor), metal foil, or a thin metal coating can be sputtered onto the plastic film. Thinner plates allow the capacitor to be smaller for a given value, but raise the Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR). Low ESR often seems to sound better in coupling capacitors, and may be necessary in power supplies.

There are lots of other issues with capacitors. As a very crude generalisation, the smaller the volume for a given capacitance, the poorer the quality.

arnoldc 5th February 2004 01:40 PM

ec8010, thanks for the primer.

geirw, i will use them to get rid of electrolytics in my amplifier, from PSU to bypass.

i have a bunch of solens, electrocube, MKP, MKT, etc.

since capacitors affects the signal as they obviously are part of the circuit, and electrolytic is the least desirable, i was thinking of using, say the MKT or Electrocube polypropylene on the PSU, Solen PPE (metallized polypropylene) on the bypass and ultrapath.

any other combinations you have tried?

GeirW 5th February 2004 02:42 PM


of these you mention.. MPK on PSU sounds good..
as for bypass i would also chose solen of these..

but if you are shopping for something right now..
i assume Black Gate or Jensen would be perfect..
(if am not way off. Mundorf MCAPsupreme
also got some cap`s for this.)


thoriated 5th February 2004 11:31 PM

worst to best: ceramic, tantalum, electrolytic, mica, mylar, polycarbonate, polystyrene, polypropylene, teflon, foamed polypropylene, foamed teflon, air

Some of the above are not films, of course. Some ceramics and electrolytics can be really inaccurate in surprisingly 'appealing' ways, such as smearing over low level nasties in grungy source material or in the way they color the sound. Not sure why some people love polystyrenes so much. They've always sounded hot and grainy to me. Of course, polypropylenes tend to err in the opposite direction but not as much. Foils have always sounded better than films to me and solid leads more detailed (if not necessarily as balanced)than stranded, but I'll take the solid leads because it's easy enough to correct balance elsewhere. No capacitor with copperweld leads is worthy of serious audio use.

arnoldc 6th February 2004 01:08 AM

currently i've an all electrolytic amp (except for the coupling which is either Jensen or MIT RTX). i find it difficult to hear differences when i go from unknown electrolytic to nichicon muse to sprague atom to black gate, and the cost increment does not seem to justify. of course, there may have differences when measured.

and since many people, thorsten included, suggests using film caps instead of electrolytics, so i'd like to give it a shot.

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