Solen 630v cap in series with tweeter?

Solen Caps

Sorry, the Solen polypropylene don't sound much better Mylars. This I have learned from experience.

The metalized caps, depending on vendors can sound sound
good to fair. The caps made by Solen fall in the fair catagory.

Look for these brands : TRT Infini Caps, MIT/Multi Caps, Hovlands, and Cresdo's. These are all good cap vendors. If you putting a cap in series with a tweeter you should use a metal foil polypropylene or ploystyrene. TRW and Sprague use to make good metalized polypropylene caps, the best ones to use were designed for high current applications.

The French make the Solen and they cut some corners, using a thinner flim which causes the impulse and DA to worsen. That why their caps are cheaper.
 
At work we use silvered mica caps in some of the power supplies we make. The specs on these are almost unbelievable. They have the lowest losses and lowest series inductance and highest HF current rating I have ever seen. I think that on paper at least, they would make the ideal crossover cap. They don't come in large sizes; about 100nF max so you would need to parallel a few.
http://www.cornell-dubilier.com/mica/mica.htm

GP.
 

Brett

Member
2002-01-07 6:02 pm
Circlotron

Do you have a source and an indication of prices for these in Oz? Last silver mica's I saw listed anywhere were of the "so bloody expensive I can hardly beleive it" type.

I'd also like to try some in amps, as they seem to have a very polarised following in the 'phile community. I want to hear for myself.

<b>bbaker6212</b>

As to Solens: they are cheap and very good for the money. I don't agree with the posting above at all that polyesters are better. Try using Solens and try other brands later when/if you get the budget or interest.
The Audyns are what I use, and the metalised ones are very nice. The film/foils are a bit better, but are several times the price.

The higher voltage versions aren't neccessary: 100W into 8R is only 80 Vp-p, and that would vapourise most tweets. If there's a 250V version a bit cheaper go for it.

Cheers
Brett
 
Film Caps

Brett,

I stand by what I said about the SOLEN polypropylene caps, they are just a little better than good Mylars. The reason I know this is because I have used and tested these caps.

What person can do is 80/20 split that what I've done on mid range speakers. I have a design that uses 100uf so 80uf are the high 600v Solens which I do feel sound better than the lower voltage caps and 20uf are Foil polypropylene Cresedo's purchase at North Creek Audio. This is almost as good as using a 100% foil
polypropylene and much cheaper.

Mica are very good caps also, however you can't get them in large
values and they are expensive. Anyway, their your speakers and it's your choice, I've just been down the road before. Now I've spent more money trying to save money.

Have check the prices at Michael Percy Audio @ 415-669-7181
he a good source for most of these caps and his prices are good.

Infact I will send you my old SOLEN caps for free, if you send me a
small box with your return address and the stamps or postage. Let me know the values you need.
 
Film Caps

Brett,

I stand by what I said about the SOLEN polypropylene caps, they are just a little better than good Mylars. The reason I know this is because I have used and tested these caps.

What person can do is 80/20 split that what I've done on mid range speakers. I have a design that uses 100uf so 80uf are the high 600v Solens which I do feel sound better than the lower voltage caps and 20uf are Foil polypropylene Cresedo's purchase at North Creek Audio. This is also as good as using a 100% foil
polypropylene and much cheaper.

Mica are very good caps also, however you can't get them in large
values and they are expensive. Anyway, their your speakers and it's your choice, I've just been down the road before. Now I've spent more money trying to save money.

Have check the prices at Michael Percy Audio @ 415-669-7181
he a good source for most of these caps and his prices are good.
 

CHRIS8

Disabled Account
2001-12-12 8:47 am
VA, USA
The huge differences that many claim between film caps is absurd IMO. Also, the descriptions I hear sound suspicously similar to the same claims made of 'special' speaker cables, etc.

Frankly, I have tested various mylar(polyester), metallized poly, and film/foil poly devices now. I for one, 'THINK' i might hear a difference between a film/foil and metallized foil but I am not really sure I can. Nor can I be sure unless a controlled blind test is peformed personally. Subjective evaluations are quite useless in most cases, especially with components with such potentially similar characteristics. IF their is indeed an audible differnce, it is so minute that it is not even an issue IMHO. Perhaps if you have pockets full of money with absolutely nothing else left to improve upon, then maybe film/foils would be a viable option. But I find metallized poly to be perfectly suitable, and in budget appz mylar is perfectly suitable.

Of course, if your someone who can *hear( see definition of imagine ) different poly caps easily then I would also recommend you be sure to purchase or make 'special' speaker cable to wire the speakers. I wouldn't want you to compromise your design. Haha.

-Chris
 
Given how good my Hammer Dynamics speakers sound with the cheap crossover components it came with (Bennic caps, cheap low guage coils, small-cheap 1/2W resistors, I'm gonna go at this in a step-wise fasion. First, I'm going to replace all the resistors with non-inductive wire-wounds and the coils with Solen "perfect-lay" Hepaliz. The former will be done because it's not very expensive. The latter was reported to have the most dramatic improvement - which IMO is not surprising given that the in-series coils are the single longest component in the signal path in the WHOLE system. Then after that, I will be upgading the caps one section at a time to see if I can hear improvements.

I'll report my findings - but it may be a while.
 

CHRIS8

Disabled Account
2001-12-12 8:47 am
VA, USA
"Then after that, I will be upgading the caps one section at a time to see if I can hear improvements."

Good luck. However, even small tolerance differences in capacitance, etc. CAN make an audible difference, as well as psychological factors that will make these subjective tests quite useless for accurate comparisons. True with any comparison of similar items/compenents/etc. At minimum, a single blind test with switched versions of the components and a friend to help, matched to very close tolererances(min. 1%) could at least provide somewhat useful data for your own use. I would take measurements of both circuits to insure 0.1db matching through the subjective band you are changing the caps in before beginning the test also.

-Chris
 

MRehorst

Member
2002-05-17 8:48 pm
Finally, some common sense

CHRIS8 said:
"Then after that, I will be upgading the caps one section at a time to see if I can hear improvements."

Good luck. However, even small tolerance differences in capacitance, etc. CAN make an audible difference, as well as psychological factors that will make these subjective tests quite useless for accurate comparisons. True with any comparison of similar items/compenents/etc. <snip!>
-Chris

So many people pour so much time, energy, and money into tweeks and never stop to think about the PROCESS of improving their systems. The most economical way to fix problems/make improvements is to start where you get the most bang for your buck. Moving your speakers and furniture around has BIG effect and costs nothing but time. Swapping caps is way down the list and should be tried only after absolutely everything else has been done.

Then there's the evaluation methodology- the differences in frequency and transient response wrought by movement of the relative positions of the speakers and listener are not only clearly audible, but measurable. If you swap caps, how will you know if there is an improvement (or even a difference)? Any changes will be so subtle that you will have to rely on statistical methods to identify any changes. That means setting up elaborate tests where you swap caps in and out multiple times. How can you do this? At what cost?

Ever hear of the J.C. Whitney effect? It applies to audio stuff, too.

MR
 
Obviously there is a difference in sound based upon component choices. Otherwise, all speakers regardless of price would use the same parts (the cheapest ones) and designing and tuning/voicing a crossover would be easy. You don't need to run any tests or quantify anything. Just listen - not for a few seconds or minutes in a blind A/B test - but listen extensively with different types of music. If it sounds better (to you) then it is better. Such is the art of voicing a component, be it an amp, speakers, whatever.

Btw, I have read multiple accounts of emmediately apparent percieved differences in sound by just swapping caps in a component for the same value of Auricap capacitors.
So everyone is just imagining the difference huh? Even renowned amp designers? I highly doubt it.
 

CHRIS8

Disabled Account
2001-12-12 8:47 am
VA, USA
"You don't need to run any tests or quantify anything. Just listen - not for a few seconds or minutes in a blind A/B test "

Very true. If you have no use for unbiased results, why worry about little things like controls.

"If it sounds better (to you) then it is better"

If your purpose is not to be objective this is absolutely correct.

"I have read multiple accounts of emmediately apparent percieved differences in sound by just swapping caps - So everyone is just imagining the difference huh? Even renowned amp designers? "

No one is immune from bias. If their observations were purely subjective then their findings are of no value to anyone excpet themselves, and even that is debatable. That IS the purpose of controlled testing. Of course, subjective evaluation does have some important roles, example is judging final voicing of a design, if euphoric sound reproduction is the goal. Of course, regardless when discussing specific components with such small differences, such as film caps, cables, etc. then only controlled testing can yeild valid data. I don't even know why I'm repeating what I have alreay said above. I must be bored.

-Chris
 
Well maybe we just don't agree on what's important.
What I'm saying is that I don't care about being unbiased.
As long as it sounds good to me, that's all that matters.
Now if someone is designing a speaker to sell to the masses,
then yes, you should run some tests with various other
listeners. But I'm not doing that, thankfully. That would
be way more work!

I'd rather spend a few extra bucks (if needed) and get what sounds good to me than spend allot of time trying to make accurate and
unbiased tests.
 

MRehorst

Member
2002-05-17 8:48 pm
bbaker6212 said:
<snip>Btw, I have read multiple accounts of emmediately apparent percieved differences in sound by just swapping caps in a component for the same value of Auricap capacitors.
So everyone is just imagining the difference huh? Even renowned amp designers? I highly doubt it.

Large numbers of believers does not make something true, regardless of who the believers are. Fortunately for the advertising industry and the government, a lot of people can't seem to grasp this simple concept.

If someone changes the caps in an amp/speaker expecting to hear some difference, he will probably hear a difference whether or not there actually is one. If he expects improvement, he will hear it. If he expects degradation, he will hear it. Expectations bias the outcome. PSYCH 101, day 1.

This debate has gone on since people have had brains to argue with and we're not going to solve it here. If you have the money and time to spend in pursuit of some ideal that exists in your mind, then by all means go for it.

MR
 

Brett

Member
2002-01-07 6:02 pm
<b>If someone changes the caps in an amp/speaker expecting to hear some difference, he will probably hear a difference whether or not there actually is one. If he expects improvement, he will hear it. If he expects degradation, he will hear it. Expectations bias the outcome. PSYCH 101, day 1.</b>

Absolutely. But so does peering at a meter and having it tell you that some parameter, which <i>may or may not</i> actually make a sonic difference, will produce the same result.

The limitation with DBT and ABX is, that differences only are apparent in these methods, not neccessarily improvements, and that the test and proceedures may, in and of themselves, introduce enough error due to engineering or psychological errors, to render the results useless. Sometimes subtleties are not always apparent at first glance. Have you not ever met a person you didn't like for some reason initially, and yet extended contact brought out other aspects of them that were not immediately apparent, which you appreciated more with time? And vice-versa. So it is too, with equiptment.

As I listen to more people's systems, and communicate with them more, I'm seeing more clearly just how differently we all hear from each other, and how different all our individual biasses are. No one is immune to bias, and so long as our biasses and preferences are not harmful to us, why get all hung up about what someone else likes?

What seems to me is missing here is a middle way. My background is EE and psychotherapy, and my comments on what <b>I hear</b> something sound like are based <b>my</b> experience. And of course my biasses. However, part of the fun in DIY especially is that you can experiment, and God forbid, make a mistake and change it realtively easily and cheaply. I will change components in, listen for a while. Sometimes I <i>know</i> they are right, sometimes not. If I feel the need or desire to try something different, even the original component. I trust my instinct and experience, and don't give a rat's toss what anyone else thinks. The goal of my system is to bring me pleasure through the music, and if that comes through a system that measures badly, stiff. I would rather be sitting on my couch awestruck at the beauty of Alison Krauss' voice through the "poor" system than one "technically" perfect, that leaves me cold.

Secondarily, for me, it's a fun engineering project. For much of my working life, I've had access to lots of nice test gear, and used it, much to the chagrin of my employers. HP spec-ans, Tek TDR's were my tools at work (until my recent move) and I'm usually curious enough to want to know why something is different. Can we measure the change to help with pushing the performance envelope? Yes, THD, IMD, SNR etc can be measured, but as the <i>listener</i> is a huge part of the equation, how do you measure them or their responses reliably? Music is a HUMAN <b>experience</b>, and human beings are messy creatures, not easily able to be described, defined or categorised.

I think many people also get hung up on the idea of a "monitor" (absolutely must have perfect reproduction of everything on the source) system as their stereo. absolutely must have perfect reproduction of everything on the source. From my experience in recording, reinforcement, broadcasting and production, a monitor is a tool. It is meant to render everything glaringly apparent, and a good one will, and help you to correct, or even shape the sound to the desired result. Doesn't mean it's gonna be pleasant to listen to though, and that I'm going to want to sit and listen to disc after disc through it, for pleasure. If "technically best" fails to touch my heart, then it fails.

<b>This debate has gone on since people have had brains to argue with and we're not going to solve it here. If you have the money and time to spend in pursuit of some ideal that exists in your mind, then by all means go for it.</b>

Yes again. But if you understand and accept that you cannot possibly, ever, acheive an ideal, you can have lots of fun with the <i>process</i>. And you never know, you might learn something about yourself too.

Peace to all.
 
Changing the Cap

Some people just should not spend their time or money on high performance components or stuff. If your system is not that good don't waist your time on foil caps. You'll get more out of improving the front end or source of your systems.

Of course you may thinks all DAC, AMP Speaker, Resistor, Tubes, designs and their implementation are much the same. If that is your mind set then all you'll need is a Bose Wave Radio, Chevy to get to work and furniture made from particle board. However if you want something better it going to cost more.

The fact is their are may different types of caps for many different types of applications and price points. Just as in high performance cars, planes, and audio the best parts cost more. Also, a caps performance can be measured at the bench before it goes into the design. However, most of you don't have the resources or the equipment to do this. What I recommend is that you get some reading material on caps specification so you can make and informed decision. You might even be very happy with a mylar cap till you replace it with a metalized PP and you will be happy with that till you switch to the Foil and Film PP.

The important specifications for caps are (DF) dissipation Factor, (Q) Quality Factor and (ESR) Equivalent Series Resistance, Leakage or insulation losses and (Rda) Dielectric Losses and Metal Losses in leads and plate terminations.
.
 

CHRIS8

Disabled Account
2001-12-12 8:47 am
VA, USA
"Some people just should not spend their time or money on high performance components or stuff. "

Yes. Especially you should not spend money on improvements that don't actually improve the target paramater.

"However if you want something better it going to cost more."

OH....everything that costs more MUST be better? In YOUR imagination....maybe. In reality....NO.

"The important specifications for caps are (DF) dissipation Factor, (Q) Quality Factor and (ESR) Equivalent Series Resistance, Leakage or insulation losses and (Rda) Dielectric Losses and Metal Losses in leads and plate terminations"

Can you MEASURE better in areas that have already exceeded audible threshold ? Yes. Will improving performance in areas already exceeding audiblity result in an audibile improvement? No.

How do you determine a benchmark of audible thresholds? Hmmmmm.....I wonder.

-Chris
 
enough already

OK I'm done arguing about this. I know as many know, that different interconnects sound different, as do different tubes, as do speaker wires, as do output tranformers, as do coils, caps, etc. I don't need blind A/B tests ore any fancy measurements to tell me that. I can hear it, and I know I'm not imagining it. There are many audio components that measure terrible yet sound great (at least to a large subset of people) given the right application (ie system synergy). The most glaring example of this is Lowther speakers and other full-range drivers. If you judge them merely by their response curve, you'd say they can't sound good - but they do! Granted some may say they sound overly bright, but there is no denying their level of impact, detail, coherency, and realism. They haven't been in business since the 50 or 60's because they make a bad sounding product. And people are not imagining that they sound good... they just sound good.

Maybe that's the problem with measurements. You are restricting the parameters you are judging the system on to only those which you feel are important - which is a bias, no?
How do you measure the coherency of a single full-range driver and it's effect on how you percieve the sound? It would be difficult if you could do it, and then why not just do it the easy and cheap way... trust your ears and listen to it!

OK maybe I'm not done arguing :)