Upgrading Capacitors

Hi Everyone:


Not being a designer and only building kits designed by others, I have what is probably be a stupid question but as I don't know the answer I am hoping someone would educate me .


If a kit was designed using solen caps and the kits come with the option to upgrade the caps to lets say clarity or mundorf supremes, what do the upgrades get you? Do they change the sound? If so how? If not, what do more expensive capacitors do for you?





Thanks for your help.
 

diyiggy

Member
2019-01-16 12:22 am
Hi,

Imho, the Solens, a.k.a SCR caps have a relative higher ESR vs most of PP capacitors. Make it nearer than some good Polyester than a Mundorf Supreme or high End of Clarity caps But most of MKP having a higher ESR as frequencies increase towards the treble where they are in use. At 5000 and 10 000 K Hz a good MKT (Vishay Roe for illustration) may have 0.2 % of loss factor where a Audyn MKTR may be as high as 8%... smooth sound... sure the loss factor of some good smooth lytics are better at these frequencies !

So it may be an impovment or not. I surmise it may give a subtle loss in spl than using a Solen one can hear if in the so called presence area : more or less 1K Hz to 4-5 K hz... and perhaps too a subtle more tilting down spl as frequency increases ?! And also there are the rating voltage : SCR and Solen are 250/400 V rated most of the time while Mundorf and Clarity are more : 800/1000... slighty better loss factor in the second... Some golden ears as HumbleHomeMade Hifi seems to hear it as there is a concistency often in their choice : the higher the voltage of the cap, the better they found the sound and the price (psychoacoustic ?)...

You want a very low loss factor : increase the voltage of the PP or go for for tin foil from Solen/SCR (same factory) to hae something like an upgrade à la Mundorf/Clarity but both with more clarity and less smoothness-dark background than Mundorf.
You may also challenge the basic Solen PP with a smooth foil bipolar of Mundorf or Audyncap : 2.5 % loss factor at 1 K, or 5K or 10K ... or simply // two rough foils bipolar...
Notice the npe looses their qualities after some years (10/20/30 years, differs with the authors and of course the use of the speakers).


You can also try to bypass the Solen with a cheap 0.5 usd MKP 0.010 uF accordin some authors cause above it will change too much the behavior of the whole caps according some different authors.. :D
Better to putt your money in a better treble unit than more expensive caps (though it changes both the design and the filter !)

That's of course just my 2 cents, Mundorf high End price is too much High End price according to me. Mundorf The Evo in oil for a lower price may (or not) gives you something close than the very expensive Mundorf Supreme.

But frankly, how to know as no tweeter has a straight right spl curve and than everyone listen to same speakers but at different angles according the distance of their chair...;)
 
Last edited:

diyiggy

Member
2019-01-16 12:22 am
@ diyiggy

Will changing from a Solen to a Clarity or a Mundorf Supreme shift the crossover frequency in any significant manner?

@ Galu : Did I say "significant"? ;) , But it's a fact at reading the datashhet of Solens their loss factor is pretty bad vs most of the others MKP...

imho it's so subtle than maybe youngs can hear a difference because the loss factor, but as they listen crap & mp3 or turnables... well !

It's possible with some toppy tweeters the Solen can be an improvment over Mundorf ! But there is chance at buying a Duelund I just hear only a difference : my wallet yelling cause starving ! (short answer is certainly post 2, though I can hear difference with some tweeters and several caps but it doesn't correlate to the caps price being consistent with the result)
 
Last edited:

Galu

Member
2018-04-17 6:50 pm
what books you guys would suggest for a better insight as to the affects of cap's in an audio circuit ??
Do you require a book explaining the different types of capacitor and their different functions in audio circuits, or are you looking for a book which describes how different types of capacitor can change the 'sound' of an amplifier or other audio component?
 

diyiggy

Member
2019-01-16 12:22 am
Uh, I thought what I wrote was significant enough to claim the differences are not significant enough !

op should significantly save his monney to say it with less ESR ! The loss factor is certainly more the monney. If he wanted to, less monney will be imho to try tin foil polypro to compare in the same Solen brand what is the loss factor and if he can hear a difference, or also a lytic... But monney better spent in discs !:goodbad:
 

Tweet

Member
2015-01-29 6:33 am
For what it is worth, I have not found any significant differance between polypro capacitors to justify the price hike demanded for the exotic types out there. Graphene audio capacitors can't be too far off either, but what I have found through using Xsim that if the speaker cable resistance (loop resistance) increases significantly above 0.2 ohms the tweeter's response begins to rise.
This could possibly give the audible illusion of an improvement in clarity or 'airiness' in the upper registers, the same may be gained through the use of the treble tone control.


So if one is using Xsim to design the ultimate crossover for your loudspeaker include a little series resistance for the 'schematic cable' that intervenes between the amplifier and the crossover you are designing on screen.
That series resistance of the cable and the points of connection does make a very slight difference to the level of the higher frequencies, that said, is it worth the cost of 'exotic improvements' ?.....no, not really. Lower ESR in caps may help a little but keeping cable loop resistance to a low value is much cheaper and easier.


C.M
 
Yes, caps can make a difference in the sound of your speakers, but for most people it is of marginal 'improvement'. Do I believe it's of enough benefit to dump a lot of money on caps? It depends on the drivers and their cost whether I'll make that jump or not. I am a proponent of using the nicer parts without spending a lot of money, or using parts that sound better (like I want them to) without spending too much. It doesn't have to be a boutique brand to sound good.

Later,
Wolf
 

diyiggy

Member
2019-01-16 12:22 am
have also an monney free upgrade

Me has an economic technic :

1- toe in or toe out the speaker to change angle position where high frequencies are so sensible because of beaming (off axis spl is lower, walls play a role)

2- change also the angle by moving the chair forward or backward (spl & angle change)

3- change heigth of the ears with the axis of tweeter with a pilow (not on the head or the speaker) :

4- increase the speaker distance from the front wall and side walls - less boomy more hairy - more 2D or 3D


5 - try to correct the tweeter atenuation ultimatly if still too bright or to dull with the others technics : serie resistor value with the tweeter (caps esr value is more difficult as some construction may give different esr according the frequencies if your dog can hear it)


99.9% it's not about the devlopment ruled by knowledgeable professionals but the speakers according the listening position and the room. IMHO
 

Tweet

Member
2015-01-29 6:33 am
For what it is worth, I have not found any significant differance between polypro capacitors to justify the price hike demanded for the exotic types out there. Graphene audio capacitors can't be too far off either, but what I have found through using Xsim that if the speaker cable resistance (loop resistance) increases significantly above 0.2 ohms the tweeter's response begins to rise.
This could possibly give the audible illusion of an improvement in clarity or 'airiness' in the upper registers, the same may be gained through the use of the treble tone control.


So if one is using Xsim to design the ultimate crossover for your loudspeaker include a little series resistance for the 'schematic cable' that intervenes between the amplifier and the crossover you are designing on screen.
That series resistance of the cable and the points of connection does make a very slight difference to the level of the higher frequencies, that said, is it worth the cost of 'exotic improvements' ?.....no, not really. Lower ESR in caps may help a little but keeping cable loop resistance to a low value is much cheaper and easier.


C.M


Correction (typo)



For what it is worth, I have not found any significant differance between polypro capacitors to justify the price hike demanded for the exotic types out there. Graphene audio capacitors can't be too far off either, but what I have found through using Xsim that if the speaker cable resistance (loop resistance) increases significantly above 0.2 ohms the tweeter's response begins to fall.

C.M
 
I can only quote from my experience. I have built the Elsinore's featured elsewhere on this forum. The original cap I used in the HF part of the crossover was a Solen SCR cap and was perfectly happy with the performance. After reading quite a bit from people with far greater experience in the field of speaker design than myself I decided to change the Solen cap for a Jantzen Suprior Z cap. I really didn't expect there to be any difference but I was in for a quite a surprise. The HF was now much more fluid and subtle. Small detail was now very audible and overall the sound was much improved. I now had the pleasant task of listening to my music collection all over again. As I said, I can only go on my own experience but the expense (which wasn't that great) was well worth it.
 

Lojzek

Member
2012-02-10 12:12 pm
Croatia
hi there
been reading this post and was wondering what books you guys would suggest for a better insight as to the affects of cap's in an audio circuit ??

Books will not be of much help, unless you are seeking general knowledge on how they work and what is the formula for capacitive reactance.

Instead get an impedance measurement setup, make sure it's accurate and you will be able to get all the information you need.
 
Upgrade from elco's to film can be benificial (but you need to check everything because of the different ESR), but from one brand to an other, both filmcaps, the difference is so small that it's not worth the money. Solen is already very good for crossovers and i would not do that. It's just a waste of money.
 

diyiggy

Member
2019-01-16 12:22 am
When it comes to Polyester and Polypropylène in the high frequencies we are talking about, the loss factor is really different on the datasheets I read.
Polypro is pretty flat impedance in the ear frequency range. Not at all for a polyester, which may explain for some a difference at listening according a specific tweeter, perhaps I'm wrong, let say the difference is subtle but big enough to notice it.

But again while some non polar lytic can be worse than a MKT, they are at the same time nearer from each other vs a polypro.
BUT Smooth foil non polar lytics which have a much flater impedance in the audio range than MKT, and also lower at treble frequencies...
This should partialy explain the difference one can hear differences, as also the construction and cap technic assembly according some litteratures.
You can hear sometimes as said above the difference between two speaker cables which have a huge capacitive, resistive, difference. There is also the amp. So I will trust myself knowledgeable people as AllenB and very experienced ones when they say price of the cap is not directly coralate to an upgrade. One has to know the effect of the swapped cap in relation to the tweeter curve in its filter and speaker as suggest Wolf teeth member...
FWIT, Imho and YMMV...of course if I understood it, which may be or not..... s..t it was my dac and the reccording which were both bads ;) ...but on a psychological point of view, I'm feeling myself more powerfull and directive by buying an expensive cap...I'm feeling myself much more clever than buying a good source I can' NOT afford...yeah, often the sad reality, while there is a difference with two high end caps, it's in owner eyes...the gold letters on black or red cap suit... A little off topic, but psychological factor is also rulling as explained in post 3...

Should we sticky this thread to save time, monney and carbon ?