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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Original electrolytic caps better than new upgraded polypropylene caps
Original electrolytic caps better than new upgraded polypropylene caps
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Old 22nd November 2015, 07:58 PM   #1
koko48 is offline koko48  United Kingdom
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Default Original electrolytic caps better than new upgraded polypropylene caps

I have just upgraded the original Bennic Bi-Polar electrolytic capacitors to Solen SCR MKP polypropylene capacitors in my speaker crossover.
I much prefer the original Bennic electrolytic capacitors as it has a more balance, detail, natural sound compared to the Solen SCR!
The SCR Solen has a darker, thicker, heavier, less natural sound (very disappointed)
Audio grade Polypropylene capacitor is supposed to be better sounding than a cheap electrolytic?
Anyone with similar experience?
I don't want to be spending silly money on exotic boutique capacitors!
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Old 22nd November 2015, 08:30 PM   #2
wintermute is offline wintermute  Australia
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Original electrolytic caps better than new upgraded polypropylene caps
There are a few possibilities here. One major difference between electrolitics and film caps is their ESR, electrlitics have higher ESR tnan film caps do. This extra resistance can drop the level somewhat when in series, and can also add damping which can stop resonant peaks at certain frequencies. If the original crossover factored this ESR into the desigh, you may need to add some series resistance in line with the mew film caps to get things back to the way they should be.

The other possibility is that the old caps were out of spec (dried out) and that you have gotten used to the sound. Now you have new caps that are in spec the sound has changed (and may in fact be more accurate) but because it is not what you are used to it doesn't sound right.

Quite possibly it is a combination of the two above factors

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Old 22nd November 2015, 08:52 PM   #3
koko48 is offline koko48  United Kingdom
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Don't think the electrolytic capacitors are dried out as the speakers are just under 4 years old!
The electrolytic caps also has a faster bass, better transient, more free flowing lucid sound.
The only advantage with the Solen SCR, it has a bit more control and dynamic, goes louder when the volume is whacked up and nothing else. (very fatiguing sound)
I think I just stick with the original electrolytic and bin the Solen SCR!

Last edited by koko48; 22nd November 2015 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Correct punctuation
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Old 22nd November 2015, 10:53 PM   #4
Mr Jeff 7 is offline Mr Jeff 7  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koko48 View Post
I have just upgraded the original Bennic Bi-Polar electrolytic capacitors to Solen SCR MKP polypropylene capacitors in my speaker crossover.
I much prefer the original Bennic electrolytic capacitors as it has a more balance, detail, natural sound compared to the Solen SCR!
The SCR Solen has a darker, thicker, heavier, less natural sound (very disappointed)
Audio grade Polypropylene capacitor is supposed to be better sounding than a cheap electrolytic?
Anyone with similar experience?
I don't want to be spending silly money on exotic boutique capacitors!
I agree That's how my Dynaudio audience sounded do to them using the Solen caps (ugh) . I would not give up on the idea of changing caps out and redefining the sounded to a higher level all the way around. It worked for me in my dad's old Sanusi speakers from ( eraser caps to Dayton audio caps) It's a night and day differents. So I would start off slow and buy the midrange priced Janzen audio caps . Buy 2 and start with the tweeters. Leave the old cap in one speaker and put the new cap on the other speaker. The let it burn in and test it. If it doesn't work then. At least you tried twice. If I can help let me know. Good luck. Jeff

P.s. To be fair to solen. They have come out with better more hi end caps? I would email them and tell them about what's going on with your speakers ( driver types and tweeter types ) that's if you don't like my idea up top. Jeff

Last edited by Mr Jeff 7; 22nd November 2015 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 22nd November 2015, 10:58 PM   #5
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Original electrolytic caps better than new upgraded polypropylene caps
As film capacitors go in XO use the Solen SCR is my least favorite, Clarity SA and ESA have generally performed better, but some series resistance may be required to compensate for the original bipolar el cap's ESR. Some Russian mil surplus caps in hermetic square/rectangular metal cans are quite nice. Do a bit of digging for suitable types here.
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Old 22nd November 2015, 11:07 PM   #6
Mr Jeff 7 is offline Mr Jeff 7  United States
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Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
As film capacitors go in XO use the Solen SCR is my least favorite, Clarity SA and ESA have generally performed better, but some series resistance may be required to compensate for the original bipolar el cap's ESR. Some Russian mil surplus caps in hermetic square/rectangular metal cans are quite nice. Do a bit of digging for suitable types here.
I agree. Keep digging buddy and researching. I had that happen to me the first time I switched my caps out. So I did buy thebbrand Audio caps over 10 years ago ( I mean my mom bought them for my project ) and they are the best around caps I have used so far. Jeff

Last edited by Mr Jeff 7; 22nd November 2015 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 22nd November 2015, 11:51 PM   #7
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
Clarity SA and ESA have generally performed better,
Had good results here.

Contrary to popular writings, I've had more issues with films than electrolytics (more often and more significant issues). More often in amps and source components though which is a different story. Electrolytics used with tweeters don't necessarily give tragic results.

It is easy enough to show simple non-linearities in capacitors, especially electrolytics. The other issue is resonances. Non-linearities are probably less of a concern at the speaker end of a system.
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Old 23rd November 2015, 12:01 AM   #8
oldmanaudio is offline oldmanaudio  United States
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I tend to use poly caps only in the tweeter circuit and the midrange on three ways. Try going back to the electrolytic on the woofer circuit. The caps in the low pass section can be larger and it keeps costs down. Also the signal going to the woofer does not go through the cap.
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Old 23rd November 2015, 12:28 AM   #9
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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Original electrolytic caps better than new upgraded polypropylene caps
it might be interesting to make an equvialent charge coupled electrolytic crossover
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Old 23rd November 2015, 12:45 AM   #10
ClaveFremen is offline ClaveFremen  Italy
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Original electrolytic caps better than new upgraded polypropylene caps
Quote:
Originally Posted by koko48 View Post
I much prefer the original Bennic electrolytic capacitors as it has a more balance, detail, natural sound compared to the Solen SCR!
(...)
Anyone with similar experience?
I don't want to be spending silly money on exotic boutique capacitors!
As Wintermute already pointed out the problem is likely to be the ESR difference.

It's particularly important for caps in parallel to drivers.

A nice upgrade from Bennics with reasonable prices (less than one pound each) are the Mundorf's ECap AC bipolar electrolytic (PLAIN version).

Those Mundorf have an unetched foil which should greatly reduce distortion compared to regular etched foil and being electrolytic ESR difference is minimal.

I've used them to replace various film caps in my crossover (previously 'upgraded' with those film caps) with great results.

The only film cap that I left in is the Mundorf Supreme in series with the tweeter, a worthwhile upgrade, IMHO, and not too much outrageous in cost.
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Last edited by ClaveFremen; 23rd November 2015 at 12:48 AM.
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