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Old 29th March 2020, 04:50 PM   #1401
gentlevoice is offline gentlevoice  Denmark
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Best electrolytic capacitors
@analog_sa: I just took a look at Self's article and my memory was off: The measurements were not made on electrolytic capacitors but polyester capacitors (linear audio volume 1). Distortion drop was from 0,0008% to 0,0004%, and fell a bit more afterwards. Test time was 11.1 hours.


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Old 30th March 2020, 02:14 AM   #1402
TonyTecson is offline TonyTecson  Philippines
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Originally Posted by analog_sa View Post
Has anyone ever successfully measured break-in in capacitors? That would finally prove to subjectivists that measurements are useful and make objectivists eat humble pie

why? what for? if you want to break in your caps, go ahead and just do it....
if people react to you a certain way, it is not because of them but more because of you....
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Old 30th March 2020, 02:22 AM   #1403
BigE is offline BigE  Canada
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Originally Posted by analog_sa View Post
Me too. And although i am generally not a teflon fan - this includes cabling too - i find the ex-Soviet caps much worse than any other teflon caps. They just kill dynamics and tonality but also remove sharp edges and make low quality sources more palatable.
Did you take the steel cans off?
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Old 30th March 2020, 03:05 AM   #1404
ticknpop is offline ticknpop  Canada
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Caps can be audibley different in some cases where they are taxed, like speaker crossovers and maybe feedback networks but the audiophool belief that same spec caps are audibley different in most circuits is BS. If its true you should be able to prove it and explain the physics.[/QUOTE]

I don’t have to prove anything to you and who said everything could be explained by physics? Does chemical analysis explain the difference between Scotches, or a Picasso and Renoir painting of a woman? Matter of preference, budget, value, and hearing sensitivities. Save the money if you can't hear it, but don’t deride those who do and are willing to pay for it. The site is for sharing opinion, experience, and research.

My system is totally direct coupled discrete Class A jfet/fet fully balanced design up to the full range ESL. it does have 16 fet shunt regulators with Jung Super regulators as pre regulators , which use electrolytics. They use Monty McGuire’s suggestion for a servo opamp of very low noise. Heres the dac and line stage and thier power supplies, designed by Erno Borbely, boards by me, and assembly by Les Bordelon. Now show me something you’ve built that would convince me you could hear the difference.

Last edited by ticknpop; 30th March 2020 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 30th March 2020, 03:19 AM   #1405
asuslover is online now asuslover  Romania
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Impressive !
I do believe that caps sound different . Some people , including myself , don’t have good ears anymore, so I will not buy the most expensive caps because it will not make a very big difference and because I am cheap.

Last edited by asuslover; 30th March 2020 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 30th March 2020, 04:16 AM   #1406
Monte McGuire is offline Monte McGuire
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Originally Posted by gto127 View Post
To Monte Mc Guire-are you measuring these as signal or bypass caps? I always preferred the Nichicon es and muse series but I know why many may prefer the Similac II. The Similac II's I've bought tend to have quite a bit of capacitance over their rated value vs the Nichicons many hitting that 20% or above range. Many modern nichicons are right at or slightly under rated value. When used in bypass situations the extra capacatance may be perceived as better bass. If you are measuring signal caps many manufacturers use the Nichicon FW in the signal path and Use FG as bypass caps. It would be interesting to see what the FW's measure. Also are you burning caps in for several hundered hours? I know most sound different after a few hundred hours. Thanks for the measurements- have never seen them directly measured before..
I'm using the caps as bypass caps in which almost all of the circuit's output current is sourced through a pair of these caps, one for each power supply rail polarity. In doing so, there is ripple on the caps, and also potentially distortion from a nonlinear cap passing signal current from the rail to ground. So, the test was to bias the caps to 22V, which is the DC bias they would operate with, and then dump a lot of signal current into them and then examine the distortion that gets generated across the cap.

For my circuit, the nice thing is that capacitor distortion levels of -150dBV and the like, combined with even modest PSRR from a post-regulator and the subsequent amplifier, result in ridiculously low distortion in the actual circuit - none of the caps is anything close to problematic.

However, it became interesting to me that these caps do actually perform differently in an objective way, and that some may be cleaner than others. What was also surprising was that the audiophile caps actually measured better, so I thought it would be fun to see if the numbers follow any subjective rankings.

As for break-in, I did have to raise the DC bias slowly, just so I did not annoy the analyzer with a large voltage pulse on its input. However, I can't honestly tell you if things improve or not. Powering the cap up to 22V took a minute or so, and then I let it sit for a few more minutes, and then the tests themselves, which were FFTs with a lot of averages, probably took another 15 minutes to sweep over four signal drive levels. If aluminum electrolytics do improve, which I think will only happen subtly with freshly manufactured parts, then my measurements will be pessimistic, and that's OK for me since they all perform extraordinarily well for my circuit. Maybe they get better... maybe not?

I do know that a solid Tantalum will slowly continue to form over time, and for those applications, like the poster who was using a Ta coupling cap for a 0.1-10Hz low noise amplifier, the noise that a slowly forming Ta cap exhibits is irregular shot noise that hopefully decays to zero, but very slowly. As that poster said, some caps will not decay below some leakage (shot noise) level, so for that application, it is useful to spend a lot of time screening and forming one ideal coupling cap. But, for aluminum electrolytics, the forming mechanism isn't a shot noise phenomenon at all, and I feel that you can stay away from significant nonlinearities so as not to worry about forming at all.
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Old 30th March 2020, 04:22 AM   #1407
Monte McGuire is offline Monte McGuire
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ticknpop: that's some very pretty gear there!
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Old 30th March 2020, 12:28 PM   #1408
analog_sa is offline analog_sa  Europe
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Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Did you take the steel cans off?
I did, only on my caps those were aluminium. This exercise eventually provided me with quite a bit of teflon so i could make my own pF caps for a EAR834 phono clone
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Old 30th March 2020, 12:53 PM   #1409
diyiggy is offline diyiggy
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What is the behavior in frequencies between 20 hz to 20k hz of a decoupling cap ?

at iso voltage and capacitance measured with a good LCR bridge, is there two lytics, diferent model and-or brabd, with the same acurate self resonant frequency, esr, esl, leads thickness & both coper cored with tin, same lytic formula, case size ?

I have no doubt in a sensible circuit two diferent caps sound no the same while not knowing why !

What I can notice, without care too much :

- there is a consistency within a brand model about sound signature
- esr is far to be the only factor that matter while staying important one.
- there is an inconsitency at iso voltage & capacitance & iso esr between two caps models and-or brand
- I can ear it out of the box without break in & I purchase my caps new at Mouser-Farnell reliable distributors.

WHen I set-up a dac, amp, pre, playing with caps & resistors, I'm aware it's not changing 95% of the sound, but the 5% left can sometimes makes a significant diference enough in the whole electrical network of the hifi. I see it as an EQ to my personal tastes and hifi/room.

I always work when I have time to spent on caps game, with low voltages (no tubes gears) without soldering between two caps, and giving me several days between two caps with a same panel of musical material since 20 years now.

And indeed, I can notice a difference. I don't say this is mandatory, but as it's about trade offs and most of time gears are not perfect individually and even less in the hifi network, it just helps to EQ and cunterbalance the gears between each others to acheive the sound I like. And I often check with musician friends without saying I changed something, sometimes they notice it on a same material without I asked !

For illustration I have worked 3 years to improve a dac and setup it. all is hearable in my system ( a guy said me my hifi while being electrodynamic sounded near a panel acuracy ?! ) and I can testimony it's even possible to hear the type of solder : I had to go back from 4% Ag to normal in the output analog circuit because I could ear it ! A bad thing in the speaker filter certainly, but I could ear it !

So yes the caps can make a noticeable diference, now I find the method of measuring their distorsion is just 1% of the problem ! It says too little if nothing most of time with lytics and it's outside of context as measured raw ! Take an Ongaku amp and a little smps one, same V and W outputt in an ABX test, there is few chance the two amps can be sorted regarding their distorsion outputt patern ! OK, it's not about caps here, just to say distorsion and esr are most of time not enough to explain something. It's a beginning of a methodology not its end. Do you see often in the review an acurate measurement with two same caps measured at 1000 hz windows till 20 hz to 20 k hz for instance ? Never... you can see often one or two frequencies, in lytocs often 1 k hz and 10 k hz...

Sorry a bit long, not intended to open and re open the eternal cap can worm. But yes it's hearable, no it's not 95% of the whole result but just a little tool in the tool box if having time. According to me Silmic I & II and the oldest ones have all a different sounding effect at iso V & F specs. I don't like Silmic II but if I want to acheive & copensate in a particular situation. If N Pass talked about the Tonorek caps (after all he never talked about the silmic II in particular but just of the silked caps of the brand), they can give sometimes on SS this smooth signature of bad designed tubes amps while being indeed free of hearable distorsions. But a Nichicon but some specific ones (ES, KZ) acheive also something smooth yu may or may not like according the gear you tweak.

My point is people, magazine, some designers focus a lot on caps % distorsion because they can measure it, so it's an objective data for communication while most of time explaining nothing in real life context : I wonder if someone for instance has ever listen to a preamp without its inteconects, the amp & the speakers...oh the source as well ! I bet on the fact when I listen to music I eventually don't watch a scope screen

So why bother, just do what you want as far you're happy with it. The today paradigm is about distorsion and esr often when talking about caps and sound : it's not false and ok in the context of the paradigm, not false...just not enough for some, I don't bother anymore about the church I'm into here And often your own receips doesn't work in the hifi network of a friend (though some tweak may work 100% positive and very great enough) hifi network ! Sowhy discuss it yet

A bit long, just my point, YMMV as usual.
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