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Kwh56 1st January 2015 06:44 PM

Coupling Cap Placement
 
I have a tube pre-amp and power amp and want to experiment with different coupling caps. What has the most impact on sound, changing
the power amp caps or pre-amp caps? Should one piece of equipment have a high quality neutral sounding cap and experiment with different caps in the other or should you change to the same cap the entire signal path? Right now I am using Audiocap Thetas in both.

Jeff Glowacki 3rd January 2015 04:09 AM

Quote:

I have a tube pre-amp and power amp and want to experiment with different coupling caps. What has the most impact on sound, changing the power amp caps or pre-amp caps?
My apologies for the late reply. Often, I'm asked questions that take up no more than a paragraph, but require a small book for a professional reply. However, these are very good questions. Most likely, the preamp output coupling position will have the most impact.

Quote:

Should one piece of equipment have a high quality neutral sounding cap and experiment with different caps in the other or should you change to the same cap the entire signal path?
No/No. I have never heard a neutral sounding cap. The design along with various different brands of passive components heavily influence the sonic character of your equipment. Generally, a runner buys running shoes. A hiker...hiking shoes. The strengths, and weaknesses, will certainly determine the seasoning necessary, and of course, the accounting for taste. Hopefully you can do better than you suggest. Hopefully, you find a professional to prescribe/suggest a capacitor that best fits the sonic character of your equipment with a desired result based on your taste. I'm not trying to imply that you would be throwing your money away experimenting with other caps, but you will certainly be "buying" an education. Many of my customers do not feel that this is an education that they would like to purchase. ;) Rarely have I found optimal sound by using the same cap for all the coupling positions in the system.

Quote:

Right now I am using Audiocap Thetas in both.
The Theta is a good capacitor. There are many good applications for this cap. However, there are applications where this capacitor sounds dark and slow. Capacitor selection for audio equipment is more of an alchemy than a science. If you would like specific recommendations, feel free to ask.


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