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Lamont Sanford
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?
Lamont Sanford
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?
Jan Vigne
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

I'm sorry, Lamont, is there something specific I am supposed to take away from this? Are we still discussing your speakers and changing caps in the crossover?

Yes, it is generally recommended that caps be changed after a period of time. The recommendation is made in hopes of avoiding more expensive repairs should the cap suffer a catastrophic failure which would result in damage to other passive parts within the circuit. This would be of consequence to you if you were talking about an amplifier or pre amp.

In a speaker, catastrophic failures of that sort are not a realistic concern. In a speaker a bad cap will affect the sound with fuzz and fizz along with a few spits and no sound at times. If the cap should fail from old age, no damage is likely to occur to the driver or other crossover components. A driver simply won't make sound due to an open circuit.

Vintage crossover caps will show leakage in almost all instances. Yours don't appear to be in bad shape, the cases are not deformed and remain intact and there is no evidence of leakage. That doesn't mean they are not leaking, caps of that sort probably have been leaking small amounts internally for the last twenty years. Heat will affect capacitor life just as Texas' 100 degree plus heat shortens the life of a car battery. But I remember the Sansui's as a reasonably high sensitivity speaker, so unless you like your music loud all the time, excessive heat probably has not been an issue with your speakers. Since they work well to your ears I would take the charts as a recommended service schedule just as I would take the idea that most cars of that vintage were worn out at 100k miles as a general statement of averages and not the fact I might see in front of me.

Now, if you were rebuilding an original Dynaco ST70, my answer would be different.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

No, this in unrelated to my crossover subject. Just information I came across in relation to capacitor life. I've checked the caps on my crossovers. They have plenty resistance and subsequently still hold a charge. I'm okay with them. Changing the crossover caps will be of no noticeable difference in this particular speaker system. They were well made in 1975 and still perform well today.

ethanwiner
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?


Quote:
Lets start our own web site for people against the use of capacitors in audio.


Hear hear! Repeat after me - capacitors suck!

Elk
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?


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He was a guest of JA? I don't give a rat's ass if he was a guest of the Pope.


I would!

A pope into audio would be cool. He could listen to Miserere mei, Deus without a trip to the Sistine.

(Great idea, cyclebrain, and fun symbol, Ethan.)

absolutepitch
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

Like the symbol. I'd like to see a device that gives capacitive reactance to a circuit that is equivalent to a capacitor but is not a physical capacitor. I'm not referring to digital processing.

It's just difficult to ascertain that capacitors affect the sound. Listening to capacitor change-out in equipment is one way. Measurement of appropriate parameters is another, if those parameters are known to affect how an audio signal is passed through it.

Much of the credit or blame is ascribed to the dielectric material used in capacitors, or cables or circuit boards, etc. Changing a single capacitor in the signal path (e.g. in a preammp) may affect the resulting sound at the output, and may or may not be audible. Others have claimed that such a change is audible in their specific system. I make a similar claim about my experience in my system.

Changing more capacitors in the signal path appears to make more of a difference, so far for the better, in sonic improvement. The more I change, the better it gets. Diminishing returns sets-in when parts of the circuit where such changes affect much less of the sound are worked on. All this is following the now "common knowledge" of polyester is better than tantalum/electrolytic/mica, polystyrene/polypropylene is even better, and teflon is better still, as dielectic materials go, for audio signals. Of course, different capacitor dielectrics have their place due to considerations other than audio sonics. A good example is ceramic caps (used for bypass?).

Add internal wiring that is PVC-insulated, and change that to teflon-insulated (or no insulation at all if it's safe to do so), there is also an improvement heard. Now taking all of the above changes as a whole, the "collective" improvement in sound approaches the descriptive words as "night vs. day", "100% improved", and the like, while any single change is relatively small.

What is more convincing is that friends come visiting and listen to the system and remark that the sound is "so clear", or the singer is "right there". Since I know the system didn't sound this good before the modifications, and it sounds better after, I don't think there any doubt in my mind that capacitors and wires affect sonics, by changing the way the circuit acts in some way unknown to me, but clearly audible to me.

I too wondered (from a technical viewpoint) how anyone can claim that different caps can even change sound of any given component, as "all caps sound alike" because a cap is a cap is a cap. Until I tried the experiment and listened for myself, I would not have expected such a result (from a musician's viewpoint).

Bottom line: it's the totality of the evidence that tells me that there is a difference in sound caused by changing capacitors, or wires. The claim that caps or wires makes no difference is not supported, by my experience in this area.

CECE
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

How come changes always make things BETTER? Changes never F' up what was already nothing wrong with it? Every owner of a stereo can always make something better than the mfg'd could do. But not washing machines, not tv's, not toasters, not hair driers, but amplifers and pre amps, always something available AFTER, that makes it BETTER..... why is that?

CECE
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

You went to the PVC/Teflon sounding wires...YOU can here insulation? What kind of speakers and system do you have that is so good, that if you change a wire, INSULATION, you can hear teh difference, come on, really? Would that work in a tv? Improve teh picture?

Buddha
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?


Quote:
How come changes always make things BETTER? Changes never F' up what was already nothing wrong with it? Every owner of a stereo can always make something better than the mfg'd could do. But not washing machines, not tv's, not toasters, not hair driers, but amplifers and pre amps, always something available AFTER, that makes it BETTER..... why is that?

So, manufacturers always use the best parts available, with no cost concerns?

No way to improve on a product after it was made because it's already going to be the best it will ever be?

Man, you should see what they do to cars.

I've even modded my computer for better performance.

Same goes for cool motocycle parts, bicycle parts, houses.

Really, the car you buy is the best it can possibly be, ever?

Didn't you mod your system with an equalizer?

What the Hell? How can you say you're gonna make something better by changing its performance after you bought it? Through that equalizer away, dammit!

(I know AlexO and Stu would agree.)

Lamont Sanford
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

Conjecture. Depends what you are buying from the manufacturer. Not too many try to improve a showroom model Bugatti, Mercedes, or Ferrari. But electronics? I can see buying a POS computer then replacing cards, CPU, memory, and so forth. If it is a high end stereo piece and you have to go in and change a capacitor than you're probably not buying high enough to begin with. Wait-a-minute! That's what I do. Almost lost sight of my mind and my moniker.

cyclebrain
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?


Quote:
Conjecture. Depends what you are buying from the manufacturer. Not too many try to improve a showroom model Bugatti, Mercedes, or Ferrari.

Not too many, because the many, buy for image and because they can afford it. The fewer true auto-philes will spend all of their limited money on an exotic car and then find ways to modify it. Sound like any other group that you know?

Lamont Sanford
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

I agree with you AND quoted me out of context. That's okay. This is the new improved Lamont Sanford.

CECE
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

And equalizer is an additional component with it's own function, it's not changing a piece of an existing unit. I did change the AC line cord on the EMMLABS DCC2 from a grey 6 footer to a BLACK 10 footer...it still sounds the same, but no wait, it does sound better, the longer cord reaches the outlet I needed to plug it into!!! The new cord is a high performance even UL listed on it's wrapper from high performance heaven MCMELECTRONICS.COM $2.99 18ga. line cords on sale so I stock up on some different types for future use. $3 is what an AC line cord is worth, for simple household non brutal enviroments, like for a stereo. It's even 105C 300V rated with UL etc. Christ you don't get that on those $500 magic cables, UL ratings do ya? And yes the EMMLABS does sound better with the new cord, cus now I can turn it on since the cord reaches the AC outlet. And teh IEC type attachement served it's purpose to be able to change cords for length , not performance magic. Plus they can ship without having a cord coiled up easier to package in production lines like Dell computers running one every few minutes.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

DUP is great. Never lets up. He reminds me of Johnny the Office Boy. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd9oTKwRyIk&feature=related

ethanwiner
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

Looks like I picked a bad week to stop sniffing glue.

Seriously, I think DUP is great too. He always sticks to the facts, and rarely insults the believers unless they insult him first.

--Ethan

CECE
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

Kept my 98 Jetta GLX all stock that's why it's still going just fine on it's way to 300,000 miles, now at 272,500 or so. Now you may have caught me, I did swap out on my daughter's A6 Audi, the stock standard springs, since it is not an S6, or an A6 with sport pkg, that would give much stiffer suspension, and better control...So I did put in FACTORY from the Audi catalog Eibach sport springs which certainly did enhance the handling and took away the float, nothing worse than a floater. But that was not some thing not offered by the mfg'. Same stuff that woulda' been in there if the sport pkg was put in originally, it was more a factory authorized update, not some willy nilly try this cus some one says it'll work "different". It was more like putting in the factory option after the fact. Still what is factory anyway. Not something that says o' the factory didn't know something, my idea is better, this is a FACTORY option. Same as the EMMLABS has the SE version of the DCC2, factory enhancements, not outside o, this is better, cus the factory doesn't know what they are doing, I know, let's put this type cap here, replacing a defective one is not the same as claiming, this TYPE is better, cus, I hear plastics, better, than the mfgs...different. How come you ain't changing parts in your cell phone to make it sound better?

dorokusai
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

In regards to loudspeaker capacitors, replacement projects usually arrive in waves depending on what forum you peruse. If one person says they did it and it made an amazing difference....the hunt begins for some people. I've heard audible differences between cheap and expensive but not enough to interest much more work and that's always subjective anyways.

What sounds good to me, may not sound good to you. There's too much placebo effect in this hobby to be 100% true and reliable from speaker to speaker....or capacitor to capacitor. If you spend enough money and time on something, I guarantee you'll hear a difference, regardless of its actual existence. I'm just talking about subjective experience not specifications and technical data. Those things are what they are.

I have some Dahlquist DQ-10 that I'm restoring, slowly, and the caps aren't original but somewhat later replacements. Since they aren't out of tolerance and I want to keep the original sound/tonality....there's no way I'm replacing them. Why would I? I'm much more interested in listening to what the JD had in mind rather than my interpretation of what it should sound like.

Did I wander off subject? Probably, sorry guys. I believe that Jan hits on a good point. If it's a Dynaco amplifier, electronics for example, then you have a point but other than that it's a waste of money in most cases. I didn't buy Magnepan 3.6R's just to tear open the xover boxes, warm up the soldering gun and start upgrading stuff. Those types of folks never get satisfaction in this hobby.

Mark

gkc
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

Let me get this right. You have a '98 Jetta GLX. And YOU accuse ME of being stuck in the past?

My Benz-Micro cartridge has more miles miles on it than your stinkin' Jetta. And it sounds better. And, yes, I can remember what it sounded like when it was breaking in.

You bought your daughter an AUDI? Must be some sort of sublimated death-wish buried in here, somewhere...

I know, I know...daughters can be difficult at times. But an AUDI??

DUP, find a shrink. Fast. This buried conflict MUST surface, before more harm comes of it.

Good luck.

gkc
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

Right, Ethan. That's what I enjoy about DUP, too. He always sticks to the facts.

No matter how clownish they appear in his presentations of them.

And you would be an expert on judging the facts, right? That's what I thought. As long as you, er, highlight the ones relevant to your narrative, and leave the others in hiding.

This is a very funny post, Ethan. You ought to work the Catskills.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

Nice post and makes perfect sense to me.

CECE
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

She bought it herself. She ain't no kid. Never keep a car less than 10 years or 100K miles, they are just "breaking in" like a 12 year stylus....300,000 is the quest, and yes it's in tip top shape, inside and out. that means if I go Diesel it'll have to be 500,000 then. But if they don't have a GLI suspension nope.

tomjtx
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

DUP,
If you want a diesel you might want to wait for the Accord diesel or the Acura diesel.
The Accord is reputed to get up to 60mpg on the highway and you will have Honda reliability. Wont be out till June 09, though.
I have a new 08 Accord gasser and it rides more like a German car than the VW's. Much more like a BMW. Way more fun than my previous Lexus.

RGibran
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

Hey, welcome back!

Hope you had a good one?

RG

tomjtx
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

Just got back from the German guitar festival.
It's taken a week to recover :-)

Come by Madrid and say Hi.

Elk
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?


Quote:
Just got back from the German guitar festival.


Do tell!

(perhaps on another thread)

CECE
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

No imitation DIESEL, DIESEL is German or it's not DIESEL...Honda makes great lawn mowers, mine is now in it's 22nd year, but cars are GERMAN or nutin. With sport suspensions, otherwise they is too soft, which is why I like my Jetta GLX VR-9 it had the sport suspension and stuff as standard. No float feel the road and control. <Maybe a nice R32 for kicks..or RS4....too pricey, but fun fun fun.

tomjtx
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?


Quote:
No imitation DIESEL, DIESEL is German or it's not DIESEL...Honda makes great lawn mowers, mine is now in it's 22nd year, but cars are GERMAN or nutin. With sport suspensions, otherwise they is too soft, which is why I like my Jetta GLX VR-9 it had the sport suspension and stuff as standard. No float feel the road and control. <Maybe a nice R32 for kicks..or RS4....too pricey, but fun fun fun.

I used to think that as well. Even the 07 Accord was too soft. The 08 is a complete re design and is actually tighter and stiffer than the Jetta or Pasat. I was very surprised.

BTW, I drove some of my friends cars while in Germany for a few weeks. Drove an Audi, VW GTI, BMW and a Ford!
The German Fords are incredible, tight suspension great handling and 250 lbs of torque in the diesel. I would buy one in a heaertbeat if Ford would sell them here.

The Accord diesel engine is a very advanced machine, check it out when it comes out here.

Sorry in advance for the OT hijack.

CECE
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?

Do all cps, LOOK the same too, notice they are dealing in RF and high freq, not AUDIO levels, ain't that different? http://www.powermanagement-europe.com/howto/209600834;jsessionid=T5ERS4HKKLDPWQSNDLPCKH0CJUNN2JVN

CECE
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?
SAS Audio
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?


Quote:
Do all cps, LOOK the same too, notice they are dealing in RF and high freq, not AUDIO levels, ain't that different? http://www.powermanagement-europe.com/howto/209600834;jsessionid=T5ERS4HKKLDPWQSNDLPCKH0CJUNN2JVN

Nope, deals in the audio range as well.

absolutepitch
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?


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How come changes always make things BETTER? Changes never F' up what was already nothing wrong with it? Every owner of a stereo can always make something better than the mfg'd could do. But not washing machines, not tv's, not toasters, not hair driers, but amplifers and pre amps, always something available AFTER, that makes it BETTER..... why is that?

Too bad you misunderstood what I wrote. I never wrote that changes are always better; those are your words. I wrote about changes that are better sounding to me, based upon my musical experience. Why would I suggest to the forum a tweak that makes a system sound worse? I would have written about the good and the bad, if I were writing a scientific paper for publication.

Not all changes are better. Some are worse and dropped from discussion (or posting). One example is the changing a speaker fuse to a wire. That does improve things in my system, but changing to different fuses (e.g. higher vs. lower amp ratings) can change the sound for the better or for the worse, but does not always change, or in the same way.

For another example, the green edge markings on CDs do not make any audible difference in sound. Others have reported that this tweak works. I could not hear a difference, but admittedly have not extensively tested this to conclude that this is a definite answer.

The key is the sharing of the information to all on this forum for others to use or not use, as they see fit, to stimulate discussion and hopefully advance our understanding of what is going on by further work.

Some audio tweak techniques work on TVs too, I've heard. However, I have not tried these on TVs.

Have not tried to tweak other examples of equipment you mention, so I cannot provide an opinion.

absolutepitch
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Re: All Capacitors Sound Alike?


Quote:
You went to the PVC/Teflon sounding wires...YOU can here insulation? What kind of speakers and system do you have that is so good, that if you change a wire, INSULATION, you can hear teh difference, come on, really? Would that work in a tv? Improve teh picture?

I think you misunderstood what I wrote.

I never claimed that I hear insulation; those are your words, again. I hear the effect of the changes made to equipment that has been ascribed to the type of insulation used. I have posted on this several times and have been careful to point out that the effect has been linked to the dielectric insulation, but that many other effects can be going on at the same time. To my knowledge, no one has shown a difference in dielectric alone is responsible for the change in sonic character. If this is truly the case, it should be demonstratable in a blind test. If it is so audible, a blind test would not be needed.

The example of a change in capacitor, say from one of mylar dielectric to one of polystyrene, prompts the report of a sonic difference that's historically been credited (loosely?) to the dielectric, and perhaps based upon the work of Jung-Marsh. Crediting the dieletric alone with sonic improvements may or may not be the whole story, but in audio vernacular that seems to be the description used by many of us when describing capacitor mods or insulation of cables.

As for the changing interconnects from PVC to Teflon(R) insulation, this experiment is where we have NOT controlled all the variables. The simple change is from the cable supplied with the gear (coax cable made of PVC insulation, molded RCA plugs of unspecified metal) to a custom-made one(using cable of Teflon(R) insulation, unspecified metal plugs). The difference is audible, and in my judgement, better. However, the plugs used are different, the conductor geometry is different between the two examples, the lengths of the interconnects are a little different, the conductors themselves may be different, etc.

Strictly speaking, the only claim should be that it sounds better with the custom-built cable vs the OEM cable. It happens to be that the original cable is PVC insulation and the custom-cable is Teflon(R). Of course, audiophiles might make the jump, for simplicity and ease of discussion, saying that Teflon(R) insulation sounds better than PVC, making the assumption that the insulation is the biggest factor by far. Based upon electrical parameters of cables, e.g. impedance, this assumption is probably not a good one in the case I wrote about.

Again, this discussion is meant to provide information to others, so they can also do some experimentation, perhaps in a better-controlled manner than just casual change-out of gear that's too often done in this audio hobby.

The information I provided is far from the complete picture, in the interest of keeping the posts reasonably short. However, if one is really interested in scientific investigation of this effect, much more effort would be needed than I have time for (unfortunately).

Bottom line: it sounds much better so I keep the changes in the system.

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