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Thread: caps

  1. #1
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    caps

    It appears to be accepted that the quality of a capacitor in a crossover is only real important if it is in series with the signal that you are keeping and that it's not very important if it is in a shunt position. It seems to me that it is still in a position to effect the sound very much. I'm not staking out that position I'm merely looking for an explanation as to why it would not still be very important.

  2. #2
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    A position I've staked out before, if a cap is subtracting crappily from a signal, the remaining signal is, of necessity, crappy....

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    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    It appears to be accepted that the quality of a capacitor in a crossover is only real important if it is in series with the signal that you are keeping and that it's not very important if it is in a shunt position.

    I think that's an assumption on your own part. Where did you read that?

    It seems to me that it is still in a position to effect the sound very much. I'm not staking out that position I'm merely looking for an explanation as to why it would not still be very important.
    If you try (USE) a search there are numerous threads on this topic. I don't see (or understand) the point of your post.

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    Many times in posts about crossovers I read "the electrolytic in this part of the circuit won't effect sound quality" .or something to that extant.

    As to the point of my post, I guess it would be to get this straight in my mind. I may not by into the magic cap stuff but I do believe there are crummy caps and try to avoid electrolytic when possible. So if there really are places in a crossover where cap quality is negligible I'd like to understand that and save a buck and if not oh well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    "the electrolytic in this part of the circuit won't effect sound quality"
    It is a simplification by those who do not know the laws of physics. When it has no effect on sound it probably can be taken off.

    All parts from power supply to speaker have to be seen as a great network. Each deviations of an ideal part will more or less have an influence on the output. The influence of each part depends on frequency for example.

    The influence can be tested. Or it can be calculated if you know how to do.

    Hope this was helpful.
    ____________
    Peter

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    OK but in the power supply, oh never mind. Since nobody has jumped to defend the position that I thought was common it would appear that I was mistaken. If I see what I thought I was referring to again. By someone who is probably pretty technically savvy I'll ask then.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Thom,

    Not really. I just dont thing anyone is really interest in being ambushed on such an issue when there is no real specifics behind the your post. ie are you building a crossover or just killing time or wasting our time. If you go to Elliotts Sound pages there is a comprehensive discussion of your question and the answer to may others.

    Common sense usually prevails. ie If your shunt capacitor needs to be +200 uf its going to be a non polarised electro due to size land cost imitations. At the frequencies where this would operate the use of a non polarised capacitors in shunt topology are not that important. The voltage and current rating is more important.

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    Thank you. No interest in ambushing anybody. Not building a xover this moment but always collecting parts. If I argue with someone it's because, at least when I start, I think there is a point. Later things can get out of hand I suppose but it's just because of some quirk of wanting things settled and there to be an answer. It's not out of a need to be right. I think it's a desire to be right and if I walk away from a discussion still thinking that wrong is right I'll be wrong again next time. That probably wasn't even interesting, sorry. Do ( I understand this may be somewhat subjective) you to be saying that the quality of the cap is more important in the higher frequencies? I just realised that you threw in shunt. Do you have an explanation as to why it should be less important as a shunt or is it just something that is taken for granted in some circles.

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    Obviously... not a golfer grumpy's Avatar
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    I believe this is the web page Ian was referring to:

    http://sound.westhost.com/articles/capacitors.htm

    -grumpy

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    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    apparently.

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    Senior Member spwal's Avatar
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    Paul mentioned that if i ever wanted to upgrade my caps from solens, some would be more critical than others. He said focus on the highs most likely.

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    Senior Member soundboy's Avatar
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    I have spent a ton of money on different capacitors...including a boatload of solens....when your system is transparent and all of the drivers blend correctly, ALL of the capacitors need to be of the same quality....if you focus on the tweeter...the tweeter will be focus on your ears, and the mids and woofer will sound different....solens are better than cheap mylars, but bright/forward.... hovlands are bright (and expensive).....claritycaps are nice and neutral, and nicely focused, detailed and transparent (and reasonable)....Mundorf silver/oils are the bees knees for small value electronics (WAY spendy, but worth every penny...have them in a BX63A crossover).....subjective? Well, they are either neutral and transparent, or they aren't....I haven't tried auricaps yet, they are quite spendy in comparison to the claritycaps (hell, it was close to $300 for the caps in my Dynaudio 3 ways with claritycaps)...I do have a few large value solens along with claritycaps in a low end network for a dynaudio woofer below 250hz....with claritycaps on the mid and tweeter, the solens by themselves on the woofer sounded a little clouded and didn't blend/disappear as well.....with solens everywhere, everything blended perfectly, as well....but it was forward, edgy and brighter, compared to transparent and smooth with the claritycaps.....if you stick an electrolytic on the bass, and nice poly caps everywhere else, you will notice it, if your system is up to it. People shouldn't get pissed because they spent a lot of money on hovlands or solens, and their horns/tweeters scream at them....just try something else....it isn't an ego thing....I just found a dramatic difference in different caps.....I have a Leap designed 3 way Dynaudio system, JBL 4301B's, JBL 4406's....and they all have SA series claritycaps. They all sound different, and have different tweeters, but all are smooth and musical....without any listening fatigue....my two cents...check out humblehomemadehifi.com...

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    Senior Member soundboy's Avatar
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    I just read through the posted webpage at westhost.com....interesting...Julian Hirsch comes to mind right away...I have plenty of other things to blow money on...nice, clear passive components would not matter....if they weren't more transparent. If you can't hear the difference between mills resistors and cheap wire wound, or an electrolytic and a poly of any kind....then that is wonderful for you....it will save you a LOT of money and time....buy cheap parts bins stuff, and crack open a beer....I am jealous, because for some strange reason, I can hear dramatic differences in passive parts, and sometimes wish I didn't......but damn, those Mundorf's sure sound better than the origonal bypassed mylars in my system. And it has nothing to do with price....Hovlands are very spendy, and sound fatiguing and less transparent (to me) than claritycaps at a fraction of the cost.
    Did Greg Timbers (JBL engineer) use bypass caps because they needed to spend more on a price point? What about biasing networks? If caps all sounded the same, then how would biasing "fix" a non existing problem? The fact that the engineers at JBL 20 years ago used good quality mylars on the better systems, and electrolytics on the lower end systems except for a tweeter feed, tells me something... If a cap is in the circuit....it adds/subtracts to the sound.....series, paralell, shunt, whatever (my experience) I did leave solens in one channel, and Claritycaps in the new channel when I re did my crossover networks a while back....and every single person I had listen to them, most of whom could care less about "speakers"....said without exception "wow that side is a lot clearer"...."that sounds more like the real thing", etc....and they weren't pointing to the solen side...go figure....of course this wasn't scientific...but even if they all said the new side sucked, or was too bright, edgy, more veiled, muddy, whatever....it wouldn't have hurt my ego or feelings at all...it's just fun to get your system nice and smooth, and listen to a killer performance, and hear closer in to what the origonal recording engineer had in mind....that's all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    I believe this is the web page Ian was referring to:

    http://sound.westhost.com/articles/capacitors.htm

    -grumpy
    Thanks for the link

  15. #15
    Obviously... not a golfer grumpy's Avatar
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    it -was- an interesting read and contains quite a bit of useful information
    that doesn't contradict what I think I've learned over the years, esp in regard
    to electronic and RF circuitry. Passive crossovers seem to be a different
    animal and this seems to be somewhat skirted around in that particular
    article. I'm sure I have much to still learn in this area. Getting a good
    grounding in proper electronic design and component physics and construction
    seems like a good place to start. -grumpy

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