Capacitor Types

rmroza

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Just wondering what capacitors folks like to use and recommend and why? Can't stand it when people use a certain type because it is invogue or high dollar. I use components that sound good and are tight tolerance, and long longevity.

Most of the time I use the Cornell Dubilier or Mallory and polyester for the axial cap. I seen other people using like MKT's, etc.

Like I said, I prefer a 5% instead of 10% tolerance to be true to the design. Likewise, I' rather use 10k or 2k hour electrolytics instead of 1k or 500 hours!

What do you guys recommend and why?
 
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Micky

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Many times it depends on the application and availability.
Personally I have shyed away from 'boutique' or vintage style caps in favor of the most reliable I can find.
Most times though it is generally a direct replacement with what is available easily, as long as it is name-brand.
I prefer Sprague, Mallory or other larger company products, they seem to be more reliable and less expensive.
 

rmroza

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well, like i said above, i almost exclusively use CD or M above polyester, but some veteran amp builder said he didn't care for them for one thing or another and was one of those orange drop polyproplene peeps. Personally, the polyesters sound great to me. I only use 5% tolerance caps to stay true to design and avoid variance. I think their only rated at 500 hours and would like to use something a little more robust. Likewise electrolytics are usually 1-2000 hours, but within a couple years Nichicon released 10k hour caps, I'm all for. On another subject and resistors, I only use metal and 1%, period. carbon or carbon comp vary tooo much unless you hand sort and what a waste of time. Metal sound killer. Again, I had old school people and carbon folks tell be they were better and warm and whatever. I had amps from these people and the tone quite frankly sucked! I ended up keeping it all the same design, but replaced all caps and resistors with metal and poly and it sounded killer. I learned what I liked and never to listen to some of these people! Anyway, since I use polyester exclusively and never build say a polypro or something else, I'm not sure of the tone, so thought I'd throw it out there and see if there was any difference...or just in people's stubborn heads and to be cheap and extra profit! :O
 

wakjob

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I'll share some of my personal experiences.

Amp in question...86' 2204.

I replaced all the stock Wima MKS caps with newer MKP's. And all the resistors with 1% metal film. The amp became so hot-gainy, sterile, clear and revealing that I could actually hear my guitar cable scuffing along the floor through the speakers. The plain strings were very harsh and thin sounding.

Back in went all the original Piher carbon film resistors a few at a time. With each two or three that went back in, I would play the amp. And each time things started to sound better.

Not wanting to put the original caps back in, I bought newer MKS caps and started experimenting. It was sounding much better. Better than all MKP ( polypropylene ) but not the best. Actually, mixing both MKS & MKP around the circuit gave pretty cool results.

Props to Wima! Great capacitors. And a nod to Cornell Dubilier. Their .0047uF polyester box caps sound awesome in the first coupling stages.

Next, I loaded it all up a few at a time with TAD/Mojo caps...meh. Not much better than the Wima's. In fact, I had two .022uF's fail.

Then, I bought some NOS mustard and both vintage and standard Sozo's. Also, some polycarbonate 'chicklets'.

Started experimenting. Immediate difference. This was no psycho pseudo nonsense. The change was stark. I even put Wima and CD caps back in to sorta pinch myself and make sure I wasn't crazy.

I will say this. All mustards or all vintage Sozo don't really do it for me in a JCM 800. In the end it was all standard Sozo's with two vintage Sozo .022uF's for tone stack.

The chicklets were hangin' in there pretty tough for quite awhile. I like the .68uF for the first cathode bypass and for the Presence control. Very authentic late 70's JMP sound.
 

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