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ESR values for future reference


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Does this meter directly measure ESR, or does it just infer it from dissipation factor?

I am not aware of any meter that can directly read ESR. It is a derived parameter that respresents a "lumped sum" of real losses.

If a meter is displaying an ESR value, it is because it is calculating it internally from voltage and current measurements...some more elegantly than others.

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Here are the results from a 1990 AL-3 network tested in the lab with a very expensive Fluke PM6304 RCL bench meter. This time the components were measured discretely, not in-place.

For comparison, I also brought along a 28 year-old HIE network to see how that has held up after all these years.

All the caps were consistently <0.100 Ohm ESR in their intended pass band.

Note how the 2uF 250V caps from the older Heresy Industrial spec a little better than the 2uF 180V from the La Scala due to the higher voltage rating.

Measuring ESR below the intended passband frequency is a moot point because that will yield higher (read "conservative") numbers, but I posted them for comparative purposes. In a filter network, caps block lower frequencies so that is to be expected.

Quality factor values measured at 1 kHz are also included for anyone interested.

I crosschecked the measured value of the 68uF cap a third time with my Fluke 179 and read 66.1 uF and 66.4 uF respectively. Both handheld meters agreed, and both the ESR values were within ear-shot. Make of it what you will for a couple of parallel electrolytics wired in shunt.

Note that the Ana Tek Blue ESR meter is off, but the caps still measured well.

Compare the ESR of the 22 year-old 13uF poly film to the new PIO that JL Sargent measured here. [:|]

Once again, both meters tell me all of these components are very good and need not be senselessly replaced simply because they are "old". There's nothing wrong at all with these devices. The stock poly film caps do not suffer the same age-related wear as the PIO caps.

*edit* Fixed broken link

Stock_Good.pdf

Stock_Good.pdf

Stock_Good.pdf

Edited by Quiet_Hollow
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Have you tested any new poly film caps yet to prove that?

Does Klipsch have a factory spec for ESR?

I don't know. PWK just said it had to be "low" and that he got in trouble once for using caps with ESR too high. But as far as new Polypropylene caps go, I think all will probably test down to a few hundredths of an ohm. I like to see caps have very low ESR when new. I think that is a good indication of the quality of materials used in the caps and how well the manufacturer was in control of the manufacturing process. Here is a picture of a new 2 uF Sonicap being tested.

Bob Crites

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Have you tested any new poly film caps yet to prove that?

No, however many 2 uF radial-wound MPF industrial motor run caps are manufactured with a target dissipation factor of ≤ 0.1-0.3% @ 60Hz, which gets higher as frequency goes higher. My pieces make that grade, even after 20 some odd years.

Klipsch does not have a factory ESR specification for crossover components. The only specification is a basic ±5% of stated capacitance.

PWK just said it had to be "low" and that he got in trouble once for using caps with ESR too high.

I would be interested in reading more details about this occurrence.

I like to see caps have very low ESR when new. I think that is a good indication of the quality of materials used in the caps and how well the manufacturer was in control of the manufacturing process.

I can certainly appreciate the desire for excellence in quality, but I also can appreciate that it is entirely your imposition and not the factory's.

Here is a picture of a new 2 uF Sonicap being tested.

What does that item measure after it's been soldered at both ends at least twice, and run-in for 20 hours at 10V? Recall, we're fussing over well below 1 dB of calculated loss here. How well do they hold up?

I see you've got no shortage of 2uF caps in that picture...What's the ESR @ 1 kHz of say, ten of those? I mean, if they're truly bad, their values should be scattered all over the place.

do you guys have any small value polycarbonate caps you
can put in parallel to those black film caps and measure the ESR ?


Nothing like that here. What do you have in mind?

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Well, there you go. [:)]

Marantz Model 9 ~ the Luxman MB3045 I use are just an all-out Nth degree extension of these.

Crown D-60 ~ one of my favorite little amps since 1972. I have several.

And as far as "kitchen noises", well, that's why I built my "mini-auditorium".

I haven't changed any caps yet.

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