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ALK networks with bypass capacitors


toolz
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Arash,

 

I own 6 different sets of ALK networks, 4 sets Al built and 2 sets I built from his kits.  I know the quality of the sound and builds from him.  I am just asking if anyone has tried it and what the results have been.  

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Arash,

 

After checking this thread for replies, I reread my reply to you and I realize how harsh and sharp my response was. If I offended you I apologize.   

 

Too much Makers in the Lounge area on Friday night.

 

All of the networks I have are older builds, using Solen capacitors. After checking ALK's site I see he has moved away from this brand of capacitor.  Without going to the expense of replacing the caps with the current brand in use, I was curious if others had tried bypassing the Solen capacitors. 

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The subject of bypass caps for speaker crossovers has gone round and round in this forum for years. I've expressed my opinion that if you have sufficiently good caps to start with bypass caps change nothing but your bank balance. I have to second what Arash said, ALK knows what he's doing and if "bypass" caps would help, he'd put them in. 

 

Simply attaching the cap de jour to a stock cap does not make it "better". Between any two film caps of high quality, the difference in ESR and dissipation at any frequency is going to be very small. Not to say there cannot be perceivable differences between caps used in 1 for 1 swaps, but a "bypass" is not going to contribute much to the signal path. A 0.1 uF cap across a 50 uF cap is 1/500th of the value. The only part of the analog audio chain where that magnitude of change might make difference is in the condition of a diamond stylus in a cartridge. 

 

Don't forget that caps in parallel add. So adding a bypass to an existing cap increases the value, even by some small degree.

 

My most successful use of a bypass was years ago in a cheap single-ended power amp that used a 2200 uF electrolytic cap in the output to prevent the DC offset from going to the speakers. I used a 10 uF film cap to bypass and the sound was noticeable better. Still lipstick on pig.

 

Electrolytic don't belong in crossovers anyway so I can't imagine this situation happening very often. If you find an electrolytic in a crossover, it should be replaced with a film type right off the bat. I replaced the stock 68 uF electrolytics that form the low pass filter on my Corns with a film type, even though that cap shunts to ground. I did that for long-term stability, not expecting any sonic improvement, and indeed there was none. BTW I replaced the stock in-series caps in the Corns with  WIMAs and no sonic improvement, either, just peace of mind for stability- a "once and done" tuneup for my 28 yr old Corns.

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