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Wolfbane

Interesting Article(s) on Picking Capacitors

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Polycarbonate caps don't sound as good as the article would suggest.

 

A landmark article.

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Yes but this was written in Febuary and March of 1980. Cap construction and quality has changed a lot since then.

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Of course it has...

A lot of things have changed.

Welcome to the forums!

Bruce

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There is no such thing as a capacitor....once you freed from that paradigm, then the discussion of capacitors becomes a lot more straightforward.

 

The common problem with audiophiles is they read a little bit of math or whatever and latch onto ideas that aren't applicable in every circuit. This article was pretty good in that it added one resistor to the analysis of the circuit. However, a single R and C isn't the whole story. Trying running this kind of analysis with a proper active circuit with several components. The "rules of thumb" don't behave the same way everywhere.....so rather than get hung up on capacitor type, I think we should explore the behavior of topologies and understand the mechanisms by which the sound will be altered. Going to "better parts" just means the magnitude of the alteration is different (sometimes) - but you always have that sonic signature present.

 

I guess I just cringe when I read things like "ceramic caps create audible artifacts when used as supply bypasses" - or "this cap type sucks". There are circuits that sound better when ceramic caps are used - both as bypass or coupling. The capacitor type can't be discussed outside the topology of the circuit it's being used in. I work hard to pick topologies where the component quality doesn't matter - and when it does matter, then we just pick the best part and stop worrying about it. Capacitors are rarely the limiting component in a design - except for this small crap I work on where everything needs to be ten times smaller than the straightforward solution.

 

So much mythology around capacitors but it's actually a straightforward subject. Anyone trying to play the black magic card is simply lacking in analytical skills. All the pertinent info is in the datasheets if you look for it.

Edited by DrWho

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