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Caps: jawdropping improvement in sound (not)


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#1 JKent

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:59 PM

I was browsing the 'net looking for info on a particular Cornell-Dubilier product and found this: http://www.planetz.com/?p=652
The guitarist plays a number of riffs, over and over, substituting different types of caps to reveal the differences in tone.
Now I don't have golden ears, and I am listening through some crappy computer speakers so maybe that nullifies the whole thing, but as far as I can tell there is NO difference whatsoever between the various caps.
The performer, who is after all hearing it "live" concludes there may be some differences but they are "subtle".
So give me the Madisound surplus caps, Carlis and Erse PEX. I'll save my money for recordings or more gear!
Just my rant o' the day ;)
Kent
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#2 oldguide

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:33 PM

Fascinating! Yet another entry into a long-standing argument, but this one is very misleading. This is a guitar circuit. That means he added the caps to the actual guitar head tone circuit THEN ran them through the amp. I am suspicious when he talks about a "Mallard" cap. It's Mullard.

As folks have written about too much, it all depends on the circuit. First, he is using an Epiphone buitar (that has certain sound qualities). He says absolutely nothing about the pickup or the strings which are crucial. The amp is a Vox, (a tube amp) which also has certain characteristics. He says nothing about the speaker in the Vox, nor the settings he is using. I also would like to know about the wiring of his little "black box" that he uses for testing. Any or all of these could make a huge difference. The bottom line is that this is not a speaker circuit.

Finally, all he does is play a few very quick chords, most in the same frequency range--no deep bass, no high treble, no vibrato, etc. That's like comparing a Ferarri to a Yugo by driving it at a constant 30 miles an hour for five seconds.

What I found curious is that the caps he is using are relatively similar in terms of cost, etc. He is also running new Orange Drops against some caos he says he happened to have around. How long they have been there we don't know or under what conditions. There is a loooooong argument in guitar forums about using Orange Drops and this strikes me as a presentation set up to show Orange Drops are not that bad. Power amp people argue about teflon and paper in oil.

As people in the AR forum have pointed out the caps in the same price range used in AR 3s do not seem to make a huge difference. I have neither the cash nor the insanity to try the expensive boutique caps in speakers so cannot comment on them. Plus, if I spend over $100 each on caps I better hear a difference.

Rebuilding old amps, however, I have noticed that depending on where they are in a circuit caps can make a huge difference. German Mundorfs will run about 10X (about $30-40 on sale for a 1uf) more than an Orange Drop, but the difference is noticeable. But speaker circuits are not amp circuits or guitar circuits.

Carl's thread in another part of this forum is about the best I have seen on cap comparisons because he actually has some really nice data. The funniest ones are the online cap tests that sound like wine tastings.

#3 JKent

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:32 PM

I am suspicious when he talks about a "Mallard" cap. It's Mullard.
First, he is using an Epiphone buitar

Hey--if you can call a guitar a "buitar" cut him some slack on the "Mallards." :D :lol: :lol:
We all make typos.
Kent
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#4 oldguide

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:03 PM

Well Taken!! Just think of what the typo might have ended up like. :) :rolleyes:

#5 dynaco_dan

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:56 PM

Hi there

I've been waiting for one main members opinion of speaker crossover caps.

He has been involved in several classic speaker designs during his life.

I value his input as, having been there, done that.

The main man is of course is the well known and respected, Ken Kantor.

Ken may too busy with large projects and his life enjoyments but his comments would be extremely valuable to everyone here.

He has faced cost in designs and surely he will have some interesting feedback if he has time to write here.
VERN

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#6 Carlspeak

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:17 PM

Hi there

I've been waiting for one main members opinion of speaker crossover caps.

He has been involved in several classic speaker designs during his life.

I value his input as, having been there, done that.

The main man is of course is the well known and respected, Ken Kantor.

Ken may too busy with large projects and his life enjoyments but his comments would be extremely valuable to everyone here.

He has faced cost in designs and surely he will have some interesting feedback if he has time to write here.


Vern:
Ken had his say on the subject of caps quite some time ago. Download this article he wrote and enjoy...

www.kenkantor.com/publications/audio_fetishes/fetish_part_02.pdf
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC!

Carl
Carl's Custom Loudspeakers

#7 Transmaster

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:31 PM

Thank you Carlspeak I dropped this link to Ken Kantor's Audio Fetishes article in on a long standing flame war over at the Polk Audio Forum concerning cables and such. The true believers dismissed me because I am a musician, and have been for 50 or so years, something about not being objective!? because I am a musician, ah what! I challenged them to nay-say this Papal Bull from the Speaker God Ken Kantor. I expect to hear screaming any time now :rolleyes: :P :P :P :lol: :D

#8 JKent

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:03 AM

I am a musician, and have been for 50 or so years

Years ago, when I used to read "audiophile" publications, the common wisdom was that professional musicians tend not to be audiophiles and tend not to have high-end systems. Aside from the fact that professional musicians tend to be under-paid and probably spend their money on things like food and rent, I have another theory that I'd like to run past you. I think pros understand that nothing can replace the live music experience but their knowledge of how the music sounds live allows them to "fill in the blanks" on recorded music. I imagine a musician could listen to music on a transistor radio but still "hear" everything in his head.
Agree? Or am I full of bull?
Kent
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#9 Transmaster

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:52 AM

There may be something in this. I do have a head full of musical recordings. I think is it more a deal of, yes it sounds like crap but I don't care I know what it is supposed to sound like. However when we do concentrate on the sound its self we can discriminate quiet well. One of the better ways of evaluating a system is to listen to individual instruments. An example would be the subtle differences in the sounds of a silver, gold, and platinum flute. It cannot be described but pointed out. Or the more obvious difference between a small and larger bore (Tenor) trombone I once had a beautiful Bach small bore (.450") Trombone which I had fun playing the music of Glenn Miller. This is one of those areas that where we who play this music nit-pick; playing a large bore trombone, grrr, even worse a trigger trombone.....get a rope. So if we stop being lazy we can hear the difference. As for the ultimate single instrument for testing a sound system there is nothing better then a large Wurlitzer theater (Pipe) Organ, stupendous sound, even more difficult then a church organ to reproduce because of all of the bells and whistles ( a term coined for the Wurlitzer). My mother can remember as a child in the late 1930's watching and hearing the performances of Wurlitzers. She described one an Art-Deco styled 4 rank console raising up onto the stage on hydraulics while the organist was making the earth move.




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