Audio grade cap manufacturers?

Rybow

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I contacted TAW a few days ago, and I got a response within 24 hours. Laura has been extremely helpful. I say try emailing them again, or maybe give them a call. Maybe they just aren't getting your emails.

I just sent laura a list of everything I needed. Wima polyester, Panasonic FC's and Multilayer ceramics are all on there. I went through the next 4 projects I have planned, and ordered for all of them. I am even going to do another Tube screamer with all "high end" caps to see if there is a significant difference. May not work out in a guitar pedal, but I am going to try it anyways. May even try to get a couple orange drops in there. I am going to trace the signal path this time, and put caps in accordingly.

Very cool looking Pultec CJ! That looked like it took awhile to put together. I never realized how much they affected the tone. I knew that they did as far as using low quality caps vs high quality caps, but I never knew they were that frequency specific.

I realized that this reminds a lot of the vacuum tube discussions I have been into. I went through the whole tube rolling process not that long ago. Cost me a fortune. I learned a lot about the sound of different tubes, and how much they can affect the tone. However, they ain't no magic elixir that brings home the tone. Just icing sugar that can slightly sweeten whats already there. Or not.

Thanks for all the responses so far! This has really helped me learn a lot about whats behind the numbers when it comes to capacitors.
 

0dbfs

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I recently had to troubleshoot a client's tube mic. The mic was creating 'snapple-crack' noises.

I ended up localizing the fault to a suspect coupling cap between the tube plate and OT. The original part was a 0.68uf auricap. I did not have any of those available so I swapped in a metal film cap of the same voltage and capacity rating to test my suspicions.

Long story short, the noise went away but the different cap also caused a drop in level as well as a diminished low end response.

Cheers,
Jonathan
 

Rybow

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Well, I just happened to be in an electronics store picking up some solder. I saw some Sprague 730P film capacitors, so I bought them and decided to try them out in my tube screamer. There are 2 1uF non polar capacitors in the circuit. I had some $0.20 non polar electrolytics in that position, and I thought this would be a perfect way for me to see what was what with this whole cap thing.

The caps were way too big, so I had to solder them onto the bottom of the circuit board. I didn't think it was going to work at all. I was surprised when I plugged into it, and I had sound. Not just any sound, really good sound! The pedal sounded great before, and added a lot more definition to my tone. Now, it's thicker sounding, smoother, and there is even more definition.

I am planning on doing a fresh build of this pedal, and I think I will design it with these caps in mind. 

 

lassoharp

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0dbfs said:
I recently had to troubleshoot a client's tube mic. The mic was creating 'snapple-crack' noises.

I ended up localizing the fault to a suspect coupling cap between the tube plate and OT. The original part was a 0.68uf auricap. I did not have any of those available so I swapped in a metal film cap of the same voltage and capacity rating to test my suspicions.

Long story short, the noise went away but the different cap also caused a drop in level as well as a diminished low end response.

Cheers,
Jonathan


How much loss in each?  Significant - unacceptable?
 

0dbfs

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lassoharp said:
How much loss in each?  Significant - unacceptable?

I didn't have time to take measurements but the difference was both significant and unacceptable as a long term solution in this case. Fine for troubleshooting the bad component though. The level difference was maybe 6-9 db difference in an unscientific "talk into the mic and look at the level" experiment. I'll acquire the auricap to get back to the original state.

As far as DIY'ing some mic's or other circuits, I would spend a little extra time and $$ to swap different caps into the signal path areas like ac-coupling caps. At least from that noteworthy experience.

Cheers,
j
 

lassoharp

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Cool.  Let us know if you're able to 'get to the bottom' of why there was such a difference.

Were you surprised in this case?
 

0dbfs

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lassoharp said:
Cool.  Let us know if you're able to 'get to the bottom' of why there was such a difference.

Were you surprised in this case?

I'll post back with results when I am able to replace the Auricap.

I was expecting a difference but this was really obvious. I would not describe the difference as "anemic", but it was definitely noticeable without comparing to the other mic's of the same make/model. When I A/B'd with other known working mic's it confirmed my initial observations/tests.

The Auricap comes up at around $11 to replace. Not a bad price considering the result (in my opinion). I also plan to try some other PIO's and such in some DIY's that I am working on after this experience.

Cheers,
j
 

Rybow

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Wow! Thats a huge effect from one little part. $11 for a more solid sound is certainly worth it. I wonder...I've got this one mic. It's a cheapy Apex 435 that I can't bring myself to throw out. I used to love it, but the capsule on it is screwed. I think I might look into messing with the electronics and replacing the capsule. Just for fun.

Can't wait to hear what happens after you replace that cap!
 

Gus

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0dbfs  the output drop is a? is it a measured level output drop or a it sounds like an output drop?

Are the values the same, not the marked value but the measured cap value? 
 

0dbfs

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Gus said:
0dbfs  the output drop is a? is it a measured level output drop or a it sounds like an output drop?

Are the values the same, not the marked value but the measured cap value? 

Hi Gus,

Thanks for chiming in.

I unscientifically measured the output drop on a meter that the mic was hooked up to. The mic's with the original auricap measured about -6 dbfs when spoken into loudly and the mic with the test metal film cap measured in the area of -12 to -15 dbfs. There was definitely a level drop. Does that make sense to you?

When listening to the sound of the mic after replacing the auricap it sounded significantly lacking in low-end response. After comparing with other mic's in their original state I was able to confirm that there was a lack of low end.

I'll measure the capacitance of both the original auricap and the replacement when I am back onsite to compare actual measured values. Both are rated +/- 10% which would give a range of about .61uf to .75uf if they were both within spec.

Cheers,
jonathan
 

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