Which capacitor brands, and why...???

StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered UserPosts: 49
Long time lurker here at Club Polk, but I seldom, if ever post. I've always been a Polk fan, and have owned a few models. Nothing Polk currently, but my first exposure to a 'high end' system were Monitor 10's (Peerless tweeters) on a Carver Cube amp. Nice.

Now, my confusion. I want to do a recap on my Acoustic Research AR90 speakers. Bought new by me, when I worked at a 'sister' Teledyne plant. So, they're old (like me) and due a refresh. The reason I'm inquiring here about this, is capacitor discussions here are always civil and informative! As such, I'm hoping for good feedback! :)

I'm looking at capacitors above the standard entry level poly brands like Solen, Dayton, and Erse. Though, one of those brands will most likely be used for the parallel shunt values.

As to my sound preferences, I like an open airy sound. Not closed in, but not etched either. I like neutral and natural, but not too warm. Plus, detail. Love that. Brands I'm considering are Audyn Plus, Clarity Cap ESA, Mundorf EVO Oil, and Sonic Caps. But, do any of those qualify with the type of sound I'm looking for? Very confused as some users swear by Brand A, but not B. Some like B but not A. So, Help!

Oh yea, the AR90s have 4, 6, 24, and 80uF series caps, and 8, 30, 40, and 350uF shunt caps. I'll probably use the stock inductors. I will be replacing resistors too. Probably use Mills for those.

Thanks for reading and helping!

Stimpy
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Comments

  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    If it helps, or matters, my room is 16' X 14'. The front end is a Pioneer DV-563A disc player, and a Sonographe SG-3/Grado 8MZ vinyl spinner. Amplification at present is my Yamaha RX-A3030 A/V receiver, as my Hafler DH-500 and Amber Series 70 amps need recapping too.

    Musical preferences; progressive rock, classical, jazz, new age, world. Pretty much anything!

    Thanks again.
  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    Just in case:

    ldyn03604dla.jpg

    fbl8ac1cb83u.gif

  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 12,044
    Most here use Clarity cap and Sonicaps. Sounds like you will have your work cut out for you, you have large caps there so you most likely will need to get creative.

    Other will be along soon that will shed some better light than I can.
  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    Thanks Pitdogg,

    Yea, big job, but it'll be fun. Mainly just curious if users attribute a specific sound quality to a particular brand? Also, it seems most stick to using one brand through out. Any negatives to mixing and matching? One brand better for bass, another mids, and another for the treble? Jeff at Sonic Craft had some recommendations (I'll post his suggestions if there's interest), but was hoping for additional end user feed back!
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 12,044
    Jeff is worth listening to he is in the know for sure.
    I have always used one brand throughout except for my sda2a which I used some Axon caps in the bass section because of the size and no others made any close enough at the time.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,914
    Remember:
    Capacitance values in parallel are additive, like resistance in series: Ct = (C1+C2+...+Cn).

    Capacitance values in series behave like resistance in parallel: 1/Ct = (1/C1+1/C2+...+1/Cn)

    This can be helpful if one needs to make up a specific value :)

    As a completely editorial aside -- those ARs are pretty good loudspeakers. As such, they certainly deserve pretty good XO capacitors. That said, that might get pretty costly. Even very modest capacitors from PartsExpress ("Dayton Audio" brand, which I believe are rebranded Bennics) or Solen will almost certainly yield a marked improvement in sound (especially transparency) relative to what are in the loudspeakers now.

    Not tryin' to dissuade the OP from using highish-end XO capacitors if he/she wishes to -- just sayin' :)
  • westmassguywestmassguy Posts: 6,216
    Sonicaps are a tad warmer and more musical over the Clarity ESAs. The ESAs tend to be a smidge more accurate, but have a more in your face sound, not etched though.
    I personally never suffer listening fatigue with Sonicaps, but have with Claritys.
    You can also mix Clarity PX for the shunt caps, as they'll blend well with the ESAs, and cost a lot less.
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  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    OK - These are the recommendations from Jeff, when I posed my capacitor questions to him. I'm definitely not questioning Jeff's suggestions; I just want to be sure that I'm doing my affordable best, in recapping my AR90s. Feel free to comment, and suggest alternates.

    "The following is really not what you asked for. However, it is what I would do if I owned these speakers, and was on a "tight" budget.

    High-pass:

    Mills MRA-5 resistors: http://www.soniccraft.com/index.php/mills-watt-c-29_53_62

    4uF G1/200VDC: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/gen-sonicap-uf-200vdc-p-429

    6uF Dynamicap E/210V: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/dynamicap-6uf-210vdc-p-155

    Upper mid:

    Mills MRA-10 resistors: http://www.soniccraft.com/index.php/mills-10-watt-c-29_53_295

    22uF Supreme: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/mundorf-supreme-22uf-600vdc-p-4213 If you are concerned about trimming it up, this would be the most economical match: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/kimber-kap-22uf-200vdc-p-4650

    8uF G1/200VDC: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/gen-sonicap-uf-200vdc-p-446

    6.8uF + 33uF Ecap: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/mundorf-cap-plain-68uf-70vdc-50vac-p-4076 + http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/mundorf-cap-plain-33uf-70vdc-50vac-p-4078

    Mills MRA-5 for the RLC network resistor: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/60-ohm-mills-mra-p-564

    Lower mid:

    5 Ohm parallel a pair of these: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/10-ohm-mills-mra-10-p-3609

    3 Ohm parallel a pair of these: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/ohm-mills-mra-12-p-687

    33uF + 47uF EVO Oil: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/mundorf-mcap-evo-oil-33uf-450vdc-p-4163 + http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/mundorf-mcap-evo-oil-47uf-350vdc-p-4167

    Low value 33uF EVO Oil: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/mundorf-mcap-evo-oil-33uf-450vdc-p-4163

    Low-pass:

    350uF Ecap: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/mundorf-cap-plain-82uf-50vdc-35vac-p-4073 + http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/mundorf-cap-raw-270uf-63vdc-23vac-p-4065

    1 Ohm resistor: http://www.soniccraft.com/product_info.php/ohm-mills-mra-12-p-696";
  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    As a completely editorial aside -- those ARs are pretty good loudspeakers. As such, they certainly deserve pretty good XO capacitors. That said, that might get pretty costly. Even very modest capacitors from PartsExpress ("Dayton Audio" brand, which I believe are rebranded Bennics) or Solen will almost certainly yield a marked improvement in sound (especially transparency) relative to what are in the loudspeakers now.

    Not tryin' to dissuade the OP from using highish-end XO capacitors if he/she wishes to -- just sayin' :)

    He. Definitely a he. But, a supporter of everyone. No hate here. :smiley:

    You know, I've considered just using basic poly caps, as even those would be far better than the over 35 year old Callins caps, in the speakers now. And I have recapped before using modern NPE's with a film and foil bypass, and heard a nice improvement in sound quality. It's just since my AR's were my first speakers, I want to do them justice. See what they're capable of? Now it's making up my little bitty mind? My measure twice, cut once mentality. That's why everyone's advise here is crucial.

  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    Sonicaps are a tad warmer and more musical over the Clarity ESAs. The ESAs tend to be a smidge more accurate, but have a more in your face sound, not etched though.
    I personally never suffer listening fatigue with Sonicaps, but have with Claritys.
    You can also mix Clarity PX for the shunt caps, as they'll blend well with the ESAs, and cost a lot less.

    Thanks. That helps. But I guess my biggest fear is I'll spend a fortune (for me) and end up with a closed in sounding speaker. I hate closed in. Warm is fine, as long as a rolled off treble is not part of the warming process. I like an open sounding treble; with clarity and air. Too many years working in audio I suppose. Can I get accurate and musical, at the same time?
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,914
    StimpyWan wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    As a completely editorial aside -- those ARs are pretty good loudspeakers. As such, they certainly deserve pretty good XO capacitors. That said, that might get pretty costly. Even very modest capacitors from PartsExpress ("Dayton Audio" brand, which I believe are rebranded Bennics) or Solen will almost certainly yield a marked improvement in sound (especially transparency) relative to what are in the loudspeakers now.

    Not tryin' to dissuade the OP from using highish-end XO capacitors if he/she wishes to -- just sayin' :)

    He. Definitely a he. But, a supporter of everyone. No hate here. :smiley:

    You know, I've considered just using basic poly caps, as even those would be far better than the over 35 year old Callins caps, in the speakers now. And I have recapped before using modern NPE's with a film and foil bypass, and heard a nice improvement in sound quality. It's just since my AR's were my first speakers, I want to do them justice. See what they're capable of? Now it's making up my little bitty mind? My measure twice, cut once mentality. That's why everyone's advise here is crucial.

    Perfectly reasonable -- I just didn't want to assume a priori that you would wish to spend as much on capacitors as some even fairly serious hifi folks spend on a pair of loudspeakers!

    You won't go wrong with any decent quality modern capacitors, methinks. I wouldn't worry about them sounding 'closed in' with anything you're likely to do with (to) them.
  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    F1nut wrote: »
    You're going good to have to weigh cost verses wallet as well as available space verses the size of what you choose.

    Yea, it won't be cheap. Even using 'just' Clarity PX series/Solen parallel caps, price out at over $200. Oh well. I don't spend on myself often. I guess I deserve it? B)

    As to the size of the parts, I might go external. I think outboard crossovers would be cool. And it would allow for easier upgrades.
    F1nut wrote: »
    Those are really nice sounding speakers, well worth putting money into.

    Thanks. :)

  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    F1nut wrote: »
    Not to offend (not that I really care, but I have include that comment these days it seems), $200.00 is not much to spend on crossover components when one considers a single cap from some companies costs that and a lot more.

    External crossovers are cool and allow for greater flexibility, but will add greatly to the bottom line. I'm not saying don't do it, just be aware it's not cheap.

    No offense taken. I know there are some truly high end capacitors available. And while I won't claim that someone is insane to spend that type of money, it's not for me. But, if I could I would. Though like most, I have a mortgage and a family. They come first, and I usually put my wants last. So, I see this as me spoiling myself. It doesn't happen often, so nothing wrong with it. Just have to stick to a reasonable budget. If $200 is minimum, I'd rather aim a bit higher. So, what that in mind, next level caps are OK too.
  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Perfectly reasonable -- I just didn't want to assume a priori that you would wish to spend as much on capacitors as some even fairly serious hifi folks spend on a pair of loudspeakers!

    I wouldn't spend 5 Grand on parts. Now $500, that's possible...! >:)
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    You won't go wrong with any decent quality modern capacitors, methinks. I wouldn't worry about them sounding 'closed in' with anything you're likely to do with (to) them.

    That's what I've been telling myself too. Just need to make a decision...!!! Thanks. :)

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,914
    I definitely agree with F1nut that they're loudspeakers worthy of a pretty substantial investment.
  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    I definitely agree with F1nut that they're loudspeakers worthy of a pretty substantial investment.

    That's an idea. Lets play a game. Pretend you're in my shoes, and these are your speakers. So, if you owned AR90s, how would you upgrade/refresh them???? What would be your choices?

    Everyone chime in...! B)
  • Games, who wants to play games.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk Signature S60's with ZU Audio IBIS jumpers; Cables: Wireworld Eclipse IC; Audioquest Big Sur IC; ZU Audio Mission speaker cables; PS Audio AC-3 power cords, all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    All TV's sound enhanced by Polk Magnfi Mini's.

    Other; SDA2BTL's, M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All speakers have had crossover rebuilds, resulting in a small fortune invested in Sonicaps, and tweeter upgrades.

    Political memes posted as fact and accepted as fact, are sign language of the ignorant, for the ignorant

    tonyb said " but even socialists can do a good thing here and there

    Social media makes dumb people dumber and smart people dumb and dumber.
  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    Games, who wants to play games.

    Everyone chime in except motorhead43026. He doesn't like games! :D :)
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 7,545
    I haven't heard any boutique capacitors but I do know that F1Nut has at least a similar taste in sound to myself from what we have discussed so far, even though we listen to very different music for the most part, so my choice would be (and will be) Sonicaps throughout.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.
  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    Nightfall wrote: »
    I haven't heard any boutique capacitors but I do know that F1Nut has at least a similar taste in sound to myself from what we have discussed so far, even though we listen to very different music for the most part, so my choice would be (and will be) Sonicaps throughout.

    Thanks! I'll do a price check with Sonicaps, and see how that adds up.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 12,044
    edited November 2016
    Yea I'm in the plain ol' Sonicap camp. I've never used any other Sonicap caps.

    If they were mine I wouldn't lose any sleep using them everywhere I could.
  • In all honesty, I have rebuilt my SDA 2BTL's and monitor 10's both with Sonicaps and Mills. Expensive yes, but no regrets. My 7C's are next up.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk Signature S60's with ZU Audio IBIS jumpers; Cables: Wireworld Eclipse IC; Audioquest Big Sur IC; ZU Audio Mission speaker cables; PS Audio AC-3 power cords, all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    All TV's sound enhanced by Polk Magnfi Mini's.

    Other; SDA2BTL's, M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All speakers have had crossover rebuilds, resulting in a small fortune invested in Sonicaps, and tweeter upgrades.

    Political memes posted as fact and accepted as fact, are sign language of the ignorant, for the ignorant

    tonyb said " but even socialists can do a good thing here and there

    Social media makes dumb people dumber and smart people dumb and dumber.
  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    Sonicaps come in a nice range of values. They even have my 4, 6, 8, 24, and 30 caps. But, nothing higher than 34uF on the Sonic Craft site. Is that as high as they go?
  • motorhead43026motorhead43026 Posts: 2,967
    edited November 2016




    You may need to use two caps to get the values you need. But yes 34 looks to be the largest. I like had to use 2X 20 to get 40uf and stack them.
    Post edited by motorhead43026 on
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk Signature S60's with ZU Audio IBIS jumpers; Cables: Wireworld Eclipse IC; Audioquest Big Sur IC; ZU Audio Mission speaker cables; PS Audio AC-3 power cords, all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    All TV's sound enhanced by Polk Magnfi Mini's.

    Other; SDA2BTL's, M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All speakers have had crossover rebuilds, resulting in a small fortune invested in Sonicaps, and tweeter upgrades.

    Political memes posted as fact and accepted as fact, are sign language of the ignorant, for the ignorant

    tonyb said " but even socialists can do a good thing here and there

    Social media makes dumb people dumber and smart people dumb and dumber.
  • StimpyWanStimpyWan Registered User Posts: 49
    I've got a spare set of crossover boards to practice on. I can easily test fit all components. The spares are also why I was considering external crossovers. Should be 'easy' this way.
  • mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Remember:
    Capacitance values in parallel are additive, like resistance in series: Ct = (C1+C2+...+Cn).

    Capacitance values in series behave like resistance in parallel: 1/Ct = (1/C1+1/C2+...+1/Cn)

    This can be helpful if one needs to make up a specific value :)

    As a completely editorial aside -- those ARs are pretty good loudspeakers. As such, they certainly deserve pretty good XO capacitors. That said, that might get pretty costly. Even very modest capacitors from PartsExpress ("Dayton Audio" brand, which I believe are rebranded Bennics) or Solen will almost certainly yield a marked improvement in sound (especially transparency) relative to what are in the loudspeakers now.

    Not tryin' to dissuade the OP from using highish-end XO capacitors if he/she wishes to -- just sayin' :)

    I updated a set of Polk RS6800 Satellites with Mills Resistors and Dayton Audio caps and the difference in sound was very noticeable. I am well pleased! I did, however, have to place the caps in another location. But, a little extra wire and a hot glue gun took care of that. I changed the value in mid caps slightly to get a little lower in mid bass and instead of using 5watt resistors, I used 12watt Mills resistors. And I piggy backed the caps. One other thing I did was used spray on sound deadener I side the cabinets and reused the same polyfill. I am very happy with the outcome.
  • DawgfishDawgfish Posts: 2,536
    For speakers I've had great luck with Sonicaps. I've used Solens also and find they are OK for low and midrange circuits, but harsh in the high circuits. I think F1 was eluding to the fact you could save some cash by using Solens in the mids/lows and something like the Sonicaps in the highs. For the budget you hinted at, I would just go with all Sonicaps and be done with it. Of course I'm not the one spending your cash, so take that for what it's worth.
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