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Audible difference in high-end capacitors? - ABX samples

dogmamann

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Upgraded my passive XO to Alumen after trying Mundorfs cheapest M-cap Classic and also Obbligato caps. Alumen have very nice treble. Obbligato sound very uneven in comparison. Mundorf Classic is just terrible. I would like to try some high quality copper caps next to see if I can get more detailed darkness.
You clearly know what you are doing here. See I too fell for it, and I am replying to you. Nobody would join ASR by mistake. Everyone knows what the site deals with and the consequences of such kind of a post. You may have an urge, if you post a contradiction like this, also be prepared to provide some evidence. Without evidence it’s worth nothing.
 

voodooless

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If you believe there's "detailed darkness" to be heard in music, there's something else that needs debugging first ;)
I guess it’s the OLED of capacitors.. maybe it’s also organic :D. Paper in oil would probably qualify ;)
 

YSC

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actually in my own logic, upgrading capacitors don't get you any improve in sound quality, rather it gives you better longevity of the x-over or amp under stress, i.e. it lives longer in-spec under load, provided you are not going for those "audio special caps" from good japanese caps. Going from say crap branding of caps with who knows how long they will live to reputable caps like Rubycon, Chemicon etc. is an improvement in service life,
So I wouldn't right away do those "upgades", but if say my active speaker goes bad and need replacement caps, I would opt for the higher quality ones which lives longer and with the exact same spec as the OEM
 

voodooless

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Non electrolytics should basically last forever. There is no need to replace them. And if you replace electrolytics, you’ll probably change the frequency response because your new cap will be much lower ESR and RDC. In the cases where this is audible, it’s easy to confuse different with better ;)
 

Mnyb

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Non electrolytics should basically last forever. There is no need to replace them. And if you replace electrolytics, you’ll probably change the frequency response because your new cap will be much lower ESR and RDC. In the cases where this is audible, it’s easy to confuse different with better ;)
You might have to compensate with a small series resistor and measure the actual fr response of the speaker to see what you get.

Also just tolerances of caps can bring differences , capacitors are not very precise in values so you are basically never replacing with the same value so it's already different regardless of type of capacitor . ( that's why just swaping caps and listen does not always works even in a controlled blind setup , very close match of components are needed ).

I would not do this for fun and "upgrading" unless i could measure the resulting performance of the loudspeaker .

If something's broken in an old speaker one has to take some chances and just go for it if one not own any measuring equipment :) a working speaker is a lot better than a broken one , ill try to source similar but better components ?
 

voodooless

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You might have to compensate with a small series resistor and measure the actual fr response of the speaker to see what you get.
But nobody ever does. At least not the people making the fantastic claims.
 

j_j

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If you believe there's "detailed darkness" to be heard in music, there's something else that needs debugging first ;)
That's just a flaw of the testing method, frankly, allows someone to establish a perceptual sensation that may very well only result from directed listening via sighted testing.

There's so many things that appear to be wrong, I'm not picking on any one, rather one can point to "how do we hear" in terms of how the brain processes the data, to explain many perceptions that are not at all related to the stimulii at hand.
 

DrCWO

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There's so many things that appear to be wrong, I'm not picking on any one, rather one can point to "how do we hear" in terms of how the brain processes the data, to explain many perceptions that are not at all related to the stimulii at hand.
From the movement of the eardrum to conscious perception, a lot happens in the brain. In between I am convinced that simply believing that something sounds better leads to the perception that it sounds better. For me this is for example the only explanation that people are convinced that certain cables sound better.
They hear really that better sounding cable if they know it was used. But ABX shows that not knowing means same sound ;)
 

j_j

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From the movement of the eardrum to conscious perception, a lot happens in the brain. In between I am convinced that simply believing that something sounds better leads to the perception that it sounds better. For me this is for example the only explanation that people are convinced that certain cables sound better.
They hear really that better sounding cable if they know it was used. But ABX shows that not knowing means same sound ;)

In general I agree. There have been two specific issues of cable audibility I am aware of. Both involve some kind of malfunction, on in the connectors, the other brought about in an amplifier by a highly capacitance cable.
 

Spkrdctr

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In general I agree. There have been two specific issues of cable audibility I am aware of. Both involve some kind of malfunction, on in the connectors, the other brought about in an amplifier by a highly capacitance cable.
I have to say that when you mentioned malfunction, I immediately thought of "Gunny" from the military movies. Hollering, "What is your malfunction private"? It also applies to audio, many people have thought malfunctions! I like it when you pop those malfunction bubbles.:D
 

Julf

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Add to that:
a] Interference susceptibility.
b} Noise
Common Impedance Coupling Noise current
Shield Current Induced Noise
In a pre-amp, sure, but with speakers?
 

j_j

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I have to say that when you mentioned malfunction, I immediately thought of "Gunny" from the military movies. Hollering, "What is your malfunction private"? It also applies to audio, many people have thought malfunctions! I like it when you pop those malfunction bubbles.:D
Well, I used malfunction for a reason. The connector issue was after a year of installation, the connection started to rectify, just a tiny bit, sounding for all the world like centerclipping. This was measured and caught on a scope. Jiggling the connectors was a perfect fix. Using gold on gold was even better.

The second malfuction was with an amplifier (who will remain nameless) that could not handle the capacitance of an "impedance matched" speaker cable. It went unstable and let out the magic smoke rather spectacularly.

I'll agree about speedskater's other issues, but they aren't as dramatic, usually. :)

Oh, and yes, in a LONG speaker cable (like 45 feet, half of it in metal conduit), we had to use 4-wire cables wound to cancel inductance, otherwise the high frequencies went walkies, and the lower frequencies were distorted via the hysteresis of the surrounding conduit.

That's an exceptional case, of course, and that's why Belden makes that particular wire. Funny that.
 
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