March 25, 2011 at 3:39 am #5176Nepalnt21Participant
is it absolutely necessary to use mallory or similar caps? what if i find other caps rated 630v at the same value? would it really make a difference? there are plenty of polypropylene caps of the same value for much less money. orange drop? no? vishay?March 25, 2011 at 8:56 am #5389AndyKeymaster
It really is a matter of preference. If they are polarized (positive and negative) you will need to orient them right. But really it’s preference. Some prefer polypropylene to the polyester. The Orange Drops come in a couple flavors, the 716p and 715p series. If you use radial lead, be careful to not break the epoxy when stretching them for the 2stroke board.
But cap selection is part of the fun!March 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm #5390beelzebumParticipant
if you want to try and make it sound exactly like the others follow the parts list exactly. you can change type, change value, change brand. it will just alter the sound a bit. you can use any value but i would suggest sticking around .01uf – .022uf for the coupling caps. also if you find PIO caps, they sound very nice. for the .47uf, .0047uf, and the 500pf they don’t need to be rated to 630v.March 26, 2011 at 1:45 am #5391AndyKeymaster
I guess what I forgot to say is, yes. It makes a difference. At least to my ears.
For a recent design, I did the first prototype with 715P series Orange Drop. For the second proto, I used Xicon polypropylene caps. I thought the second version lacked life and that “feel”. It is hard to quantify, in fact, you likely cant. Its more in the Mojo category, but it wasnt just me, others noticed it too. Sometimes its more when playing than hearing.
Now, this discussion can get out of control really fast as it moves to the $10+ capacitor. I am willing to shell out a bit for some nice signal caps, but there is a limit on the Returns that you get. I would say beware of the $10+ signal cap but experiment otherwise
Like Beelzebum said, you can play with the values (within reason) as well. Here are some examples of a VERY simple circuit with different capacitor values.March 27, 2011 at 12:19 am #5392Nepalnt21Participant
awesome replies! thanks!
that goes for the silver micas, too, correct?
and im assuming that axial simply describes how the leads protrude from the capacitor, not any particular brand or makeup, correct?
im on the fence about trying out some expensive pio or piw caps, but being my first build, i think i might just stick with the cheapest ones, as i can upgrade later when i am more confident.March 27, 2011 at 1:19 am #5393beelzebumParticipant
yes axial refers to the lead orientation. you dont need to try expensive parts on your first build. for PIO i buy russian K40Y-9. they are built just as well as old vitamin-Q, and sound identical. you can get K40Y-9s for a buck or less. for the silver mica, you can use a ceramic if you want.March 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm #5394RobinParticipant
To be clear, caps (or any components) with one lead coming from each end is Axial, a component with leads both coming from the same end is Radial.
Regarding capacitors in guitar amps in general: some caps will have a more pure “hifi” quality, tantalum and silver mica caps are examples. Some caps have a brighter quality (like orange drops) and some inexpensive import caps have an “out of tune” quality when used as filter caps. The common Taiwanese Illinois capacitors that Fender often uses are said to have this quality and yet there are many great sounding amps that use them. Matching the optimal cap (or any component) to a part of the circuit would be ideal and some of the best amp designer/builders are reported to have done just that. Super amp designers like Ken Fisher, H. Alexander Dumble, Mark Sampson, and others are said to have spent much time and energy “tuning” components for a specific circuit.
It’s important to remember that even a great sounding “clean” guitar amp colors the tone. If you ever tried playing guitar through a high quality hifi system you know how sterile and cold sounding a more linear amp can sound. I’ve heard that some caps can make a noticeable difference, for example an orange drop and a Mallory 150 sound different. On the other hand, I can’t really hear a difference between Mallory 150s and the more prestigious Sozo caps. Tantalum and silver mica caps are quiet but a cheap ceramic disk capacitor can bring more life to a distortion circuit (as in an effects pedal). As Andy said at the beginning of this thread, choosing the right cap is part of the fun.April 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm #5397sthebluesmanParticipant
I was glad when I saw the Mallory 150 caps in the kit. I had a recent experience experimenting with caps in a 1960 tweed Bassman. One of the old Astron caps was leaking so I bought an expensive Sozo replacement. When I put it in, I felt the amp lost a lot of life. I put the old Astron back in. Later on I tried one of those small white Mallory 150’s and I could not tell the difference between it and the Astron. Actually, it sounded better since it was not leaking. The point is IMHO, expensive isn’t always better as far as caps go. I am going to stick with Mallorys for now. Also, Johnny at Kendrick Amps said he like the Mallorys and he builds amps for a living.
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