Is Sprague the ONLY electrolytic?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by pfrischmann, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    In the ATL.
    Hi guys,
    I'm about to recap an amp. I've read that american caps are the ONLY caps. Is there really that much difference between Sparague and Xicon or Illinois?

    Gerald Weber mentions that A good deal of overseas made caps will cause out of tune bass notes.

    Is it true?

    Is it sprague or nothing?
     
  2. Tuberattler

    Tuberattler Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern Washington in the Desert
    I've used spragues and I've used the smaller ones. I don't hear any difference, however, I do use the big caps on the power supply if it's a bigger amp 50 watts & over or like on a Deluxe Reverb where it's really kickin' it voltage wise.

    I've even used the small ones from Weber with very good luck. The smaller caps allow more room inside the chassis and with modern technology I don't see why you wouldn't use them. Also, they're cheaper to purchase.

    Me I like both and use the small ones quite a bit.
     
  3. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,049
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    For the $1 or $2 you save, why wonder? Just get the Spragues.
     
  4. Leftee

    Leftee Guest

    I've had fine performance from non-Spragues. In my expereince, "A good deal of overseas made caps will cause out of tune bass notes" is not a correct statement at all.
     
  5. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    In the ATL.
    It's more about availibility than cost. It would take about 4 sources to get all the values I need, or I can go to the local electronics shop and get Xicons (correct value and voltage of course).
     
  6. Tuberattler

    Tuberattler Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern Washington in the Desert
    The overseas caps may have had a problem WAY BACK WHEN but like all thing in this new global economy they had to get their stuff together and IMO they have.
     
  7. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,772
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    I can't say personally, but in Gerald Weber's books he mentions the Illinois caps specifically and says they "Sound Horrible" (his words, not mine)... he also mentions that although they are named "illinois", they are actually made in Taiwan or Malaysia or somewhere.

    I'm with Mike... why concern yourself with a couple dollars... get what you know is best.
     
  8. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,049
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    Mouser or Antique Electronics don't have all the values you need?
     
  9. Beam Tetrode

    Beam Tetrode Member

    Messages:
    1,456
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    The Moon
    For the record, I believe Naylor amps use Illinois and they sound amazing.
     
  10. Leftee

    Leftee Guest

    I've used Illinois caps before with good results. Certainly "A good deal of overseas made caps will cause out of tune bass notes." was not the case. Never had a bad one. Some of the amps I've used these in have been running for a couple years now and sound fine.
     
  11. teleamp

    teleamp Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,508
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Central Texas
    I've been inside some 2 & 3K high gain amps and they were loaded with Illinois and Xicon, they also sounded great.

    The Srague Atoms are now made by Vishay.
     
  12. Swarty

    Swarty Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    I believe all US electrolytics, regardless of brand are from United Chemicon.
     
  13. Tuberattler

    Tuberattler Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern Washington in the Desert
    Just because GWeber says something is good doesn't mean it's fact. I'd take Ted Weber word first and I own a Kendrick amp! For what it's worth my Hoffman amp, made by Doug Hoffman has the smaller caps in it and it's killer!!
     
  14. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    In the ATL.
    Mouser didn't have some of the stuff in stock and honestly, their site is a little scary to navigate.

    forgot about antique.

    Just to clarify, GW said the overseas stuff can cause more ripple current which can cause out of tune sub harmonics on low notes.
     
  15. jetlag

    jetlag Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    I've had some problems with older Illinois caps that were in an amp when I bought them - meaning they replaced the original 50's caps in the 90's with these and they had problems. No problems with Xicon nor with full sized spragues. I use the Xicons when space/mounting is an issue. Otherwise, I'm with Bluestrat on "why save a couple $$$ and wonder?"
     
  16. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    In the ATL.
    So spragues are undeniably the best? (within reason)
     
  17. rooster

    rooster Member

    Messages:
    2,123
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    Arizona
    I usually test my caps on a Sencore Z-meter before I install them. This is a piece of bench gear that not only lets me read capacitance at voltage (up to 600VDC), but leakage current as well. I have noticed no more leakage current off a Xicon electrolytic than a Sprague electrolytic. Having said that, for some applications, I only use Sprague electrolytics, but Xicon's work fine in many applications. Also, as far as film caps go, I HAVE noticed a difference in that paper-in-oil caps have almost no leakage current. But, I've also noticed that Illinois polyester caps have a great sound compared to orange drops, hovlands, or any high-end cap. I think the one that sounds the best is the way to pick the series caps, and the filter caps should be judged on ripple current. FWIW, JJ multi-cap cans work very well in the leakage (or lack thereof) aspect.

    rooster.
     
  18. Tonebender

    Tonebender Supporting Member

    Messages:
    570
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    What about the Mallory electrolytics that Komet uses? Anyone know who sells them?
     
  19. conundrum

    conundrum Member

    Messages:
    695
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Well, since vishay owns Mallory now too, I would hazard a guess that maybe they are just relabled spragues.
     
  20. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    In the ATL.
    Mouser sure wants a lot more for the Mallory's

    I can't find 220uf @ 350v anywhere (except as an overseas cap)
     

Share This Page