Oil & paper caps?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Jason Myers, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. Jason Myers

    Jason Myers Member

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    What are the tonal differences between these and the foil and papers? Would they also change the dynamics of an amp being retro-fitted with them?

    The reason I ask is that I have a Traynor combo ('74ish) that is bone stock and it needs caps. I understand that this will change the amp some, but would the oil caps be worth the extra money to replace the old mustards? Purists please don't burn me at the stake for this! This is a player and not a museum piece.

    Thanks in advance y'all!
     
  2. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Just don't throw away the mustards.

    I doubt any cap will sound better. Different maybe, at least at first.

    Some think the PIO caps sound good.

    I think they twist the phase a little bit more than some other, high-end modern types. No cap is 100% phase linear with audio passing through it, though some boutique caps like Hovlands are close. I think PIO caps cause a bit of phase shift which can add a sort of depth to the sound, possibly.

    At least, the time component and phase shift is about the main thing I can think of that could make one cap sound different from another.

    Lots of people have taken caps and "proven" that they all "sound the same" by doing a spectrum analysis of audio passed through them (ears be damned) but I've never seen anyone try and do measurements in the time domain.

    Transformers (the real biggest part of the "toob" sound, probably as much as the actual "toobs") similarly always cause a bit of phase non-linearity, and PIO caps seem to invoke a little bit of that 'warmth' that is probably a result of a gentle slope of the lower frequencies being shifted forward a few degrees out-of-phase.
     
  3. VikingAmps

    VikingAmps Member

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    If you want phase shift ceramics have it in spades. Not my cup of tea tho.
     
  4. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Ceramics twist phase in a different way than PIO caps; they can also distort the actual waveform somewhat especially at high amplitudes.

    All caps twist phase somewhat but their phase characteristics are not identical. This, in my opinion, is likely what accounts for the different sound between caps. Hovlands and other high-end modern caps are likely the most phase-linear (being designed specifically to be phase linear) and they sound that way.
     
  5. tommytomcat

    tommytomcat Member

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    I'm sure the PIO's are very nice.. but do they sound 5 to 10 times better than some of the mustard cap copies that are available today? I doubt it. It's my experience that the Sozo and the Mojo Dijon caps are a sonic upgrade over Mallory 150 types.. Zicon's.. I like they way they sound better than the polyprop OJ's (and I prefer to use axial's over radial's). Considering how cheap the Sozo (standard line) & Mojo's are, I'd try a set of those first... Let them burn in.. Depending on the circuit you'll only be out $15-25 and that's right at what one Angela PIO .022 to .1uF cap costs.

    http://mojomusicalsupply.com
    http://www.sozoamplification.com
     
  6. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Mojo sells a foil-in-oil called Vitamin T that is very reasonably priced. You can also get russian military surplus fairly cheap.
     
  7. Jason Myers

    Jason Myers Member

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    I can get the Mojo stuff for dealer cost. I actually used to work for Andy a long time ago.
     
  8. phsyconoodler

    phsyconoodler Member

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    quote:The reason I ask is that I have a Traynor combo ('74ish) that is bone stock and it needs caps.

    When you say 'it needs caps' you are likely referring to filter caps,not the wonderful mustard caps which are 'coupling caps'.
    Change the 'fiter caps' by all means,but don't change the mustard caps unless they are shot;which is unlikely.
     

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