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Thread: Any recommended coupling caps?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: Northern Ireland

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    I'm John.

    Default Any recommended coupling caps?

    I'm thinking of upgrading the input and output caps of my little Yaqin 6J1 valve buffer and would appreciate any recommendations for suitable upgrades. Nothing too fancy just a decent quality item.

    There's no values on the existing ones and they are a bit of a pig to unsolder just to measure but the input caps are twice the physical size of the output caps.

    I'm assuming any value between 1 to 4 uf is suitable, is that about right?

    B+ voltage is 203V. Does the voltage rating of the coupling caps just need to be comfortably higher than this, e.g. 250V, or should there be more headroom?

    Thanks in advance
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  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2008

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    I'm Neil.

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    I would leave that all well alone and change the power caps instead. It's a real minefield experimenting with coupling cap flavours, and fitting it all in with more exotic types, which might just 'change' the sound rather than improve it.
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Nov 2015

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    I really like a brand called Le Clanche. This is a minefield though lol.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    I really like a brand called Le Clanche. This is a minefield though lol.
    Make your own!
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  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: cheltenham

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    I'm matt.

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    I agree with Neil.

    It looks like you have polyester coupling caps, so obviously some thought has gone Into them, otherwise they'd use cheaper electrolytic caps. Saying that, I swapped out the Solen polypropylene coupling caps In my cheap Chinese dac for Nichicon standard electrolytics (I don't like Nichicons top audiophile caps). The sound Is now far more natural to my ears and the thin, slightly harsh sound Is gone.

    'Better' caps can often sound worse IME.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2015

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Make your own!
    I wouldn't know where to start Geoff lol

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  7. #7
    Join Date: Feb 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Make your own!
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Make...tle-Capacitor/

    this is fun, but be careful folks
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  8. #8
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    You'll find the value is marked on the top, i.e. the 'side' that has been glued down to the chassis.

    Virtually any polypropylene will be better than a polyester cap. Look for MKP on the capacitor rather than MKT which is polyester.

    Cheers,
    Alan
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  9. #9
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: Northern Ireland

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    I'm John.

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    Thanks for the replies guys. Those homemade water bottle capacitors are pretty cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebottle View Post
    You'll find the value is marked on the top, i.e. the 'side' that has been glued down to the chassis.

    Virtually any polypropylene will be better than a polyester cap. Look for MKP on the capacitor rather than MKT which is polyester.

    Cheers,
    Alan
    Good point Alan regarding the marking being on the top. I had an epiphany and remembered I had a couple of Wima MKPs on another board I had lying around. Only rated to 160V but they're only seeing 52V so should be ok. I take it if a valve shorts internally I could get the full B+ voltage on one of these caps? Unlikely I know but still....hopefully there'll be input caps on the amp!

    I've soldered them to flying leads and left them outside the case so I can change them easily if I get something else. Just left the originals in there for now with one leg disconnected.

    Already sounding more natural. The disco bass has gone (boo, I liked that but I suppose it shouldn't really stay). The slightly closed top end of the originals has been replaced with more air and overall separation is improved. Will leave them in for a while.

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  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: cheltenham

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    I'm matt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJo View Post
    The disco bass has gone (boo, I liked that but I suppose it shouldn't really stay).
    Trust your ears. If you liked them, they should stay.

    Amp manufacturers (good ones at least) will voice their products to sound enjoyable because there Is no such thing as perfect sound. Naim use Tants because they obviously like the sound (they are not cheap and don't measure great either). Rega use a lot of Samwa electrolytics In the signal path. IIRC they use Nichicon In their higher end products.
    In my own Onix OA21 amp I've tried loads of different feedback and coupling caps. Polypropylene always sound harsh, thin or just wrong. Polyester sounds similar to polyrop but are often a bit dull as well. The old Elna Silmic 2 that was supposedly the cap to get years ago sounds bloated and dull In my Onix (sounded the same In my old Naim amps too)
    It's quite Interesting Googling high end amp Internals. You don't often see large film caps.

    I know It's hard but the best thing to do is to forget what the cap Is made out of, and listen to what sounds the most enjoyable and not what sounds the most detailed. The best way to do that Is to live with your new caps for a period of time and then swop back to the old ones.

    EDIT: I just noticed your amp Is a valve job. I get the Impression that there Is some kind of synergy with valves and polypropylene caps because the two of often seen together (I'd still swop back after a week or two just to make sure).

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