anyone tossed their silver micas for ceramic?

fender4life

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Well, after going back and doing more A/B there is zero doubt the ceramics are smoother. BUT, thats not a good thing in my amp tho it could be in some. But i find that as treble peakers in the preamp they lose definition and when i add brightness to get that back then i also get back of spikiness i mentioned when rolling the guitar back for cleans and the clarity is still not as good. So i can say w/o reservation theres a very obvious difference but like most things it's only good if it's what the amp needs. If this amp were very bright i could see ceramics being beneficial. But i have a lot of control over the top with this amp so i don't need that because i can mimic it with the NFB knob and a couple other switches i've put in the amp. But i can't seem to mimic the opposite, so ceramics are out for now at least. I'll see what happens saturday when i get to try in in a band context. I have no idea how the amp will ever be overal because i redesigned the preamp and this will be the first time out with it in this configuration. So it could be i'll find it harsh and then the ceramics may go back in and see how it sounds next time out.
 

dan40

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I switched over to mostly ceramic when I had a silver mica get noisy on me a few years ago. I like to use npo/cog ceramics because of their stability but they have gotten so small and expensive these days that I'm using less and less of them. David Friedman mentioned these Vishay caps in a post a couple years ago so I purchased a few of them and started using them. They are not npo/cog but they are temperature and voltage stabilized so they seem to hold there value quite well over time. They are also much cheaper than SM's, especially when buying them in bulk.


Edit: I don't use them because I think they sound better than SM. I'm mainly using them because of their lower price and so far I have not had one fail on me yet.
 

moonlighter

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I've yet to see a CDE silver mica leaking current. You're not going to get those from AES/Amplified Parts or TubeDepot. You have to order them Mouser or Digikey.
I only buy my components from Digi or Mouser. They were genuine CDE yellow epoxied micas. Definitely leaked. And I was careful about heat dissipation. Like I said, I prefer styrene, and those are notoriously more heat sensitive.
Since CDE has absorbed Illinois Capacitor quality has dropped to about IC's level.
 

Wound_Up

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Please please please, i didn't want this to become a thread about whether you hear it ir not. I do hear cap differences and some have been very notible, some not. So let me re phrase the quation....to those who also hear cap differences, especially ceramic vs mica, have you tried them in areas other then the tone stack and hear differences god OR bad especially as bleed caps and treble peakers. And yes, i realize caps vary in value even of the same marked value and i DO check them.

If you hear a difference in the circuit, it's likely not coming from changing capacitor types. In most cases, Caps aren't an active part of the circuit. Audio doesn't go through them and then out to the speaker like it does in a tone pot or a pickup.
 

gusfinley

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Here's the difference in cap sound:lol:
Testing starts about 2:00:


It's funny he mentioned a paper clip in this video....

I was once in a lab during my EE coursework. I needed a partiular capacitor value and the EE store was out of them, so I took a coated paper clip, cut it in half and twisted the two halves together. I took it over to the fancy LCR meter and it read too high so I trimmed the length until is was just right.

The Lab TA came over when I was demonstrating my circuit and asked "what is that?" I told him it was a capacitor and he asked "where did you get that?" - "I made it!" I explained to him my rude manufacturing process and he shrugged and then passed off my circuit.

In the end, a capacitor is just too conductors, separated by a non-conductor. There are many ways to do it and those different ways lead to slight differences in performance, though their values may be the same.

I did hear some differences in the video, but I'm sure variations in his playing during each phrase accounted for most of it.
 

fender4life

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I tried a bunch of them, all measured and within the spec of the micas they replaced. Tried em in all 4 mica spots in my amp and heres the conclusion i came to. In every instance they seemed to smooth out the tone VERY notibly, but what it was actually doing is not passing as much high end which of course sounds smoother. I found i had to add more highs via my treble, presence, or NFB pot to get the brightness back the micas allowed. When i did that it didn't sound quite as lively as the micas. It DID sound a bit different in the way the top end sounded even when i compensated with the amp controls. So they DO sound different but the main difference is that lessened high end that sounded like the proverbial blanket over the amp. I went back to the micas. I just feel the ceramics sorta deaden that alive quality tube amps have over SS and modeling. I went back to tubes because of that and i certainly don't wanna trash that quality.....may as well just go back to modeling.
 

Paul G.

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1. Do different types of capacitors sound different? They can, but...the differences are subtle, too subtle to make a real difference.

Ceramics: reliable, high noise floor, often go microphonic.
Silver Mica: not as reliable, quiet.

If it's working and it's quiet, I leave everything alone. If I'm building, I usually tend to avoid ceramics because of the noise. Ceramic caps in the tremolo oscillator are fine as the signal doesn't pass through them.
 

fender4life

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1. Do different types of capacitors sound different? They can, but...the differences are subtle, too subtle to make a real difference.

Ceramics: reliable, high noise floor, often go microphonic.
Silver Mica: not as reliable, quiet.

If it's working and it's quiet, I leave everything alone. If I'm building, I usually tend to avoid ceramics because of the noise. Ceramic caps in the tremolo oscillator are fine as the signal doesn't pass through them.
I disagree. You can only describe them as subtle or not subtle depending on the person. If theres anything i have learned with online guitar forums is that what people can hear varies wildly from one player to the next. I can tell you that orange drops in certain positions in my amp made a big difference that got it sounding much closer to what i wanted and i went from thinking the amp has potential to feeling it;s reached it's potential. This is not placebo effect, but some may not hear it. I also believe that many of those who say they don't actually could under the right conditions, such as the ability to A/B them quickly. I think many would be surprised. That said, it depends on several things and in some cases it's true....the difference is so minimal as to potentially be placebo effect.
 




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