Coupling Caps 5E3

rdjones

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Stray capacitance and lead dress effects will make a much greater difference to the circuit than any colour difference in the caps.

If any fundamental difference existed (it doesn't) it would be between construction types.
Metalized film vs film and foil, etc.
I tend to prefer caps that are made in the same construction as blue moldeds, in particular Sprague 418P.

I believe they debunked their own test if you paid attention to what they said along the way.
In this case, even "Mom" is questionable.
 

bluetweed

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I have had 6 Clark Beauforts (5E3) since 1999 and the best was a Beaufort Special with Mallory 150's and the second was one with Jupiter Red Astron's.
I also had a Oldfield deluxe reverb clone that was killer with Sprague 716P's. I sent the Oldfield back to put in Mallory's in and it killed the beautiful Blackface tones I had with the Sprague orange drops. I believe both circuits need different components.
 
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RetiredUnit1

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The reality of a double blind test is that no one knows what they're voting for. Funny to see people ignore reality while name calling. Sigh.....
 

chas.wahl

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Everyone keeps talking about "Mallorys" as if it's a single product. There are two types: the 150 series, which are metallized polyester, and the WMF (and WMC) series, which are film and foil, a more "vintage" technology (in addition to being bigger, to accommodate that technology). Anybody have opinions about the audio difference between those?

Also, in Orange Drops, there are several different series: polypropylene and polyester as the insulator, plus others maybe to handle different voltage criteria; I'm not sure. The radial leads are a turn-off for me, though I sure do like the color. Also, in polyester, they're often more available from people like Mouser in the values one might need than the WMFs are.

They're all from Cornell-Dubilier anyway, unless you go Illinois or Nichicon or "generic", which is fine if that floats your boat.

I admit to not having watched/listened, because I think it's hilarious that people can make sophisticated judgments about something heard over YouTube.
 

monkeybanana

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Cap wars. Endless or pointless? You decide. :)

I like to believe there may be audible differences, but I don’t need that to be true. Evidence and empiricism are great and all, but after you read these threads for a few years, you realize it's hard to create perfect evidence for something *subjective* ("sounds better"). And even if you did, we humans tend to prefer our own biases to other people's evidence.

Many folks here dislike ODs (especially the polypropylene ones). Objectively you might object to their color, their size, their awkward leads, and their arcane labelling system. However, 'sound' also gets cited a lot, especially around the polypro. Fair enough. Except a lot of kits supply 'em and people love the resulting amps. The late great Billm thought they were 'very musical.' George Alessandro uses 'em in his handwired PR, DR, etc, and so do several other high-end shops.

Let's say they *do* sound different. Do I think that (subtle) difference will survive through the ± 10% thing, the other components, all our hiss and hum sources, the variety of PTs and OTs and rectifiers we use, the differences between (say) JJ and standard tube-sets, our B+ and bias adjustments or lack thereof, and (big one) the speakers, guitars, and musical styles we choose? No.

In my limited experience the things in that last paragraph make far far more of a difference than caps of same values to my regular ears. Nail that before shooting out caps. After that it’s about selecting the prettiest or era appropriate or both. I listen with my eyes too but I admit it :)
 

SacDAve

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My take; lot of factors to an Amps sound besides coupling caps and bottom line is personal preference to what sounds good. THen hearing aids in or out huge difference.
 

Kev-wilson

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I smiled at the thread as being new to this and preparing to start a Bassman Micro have been pondering whether to try something different to the Mallory M150's I've used for coupling caps in the 2 micros I've built, those red Jupiter caps look great, as do the sozo's but are around 5x more than the Mallory's so for me a pointless upgrade.

The orange drop caps are an odd one, I've used one as the tone cap in my amps and a mica as the bright cap so was surprised watching an Uncle Doug vid to see similar (but bigger) used as coupling caps in some old amps, so I can see in days gone by blue and red astrons, yellow 'mustards' and orange drops all used for the same function which I found interesting, but then again I can now grasp what they do as I can just about follow the signal path on a schematic.

'Nearly and just about :p '
 

sds1

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I wonder why the builder used these caps? Does anyone recognize this work?
HAD used the 6PS series polyester film OD's, for the most part anyhow.

Which notably are NOT the OD's featured in this video.

A fun video might try to compare polyester vs polypropylene caps since some folks (like HAD) say they can tell the difference...
 

Wally

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HAD used the 6PS series polyester film OD's, for the most part anyhow.

Which notably are NOT the OD's featured in this video.

A fun video might try to compare polyester vs polypropylene caps since some folks (like HAD) say they can tell the difference...
Hence the problem with the term ‘orange drops’, correct?
 

sds1

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Hence the problem with the term ‘orange drops’, correct?
Correct, IMO the term is ambiguous if you believe the dielectric is important to consider in these discussions.

Regarding the video, I don't understand why they would choose the polypropylene OD over the polyester OD when comparing to 3 other polyester film caps. 🤔
 

chas.wahl

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Correct, IMO the term is ambiguous if you believe the dielectric is important to consider in these discussions.

Regarding the video, I don't understand why they would choose the polypropylene OD over the polyester OD when comparing to 3 other polyester film caps. 🤔
My suspicion is that these guys don't really know much about any differences in dielectric material, and that the test subjects were chosen on the basis of colors and hype/marketing and internet buzz. They did identify the ODs as being 715P series, though. Are all the others used indeed polyester type?
 

sds1

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My suspicion is that these guys don't really know much about any differences in dielectric material, and that the test subjects were chosen on the basis of colors and hype/marketing and internet buzz. They did identify the ODs as being 715P series, though. Are all the others used indeed polyester type?
I suspect same.

In the description of the video they stated the following:

Sprague 716P “Orange Drop” (polypropylene and film)
Mallory 150 (metalized polyester)
Jupiter Yellow Vintage Tone (polyester and aluminum foil)
Jupiter Red Astron (polyester and tin foil)
 

King Fan

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Let me walk back my diss on cap tests and threads a bit: Though I said the threads are all the same, IMHO this test actually did way more than most. 1) Blind listening -- sure, *we* don't hear it in the original, but they did. 2) Not just one cap, a bunch of caps. This certainly mimics what you might get in a real amp build, and the 'overall' soundscape is at least gonna blend the ±10% tolerances to a more likely mishmash of values. Not as good as selecting each cap to be say ±2%, but still, better than average. 3) Instant real-time switching. Most of us are just stuck with "I swapped the speaker, then listened again" -- which is just about useless for meaningful comparison. 4) For my interests, if I wanted the "most relevant" cap set, I mighta done exactly what @sds1 points out they did. Maybe I woulda used Blue Sozos instead of Red Astrons -- seems like IF those're supposed to mimic blue molded, that's a super-popular concept, and we don't see Red Astrons used as often (the age of the target amps is a factor). But that mix, 1 'iconic' polypro vs. 3 popular polyesters (one popular *and* inexpensive) -- that just about hits my 'wish I knew' bullseye.
 




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